Monday, November 24, 2008

Siren song

I had a whole lot of fun hosting the show yesterday, and I'm glad I get to do it more, but there's one new thing that's really dangerous for me.

It's the chat room.

Now that we are streaming live and have an associated chat, first of all we're going out live to an international audience and getting instant feedback as well. This may be very bad indeed.

The Non-Prophets chat room has always been something I wished I could pay more attention to, but even during peak times I've never noticed more than, say, 50 people in there during a show. Yesterday I'm told that there were more than 200 people at one point, the control room tells me. Since I had my laptop with me on the set, I tried to just occasionally glance in the chat room and measure the mood in there. You may notice from the video that the chat became more and more interesting to me later, and it was hard to tear my eyes away from it.

At one point I mentioned what was being said in chat, and the room went nuts. Text started scrolling by at a dizzying pace. I think I got humorously propositioned at least three times during the show, and that was only during the few minutes when I was watching. Then I saw a chatter remark that Jen was looking at me for feedback and I had my head buried in my computer. So I stopped, reluctantly.

You see, I freely acknowledge that I have an enormous ego. I love attention. So it's a lot of fun to get instant reactions as it happens, and this may be to the enormous detriment of the show. So as much as I wish I could, I think I'd better not pay much attention to the chat in future episodes.


  1. I listened to you while "donating" plasma to pay bills this morning. I didn't notice any delays in your program. Nice work!

  2. On a WoW podcast I listen to (Casually Hardcore), they call the chat room the 'Gray Void', and joke about trying not to stare into it.

    They have a pretty good system, though. They have an IRC rep that is an intermediary between the hosts and the folks in the chat room. So, if the hosts every do glance over at the laptop, they will only read what they IRC rep sends them in a Private Message. If the IRC rep finds that something said in the chat room could add to the conversation, they'll pass it along in a non-intrusive, non-spammy manner.

  3. and we love to stroke your enormous ego!

  4. Chat was a little slow for me, actually. ;)

  5. Yeah that chat room is insane, too many people. I put the show on full screen for a while because it was annoying, but when I went back to it, I couldn't keep my eyes off it. ><;;

    P.S. needs more air guitar

  6. It wasn't only distracting to you as a host but to me as a viewer as well. At a certain point I found myself not being able to follow Jen's piece because there was so much going on in chat, particularly the christians in there.

  7. Hehehe! It was hilarious! It was fun mocking some of the callers---mostly in fun. I could see how it could be distracting! Heh, heh. I think it was funny that you were even trying to do that at the same time as running a show. There were about 212 people chatting when I was in there.

  8. I can definitely see how the chat room would be distracting. But at the same time, I can see the value of instant feedback (if nothing else, if, say, you need a Bible reference, one of the Teeming Millions can look it up for you).

    I think Juju's suggestion of having an intermediary is the way to go. You can always go read the transcript after you're done hosting the show.

  9. "P.S. needs more air guitar"
    lol I'm so sorry I didn't record that

    Bue yeah... I'll agree with others that the chatroom is extremely distracting.

    lol & you also told us in the chatroom to shut up :p

    It was also funny, how during the video when you were constantly on the pc you had this self-satisfied grin

  10. "Russell, show us your tits!"

    I nearly lost it when I read that on the chat panel. Fortunately, I think the camera was on Russell at the time.

  11. There a lot of things you have to look at when transferring a format from TV to the web.
    For once, there are gonna be much more troll callers, as we've already seen. The larger the web audience, the bigger the threat that someone alerts a live forum to the show in order to disrupt it (I'm thinking of the /b/tards, mostly). There's not much one can do about it.

    At the moment, you either have to get a chat moderator (like Juju outlined) or try to ignore what's going on.


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