Wednesday, February 18, 2009

TotalBiscuit's Twitter Freakout!

Loved a six tweet explosion this evening from TotalBiscuit about absurd fans who will defend anything.

It started innocently enough:

Why is it people seem to think being apologists for really bad podcasts is a good idea? Improving the medium should be a goal for all.

Then took a sharp turn:

Yes, most of those podcasts really suck, objectively speaking, everything about them is bad. Stop mollycoddling them and accept that.

Definite Twitter world first for me: first use of the word "mollycoddling" in a tweet. We think the timing of this rant is absolutely perfect for the sort of blog and show we intend to be, one that critiques and tries to help push everyone forward. As Robert Hunter would say, "Every time that wheel turn round/
Bound to cover just a little more ground." Anyway, back to TB:

Maybe then, people might actually do a bit of research, look and what they're doing wrong, and contribute to improving the medium.

It probably is but with my grasp of English I'm really not sure if that's even a sentence. But I am sure that I agree with the sentiment. Self-evaluation and tightening up your own ship will help improve the quality of podcasts overall because more folks will have to strive to compete to make their product at least as good if not better than what's already out there when competing for listeners. Makes perfect sense.

As opposed to taking a giant big dump on their RSS feeds every week and claiming it's ok because it's 'independent' and 'new media'.

I always think that the period should go inside the quotation at the end of a sentence but that's just me. But he's still correct. The attitude he describes is clearly a cop-out or "emailing it in" as the young people don't like to say.

GRAHHH, can you tell I'm a little riled over this particular subject? If you're not going to contribute to my medium, fucking leave it.

We love the passion. And he clarified in a tweet back at Shawn Coons that he was using the royal "my."

Just go away, do something else, something you're good at or at least willing to put some effort into. Quit dragging everyone else down.

Bravo! Couldn't agree more.

Anyway, what's all this actually about? Apparently the 1up guys released a new show without turning on their microphones. And their fans defended them by saying to lighten up, "it's only a podcast." In the interest of full disclosure I have never met or spoken with TotalBiscuit and knowing my contrary nature I will likely not agree with him on much but think he's pretty justified for his tweety outrage. All groups need voices not afraid to kick everyone in the pants every once in a while when things are going awry. And when complacency settles in that's exactly when things start to get stifling, as in stifling boredom. Surely that wasn't a sentence, but hope you catch my drift. ;-)


  1. Long response:

    Short response: If someone likes to listen to a podcast then it must be worth doing as is. Even the crappy podcasts help expand the medium.

  2. Thanks for the note Shawn. As I tweeted at you I don't mean to discredit personal preference. Nor would I ever "judge" a good podcast solely on technical issues.

    But at some point there's accounting for taste and I run into an issue I have a hard time articulating. The five of us here have actually been grappling with this as we try to figure out how we're going to review and rate the podcasts we listen to. Let's try this:

    If someone hears me playing guitar and thinks I am better than Jerry Garcia then we run into a problem. Because first, I'm not better than Jerry Garcia (or anyone) because I don't know how to play guitar. Therefore if someone hears me breaking strings and playing an out of tune E chord over and over and enjoys that better than any other guitarist what do I do with that opinion? I don't think it should validate me and my bad playing and my lack of effort to learn to play properly because really, what does the opinion mean at that point? How much exposure have they had to other guitarists? etc..

    Obviously in the podcasting landscape great content can trump technical issues. But there are thousands of people out there listening to cow fart podcasts as well it doesn't mean they're good or worthwhile in my opinion. This is a great issue we'll have to post about it.

  3. On some level, isn't it good to have the crappy podcasts around to help listeners appreciate the good ones? How else can you truly gauge which ones are good and which ones are bad?