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Nerd Herd Podcast?!

Nerd Herd Podcast?! – January 12, 2007 2:18 PM (edited 1/12/07 9:18 AM)
Talraen (2373 posts) Doesn't Play with Others
Rating: Not Rated
Last time the Cuzzos were out here, around New Year's, Mike told me about an idea he had for a Nerd Herd podcast. He said he would post about it, but never actually did (slacker!) so I figured I'd go ahead and do so. I think the idea is really cool, I'm just not sure where we would go with it.

Mike suggested having a few people (around four), one of which was a "generalist" host and the rest of which would have specific topics to talk about. While I think this is a fine idea in theory, I honestly am not sure there is any combination of people here who could keep coming up with new stuff from week to week (or whenever) and keep it interesting. However, I think if we took the idea and changed it just slightly, we may actually have something.

Now, in addition to "what would it be about?", the big question for this podcast would be "who would be on it?" I'd say we should have around 4 people (maybe 3, but not more than 4), possibly changing from week to week depending on how much interest there actually is in this idea. I have to be honest, I think know that being on this podcast is a bad idea (because I don't speak clearly, and frankly I've got enough people disagreeing with me as it is Wink ), but as the opinionated jerk who never shuts up it seems kind of inevitable. Also, involved in a speaking role or not, I'd be totally up for editing and putting the thing together.

So, what do you guys think? Anyone think this is a good idea? Anyone have any more specific ideas? Would anyone else actually like to make podcasts? (If so, go get Skype or something, slackers!) I think it could be cool and fun, even if it's almost certainly stupid too Smile.

<a href="http://profile.mygamercard.net/Talraen"><img src="http://card.mygamercard.net/gelsig/teal/Talraen.png" border=0></a>

Re: Nerd Herd Podcast?! – January 12, 2007 3:58 PM (edited 1/12/07 10:58 AM)
Cuzzdog (1522 posts) Head of Gamer Corner R&D
Rating: Not Rated
OK, first of all, yes I am a slacker. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. Second of all, I was thinking about posting about this for a while, but held off simply because I didn’t think it would have any staying power (IE: I very much so doubt anything will come of it).

However, since Dowd went ahead and started posting about this idea, and he ever went so far as to say that “<i>really</i> cool” (emphasis mine Wink I might as well go ahead and give some more details on how I thought this would work.

Basically, we would start “The Nerd Herd Podcast: All News Fit to Be Nerdy”. We would have one host nerd who would have to appear on each and every podcast that’s put out (theoretically, a 1 hour, once a week show). His job would not be to report on anything, but to act as moderator for the show. Along with the host, there would be a rotating panel of “specialists” (yes, that would be us, hence the quotes Smile. Each person would take a nerdy field to represent including, but not limited to:
- Tech Nerd
- Literature Nerd
- Gaming Nerd
- Role Playing Nerd
- Gadget Nerd
- Comic Book Nerd
- Movie/TV Nerd
- Music Nerd

Once everyone selected a specialty, that would be their persona for the show. IE, you would be referred to as “Matt, the Literature Nerd” or “James, the Video Game Nerd”. That keeps it easy for the listeners to tell everyone apart. Full names would go up on the accompanying website.

For each show, everyone would troll the web for good stories to talk about. You know, basically what you’re doing now. When you find a good story, or a couple of good stories, you would send what you want to talk about to the host nerd. Host nerd (which is just a working title. Just doesn’t sound right to me…) would be in charge of reading up on the stories, and then picking three or four people to be on that week’s show.

The show should then be simple and done “off the cuff”. Host nerd introduces everyone and then picks a specialist nerd to start out the conversation. That nerd delivers one of pieces of news and everyone discusses. We’d keep everything simple. Like, dislike, next big thing or next big flop?

Of course, no one would be paid for this, but the theoretical payoff would be if we get a large enough audience we would be considered reports at conventions and the like. Perhaps, given the proper amount of schmoozing, people could even start getting review copies of … stuff…

So… yeah. That’s what’s been in my head for this idea. I think it could be fun to do in theory, but I have serious doubts as to the more practical side of, you know, actually getting people to do this every week.


___________________________________________________
“Cuzzo is the boss hoss of role playing!!!” – Clair (paraphrased)
Number of times Clair openly admitted to agreeing with me: <b>4</b>

Re: Nerd Herd Podcast?! – January 12, 2007 4:30 PM (edited 1/12/07 11:30 AM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
The only thing I don't much like about this idea is the "Specialty Nerd" thing. No offense Mike, but I have no desire to be pigeonholed like that, particularly given that my life has a little bit of all of the above categories and I don't think I could honestly pick one that dominates (although Music Nerd is definitely *not* me).

I think the host should probably be the same person each week, or maybe only change on a monthly basis and that we should all make a habit of forwarding the host any news articles we read that we think would make good topics. Then the host can pick one and e-mail the people he would like to have on for the week.

Whether or not its "off the cuff" or the host provides info about the topic I don't much care about. I doubt that I would have time to look at things on a weekly basis though.
_________________________________________________
I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo

Re: Nerd Herd Podcast?! – January 12, 2007 5:11 PM (edited 1/12/07 12:11 PM)
Talraen (2373 posts) Doesn't Play with Others
Rating: Not Rated
I have to agree with Matt, our interests are all too similar for categorization to work. As I said before, it's a great idea for a different group of people.

Anyway, I've listened to a bunch of podcasts, most of which have been entertaining more than informative, and I've noticed a few things that seem to work really well, and some that haven't. I thought I'd toss them out there to see what people think.<ul><li>The optimal number of people for a podcast (particularly one with topical conversations/arguments) seems to be four. I think this is because debates are a lot less interesting when they degenerate into a 2 on 1, and 4 people just seems to work as far as getting enough different perspectives. More than that tends to be too crowded for everyone to really talk much.<li>Podcasts work better with a static group. One reason I wanted to see what people thought before mentioning this is that unlike your typical podcast, I don't think any podcast we make here is really going to be "for the audience," as it were. I don't really see this being listened to outside the few people here, so it's more for the people making it than anything else, and thus anyone who wants to be on the podcast should have a chance to be. I would suggest some number of static members and another number of "guests" based on how much interest there is (so if six people are willing, do 3 people plus one rotating guest, but if 8 were, do two and two, and so on). The reason for a static group is so people get into a kind of rhythm and can keep it moving with well-defined roles and procedures and whatnot.<li>Freestyle podcasts do not work. If people say "OK, we're going to ramble on about something for an hour!" it's always a nightmare. The first method towards avoiding this is to have distinct segments (for an hour podcast, either four of 15 minutes each, or three of 20 minutes each). The exact time doesn't matter so much as the differentiation between portions of the podcast.<li>On the same note as the last point, having good topics (or gimmicks) for each segment seems to work really well. They don't need to be specific, it can be anything from the "news segment" to the "topic of the day segment" or whatever.<li>Arguments are entertaining.</ul>The general theme is that for a podcast to really work, it needs some kind of structure, especially if it's going to be anywhere near an hour long. Hell, the main reason to <i>have</i> a host is to figure these sorts of things out.

The question for me is, who would actually be interested in participating in a podcast?

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Re: Nerd Herd Podcast?! – January 12, 2007 6:58 PM (edited 1/12/07 2:03 PM)
Cuzzdog (1522 posts) Head of Gamer Corner R&D
Rating: Not Rated
Man… see, my idea was nice and snug and good in my head, but you had to drag it out of it’s warm hiding place into the light to mocked and ridiculed didn’t you Dowd? Was the “Really cool” part just to make me drop my guard? Bastard. *sigh* Well I guess I better try to at least defend my ideas.

I can understand how someone might not like being pigeonholed into a single category like that, but I really think my “specialty nerd” format has a lot to offer a show like this.

1) With a show of this type, where we’d be trying to cover a number of different topics that we couldn’t possibly cover in a single week, having the people that come on the show be representatives of the topics being covered that week will instantly tell the listeners what’s going to be covered. “Oh, music, movie, and video game nerds are on this week’s show? That’s what’s going to be covered.”

2) In a show where really only one (or maybe two) people will be regulars on each and every episode, people will be able to identify with personas much quicker and easier than with a person.

3) It helps in terms of organization. We’d start with one specialist’s news stories and listeners would know that the next 10 minutes or so is going to be focusing on that area of news. Almost like on a news show you’ve got the weather guy, the sports guy, the traffic guy etc… we’d have a bunch of “nerd topic” guys.

4) I personally think it’s just a decent gimmick the show would be able to use to differentiate itself from other podcasts doing basically the same thing.

5) In terms of show preparation, if you know you’re the music nerd then you only have to be concerned with <i>finding</i> the latest music news, not with every single topic under the sun. Of course, everyone who actually does the show should be familiar with all topics that would be presented.

6) We don't exactly have a lot of solid credentials to back us up like other, more professional podcasts, so using the nerd specialties would give the illusion of authority on what you're saying.


Some other points of clarification (since I guess that wasn’t clear) I was thinking of the show being “off the cuff” discussions organized via an agenda as opposed to a show that was 100% scripted out. So the flow would be:
Host: Ok video game nerd, what do you have for us this week?
VGN: Well, Space Annialators 4 just released this week and…
Host: What do oyu think about that guys?
<i>general discussion between everyone</i>
Host: ok, moving on, what do you have for us today tech nerd?

So, even though you would be known as a specific type of nerd, obviously everyone has to know at least a little about what’s being talked about in order to contribute to the general discussion part which would really be the bulk of the show. Using the specialty nerd gimmick is really just a way for people to identify with you quickly, and to organize what’s being introduced.

Of course, this revolves around the idea that we have one or two people who are on every week, and then 7 to 9 other people who can only contribute once or twice a month.

So… does that sound any more appealing from what you were originally thinking?


___________________________________________________
“Cuzzo is the boss hoss of role playing!!!” – Clair (paraphrased)
Number of times Clair openly admitted to agreeing with me: <b>4</b>

Re: Nerd Herd Podcast?! – January 12, 2007 7:26 PM (edited 1/12/07 2:26 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
While I understand and can even agree with your arguments in favor of specialization it has become clear to me that one point should really be stressed here:

This is not letting anyone quit their day job anytime soon.


Also, it's likely that I'm the only one who has ever tried to do something comparable to this, in that I have to post to my department's blog at work twice a week and for a while Sam and I tried some more gimmicky things to make it work better - the lesson I learned was that trying to force gimmicky structures onto things is only an incentive for that endeavor to fizzle and die.

Content that flows naturally is going to be far more compelling. And frankly, it can be pretty hilarious to listen to four of us having a cockfight over something inconsequential.
_________________________________________________
I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo

Re: Nerd Herd Podcast?! – January 12, 2007 8:25 PM (edited 1/12/07 3:25 PM)
Cuzzdog (1522 posts) Head of Gamer Corner R&D
Rating: Not Rated
Yeah, I know this isn’t letting people quit their day jobs. In fact, I’m pretty certain this will never get off the ground at all which is why I didn’t want to post about it in the first place. I’m not sure how that ties into whether or not the idea is good.

Secondly, I thought this idea was more like Gimmiky Lite. You know, tastes great less filling? It’s really just an easy to remember, informational name that fits in a theme. I would think that even if we did a podcast, but didn’t use this format, we wouldn’t go by our full real names. But maybe I’m wrong there too. I’ll just be over here… in the corner… quietly sweeping up my shattered hopes and dreams… Smile

And I’m sure listening to us cockfight over silly stuff is entertaining. It’s practically the premise of the whole thing. I mean really, what kind of show would be made from “Group of nerds come together to discus nerdy things and whole heartedly agree with each other”? That’s just wrong.


___________________________________________________
“Cuzzo is the boss hoss of role playing!!!” – Clair (paraphrased)
Number of times Clair openly admitted to agreeing with me: <b>4</b>

Re: Nerd Herd Podcast?! – January 12, 2007 8:33 PM (edited 1/12/07 3:33 PM)
Cyris (240 posts) Tapped Out
Rating: Not Rated
I think a podcast where we just fight would be amazing.

But Cuzzo is still wrong and I hate him.

James too, that dick.

Matt sucks.

I'm out!

Re: Nerd Herd Podcast?! – January 12, 2007 8:40 PM (edited 1/12/07 3:40 PM)
Cuzzdog (1522 posts) Head of Gamer Corner R&D
Rating: Not Rated
Cyris wrote...
But Cuzzo is still wrong and I hate him.

That's ok. I always had a feeling. I guess I'll just *sniffle* take my podcast and go home *SOB*

___________________________________________________
“Cuzzo is the boss hoss of role playing!!!” – Clair (paraphrased)
Number of times Clair openly admitted to agreeing with me: <b>4</b>

Re: Nerd Herd Podcast?! – January 12, 2007 8:45 PM (edited 1/12/07 3:45 PM)
Talraen (2373 posts) Doesn't Play with Others
Rating: Not Rated
I have a lot to say to a number of posts in this thread, but I've been holding off because I'm already way behind on work today because I've spent the whole time thinking about the podcast idea.

If there's one thing I can do, it's put ideas like this into effect (and then let them die when no one cares Wink ). However, I can't just make a podcast happen, because a Dowd-only podcast would suck. However, if I can get people to go along for the ride, I can make this happen, and fast. Hell, I've already researched the uses of Skype and which recording programs are worth getting and all that. Get me a few people who'll come along and I'll have a podcast up by next weekend.

However, if I do this, I'm going to do it my own way, at least until it's clear whether that's working or not. But if you guys are OK with that, we can get this show on the road... what do you say?

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Re: Nerd Herd Podcast?! – January 12, 2007 8:49 PM (edited 1/12/07 3:49 PM)
Cuzzdog (1522 posts) Head of Gamer Corner R&D
Rating: Not Rated
Well, talking has never been my strong point, but I'd give it a try just to see how it turned out. Actually, I'll do it as long as I don't actually listen back to how stupid I sound. Smile

___________________________________________________
“Cuzzo is the boss hoss of role playing!!!” – Clair (paraphrased)
Number of times Clair openly admitted to agreeing with me: <b>4</b>

Re: Nerd Herd Podcast?! – January 12, 2007 9:40 PM (edited 1/12/07 4:40 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
If by "I'm going to do it my own way" you're talking about the technical details of recording and editing the file, I'm in.

I would really like to hammer out some sense of what the format would be before we start recording. It doesn't need to have every little detail, but the sense I've gotten is that this is being pitched as a group podcast that you're looking forward to producing, not Dowd's podcast that we're being invited to participate in, and I think that means we should get some input about the actual structure of the podcast.

_________________________________________________
I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo

Re: Nerd Herd Podcast?! – January 12, 2007 9:53 PM (edited 1/12/07 4:56 PM)
Talraen (2373 posts) Doesn't Play with Others
Rating: Not Rated
Basically, it's kind of in between. I'll work out the technical details, host the files here, set up a feed, and whatnot (hint: if you want to be involved, download <a href="http://www.skype.com/download/">Skype</a>), but I also need some semblance of creative control, for two reasons. Well, three if you count "because I'm a control freak." Anyway, first is that this is going to be a lot of work, kind of like Dowdnet, and if I'm going to put a lot of my time and effort into something I want it to be something I actually care about. If you guys all insisted on doing a podcast about the latest trends in stuffed animals, I'm not gonna help, obviously. Wink

But the most important reason is because we are terrible at doing things consensually. If there's one thing I've learned with Dowdnet it's that saying "hey guys, how about this idea?" doesn't really work - a few people care, but have contradictory ideas, some people never read the posts let alone respond, and so on. In the end I end up just doing it, and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. But setting up a podcast by consensus is something I have no interest in.

That said, I certainly plan to get a lot of input from you guys - I mean, unlike Dowdnet features, I absolutely need other people along and therefore can't be a total dick anyway. I have some vague ideas, but not enough for a whole podcast by a long shot, plus I don't know who's going to be on it, and so on. The only thing is, once I start asking for ideas, I am a.) not going to worry if some people don't get involved in the discussion and b.) going to have to be the one who makes the final decision on which way to go. You guys know I'll be fair about this crap in the long run, since it is a collaborative effort, but for the beginning I'm more interested in getting things up and running than pleasing people.

All of that said, if anyone else wants to handle the podcast production and all that, I'd be happy to do whatever I can (like the aforementioned hosting and feed stuff) to help out and not worry about this stuff. It doesn't matter much to me who's running the show, I just want to make sure that if I'm doing so, I'm actually doing so, you know?

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Re: Nerd Herd Podcast?! – January 12, 2007 9:58 PM (edited 1/12/07 4:58 PM)
Biggs (81 posts) Level 1
Rating: Not Rated
So... this podcast idea is cool. Can I listen to them at work?

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