We’ve Been Thrown into the Dark Ages and Cancer Killed the Peanut Gallery

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The Days Before 24 hour Television Programming

Do you remember the olden days? Mysister and I used to pester our grandmother to tell us stories of the olden days. My favorites were stories of the ice man coming to deliver blocks of ice and the days before television. And…speaking of days gone by and Justin.tv … Are we back in the olden days or what? For those of you that were not born after oh, I don’t know, 1980, do you remember that television programming would stop at midnight? The clock would strike 12:00am and a static picture of the American flag would come on and Taps (military bugle call) would close out television viewing for the day. We’d wake up in the morning, and I seem to recall that at 5:00am programming would resume, but not before the American flag would reappear and we’d hear The National Anthem again to start our day.

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All in a Day’s Work — Bangalore, India 2003

It seems to me that we are being thrown back to the days before 24 hour programming. When we wake up on the East Coast we are greeted with no feeds on any of the channels. Although Justine is in the Eastern time zone, she seems to stay up as late, or later than our west coast friends, so she rarely wakes up at a reasonable hour for viewers that are awake and tuned in prior to noon, although she did get herself out of bed and out doing things while she was in Atlanta.

So, I have a few questions for the fratboyzz

1. Do you long for the days before the internet when television programming was limited in terms of content and time?

2. Do you realize that there are two other time zones in the US and a total of 24 worldwide and that there are nautical time zones also? That Russia has the most time zones in the world and that Australia has one of the most unusual time zones — there is a group of islands on the border of South Austrailia is 8 and 3/4 hours ahead of UTC and that there is even Internet Time?

3. Do you think about the viewer experience?

4. Is there anything that could make you program with something other than your own interests in mind?

5. Do you do any kind of research on the lifecasters you are going to launch to see what their broadcasts will be like?

6. How do you feel about a couple of hundred viewers waking up to no or minimal feeds? Do you fear losing viewers because of this?

7. Do you really know your viewer demographics? By logging IP addresses you can get a handle on where people are logging in from, but you don’t get any gender, age, income, etc. data with this information. How do you tailor content? Right, you don’t tailor anything, if you did, you’d cater more to the young, hormonally influenced viewers that seem to idolize Justine and add more women to the lifecasting line up.

And one question for me — Do I actually think they will respond to any of these questions? Too bad I can’t get the i8Ball to reply to me here. 🙂

Banning Everyday Contemporary American English in Chat Now??

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Guard at The Forbidden City — Beijing, China, 2000

I have begun to amass a string of classic words that, if I were to canvass the viewers and ask about, would certainly assume are nothing to be offended by and that they may even be passionate about.

Tonight when fighting off the those that were not thrilled with PG1 regulars coming into Nick’s room and having conversations with all the familiarity that goes along with spending over 80 days chatting with, we noticed that we were seeing a new ban pop up with certain words. Any word with the letter combination ass was a target. What’s next, book banning? Please tell me this is not the future of JTV, that there is such a concern over the language in chat that common, everyday words are going to continue to be banned, or we may be at an impass and I will have no place to turn, but the outside world for fun.

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Look up to the top right hand corner and you will see that I got the Ban pop up for the word classy

What Has Happened to PG1?

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“Land’s End” — Cabo San Lucas, Mexico — 2001

The Peanut Gallery, or formerly Lobby 1 was once a meeting place for “charter viewers”, the regulars of Justin and the Fratboyzz. Now, it is a ghost town. I went away for 3 days and came back to a couple of handfulls of viewers on the user list and no one chatting. It looks like many of the regs — Yalie, MyNick, Garet, Callie, Jeffy, Davy, Codinome, even Jenn, are a thing of the past, or are rarely popping in. This was a very quick death. Some of us suspected a terminal disease, but I am not sure any of us expected it to be so damn quick. We never had a consult with a doctor for crying out loud! What kind of healthcare is this? Surely there was some kind of surgery that could have been done, some chemical treatment that would have saved PG1 from expiring in the way it did.

If I were a Lifecaster doctor — Dr. Justopia — I would have prescribed the following:

~When choosing lifecasters, do just that — choose them. Don’t take the easy way out and ask people that you know or run into in your day to day life. Just because someone is in the high tech industry does not make them a potentially successful, interesting lifecaster.

~Listen to what viewers are saying. If they are asking for more time with a lifecaster, give it to them, although spending all day and night in chat with viewers does not make an interesting lifecaster.

~When adding streams, hype it up, don’t just launch them without any excitement. Give viewers a reason to go to another stream/room, rather than just bailing out.

Take two aspirin and call me in the morning

Flame Out?

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My Head Hurts

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Balloon Reflection -- Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Festivities - October, 2001

Here I am, sitting back watching JTV and I am getting a headache from switching channels and IRC chat rooms. I can't find anything to keep my attention, so I run from channel to channel and it's not helping. Time for some headache medicine.

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The Balloon Waiting for Tethered Rides at the Office -- Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, 2001

I tuned in when I returned home from my brief trip to New Jersey and finished unpacking and headed straight for the laptop and I was surprised to see another stream. I tuned in for a few minutes and Nick Douglas was walking around town. He ended up in a grocery store and this did not go over well with viewers. Complaints about how boring it was to go grocery shopping with him seemed to be popular and at that point I tried the other channels, but there was nothing to keep my interest.

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Special Shape Balloon -- Officially Named the Monitaire -- A little Play on Words and Foreign Language

Where Have All the Regulars Gone?

I checked out the Peanut Gallery and there was one person in there. The regulars seemed to be spread out between channels or, simply not around and when I mentioned that I could not believe I was still at the top of the Chat Stat page for the Peanut Gallery, I was told that there hasn't been much chatting going on -- apparently not.

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Early Morning Flight with the Sandia Mountains in the Background - Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, 2001

I tuned in this evening and again couldn't find anything exciting. I saw Justin and the crew doing a film shoot for Entourage and Nick was chatting with viewers who were thrilled to have someone to talk with. It seems to me that people are just not interested in this until someone that is streaming or a JTV cast member comes in and chats with the fans. It's as though people consider these lifecasters or JTV creators and employees actual talented celebrities and if they interact with us, they are put on a pedestal and adored. I don't get it, I just don't get it.

Waiting for Interesting Streams

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Packing Up After the Ride - Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, 2001

So far, none of the lifecasters seems to be terribly successful (except, perhaps, Parris, but I can not confirm this fact) so I am at a loss as to what would make their lifecasts interesting? I think there are some viewers that have been anxiously awaiting the Dr. Doug feed to catch some MLB excitement and would like to see Barry Bonds break that record, but we haven't seen anything from the MLB guys since last week when they had the meeting with Justin during the Chronicle interview. Hopefully the bit about signing the contract wasn't a show stopper, but anything is possible in JTV-land, isn't it?

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Commemorative Balloon Fiesta Boots -- Going Away Gift as I Departed for Bangalore, india and Another Adventure

I am trying to understand how this is going to work when the platform is open to anyone that wants to stream? How will we decide who to tune in to? Without schedules or a summary of what to expect other than very vague and general information and current updates to the schedules, what is there to draw viewers and to keep them tuned in?

I am quickly running out of something to write about. My muse is failing me -- the inspiration is almost dead. Seeing regulars flit between streams and rooms tells me that I am not the only disenchanted viewer.

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The New Mexico State Balloon Shot While en Route

What is the Plan?

Justin, Michael, Emmet and Kyle -- your concept seems to be withering on the vine. It's time to do something to kick it up a notch. Yes, you have added streams, but they are not interesting on any long-term basis. Yes, you are going to open it up to the "masses," but I would imagine it won't be anymore interesting or technically sound than what we have today. I checked out ustream and there are too many choices and without some real time spent looking around to determine what would interest me, it doesn't seem worthwhile. What will make JTV any better?

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Balloon Fiesta Pilot's Jacket -- Gift from the Crew

Flame Out?

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The Night Glow -- The Balloons Don't Fly, But They Look Incredible Light Up

The more streams/channels, the more diluted it all appears to get. I find the same problem with broadcast television. I tend to watch the same channels day in and day out. We are creatures of habit by nature, it takes something of interest or importance to get us to step out and try something new. Justin and team, PLEASE do something to grab my attention!

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Not My 30th Journey -- My First, but the Jacket Was a Gift from the Crew