Unintended Consequences, Network Challenges, JTV Blogs and What in the World IS Yorkshire Pudding Anyway?

Community

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The End Cut of Roasted Prime Rib of Beef, White, Purple and Red Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Cauliflower and Tomato Salad

The one clear thing that has risen to the top at JTV is community. Each channel seems to have it’s followers. What serendipity! To have a community of loyal viewers that come back day after day after day to tune in and surf the channels at Justin.tv in search of friends. I recall a Spring afternoon when Justin and the team were having one of their daily team meetings. That was back in the days when they sometimes invited us into the Crystal Towers apartment living room with the couches and chairs lined up along the walls, the post it notes stuck up on the wall and the BAWL’s energy drink in cases on the balcony. The Fratboys (as they were affectionately known back then) 😉 would keep audio and video running until inevitably, at some point they would decide the topic was meant for their eyes and ears only.

One day however, the topic of chat came up. I think I am pretty correct in remembering Emmett having choice words (not positive) for viewers/chatters and the disdain in his voice was clear. Chat was not what made him smile. And then Justin or Michael said something about how the creation of community on Justin.tv was not something they had expected or planned for, that it was a surprise.

An unintended consequence that seems to be keeping steam in the engine at JTV is community. However, the dynamics have changed. In the “early days” a small group of loyal JTV viewers would watch Justin move through his day to day life. We would sit behind our screens interacting in the only chat room that was available (Lobby1) and comment on the apartment or horrible sound as wind hit the mic in the hatcam as Justin and crew headed out onto the streets of San Francisco. Safely tucked behind our screens and keyboards, we would interact with one another, commenting on the state of the business, or the apartment and anytime we went to the bathroom with Justin we would wait in eager anticipation to see if he would wash his hands, and we counted the number of times “awesome” was used in a conversation. I don’t remember how many Web2.0 conferences or conventions we tagged along on and lunches we took part in, but we all seemed to have something to say about it.

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Each one of us was a dot.com CEO or a CDC staffer or an interior designer. We all had our opinions about how things should be done or what was being done incorrectly. Rarely was there a, “Hallelujah! You guys are doing a great/fantastic/fabulous/incredible/awesome job!” And yes, I was probably the “Queen of Critical.” But like so many other aspects of JTV that have evolved overtime, so too have some of us. Not accompanying Justin and the guys on their daily outings or at communal dinners or in one way voice to chat conversations has led to a much different dynamic in chat and in the blogs.

While Chat was not always PG, it was not often hateful or over the top vulgar and Justin or any of the channels as the network opened to more and more beta testers was never anything that was cause for a channel to be shut down. But with the advent of the ability for anyone out there in the world to broadcast, a whole new type of chatter has entered the scene. It’s far from what we were used to prior to the public launch. It’s not a community I’d like to live in.

What’s Wrong with the Network?

I keep checking back to the JTV Company Blog in hopes of seeing some kind of communication to give us an idea about what’s happening with the recent (past 3 days) difficulties broadcasting or viewing channels and chat, but there is no news. Usually no news is good news, but in this case, silence is not golden — it’s frustrating. I was able to get up and running with only minor difficulties tonight and I think the problems I have with sound are most likely on my end, so I just took a deep breath and with 3 restarts was up and running.

I did notice this afternoon however, that there was a very odd Live Video Viewer number. — ZERO.

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Click on the image for an enlargement so that you can read the Viewer Count numbers without squinting

I was surfing around trying to see what was going on and headed into Emma’s room. I wasn’t participating, but did notice that the Live Viewer Count for her room was reporting 8 and up at the top, the total Live Video Viewer count was a goose-egg. I’m still not sure how the numbers are reported, but with the technical difficulties we were seeing today I thought perhaps the 0 number was not that far off — until I looked in on other rooms and saw people chatting and a stream here and there up on the Channel Bar was broadcasting and had active viewers. Not many channels were broadcasting though and it looked like some of the lifecasters were confused and unsure about what was happening. I don’t blame them. If no one from JTV comes around to let people know what’s going on and if there is no official communication on the blog page how is anyone supposed to know what is happening?

JTV Fan Blogs

I have seen much written about JTV blogging recently and noticed one item of clarification that needs to be made. This was actually not the first blog about JTV. I was writing for myself on a site that was not known to the public when a viewer with the username, Hamsterwatch began publishing. I looked forward to reading her JTV summaries eveyrday. I had been writing my own Justin.tv blog posts on a site that I didn’t disclose to anyone until after reading Hamsterwatch’s blog for a number of weeks. Once I got a bit more comfortable about “showing my face” in writing, I thought I would publish mine on WordPress and let some of my JTV 2D friends know about it. Soon, word got out and people began reading on their own. After a couple of months, it appeared on JTV’s blogroll and at that point I became officially obsessed with ensuring I had something published before I slithered off to bed each night/morning. It all dates back to May 2, the day I moved the unpublished posts to WordPress. If you’re interested, you can go back in time to the beginning of my ramblings under the May Archives link to the right. You’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Previous Entries until you can go no farther. It’s a hefty compendium of all that I have seen and experienced during the past 6 months of JTV viewing.

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One of the newer JTV fan blog authors came into my room tonight and politely asked me if we could “exchange links.” They were interested in putting me in their blogroll and I’d imagine would like me to do the same. I appreciated the ask. I have been trying to keep my writings away from details of some of the content we’ve been seeing since JTV moved from Beta to Production and opened the network to anyone that has the desire to broadcast. I’ve been out on the hunt for work since December and am trying hard not to jeopardize the search. In light of this I let them know that I am open to having them include me in their blogroll, but apologized for not being able to put them in mine. I guess I’ve been keeping my blog to PG or PG13 status. I’ve always believed that as Falstaff said in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, “Discretion is the better part of valor.”

Bloggotition?

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I’m not going to note my thoughts on the other blogs in terms of comparison or critique. A blog is just that — a Weblog, a personal journal. What people choose to write about, the style of writing a blog takes on, the frequency with which posts are published to a blog, the content of a blog is a totally individual choice and as such, opinions of a blog, like a piece of art, are individual as well. What I like may not be at all what my next door neighbor likes and vice versa, but this doesn’t make one wrong and one right. My style of writing — stream of consciousness — has been the way I have written my whole life. I journal this way, I write mail (snail or email) this way, I write fiction and non fiction this way. If you were to speak with me on the phone or in person, you would absolutely hear me in my writing. I don’t sugar coat my IRL (In Real Life) conversations and my writing reflects this.

I read all JTV-related blogs and have great fun doing so. There are numerous different takes on the network and it’s interesting to see what other people have to say.

I consider justopia.wordpress.com to be more Musings on JTV in Essay Format. It was always a great day for me in school when a test was comprised of questions requiring an essay response. No problem there — I could ace that in a heartbeat, no matter how much attention I’d paid to a book or lecture. Now math, well, that’s a totally different story.

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Yorkshire What?

My plan for Sunday night was to make a traditional (in the home I grew up in) dinner. My favorite was always Roast Beef or Roast Leg of Lamb with Yorkshire Pudding and a vegetable or salad. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I nixed the Yorkshire Pudding for last night’s broadcast because the yummy goodness does not really hold well overnight. Since I had the prime rib and roasted potatoes before I headed out for the evening I had planned to make the Yorkshire Pudding when I got home. And that’s just what I did. I’m sorry you did not get to partake in the great enjoyment of eating one of these great goodies with me, but they are so easy to make and not expensive, so I challenge all of you to try it out yourselves.

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The Cheftopia.wordpress.com site is not behaving nicely again this morning, so I have posted the Yorkshire Pudding recipe below:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pan drippings from roast prime rib of beefPreheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Sift together the flour and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, beat together the eggs and milk until light and foamy. Stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Pour the drippings into a 9-inch pie pan, cast iron skillet, or square baking dish. Put the pan in oven and get the drippings smoking hot. Carefully take the pan out of the oven and pour in the batter. Put the pan back in oven and cook until puffed and dry, 15 to 20 minutes.

Note: I used a muffin pan for the demonstration and made what is commonly referred to as Popovers. Same recipe, different presentation than using a square or rectangular pan. I stored the pan drippings from the Roast Prime Rib I made the previous night and divided it between all 12 muffin “cups” and proceeded as above.

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for letting us know how you feel about the video outages. If you want more info / have feedback, you can always email me. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how much you have or haven’t communicated with the community from the inside.

    Justin

  2. Hey Justin!

    Thanks for “checking in” — it’s been a while. I will send you mail directly next time as well, and I just let a message on the Justin.tv blog post update. Putting up even a little info is helpful. I figure you guys are working hard at correcting the problems, but with so many channels there’s a chance some broadcasters, especially the new ones that weren’t with you from the beginning and don’t keep up with any of the blogs probably don’t know that you guys basically spend 24 hours eating, drinking and sleeping JTV and it’s ups and downs.

    Cheers! BTW … it’s Osso Buco and Risotto night. 😉

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