Friday, March 27, 2009

Hailey Hacks...Everything


Thirteen-year-old web wizard, Hailey, makes technology cool

TORONTO, March 25, 2009 — Story2.OH and giraffesoft introduce Hailey Hacks, a series of web videos starring Toronto grade 6 student, Marlee Maslove. Hailey (Maslove) is the Hermione Grainger of web wizardry showing 8-13 year olds all kinds of cool things they can do with their computers.

“Kids have these very powerful machines at their fingertips,” says series creator Jill Golick, “but no one’s teaching them the incredible scope of what they can do with them.” The mandate of the series is to broaden tweens’ use of the computer beyond games, Google and YouTube to include the wider world of blogs, widgets, RSS feeds, social bookmarks and the amazing tools that exist on the web for creating, collaborating and communicating.

“Computers will become increasingly important in every aspect of kids lives – for entertainment, communication, work, everything. Yet there’s virtually no computer instruction in the classroom before grade 9,” says Golick.

By that time, many girls have already turned off maths and science and as anyone who has ever attended a geek event knows, women in technology are few and far between. Hailey presents an alternate view of technology for young girls, making it relevant, fun and cool.

Recently web series are springing up on an almost daily basis, but very few are aimed at the preteen demographic even though the age group has clearly embraced online video entertainment. Hailey Hacks fill the gap, bringing kids multiplatform entertainment. Not only can they can watch the videos, they read Hailey’s blog, share lolcats with her on Icanhascheezburger, subscribe to her YouTube channel and Twitter feed and exchange twitter-length videos with her on 12seconds. She even has a fan page on Facebook

The Hailey Hacks videos are available in two length. The shorter versions are available at no cost across the web on YouTube and other popular video sharing sites. The full versions are available for DRM-free download at a cost of $2 per episode at

While some adults may have a knee jerk reaction to the word “hack” in the series title, Hailey points out, hacks don’t deserve their bad reputations. A hack isn’t about breaking or wreck ingthings. Rather, hacks are elegant but simple, solutions using technology. (Wikipedia defines a hack as “a clever or quick fix.”)

Outline of scheduled video episodes:

Hailey Hacks April Fools: Hailey demonstrates some favourite low- and hi-tech April Fools tricks, including the famous Desk Top Hack in which the desk top is replaced with a photo. (This drives parents crazy as they try to figure out why nothing works when they click on it.)

Hailey Hacks lolcats: Hailey helps viewers master

Hailey Hacks Wish Lists: Hailey shows you how to create and share wish lists so everyone knows exactly what to buy you for your next birthday.

In future episodes, Hailey shows viewers how to make a wiki, customize Google maps for school projects, use online tools to throw a party, use privacy settings on social networks, share bookmarks, collaborate using Google docs and how to set up your own blog.

About the Story2.OH and giraffesoft:

Story2.OH is a Toronto-based digital drama production company, which specializes in cross-platform innovation and in telling stories through social media. giraffesoft is a boutique web app development shop based in Montreal, Qc.

Hailey Hacks creator, Jill Golick, and star, Marlee Maslove, are available for interviews.

Jill Golick
Tel: 416-538-6509

links to Hailey’s social networking:
Facebook Fan Page


Okay, you're asking why this - a web video series aimed at young girls - is on Pulp 2.0. It's because Jill is not only a friend, she's a smart cookie. You can learn a lot about how Jill and her partners in this endeavor discovered an under-served niche in the web video market. This isn't a parody video series, or a 20-something series, or a ripoff of THE OFFICE. She looked to the audience first. She saw what wasn't being done and seized the opportunity.

Secondly, she's using free social networking tools to get the word out. She has a web configuration in place, but Jill's plan looks loose enough to "go with the flow." She can adapt to where they hang out (Twitter) and since she's making a series for kids that is also educational (entertaining first, educational second) she can expand her marketing to get teachers and school systems on her side if she wants. Let's face the fact that if you have an audience of kids who need to learn how to use the web and their computer and you can do it in a fun way - teachers are going to love you. It gives them a subject they can bring up and get the kids interested right away.

And I'm sure there will be Hailey merchandise to purchase soon - if there isn't already. I can see a Hailey Hack Book, a DVD of episodes with special exclusive 'hacks,' a t-shirt or netbook bag that says "I Hack with Hailey"or "Hailey taught me How to Hack...Everything," ad infinitum...

There it is guys and gals. Now go out and hack it to what you're doing.


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