It’s been a while since we last had the opportunity to talk to the wondrous Becky Worley, and we’re glad she took the time out to talk to us about her most recent work, including her new show on Yahoo! Tech, Hook Me Up! [ http://tech.yahoo.com/hookmeup ] as well as her recent global travels hunting for fame, fortune, and treasure!
It’s been a while since the days of TechTV, but Becky is still definitely at it; doing gadget and gear segments for Good Morning America, travelling the world hunting treasure for the Travel Channel, working on a blog for Yahoo! Tech and working on Hook Me Up!, and staying on top of her personal life and keeping active in the community! I’m getting a little ahead of myself, and trust me, Becky lets us in on everything she’s got going on-I can’t help but wonder when she gets time to sleep!
As usual, we want to thank Becky Worley for taking the time out to sit down and talk to us about her plans and her work, and everything she’s been involved in lately; all of us at TechTV Forever appreciate her giving us the inside scoop on her activities! Again, you’ll only find this information at TechTVForever.net!
TTVF: To get started, tell us about your new show on Yahoo! Tech, “Hook Me Up.” It’s slated to be released officially on May 15th, what can viewers expect from the new show?
BECKY: Well the show has been out for a few months now and I think it’s progressing pretty well. To be honest, it took me a while to get used to the format and goals of the show.
From the TechTV days, I’m used to a step by step TV show that shows you how to perform technical tasks. If Call For Help on TechTV was a meal- it was a fun and informative meat and potatoes dinner. Hook Me Up is intentionally different: it’s more like an appetizer. The show’s blog posts and Yahoo Tech articles are the meat and potatoes. Doing a show ON the web offers an interesting opportunity: the content and step by step directions, which are best explained in text and pictures, are right there on the same screen.
Hook Me Up is intended to show people some of the options for using technology. It’s about real people and tells the human story first and the technology story second. It’s intended to pique the viewer’s interest in the possibilities that technology could bring to all our lives.
TTVF: What’s it like working on the show? It reminds me a lot of “Digital Digs,” from the old TechTV days. Any similarities there?
BECKY: Digital Digs was a massive project to bring tens of thousands of dollars in top of the line gadgets and gizmos to one viewer’s home. It was a contest where someone would win the ultimate tech makeover treatment.
Hook Me Up is different because it focuses on a specific issue or problem in a viewer’s life that can be remedied with technology i.e. a 26 year old girl who has a 27 year old TV, a single mom who’s 10 year old computer has holes in the drive bays and is missing a space bar, a musician who wants to make a demo reel so that he can audition for a gig playing the cruise ship circuit. It’s real people, real problems, with technology to the rescue.
TTVF: So before I send in my video, what kinds of videos are you looking for? Just technically challenged people, or anyone who wants to get hooked up?
BECKY: The best videos for the show will be those that have a great story. If you have a quirky dilemma, a funny lifestyle, or a poignant problem you have a good shot at being picked. Also those that ask for TV sets are least likely to be chosen- we are inundated with TV requests.
TTVF: Yahoo! Tech is pretty new on the block, just being released to the public a few weeks ago. What’s it like working with them? Anything else cool we should be on the lookout for, or any other work you’ll be doing with them?
BECKY: Yahoo Tech is new to the block, but many of the staff members are old hats in the TV biz: The big boss is Pat Houston who I worked with at ZDTV radio and ZDTV news. He was the head cheese at CNet before he came over to Yahoo. The site manager for the show, James Hamilton was a writer and editor at TechTV. Robin Raskin, one of the advisors was a frequent guest on CFH and was the editor of Family PC and Chris Null was a big ZD guy. The site has a lot of muscle and content is becoming king at Yahoo- so wait and watch, I hope we’ll be doing lots of cool projects in the future.
TTVF: We’ve been keeping up with your segments on GMA; how is that going? What’s it like doing tech segments for an audience that large?
BECKY: Well it’s great! Every time I go on national TV someone from my past calls me to reconnect- it’s like old-home week. The actual segments are pretty much the same except I get nervous when the host is Diane Sawyer. It’s pretty weird to fly across the country, be limo’d to a studio, get your makeup and hair done all for 180 seconds of work.
Learning what content GMA likes to talk about has been an interesting learning curve, too. Gadgets, Gadgets, Gadgets. I squeak in a little security now and then, but it’s mostly TVs and gift stuff.
TTVF: You mentioned that you’ve been on the road a lot for work you’re doing with the Travel Channel! Fill us in on that; where have you been jetting off to?
BECKY: I have been filming a fun series called Best Places to Find Cash and Treasure and it will either debut this fall or in January.
In all of the 16 episodes I’ve gone on real treasure hunts. From diving for treasure in the Florida Keys to dynamiting for Aquamarine in North Carolina, to searching for Truffles in Oregon I’ve had some amazing adventures. I’ve found tens of thousands of dollars worth of loot and the cool thing about this show- all the adventures are open to the public. It’s been a ton of travel, I was on the road for 25 days in June for the show, so I’ve come to rely heavily on my travel gear. My ultra-light laptop, Bose noise-cancelling headphones, EVDO card and text messaging have been lifesavers.
TTVF: When last we spoke, you were working with sports4kids, a non profit that puts P.E., recess, and play back into schools were athletic programs have been cut from the cirriculum. Are you still working with them?
BECKY: I was on the road this summer during one of the fund drives I’ve helped out with in the past, so I couldn’t pitch in the way I would have liked. But Sports for Kids has a mission that really resonates with me: teach kids to play. Play is such an important tool for learning, social dynamics, and health. I think that we as grown-ups need to be better role-models and make it a point to play as much as possible: do it for the kids!
TTVF: We’ve heard disturbing reports that some schools are trying to cut recess altogether to save time; we thought it was a crazy idea (I can’t imagine how school would have been like if we didn’t have recess to look forward to!) but what do you think?
BECKY: My best friend is a PE teacher for high school kids. I went to work with her one day and was amazed to see kids studying while trying to play games during PE. Kids are so stressed about grades, tests and college that the balance we had growing up is a little out of whack. I also think that computer fans like most of us have to remember the importance of taking a break, doing something with our bodies and stepping away from the monitors.
TTVF: Any other projects or news you’d like to share with us?
BECKY: I’m hosting a tech special for the Fine Living Network that will air in November. It’s called Tech Check and should have some info on buying trends and ideas for the holidays.
TTVF: For those of us looking to get into technology or technology journalism like you have, and to make our mark reviewing products and sharing our geekiness with the public, what advice do you have?
BECKY: Well, there are a lot of passionate technologists who have started blogs and gone to great heights. I guess I would advise aspiring journalists to pick a niche, find your voice, and stick with it. It’s not the best that always succeed, it’s the hungriest. That’s definitely true in this business and your drive is the only thing you can control- keep at it.
Thanks again Becky!
Remember, you can head over to to BeckyWorley.com [ http://www.beckyworley.com/ ] and bookmark her blog, What’s Up Worley [ http://whatsupworley.blogspot.com/ ] to keep up with Becky and see what she’s up to; and stick with TechTVForever for new and updated information on Becky’s projects as we learn about them!
Make sure you guys check out Becky Worley on her show on Yahoo! Tech, Hook Me Up! [ http://tech.yahoo.com/hookmeup ], on Good Morning America talking tech, keep an eye out for Best Places to Find Cash and Treasure coming to the Travel Channel, and also check back in a few months for Becky’s special on the Fine Living channel!
All of us here at TechTV Forever wish her the best of luck with all of her new shows and projects, and look forward to seeing her on TV wherever she might appear!
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