Talking With ... Mary Spio: Getting online with videos

Mary Spio, 36, is president and co-founder of Gen2Media Corp., an Orlando digital media firm that helps companies produce and put video online. (Gen2Media does some work for the Tribune company, owner of the Orlando Sentinel.) She spoke with Sentinel reporter Etan Horowitz.

CFB: You moved to Orlando from Los Angeles after visiting here in 2005 when you were overseeing the casting for the reality show 'The Bachelor.' Are you a fan of reality shows? Do you think they've peaked?

I tend to like stuff like Project Runway, Top Chef and stuff that is based on at least some certain element of skill. I think it peaked a while back. And now it's going back to this whole format of pseudo reality, in the sense that they are really scripting a lot of reality shows, like The Hills. I think it's really done, and we're just going to go back to actual scripted shows. The novelty has kind of worn off. People have kind of had their fill. Before it was interesting and exciting and something new. People want to return to the escapism, when shows weren't grounded in any sort of reality.

CFB: You used to work as a deep space engineer designing satellites for Boeing. How does that relate to the digital media work you do now?

I progressed from the design of the satellite itself to saying, OK, now that we have all these satellites in space, how do we use them? Then I was marketing [the technology] and helping people find solutions, which is basically what I'm still doing.

CFB: You served on the City of Orlando's Creative Village Concept Team. What progress has been made and what does the city need to do to make Orlando a digital media hub like Los Angeles?

There is a lot of talk about what is going to happen, and I would like to see more of that translate into action. The city needs to be providing more incentives for smaller companies such as myself; I know the city is doing some of that.

CFB: [In what case] is online advertising better than other forms of advertising for companies?

Let's say I am a car dealership, and someone is watching television and they see my ad. They see it, and they might do something about it, or they might not. Whereas if I am online, and I just saw a car ad, I can just click on it and directly go to that company's Web site and make an inquiry or make a purchase.

With television, chances are it's a 30-second commercial. Online, not only can I do a 30-second commercial, but I can create a whole product overview of my content. Beyond that, I can also tell with analytics and metrics, where is my client coming from, where are they going after they hit my web site.

I can choose to only target people that are the most receptive to my message. It's so hard for traditional media [advertising] to finely target consumers.

CFB: What is your home entertainment setup?

I do not have a TiVo. I do have an Xbox. I watch a lot of content on my computer. My laptop is plugged into my 42-inch HD flat screen. I have cable as well, which I am planning on canceling at the end of the month because I get all my video from online.

CFB: What is your favorite viral video?

I like "Will it Blend" videos. I just saw a recent one where he blends the TomTom GPS. I think it's a very interesting way to market [a blender], it's entertaining and informative and ingenious.

CFB: Why does your bio say this about you -- "and she just so happens to be insanely good looking"?

I don't even know what this bio is, or who put that in there, but I would not have put that in there.

I think that's an old bio. I need to update that.

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