Marc Strassman, is a multifaceted man with extraordinary vision and interests that range the gamut from real life politics to virtual world etiquette. Strassman , who is a Los Angeles native that studied Social Relations at Harvard™ university is a true professional that is always in search of a good story ,Strassman admits, “ Mostly I use Secondlife™ to chat with avatars from around the world about their First Lives and, when they feel like it, about the political situation in their own countries. Second Life provides me with information that I can use in my real life profession of video interviewing guests about politics and related subjects, by giving me a clearer understanding of the actual political situation and attitudes in different states and countries.”
Technology has certainly made the world a smaller and more manageable place and Strassman’s research and subsequent interviews are perfect examples of this.
|Picture of Etopia News' Marc Strassman|
Strassman ,bilingual in English and Spanish is a self-proclaimed “internet reporter”. “I use the Internet as the platform for conducting my interviews and as a means of distributing them, as well as in the sense of someone that covers new developments of the Internet itself.”
In 2003, Strassman started Etopia News™.
The origin of the name is interesting because Etopia is a place where most public and private communications take place using electronic platforms, especially the Internet.
Strassman tells OI that, “The name comes from a book by the late MIT professor William J. Mitchell called e-topia, available from Amazon (click hyperlink) . When I started Etopia News, I often had to explain the origins of the name to people, but by 2013, most people realize that we are living in Etopia, even if they don’t recognize the name as such.”
Strassman started Etopia as a platform for coverage of important news that wasn’t getting adequate coverage in the mainstream or even online media. He is reminiscent of Utne Magazine™; a subcultural watchdog that ferrets out important stories that really need to be told. Strassman’s goal is to tell those stories via Etopia.
Over the years, Etopia has grown and evolved. Currently there are thousands of articles and 200 plus YouTube videos to peruse created by the always-prolific Strassman.
As technology has advanced along with Strassman’s skills, Etopia News evolved from a text news operation that included links to audio and video coverage of people, subjects, and events to one that mainly features video interviews on Etopia Youtube™ channel and occasional text posts on the Etopia News blog, that also features embedded versions of the videos as they appear on YouTube.
Not leaving a social media tool unused, Etopia News video interviews are also available on Pinterest™. In addition, some Etopia News interviews are also syndicated as blog posts on AOL’s Menlo ParkAtherton™ Patch site. Strassman also promotes his interviews via Twitter™.
Many articles and interviews that were produced before Strassman started to use Google+ Hangouts™ On Air to produce them (he previously used SightSpeed™ and Skype™)are archived on the Etopia News Now channel of blip tv ™.
For the sake of convenience, a player streams the blip.tv interviews and is embedded on the home page.
The most recent interviews are streamed live and archived on the Etopia News YouTube.
In terms of getting the word out about Etopia, Strassman uses Facebook™ as his primary promotional tool. “I usually post links to new interviews on the Etopia News page on Facebook to generate traffic to the page. “On FB ,I define Etopia’s mission as a source that features in-depth, remotely-recorded video interviews with elected officials, academics, authors, business people, and others, covering current topics in politics, technology, medicine, business, and culture @ www.etopianews.com”) and on my own home page. I’ve also recently created a FB page featuring 27 Etopia News videos dealing with cannabis regulation, called “The Path to Cannabis Legalization."
Strassman hopes to expand the quality and quantity of guests that appear on his show and to reach a larger audience utilizing the latest online technology for production, distribution and promotion of his shows. “As for future guests, I hope to interview Tom Boellstorf, author of Coming of Age in Second Life, and Tom Ammiano, a California Assembly member and author of AB 473, which would reform the regulation of medical cannabis in California. I’m satisfied that Etopia News is getting its work out to a select group of viewers, but I’d like to build its viewership to enable it to reach more people and have a bigger effect on the news cycle.”
As an up and coming alternative news source, and as new stories emerge and slip under the radar, it is good to know that Etopia News will be there getting the word out and creating more conversation to a growing online community.
Thank you for reading my article on Etopia News and its founder, Marc Strassman. My name is Sita Writer, reporting for OI Magazine.