Just found this image on Getty Images from the Amazon Fishbowl episode…
…and this 6 June 2006 article from Philly.com:
A page turned Thursday night, though probably not as big and heavy a one as the bookseller would have you believe.
“We’re on the computer!” Bill Maher told his L.A. studio audience and anyone else who was logged on to the homepage of Amazon.com.
The comedian touted Amazon as “the first major Internet site to launch an episodic series.” Fishbowl With Bill Maher, which began at 11 p.m. Thursday and is available at this very second at www.amazon.com/gp/movie-player-dashboard/permalink/39:31/104-3877406-928
7120, puts Maher in the talk-show host seat, interviewing folks whose stuff you can buy on Amazon. A new episode is scheduled every Thursday for the next few weeks.
Minor Internet sites have been running episodic series for quite a while. Of course, I’m a TV critic, and I don’t know a whole lot about them, but I do like one called Rocketboom.com, which features a pretty woman named Amanda Congdon doing a cockamamie “news” show, heavy on computer content.
She auctioned off the show’s first commercial time on eBay a while back (I think she got $40,000, which isn’t chicken feed, though it’s probably about 30 seconds of Amazon revenue), and you can watch her daily performance, which is called a “vlog,” on TV if you have TiVo.
I can’t, because I can’t figure out how to work it all. And that was part of the problem with Maher’s show Thursday night, too. It would just stop and start, and the little virtual gadget that was supposed to control it didn’t have any skip or rewind buttons, which I can work on my TiVo, so how new and revolutionary is that?
What is revolutionary, of course, are the commercial geegaws associated with Fishbowl, which appears on a little screen that’s made to look like a TV, maybe 5 by 6 inches, in the middle of your larger computer screen, leaving room for such Amazon messages as “The Husband (Hardcover) by Dean Koontz. Go to this product detail page.”
Full article @ Philly.com.