User Generated TV: In the Motherhood

I was phaffing around with the TV on today and heard Ellen DeGeneres talking about presenting InTheMotherhood webisodes. It’s a community (underwritten by Suave and Sprint) of mothers writing in their most embarassing or heartwarming stories. Scripts I guess. The Community votes. Then 3 actresses play out the stories. Chelsea Handler plays Heather, a divorced mother, Leah Remini is Kim, an ex career woman now stay at home mum and Maria played by Eileen Galindo is college grad now mother. The stories are great- here’s last week’s winner:

So, we had this great 10 year old cat named Jack who just recently died. Jack was a great cat and the kids would carry him around and sit on him and nothing ever bothered him. He used to hang out and nap all day long on this mat in our bathroom.

Well we have 3 kids and at the time of this story they were 4 years old, 3 years old and 1 year old. The middle one is Eli. Eli really loves chapstick. LOVES it. He kept asking to use my chapstick and then losing it. So finally one day I showed him where in the bathroom I keep my chapstick and how he could use it whenever he wanted to but he needed to put it right back in the drawer when he was done.

Last year on Mother’s Day, we were having the typical rush around and try to get ready for Church with everyone crying and carrying on. My two boys are fighting over the toy in the cereal box. I am trying to nurse my little one at the same time I am putting on my make-up. Everything is a mess and everyone has long forgotten that this is a wonderful day to honor me and the amazing job that is motherhood.

We finally have the older one and and the baby loaded in the car and I am looking for Eli. I have searched everywhere and I finally round the corner to go into the bathroom. And there was Eli. He was applying my chapstick very carefully to Jack’s . . . rear end. Eli looked right into my eyes and said “chapped.” Now if you have a cat, you know that he is right–their little butts do look pretty chapped. And, frankly, Jack didn’t seem to mind.

And the only question to really ask at that point was whether it was the FIRST time Eli had done that to the cat’s behind or the hundredth.

And THAT is my favorite Mother’s Day moment ever because it reminds us that no matter how hard we try to civilize these glorious little creatures, there will always be that day when you realize they’ve been using your chapstick on the cat’s butt.

The forums are here. The Funniest Potty Training Incident is great. I could post a bunch about what is wrong with site but I want to leave it alone, except for two things. After all, it’s a great Gonzo campaign (cat’s butt = promoting Sprint? Who would’ve thunk it?) and a superb concept. User generated content at a true community level.

The two points: it’s in Flash so we know the issues there for a start – I can’t copy and paste to tell you about the site, I can’t grab images and so on to continue the Word of Mouth movement, in fact I can’t even read all because the JSFlash scrollbar doesn’t work for me. The second one is that there is no embed options for video so the community can’t promote it easily themselves etc. This last one always kills me. Imagine a TV station came to you and said, ‘give us ONE episode and we’ll drive people to your site to watch the other episodes … and we’ll do it for free’. And you respond with “umm no thanks”. Imagine you have hundreds of bloggers and websites willing to pick up that episode and deliver it to thousands of readers and visitors, driving traffic back to your site, in the tens of thousands. And you say “hell no, we won’t control it”. Look, no one is going to post every episode on your site to their site. And the majority of bloggers blogging on about your site, are actively advertising and promoting your site, in a positive way. But you say “Nuh. uhuh. It’s in Flash and y’know, our copyrighted media property”. Sheesh.

I would’ve loved to have embedded the webisode here of the little girl who finally gets the hang of doing poopoos in a grown up loo. In the bathroom display toilets at a homewares store. 🙂 Enjoy your breakfast – in your own ‘hood.

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