After 11 years, Slate has decided to become a parent. So, light up a cigar and say hello to Slate V.
That’s “V” as in video, not the Roman numeral for “5.” Today, we’re launching a new video magazine that will deliver original features, compelling documentary segments, and buzz-worthy video clips culled from the far reaches of the Web. On the site you’ll find familiar Slate franchises such as “Explainer,” “Dear Prudence,” “Damned Spot,” and “Ad Report Card”—now in living color!—alongside newly created segments about politics, culture, business, technology, and more.
Gazillions of sites are already offering video on the Web—you may have heard of something called YouTube—and more are launching every day. So, what makes Slate V different? We surveyed the Web-video landscape and came to two conclusions. First, the sheer volume of Web video is so overwhelming that it’s practically impossible to find the gems. Second, despite all of its spontaneous and escapist charms, much of Web video is pretty awful—ranging from cringe-worthy narcissism to dreary adaptations of print media content to clips that look like hostage tapes. Our goal with Slate V is to create a Web-video magazine—an ordered universe of video, in which all the content has the irreverent wit, sharp intelligence, and counterintuitive insights that have been the hallmarks of Slate the magazine for the past 11 years. Just as the print arm of Slate fills the gap between serious daily reporting and the boisterous chaos of the blogosphere, we want Slate V to occupy that sweet spot between CNN and YouTube.
If you come to Slate V, you might find John Dickerson vamping about his favorite political gaffe of the week, or Seth Stevenson applying his ad-deconstructing magic to classic commercials, or a quirky piece of animation that riffs off something in the news, or a passage from a compelling documentary in production. We’ll also hold video contests from time to time that invite people to get in touch with their inner Fellini—or their inner lonelygirl15. Slate V will offer you at least one new piece of original video every weekday, and all the segments will migrate to a searchable Slate V archive. (Obsessive fans of “Damned Spot”can breathe easy, because that archive will also include all the video that has been created for and living on Slate over the last year.)
Slate V will also help you find the best video produced elsewhere on the Web. Our feature “Did You See This?” will sift and sort the ocean of content already out there and show you the most compelling and exotic videos online. If we do this well, you won’t have to wait for that hip friend to e-mail you the link to the latest must-see “water cooler” clip. By putting these Web-video gems all in one place, we hope to help you indulge the voyeur within—and to enable you to waste your time more efficiently.
We’re new at this, and we want to improve fast, so please tell us what you think about Slate V. Log on to the Fray and tell us what you love and what you hate about it. Or drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.