In a swift cyberspace coup, independent singer-songwriter, lifecaster, and "Bohemian Geek Soul" artist Jody Gnant corralled hundreds of voters and earned more than 1,500 star ratings for her photo in the last 24 hours of a casting call contest on rapper Ice Cube's new social networking and video site, UVNTV (www.uvntv.com).
The Web site, which Ice Cube recently launched with his longtime collaborator, DJ Pooh, utilizes Microsoft's new Silverlight technology to deliver media in real-time, and is being touted as "the world's first real-time, online television network." Channels include Snoop Dogg's Snoopadelic TV and Ice Cube's Hip-Hop 24/7 TV. UVNTV's channels incorporate Dolby surround sound and DVD-quality resolution for live streaming video. The site also serves as a broadband social network for fans and burgeoning artists – members join for free and can post profiles, share ideas, and audition for shows.
It was the "Hollywood audition" casting call contest that first brought Jody Gnant's attention to the site. Contestants were to submit head shots, and winners would be selected by the number of Internet votes they received. Jody clicked on a news link, saw the Web site and contest, and signed up on March 31 -- the day before the Casting Call contest ended. Jody has been broadcasting her life 24/7, live on the Internet at www.jodygnant.com, since July 31, 2007. She'd built a broad fan base and social network during that time, and felt she could win the contest in a day. "I said to myself, 'The person in the lead only has 150 votes. I can get that in one day from the visitors on the stream.' It was the first real time we put the group we affectionately call, 'The Legion' to work on a specific all-or-nothing-project," Jody says. " But it was awesome."
She quickly launched "Operation Cluster Vote" with her fans, campaigning for votes on her live stream at Ustream.com, on MySpace, Twitter, and any other means necessary by a quickly-assembled "virtual street team." And it worked, garnering her enough votes to win the Casting Call contest – which had been going on for months – in one day.
It also grabbed the attention of UVNTV, who were baffled at the staggering number of votes she got so quickly, and asked her to explain her methods. "I've gained a ton of insight into virtual media, social networking and monetization over the last eight months of lifecasting -- and I've been living and breathing the music business since I was a kid," Jody says.
Once they realized how Jody had brought so many votes to UVNTV, the founders were excited. "[We're] glad that there are people who get sticky viral Internet marketing and use it to make accomplishments," DJ Pooh says.
Jody's excited at the prospects of working with UVNTV as well, and continuing to demonstrate her belief that "none of us are as powerful as all of us."
"The Legion definitely won this contest. I could not have won it alone. When people ask me, 'How is your life different because of the lifecast?', I have a tangible example now," Jody says. "This is an example of how all of us, together, made a difference in something."
Visit Jody Gnant's profile at UVNTV after registering for free, full access to the site at http://www.uvntv.com/join/jodygnant.