Monday, December 28, 2015
Sunday, December 27, 2015
For the first time in a long time I went on a road trip the other day.
I've lived in France for nearly 5 years now, but I've spent most of that time not seeing anything more than classrooms and my bedroom. It's easy to get caught up in the monotony of waiting things out. Doing what you're supposed to be doing just to get by.
Watching clocks tick as you forget why you ever started waiting in the first place.
So this adventure was an interesting mix of my reluctance to do anything and a fun chance to see the beautiful country I live in. There's a lot of countryside to see and it's amazing how you can drive for a half hour and run into a castle without trying.
I've become so used to all that that a part of me has forgotten how amazing it really is.
It also gave me a fun chance to record a trip in stop motion. But not just in stop motion. I had a vague idea as the day went on of capturing the monotony of driving mixed in with those fleeting memories of doing something.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
It's amazing how much a single stroke of luck can increase traffic to your website. I had it happen once here many years ago when Ramit Sethi tweeted out one of my posts.
The post that he tweeted out was a simple thing I wrote in about five minutes.
I only bring it up because something similar happened very recently over on Medium in regards to what Comatose writes. We spend a decent amount of time preparing written pieces every week. It's a collaborative effort and there's a wide variety of voices, and the posts even boosted by being published on The Coffeelicious, a popular Medium community.
However, last week I also made a quick comment on a top article on Medium. It took me at most 30 seconds to write and it now has more views than everything else we've published combined.
|That big spike there is the comment I'm talking about.|
What's more, even though that comment is getting thousands of views, practically no one who sees it clicks through to see any of our other work.
I'd noticed a similar thing happen where it seems most of the people who read our posts do not actually listen to the episode it's (sometimes loosely) tied to. That makes sense though, I imagine people on Medium want to consume more written media than audio.
It's interesting to see it actually happen with numbers though! I don't know if it's safe to say there's an easy way to catch people's attention, but I may have to experiment with the idea a bit more in the coming weeks.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Saturday, December 12, 2015
|Screenshot from Sjru.|
What I find the most interesting is the relationships that are then built around all this. Similar to other forms of media, the relationships tend to be one sided. The Chat adores the streamer and feels like they’re a friend, but to the streamer The Chat is largely just anonymous strangers.
Streamers often interact with the chat giving a deeper connection with those in the chat, but at the end of the day it’s still one sided. There’s no real way to know if the streamer has read what you wrote, or even cares.
On top of that there isn’t much intra-community chat in the chat itself. Most of the chat is trying to talk to the streamer and it’s much rarer that people talk amongst themselves.
That’s made me start wondering what kind of effect that can have on a person.
A voyeurism dripping in anonymous internet culture.
It bleeds a certain desperation. At least in between the laughs and escape I get from it, I can feel that it’s feeding the lack of human connection that is a bit too common in my life at the moment. How common is that feeling?
And maybe more importantly, how many streamers are aware of how important they are to The Chat?
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Right before I left the states again about a month ago, my Mom bought be a GoPro because I had made vague references to wanting one and because she wanted to make me happy before I left town again.
After my initial post-buying guilt, I let myself think of how I wanted to use the camera. I liked the idea of it being useful as both a “picture camera” and a “movie camera” but also grossly underestimated how cool it is a time machine with its time lapse feature.
The first thing I thought I’d capture was our flight. It was hard figuring out where exactly I could put the camera, but ended up finding a good enough spot. It turned off a few times throughout the flight, and the shot isn’t the best, but it is interesting.
You can see how fast time passes when hours turn into seconds.
That led me to then recording the train ride from Paris to Tours.
And I’ve since been finding more and more things that I can film in time lapse. Some of them turn out pretty cool.
Others not so much.
It does make me excited to see what else I could film. I love playing with time and seeing things in a completely new perspective, but I’m not always sure how to film what I want to see. I’m sure if I stay at it I’ll get better and develop a better eye for it.
But for right now, it remains just out of grasp. Something mesmorizing but beyond my reach.
Time will tell how it plays out.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
What I loved about it more than that though was how all the struggles I wrote about nicely tied into each of the segments on that episode. I hadn't really planned for that to happen, but after it did, I couldn't imagine it any other way.
I bring it up because while my small opening up may seem sad, Inda Lauryn's segment brought me to tears with how strong it was. I think the music just added something so heavy to the whole thing and I love how it turned out.
Take a listen if not just to hear her segment.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
One of the biggest new things that's happening at Comatose is this cool thing we're doing with a community over at Medium.com: The Coffeelicious.
I've already written about it a bit here, but how it all began is funny.
I've been sending longshot emails to people since high school. I'm used to sending 500+ emails of my dumb content and never getting any response. When I sent an email off to Srinath, I never thought I'd get a response.
I had thought it'd be cool for us to have some written content, and Medium seemed like a cool platform to start doing that on. After lurking and reading daily emails for a couple months, I picked up on a few communities that I thought would mesh well with us and what we're about.
So when I received an email saying that they couldn't wait to start doing something... Well, I was shocked.
I'm still surprised when people take us seriously. I'm used to being obscure and a joke, not something people find interesting or would want to work with. It's been a blast and I've enjoyed every moment of working with The Coffeelicious!
Saturday, October 3, 2015
The idea actually started when I thought it'd be a good idea to combine some of our multi-part series into a single episode, make the series a bit more coherent. I started with one of Basil's series, but then we got a chance to collaborate with The Coffeelicious and things changed.
They gave us access to actual authors!
Bashir ended up meeting up with author Stephen C. Rose and quickly learned that it's annoying to record in a cafe. The other really cool thing that opened up was that we got to start publishing short weekly articles on The Coffeelicious about our thoughts and feelings going on during the production of the previous week's episode.
Bashir wrote the first one, commenting on how crazy his life was leading up to meeting up with Stephen. And we've kind of traded off between each other as it's moved forward.
On the latest article, I tried something a bit different, and had the guest for the special edition write about their experience going into recording. The stress and fears and general management anxiety going into collaborating with someone you don't know very well.
Luckily that guest was the incredible Abby Norman, a bona fide journalist who we got in contact with through The Coffeelicious. She let us inside her head both in audio and in text, and the result is something that's definitely worth finding the time to listen to.
I say that as someone who had to listen to it about 40 times while editing it together!
When things go well like this it makes all the hardships worth it. Managing all the projects that're going on and balancing that with the weight of life in general can be taxing, but having something that can ignight that passion really helps make everything better.
Monday, July 13, 2015
Aspect Heavy semi-officially launched the other day! The web-site isn't really done, but it works for now.
We wanted to expand on audio production stuff, and so our first new projects are two opposing directions from what Comatose does.
With the new Aspect Heavy website we launched Perspeculum and the Aspect Heavy Podcast.
Perspeculum is by far the strangest thing we've ever done. It's an extraction a step removed from conversations and podcasting. It's the stuff you'd want to be removed by a noise removal. It's putting the background in the foreground. It's pretty strange, but it was fun to do.
I thought it would be fun to release a "Season" at one time and have every episode be the exact same length. So that's what we did. A smaller detail is how each episode is paired with distinct art that is meant to compliment the noise.
The Aspect Heavy Podcast is in the complete opposite direction. It's a conversation style podcast without a script and without pre-planned topics. It was also surprisingly difficult to do. There were a few unreleased test episodes that were just too horrible.
The first time Nizar did the intro, and we introduced each other was met with a long pause as we suddenly realized we didn't know how to start a conversation. At least not one that is being recorded.
We finally recorded a descent episode, and after quite a bit of editing, I felt we could release it. There's still some problems with the levels and weird noises from not being in good recording spots, but it works as a proof of concept. We'll keep at it and hopefully get better as time goes on.
There are some other shows that may be coming out in the near future, but they're not quite ready to be talked about just yet.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
The problem with the vast majority of them is they were more often than not more clones than alternatives. And even more often they had few users and server problems. I don't think the "next reddit" is going to be exactly like reddit, and trying to cash in on the current, or recently passed, chaos is not the smartest thing to do.
The other problem is that all of the alternatives that I saw didn't have a strong established internal culture. A massive wave of redditors joining would then effectively change the what they had in an attempt to make it reddit 2.0 rather than something new.
Amongst all the rehashes of attempts at reddit 2.0, I found one of the most interesting websites I've ever seen.
It's one part 4chan, one part reddit, one part nobodyhere.com. Especially that last one. I used to spend a lot of time on that strange website back in high school, and one of its lesser known features (already on a lesser known website) is the inclusion of an anonymous chat... in the form of bug avatars in a sink. It's absurd to the core, but led to interesting conversations and great friendships.
atob.xyz captures that spirit, albeit with much more internet-ness than nobodyhere's bug sink, but it's close enough. It's goofy and whimsical and anonymous. A fun way to kill some time and make jokes with others who enjoy the silly nature of the site.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
That makes a year's worth of Comatose! There's an important distinction there, because the actual beginning of the show was in early June of 2014. We missed a few weeks in the beginning.
Our narrator, Taro Yamada, had a baby and got married right after episode 2, which left us a little lost for continuing the show. Luckily Nizar stepped up to the challenge and created what's probably the most distinct voice of the show.
I wanted this episode to mirror episode 1 in at least some way. So I got everyone from our not-so-great first episode back together to make our anniversary edition.
The result is a somewhat bland episode, but I like it. It's reminiscent of that first episode where we were just recording whatever we could to see how it sounded.
A lot of cool stuff in the works that hopefully I'll remember to write about here!
That and because I was sweating into my bed.
Right now it's la canicule here in France, which is a fancy way of saying unbelievably hot. So when I woke up to computer troubles, well, I knew it was going to be an annoying day.
After a groggy look at my BIOS settings and seeing the same error again and again, it became clear that I at least needed a Windows 7 install disk if I wanted to boot up my computer.
The boot sector was corrupted.
Problem is I received this computer with Windows 7 preinstalled and without an install disk. I figured I'd see if the computer store had a disk I could buy or if they had another fix I could use.
A hot walk to the computer store gave me an estimate in the hundreds of euros if I needed a new harddrive. I didn't think that was it, and the clerk gave me the great of idea of running a linux liveDVD to see if the files were still there.
Bought a DVD, burned a disk for the first time in years and.... all my files were there! I quickly backed up everything and started trying to get a Windows 7 disk to get my computer up and running.
In the middle of searching I started wondering why I even needed it. I could just install Ubuntu from the liveDVD!
So I did it.
And it was the first time I'd used Ubuntu since 2008. Boy has it improved. I mean (most) things actually worked without any noodling around in the terminal! Including sound!
I'm enjoying Ubuntu 14.04 now. Best of all it's running better than Windows 7 ever ran on this machine.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
So I got to listening to their show and after the initial shock of seeing a website that looks like it was outsourced to someone willing to work for pennies, the actual show was a pleasent surprise.
The show starts with pleasent music and fades into a few people talking. My first thought was this is going to be a four dudes and a mic podcast, and with a sigh I continued listening, because I didn't want to back on my Twitter word.
When I glanced down to check how long the episode was, I was surprised in a good way that it clocked in at around 15 minutes. This was going to be an episode I could actually fully listen to!
There are some audio problems where the levels are a bit off between the hosts, but it's not that big of a deal. They manage to be genuinely funny and not just in a we're idiots kind of way, but an actually interesting way.
Not something I would normally listen to, but if you like freeform comedy podcasts, this is a good show. It's very aware of itself and doesn't try to be something it's not. A couple of funny people briefly discussing absurd topics.
You can check out the episode I listened to, Arnie lied to us! on their website, www.notlistening.co.uk, iTunes, or on the Spreaker player embedded below.
Saturday, June 6, 2015
Fortunately I saved the old template, so in the unlikely event that I want to revert back, it won't be a big problem.
Notable things going on:
Internship with Nathalie from Mentorless.com!
Comatose is nearly 1 year old!