Time.com has grown its video viewership five times in the last year in part by producing unusual and interesting videos that you won't find on a nightly newscast, including a new partnership with popular Web star Ze Frank, the site's Craig Duff, director of multimedia, told us.
Frank is best known for his project "The Show," and he continues to be well-regarded as an important early Web video pioneer. For Time.com, Frank has been producing "That Makes me Think Of," an essay series that plays off the week's news. Frank has produced six episodes since June and Duff said he hopes to continue running the essay series on Time.com.
Duff explained in a separate email exchange how his affection for Frank's work began. While Duff was working on a fellowship in Cairo in 2006 and 2007, "The Show" was one of his few connections to the United States.
"I watched it every day, even sharing it occasionally with some of my English-speaking students. I can probably even sing from memory some of the songs he performed on that series," Duff recalled. "I secretly wanted to go to the pyramids and shoot a video of myself saying 'Good Morning, Sportsracers!' (As you may recall, that was the greeting to every episode of The Show, and viewers often submitted their own versions.) But I never got the nerve — or the time — to do that."
Instead, he struck a business relationship with Frank this summer and the deal is emblematic of where Duff wants to go with Time.com.
"It's part of a strategy to really enjoy the quirkiness that works well on the Web, while still offering solid information and thoughtful analysis. I love to laugh and I love to learn. And I think the combination of the two really packs a punch," Duff said.
Daisy Whitney, Senior Producer