Firebrand sizzles, but visitors get doused

Long before Firebrand launched last night, the all-commercials Web site and TV show had already been debated ad nauseam. I personally don’t buy most of the arguments against Firebrand. (“It’s too much like YouTube,” “No one wants to watch commercials,” etc.) But now that I’ve been watching it for a while, I do have my own bone to pick. First, let me say, it’s hands-down the most elegantly designed and organized ad collection in the world. And yet there’s no way to comment on what you’re watching. This is especially bizarre, since Firebrand’s been championed by conversational-marketing guru Joseph Jaffe. Yes, they give you the code to embed any spot on your own comments-enabled site, and that’s great. But to have so much content in one magnificent space without the ability to weigh in yourself? That’s taking the TV-network model way too far (into the past), and it might be too late if they get around to adding a comment function after the kickoff buzz dies. I continue to have hope for Firebrand, which is still in its beta phase. That said, if they hang on to that horrendous blee-bloo noise between ads, they’ll deserve an especially dingy spot in the dustbin of history.

—Posted by David Griner