What! No Ability to PM?! Broken Hollandaise, a Chat Redux and Livecasting vs. Chatcasting — A Matter of Semantics

Note: I came in to write tonight’s blog and rant about the instability of the network with a focus on chat when I realized that although I stayed up until 4am yesterday, I never hit the Publish button! These short nights are going to be the death of me if I’m not careful. Below is yesterday’s post. But first …

The tenor around the network was dismal this morning and afternoon. People complaining about the state of content as we’ve talked about in, people discussing recent viewer defections, people talking about the sudden “disappearance” of iJustine and various other topics in relation to all things JTV. I decided to not let it bring me down and prepared for tonight’s cooking segment. After the previous night’s debacle due to network instability I decided not to prepare anything elaborate or with too many ingredients. What I did decide on was basic pasta and artichoke with hollandaise and a salad.

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Artichoke

And wow, am I happy I decided to go this route! I decided to bring the channel up early to test it and see how stable it was tonight. Things were going along just fine and then it all changed. The stream seized up, chat disappeared, IRC fell on it’s face. As the stream was crashing I was in the middle of putting together the hollandaise which is a recipe that requires absolute attention and whisking. People were interested in the demonstration so I wanted to get the stream back up. I turned away from the sauce, pulled the stream back up and went back to it and had to do it once again and within that few minute period — well, let’s just say I had a broken hollandaise sauce in front of me. It took 3 sticks of butter and 3 eggs. I don’t do anything on the cheap, so t he butter was good European butter, the eggs were organic and what I was left with was butter solids floating on top of curdled eggs. Good for nothing other than the garbage.

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Since I do not like to eat on camera I tried to chat with the viewers, but never knew if they could hear me because chat was in the dump. It finally came back up and with it, Jacob appeared. He apologized for the troubles, but said that everything was now fixed. Hmmm… Jeffy made a comment about how there was no testing of the new feature to which Jacob replied that they had tested — for TWO DAYS. Now, I am not a tech genius, but I have been around long enough and with a large enough, successful company to know that beta testing takes more than 48 hours and load testing is key for this stuff. Hell, I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but that was my job for a while — we implemented chat moderation tools and our QA was far more than 2 days and in a very well defined QA environment. I don’t know what goes on in JTV’s world, but it seems to have been a very light beta test. How many people really tested it? Did anyone submit bug reports? If so, was the info detailed enough to dive in and see what needed to be corrected? I was going to beta this afternoon and evening, but was apparently too late. LOL

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Justopia’s Wild Forest Mushroom and Pesto Pasta

I will credit Jacob for his manners however. He apologized for causing my hollandaise to break. This makes night #3 that I have tried to put on a good demonstration and have been plagued by JTV tech problems. I am going to keep it even more simple tomorrow night with a simple dessert made of ingredients I have in the house.

But now I am really torqued.  No ability to PM in IRC?!  Why not!?  Who does PM’ing hurt?  I would think it’s far better to enable people to chat “in whispers in the back of the room” than to say things they might want to blurt out in front of everyone.  It’s difficult to understand why the changes that were made were made this way?  Were these things intentional?  And if so, why?  Does information like this have to be so closely guarded?

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A sad, broken, inedible hollandaise sauce 😦

In general, people were not happy tonight. I did find humor in this posting on the JTV blog while all of this was going on however:

Justin.tv Chat 2.0

So, the moment we’ve all been waiting for! We’ve just launched a brand new chat server, hopefully you didnt notice anything except for new moderation tools (channel owners can add and remove moderators from within the chat window), better performance and RAW JUSTIN.TV POWER… Here’s a section from the the FAQ for you crazy irc users:

I’m just hoping I can get IRC to work again. Not having the ability to private message SUCKS!

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This is a conundrum. At 11:52pm EDT I was tucked into my couch surfing channels and contemplating the blog topics. I was not broadcasting. I noticed my icon appearing and disappearing repeatedly. I thought that perhaps when someone was in the room even if I was not broadcasting it would put the icon on the channel bar. My icon disappeared and I asked a friend to go in and voila … there was Justopia up in the #7 position. It kept rotating between #6 or #7 the rest of the night. I noticed people would go into my room, make a comment asking where I was, that they saw me on the channel bar and thought I was broadcasting.

Aside from IRC being a bear to get into, if you can get into it at all, now it looks like there is a problem with the icon bar. For those of us that do things other than sit around and chat with our viewers, these inconsistencies are not only confusing, but they are irritating, aggravating, and just plain annoying as hell for all involved.

I’m asking one thing and one thing only — Fix It Now! Please.

And now on to yesterday’s post.

Technology Woes

Tonight was challenging on Justopia_live. My stream was up about 85% of the time — well, maybe 70% of the time. I planned for this dinner of Rogan Josh (Lamb Curry) and Rice Pilau (Rice Pilaf) with Daal (Lentils) for a couple of days and spent a lot of time and money preparing to cook for the night’s broadcast. To have it crash on me all night long was disappointing, frustrating and upsetting. Viewer numbers the past 2 nights have been horrible for me — I’d imagine it’s because people check in and can’t find me, or they tune in and I crash a while later. Or it’s possible that because some lifecasters seem to have such mysteriously high viewer numbers it knocks some lifecasters off the channel bar and people don’t realize who is broadcasting. Nevertheless, what frustrated me most was that when the stream goes down and I need to refresh or relaunch or go into IRC to let people know I am working on getting things back up and running, it means I have to practically be a contortionist to reach over the sink and up to the shelf to reach the keyboard. It’s become exhausting and my short fuse doesn’t handle it well. I wear my emotions on my sleeve, always have, and it manifests itself in my body language. I just don’t want the viewers to be disappointed.

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I was not upset with anyone other than the technology. Ok, so maybe each time I crashed I had a hairy fit and cursed out the frat boys up one side and down the other, but that was a temporary bout of rage. I hope that tomorrow night is a better night.

Debate

I fell into a conversation this afternoon in Linus’ room while I was cleaning the kitchen about the distinction between JTV broadcasters that cast their lives vs. Chatcasters showing themselves sitting on a couch chatting with viewers. I really have no issue with the distinction in terms. If a person is sitting on their couch chatting with viewers that is their life — at that moment. I am not sure what the controversy is about? If a viewer is not interested in watching someone sit and chat they can change the channel, but I will happily call someone a lifecaster even if they don’t move from their couch. Sometimes I just sit and chat — when the cooking is all over and done with and I need to chill, that is my life — at that moment.

Channel Hopping

I woke up at a decent hour today. I think my Circadian rhythm is all screwed up due to my strange sleeping habits since falling into the JTV abyss. After falling asleep at 3am, I was up feeling well rested and refreshed at 9am, but it gave me time to channel hop which I haven’t really done much of in the past few weeks. It is interesting to see how the channel lineup differs in the daylight from what we see in the late night/early morning hours. For the past couple of hours we have seen a channel in the #1 position that is a stream of a lifecaster sleeping, in the dark with a viewer count of 143 and some of the other usual suspects just behind — Melinus, Nekomimi_lisa, Ahhyeahforchrist, and the NakedCowboy. It’s quiet in most of the rooms.

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We talked about snow and the acorn situation this year in the room tonight. I am hoping for a GREAT snow season!

I don’t tune into the Cowboy, but in the interest of looking for writing inspiration, I decided to click on his icon. He’s in the car eating what looks like a powerbar, stuck in traffic and drinking a coke. Nothing interesting there, but in chat, Bradman Live (mytwb) noted that he was tired of having 150 viewers watching him do nothing and although I can’t confirm, it looks as though maybe his viewers came in from some kind of media coverage. He made a comment about the “damn news stories.” In his own room he responded to a chatter asking why he has so many viewers to which he noted that they could be coming from the embedded stream on his website which is exactly what Michael told me makes up for the difference in Viewer count vs. numbers in site chat and IRC.

There have been questions about the legitimacy of the numbers around the network and now that I am a lifecaster with a horribly competitive streak, I watch channel placement very carefully, but this seems plausible to me. Hell, much more likely than Justopia scoring over 8000 votes in GGJeffy’s “Which Lifecaster would you most like to date” contest. Jeffy keeps telling me he has monitored the results and that they are legit, but come on — seriously?

Neat and Tidy

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I dropped into the Officecam and was surprised how organized, how neat and clean the place looked. Ok, so someone tell me, did they hire a cleaning service? I’m still not fond of the decor, but the fact that we have come from a total disaster area at Crystal Towers to this is pretty impressive in my book and now I have the compulsion to go clean my own house!

Indian Fare

I decided to make something that many people are not familiar with, at least in terms of preparing and cooking and that is Indian food. It’s a shame you can’t run a restaurant out of your home so I would have something to do with all the leftover food other than putting it in the freezer or having it for lunch the next day.

Rogan Josh

Rice Pilau

Peekers — thanks for having your coworkers tune in or watch the archives of this Indian feast. I was heartened to know that they thought I did a good job of it, especially since they are from India and know the food.

Next

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I talked about doing a “Dorm Room Cooking” broadcast and tonight Jeffy suggested I do a “Cooking Basics” broadcast. I think that is a great idea! So I will be putting that together. I am thinking of doing a dessert tomorrow evening, but haven’t settled it in my mind yet. I am still up at an ungodly hour, so it will depend on how things go.

Doing this stream is not as easy as waking up, rolling out of bed and turning on the camera.

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4 Responses

  1. Back Back Back…..i’m back!
    I am still reading your blog you know! Will catch up with you later.

  2. I had to come out of lurkdom to sing my praises for your lifecast and your blog.
    Yeah! finally something on JTV with substance and content.
    I have you in the little corner of my computer as I work. Love you kitchen, cooking and hearing about your interesting life and travels!!
    I’m having fun catching up on reading your archives.
    Right now I think you and Lisanekko are the best lifecasts.
    Okay, I will shut up now and go back to my quiet lurking.
    I hope you get this, I couldn’t find an email address on your blog.
    take care!

  3. Hi Delsal! Thanks for continuing to read. It was good to see you tonight. Come back often. 🙂

  4. Hi cecpet,

    I’m glad you came out of lurking and I appreciate the flattering comments. When you post a comment I not only see it here, but it comes to me via email as well. Ahhh, the miracles of modern technology, gotta love it! 🙂

    Keep on reading and watching and come out of hiding sometime, will ya? 🙂

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