VLOG of the Week

Take Talk Soup, mix it with Leno’s “Man on the Street” segments, add in some basic cable access-level talent and resources, and you have the weekly television show Tiny Tubes. So why should anyone even care about it? Because it’s on the Internet.

As part of the new vlog (video blog) revolution, Tiny Tubes is a series of short video segments hosted by Ben Dragu and Joan St. Simone (who looks strikingly like Marcia Brady), and seems to be created at their whim. Some segments focus on cultural trends or current events, others are experimental theater pieces; all have original graphics and music that give it a retro vibe.

And though this show can be beamed into people’s computers all over the world, its physical home is right here in Santa Barbara. Esperanto Productions is responsible for the tidbits that come out every Tuesday; which is why your chance of seeing State Street traffic or a familiar Farmers Market musician in the background of a video interview is pretty high.

The shows aren’t polished, by any means. You can usually see Joan reading from her script, and no one bothers to edit it out when Ben bumbles a question. The content is sometimes painfully cheesy. And all topics are, by necessity, only covered in a surface way. At times, it feels like the after-school project your little brother made with Mom and Dad’s camcorder. But many of Tiny Tubes’ shortcomings are inherent in the medium. Vlogging is still new technology, and the amount of people who know about it is still limited. But it’s a trend that’s catching on fast. Before we know it, Ben and Joan could be big-time international Vlog-Stars, and we can say, “We knew them when.” Visit

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