¡No hay nadie!

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Broken Feed Woes

I’m not sure why I expected something different today. Perhaps it was because I woke up earlier than usual, much before I should have after having gone to sleep at 5am. But I trudged over to the couch, opened the laptop, hit the power button and logged into Chat, launched the site and nothing. Chat was happening, but the feed was not — on any of the four channels. Nothing, ¡No hay nadie!

Not a single feed. Nothing to watch, nothing to debate about, nothing to lament about, nothing to yell and scream about … nothing. ¡no hay nadie!

So, what is a person to do? No worries, a reg or two were there and were doing their part — calling the FratCave. The Feed Busters were doing their part to save the day — using the super secret, never to be divulged FratCave private line. I don’t know, I have this image in my head of a red phone with a blinking red button that flashes whenever a call comes in, because it’s the FratCave hotline. It’s reserved for the most dire of circumstances — a Feed is Down!

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Lighthouse in Beagle Channel, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina/Chile — 2005

Showing Them the Way

Well, the ladies called, and they called again, and nothing. ¡no hay nadie! One reported that the phone was turned off. Turned off?! How can that be? This is life or death! People stay up all night, wake up at the crack of dawn, get their daily fix before work, check in after getting the kids fed before school, and it goes on and on. Don’t the FratBoys realize that this is serious? They are putting people’s emotional health and daily productivity at risk?

So, we waited and we “talked” and we lamented over the lack of a feed on any channel — from East Coast to West Coast, nothing but darkness. It was a tragic time. Silence, darkness. The ladies tried again. Nothing. ¡no hay nadie!

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Bhaneragatta Game Preserve — Bangalore, India — 2002

Finally after about 1pm EDT we had feedage. Shew! A stand down at mission control. No need to call out the National Guard. No one was hurt, no one was dying. It was just a matter of crap technology. Whew! Not a national disaster, but to us, tragic.

Later in the day I was minding my own business, participating in chat, not really watching anything because the feed was, of course, down more than it was up. I did have it running in the background waiting for something to happen and all of the sudden I hear Justin. He was in the kitchen. It was a mess, but what did I expect, they’ve been living there more than a week. No reason for it to be clean, it is THE FratCave afterall.

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Window on the World — La Boca, Buenos Aires — Argentina — 2005

The next thing I hear is Justin talking about the feeds being down this morning and getting calls about it. I tipped it — it’s called Who called us — when? And it’s timestamped 12:15. When I click on it, the broadcast is pulled up at 10am — nice how this tips thing works so well, isn’t it? Anyway, you have to tell it to go to 3:00 and just wait, you will hear the conversation. Justin talks about how Jacob (I think) said they got called really early by someone whose name was unintelligible, saying something unintelligible. He talks about different times and picking up the phone, but basically talking to someone in his sleep and how they were all so tired and busy since they were up until after 3am having a heated debate or argument and sounding like the calls were such an interference — such a nuisance. What a hardship. You create a technology company that needs constant monitoring if it’s going to stay up for the “fans” and it’s just too much of a bother. Who are those viewers anyway?

The important thing is getting more lifecasters to run on a network created with popsicle sticks and superglue sitting in 60mph winds. Who really cares? ¡no hay nadie!

New Day at JTV

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Breath of Fresh Air

For those of you who have been spending countless hours in JTV-world these past 77 days, this afternoon we were treated to the dawn of a new day at JTV — Parris Harris — the wild and energetic ball of energy from the Phasion show a few weeks ago.

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Futbol madness in Argentina – River Plate Stadium pre World Cup Exhibition Match — 2006

Gone were the pedantic ramblings of one of our hosts or their enamored followers. We had a couple of hours of just plain people, talking, being happy and excited to be on camera and watching what was going on in the chat world, but not so interested in how they looked — no stops in the mirror to take a look and adjust the camera, no infinite hair flips, no focus on only the positive, complimentary comments. As a matter of fact, I noticed that the kudos, the compliments, they “atta boys” were mostly ignored for the funny, sometimes racist (intended or otherwise), sometimes wildly incomprehensible remarks made by an audience that appeared to be starved for change. An audience that did not want to experience the same old thing today — no more logging in to see a bunch of guys slumped over their computers staring at a network that is up or down and being witness either fully or while under the Cone of Silence as important (or maybe not) business dealings and matters of the inner workings of JTV business are being discussed. We did not want to log in to see what Justine and Dez were up to, and take another trip to the coffee shop or a long ride in the car.

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Car in Colonia, Uruguay December, 2005

Today was meant for something more, something totally different. Monday, June 4, day 77 was meant for change, and although a little delayed, we finally got it.

Parris Launches

When the Parris Harris broadcast began we were startled by the sound — the mic seemed to be too close to his mouth or was just not working well and on a guy that is full of energy, it was like having a mega-horn in your ear with a fire truck screaming past. But it was all good. It got the adrenalin going and we were off to the races.

I had to got out for a while, but came back and soon it was the Parris Harris evening show . Parris was at a friend’s home in North Hollywood somewhere and the real party began. They had site chat up, but did not register a name, so they could only reply by speaking to us. Parris felt the need to keep running to the camera that was perched on a flat surface somewhere to respond to comments that were bing made in chat. Some were telling them how great they were, others seemed to be challenging their ability to hold back on insulting remarks, while others just got into it asking the usual questions — “How long are you going to do this?” “Are you going to go to the bathroom with it on?” “Where do you live?” And on it went.

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This groom is on his way to his wedding. Udaipur, India — 2003

The gang was quite accommodating and some laughing, dancing, eating, drinking and just plain socializing ensued. It was a happy time at JTV and when I popped into Justine and Justin’s streams and rooms once or twice, the atmosphere seemed much more quiet, not as effusive as what was going on in the Parris Harris room. It was a bit sad actually. From time to time, people from those channels would pop in — even Dez took a stab at the action in Parris’ room, but none stayed long. I don’t know if they were afraid they would catch the buzz of excitement and defect from their fave rooms, or if they were just more comfortable in the same old boring world they had become accustomed to.

Parris and friends decided it was time to move on and we took a trip to a gas station. I make a move to the Justin stream at that point however and was treated to rambling one-sided dinner talk that seemed to put most in the room on edge and we all let out a sigh of relief when the feed went down — over … and over … and over … and over again. The feed was once again, down much more than it was up.

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Parris Harris on the Way Out

Archive Madness

I want to take a moment to talk about what I saw in the archives this morning — on Sunday at about 3:00pm . It was an interesting time in JTV, Incorporated world. Talk of Kyle’s elusive appearances in the office or about which is a priority; keeping the people in Chat happy or debate about keeping the feed up all the time and whether or not to outsource the network operations to India was enough to make me sing with the excitement of JTV office drama. It went on for a while and one point, Justin seemed to be getting rather agitated about the amount the division of work. It’s funny. There was a time when Justin wasn’t doing much work at all and was lectured by Michael, and now he seems to be running around like a chicken with his head cut off, not really seeming to be very organized, but accomplishing tasks that are on his to do list, while we still see Michael at the desk, sometime on the phone, doing what, we don’t know. Emmett talks of being worked to death, and Kyle, missing in action was dogged. Justin talked about his conversation with Paul (Graham of YCombinator fame and their VC-type guy) and how Paul made a comment about how these guys “should be able to get in the same room together at least …” I don’t remember the time frame — once a day? Once a week, not sure. Some in the room thought once a week was a good idea, some thought a few times a week and Justin seemed to be sticking to at least every other day, but daily seemed to be his preference. Emmett appeared frustrated and threw out the — I’m just too busy keeping the site working all day and night to meet daily or even every other day and Michael was equally conflicted.

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A brand that’s everywhere — Makati, Manila — Philippines — May, 2007

Midnight Meeting Madness

What is clear is that none of these guys have ever held down a real job before — a job where you have a solid calendar so that you can plan your day around appointments and tasks and even lesiure time if need be. As I’ve said in the past, they need an adult to come in and help run their lives. They could hire a Project or Program Manager that would be worth his/her weight in gold if the person could just get them to understand how to run a meeting, how to set objectives, how to schedule tasks and the art of sticking to the schedule. This is not rocket science, it’s not even MBA level stuff — it’s common sense, but it is also the things that come with experience. If they would step away, and stop the — “I’m 23 and invincible and we are going to make this thing work by wishing for it to succeed and by pure luck and no one knows how to do this better than I do attitude,” I think they would be ok. Someone they trust and believe to have the background and smarts needed to guide them would be good.

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Kids on their way home from school — New Delhi, India — 2003

Tonight they are having a continuation of the conversation they were having earlier and yesterday about keeping the technology up and there is a heaeted debate once again. Emmett does not feel that he should be involved to the point of “hand holding.” Justin is worried about attrition of the new lifecasters. He feels that people outside of himself and iJustine need to be helped through the process. The kid is right! They will not keep lifecasters long if they don’t have help getting through things. Emmett — code change is good, but code means nothing if you have no lifecasters to broadcast on the platform you have set up.

And finally — who launches on a Friday or a Monday? And it’s 11:57pm PDT, shouldn’t this meeting be a post mortum? Do they plan to have post’s after each new lifecaster launches? I am waiting for this to implode — it hasn’t sounded good these past 36 hours.

Serenity Now! Serenity Now!

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