I imagine XD stands for “Extreme Disney” + the XD emoticon which can express extreme happiness or sarcasm (XD …) — I’m not sure whether Disney was being clever or stupid when considering XD with regards to its most current pop culture meaning. My guess is that they are completely clueless about the emoticon “XD” …
So … a network aimed at 6 -14-yr old boys … hmm… what comes to mind to me? Anime, more anime, and still more anime, the latest in video games, Ninja Warrior, the extreme sports videos played at Islands Restaurants, packed in with yet more anime. Disney better have a gundam anime, a “Naruto” clone and a “Bleach” clone in their programming if they hope to even have a chance with any boy over the age of 8. Geez, …, and forget even overtly having music stars (what’s with the Beastie Boys? They were in when I was a teen and I’m now pushing 35). Oh, and drop the “Disney” branding because no self-respecting male over the age of 8 wants to be associated in *ANY* way with “Disney”. What’s described in the article sounds to me like another channel aimed at ‘tween girls. Good luck Disney! and go watch some shonen anime and read some shonen manga for goodness sakes … XD
…psst … here are some clues in order from entertaining the youngest to the oldest boys:
Whatever the latest Power Ranger and Pokemon incarnation is
Naruto/ One Piece
Find 16-ish version of Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb of the G4 Network to host a video game show (nothing is as sweet to a tween boy as a cute gamer girl to crush on).
Scour Asia for a teen version of Ninja Warrior — DO NOT try to make an American version. Americans, believe it or not, are too reserved to create genuine moments like those in “Ninja Warrior”
Shamelessly copy from multiple networks (Nick, G4, FuelTV …) if you have to because no one has put together a coherent and integrated offering on TV for American boys yet.
“Lovely Items” is a concept that I got from years of watching anime and reading manga. It’s the idea that a character needs a lovely item to endear them to the other characters within the story and with the viewing audience. There’s a good discussion of this in “Ouran High School Host Club” in which the Host club tries to make the son of a yakuza boss more approachable. The idea of a lovely item can be as abstract as a personality quirk and as concrete as a signature piece of jewelry. In essence, a lovely item is something that gives an object or and individual a distinct personality and facilitates approachability. And so, that is what I want to do with my Lovely Items website. I want to share the lovely little graphics that I make with who ever wants them so they can add some personality and friendliness to whatever web or print project they are doing.
This idea was born out of a little discussion I had with my Dad last week. I had just finished redoing my personal website and I was feeling very empowered. I wanted to do more work on websites and expressed to him that I’m willing to do it voluntarily for the experience. Our concern, though, had to do with my “cute affliction” in that if I can’t get passed it, the range of customers I can design for will be limited. My feeling is practice, practice … but at the same time, I should get the most out my cute affliction and develop it. So here are some short term and long term goals for myself with this website:
Give away lovely graphic items I design for web and print (practice makes perfect and spread the joy while building a portfolio and credibility as a designer).
Do some voluntary design work — web, print, and vanity books to get experience and recognition
On a limited basis take on web, print, and vanity book projects for actual paying customers.
This is something that I would like to do on the side while having full-time career. I figured that now while I’m looking for a job and while jobs are scarce I should use the time to learn new skills and develop my innate talents. I would love to do this sort of thing, too, for a company, focusing on the usability and visual appeal of web, web-to-print, and print-to-web projects.
So please stay tuned as my Lovely Items adventure begins. One of my good friends suggested that I start by making some lovely wallpapers for mobile devices like the iPhone and cell phones … :).