Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Media Expo Trip 2

Okay, Day 2.

Because of the time change, it was fairly easy for me to wake up the next morning, so we could go to a panel.  Of course, I'm talking about getting to a panel at 10:30am, which isn't the same as the nine o'clock panels I skipped both days.

Big, sadly discovered that he had forgotten the charger for his cellphone and his tablet at home.  Luckily, my charger worked for his phone, but nothing worked for the tablet.  We went to three stores, and none of them had something that could charge a Samsung Galaxy, so there would be no further podcasting during the drive.

We did, however, make plans to do some podcasting in Abbie's hotel room, and Big had brought four microphones to do so (in addition to the mics Abbie and Renee brought along).  It would be hard to find time to get all the recordings in, as well as go to all the panels, and find a karaoke bar before our trip was through.  But more on that later.

So, the first panel we went to was about creating a podcast just using your iPad, and the speaker works for LibSyn, which hosts the Dunesteef.  This guy was extraordinarily well-prepared, and boasted several times that he had over eighty slides.  He was a fountain of information, and unfortunately, I haven't got an iPad, nor am likely to get one, so a lot of his instruction fell upon deaf eyes.  He did, though, talk a bit about podcasting versus blogging, and had some shocking statistics to share with us.

He said that the internet is aflood with bloggers, but not so much with podcasters, especially female podcasters.  He cited the ratio as being 900 to 1 bloggers to podcasters, and when it came to female bloggers to podcasters, the number jumps to 3600 to 1.  Furthermore, while 51% of all bloggers are female, only 12.5% of podcasters are female, so if you want to stand out from the other bloggers (and you also have breasts), you might want to add a podcast to your blog.

Well, this inspired me, but not because I too am starting to develop breasts.  I recently discovered that 2012 was at an end, and I'd never blogged about Spider-man's fiftieth birthday, so I started a post about that a couple of weeks ago, and never finished it (mostly because I knew it would take a long time, and I didn't think I had that in spades).  However, it occurred to me that if I just started recording audio of my feelings about Spidey, I could get it all said in much less time, plus, be specialer than all the other millions of bloggers out there.  So I vow to record that this week sometime.

When I first started going to conventions, I'd circle the panels I'd like to go to in the programme.  Later, I'd print out a schedule with just the panels on it I wanted to see.  With this, there were generally four to six panels going on each hour, but it was kind of hard for me to find ones I really wanted to go to.

Luckily, the others in our group decided we had time to rehearse our panel, and do a recording with everybody gathered together in Abbie's room.  For some reason--either because I was prepared first, or because I was very, very lucky--the reading we did was of one of my stories.  I had thought about the group, and knowing there would be at least two female readers, had brought my story "Office Visit," which almost got published a year ago, and is a story I really like.
While the microphones were being set up, I assigned parts, and really only Abbie and I ended up with something minor to do.  I asked Bryan Lincoln to narrate the story so I could sit and listen, maybe give direction, but very, very little ended up being necessary.  And I don't know if the story is just awesome, or if being in a room like that, hearing such talented people perform it made it WAAAAAY better than it would have otherwise been, but I was thrilled with the experience.
In fact, I said later, that I wanted all future story readings to go as swimmingly as this one did, and to have a permanent group of players like Orson Welles did in his Mercury Theater days, that I could work with to make real magic, until, that is, they got sick of me and I went off to Hollywoodland.

It turned out, I was the only person with a car . . . in the whole city.  No, wait, I misread that.  I had the only car in our group, but there were too many of us to all go somewhere together in it.  Five of us could fit in the car, though, and I, Marshal, Abbie, Lauren, and Big loaded in and went off in search of a pizza place.  We found a nice sit-down pizza restaurant (which there's a dearth of in my town), and ate some together.  Everybody got along extremely well, and as far as I know, there was no bickering, hissyfits, or fighting among us (although I did see some scratchmarks on Big's back the next morning, so he may have had a heated argument with one of the girls*).
Afterward, we reconvened in Abbie's room to record a story Lauren had written.  It had a title ("A Divided Heart") that she seemed keen to change, but is going to appear on her own podcast someday soon.  This one had Big as the narrator, and the consensus is that it was too late at night to properly podcast, because this one didn't go quite so smoothly.  Worse yet, we discovered that two of the microphones weren't on or working, and those lines had to be re-recorded the next day.

Bryan went to a New Media Expo-related event instead, and I ought to say something about that.  I am a slacker, and Big would be an even bigger one if allowed, but Bryan Lincoln is not.  This guy is totally ambitious and anxious to better himself, get to know people who could help him down the line, and go without sleep so he can pay attention to the panels I'm too lazy to attend.

And this guy is smart, too.  Not just Big Anklevich smart, mind you, but like, multiple degrees in physics kind of smart.  I'm not sure what I could achieve with a brain like that (my uneducated guess: not a heck of a lot), but I got the feeling he had to dumb down his conversation when around me, so as not to let on that he's qualified to be a Superman villain.  And I mentioned that he's handsome, right?
While I'm at it, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Abbie is also really intelligent and educated.  But she was raised religious, so that somewhat cancels that out.

We went home quite late, and as far as I know, there were no rodents in Big's bed.  There was a panel at nine by Scott Sigler about . . . hell, I imagine it was about driving the most unique users in your target economic bracket to your monetized site using these sixteen nonsensical business platform catchphrases.  Hence, it was a packed house.  My alarm went off to get us/me up in time to get there on time, but I hit Off instead of Snooze, apparently, and woke up too late to do anything but go look for Galaxy Tab chargers and attend Renee's panel.

Renee Chambliss headed up a panel on using tone and emotion to create a compelling fiction podcast.  It consisted of her, Bryan Lincoln, and Marshal Latham.
They talked about how to prepare your voice for recording, techniques for doing a professional-sounding reading, and fixing errors and inconsistencies.  It was an informative, well-prepared panel, and very few attended.  One of those few (a genius Bryan knew who does a science podcast about the brain) said it had been a mistake to put the dread word "fiction" in the title of the panel, as it kept away a bunch of podcasters who might have found the information useful for their own money-grubbing enterprises.

Oh, by the way, if I sound bitter, I'm not.  Well, I am bitter, let's not gild the lily (whatever that means), but not about this particular Vegas trip.  The New Media Expo is what it is, as much as I despise people who use that worthless phrase, and it's not all about creating original, quality, or even entertaining content.  And it was great to hang out with six people who did value and appreciate that.

And you know, I probably could have benefited from attending some of the business-oriented panels.  Thor knows I have little going for me in that arena, and maybe somebody would have said something in one of them that would have spurred me on to bigger and braver things.

Or I might have at least drawn some impressive doodles in my notepad.

Rish "Pod Fader" Outfield

*This is a joke.  It was Bryan that gave him the scratch marks.

1 comment:

Seraph said...

Wow - those podcasting vs blogging stats were interesting. So was the Day 2 account of your trip - again, I'm sorry I couldn't make it.
Did anyone record it ?