Webisodes as defined by Wikipedia ( 2008), collectively it is part of a web series, a form of new media that characteristically features a dramatic, serial storyline, where the primary method of viewership is streaming online over the Internet. Where there is no "set" standard for length, most webisodes are relatively short, ranging from 4-15 minutes in length.
Webisodes can be in different types of genre depending on the viewership. One type of webisode to highlight is the webisodes for kids.
In the era where internet has the biggest source in the form of information, children are influenced to use the World Wide Web by their parents. Ever since I had a computer at home with the access to the internet (even before myspace and facebook was created), both my parents told me to surf the net to look for information that I need just so I am computer and internet literate.
That was back then. Now that the new media has emerged such as Webisodes, children can learn from sites such as Tinytown, Mrs.P (storytelling website for kids) and McGruff (National Crime Prevention Council)where it educates kids on various subjects such as crime prevention and entertain children with storytelling.
It all comes down to the quality of content of each of the webisodes where kids can relate to. For example, Tinytown ‘s producer and creator Chris Corbett, in his interview with Anthony Funnel of ABC’s Media Report (2007) said that Tinytown (2007) is a detective show starring kids and to make sure that viewers stay tuned to the series, it essential that the length and quality of the video itself is amazing like high definition quality.
It is also a way to entertain viewers especially kids on the internet. Target audience are for kids from the age of seven till twelve.
(Tinytown poster. Source: YouTube)
Another example would be Mrs P’s storytelling webisodes. Mrs P (2008) is the title character of a children’s storytelling website where stories like ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ are just of the 15 stories filmed for the webisodes that are available on the site. This site is to educate children with stories and make reading a ‘cool’ thing to do.
Kathy Kinney as Mrs P, the main character in the webisode Mrs.P
(Source: Los Angeles Times, 2008)
Charles River Media (2008) explained that webisodes are part of a phenomenon that represents the convergence of digital media, the Internet, and television. As these three technologies continue their trek toward convergence thanks to broadband technology, producers and audiences will begin looking for new and exciting ways to create and interact with this technology.
Thus, webisode is the new form of educating and entertaining children as they grow to learn the usage of the internet.
Corbett. C, 2007 Tinytown, online, viewed 5th November 2008 <http://www.youtube.com/user/tinderbox60>
Funnel .A, 2007 Webisodes for Kids,online, viewed 5th November 2008 http://www.abc.net.au/rn/mediareport/stories/2007/2124198.htm
McGruff’s National Crime Prevention Council (2008), online,viewed 5th November 2008 < http://www.mcgruff.org/>
Mrs.P.com, online, viewed 5th November 2008 http://www.mrsp.com/
River.C 2008 Webisode Basics, viewed 5th November 2008 http://www.charlesriver.com/resrcs/chapters/1584500875_1stChap.pdf