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Week in Geek Trial Run – Comparative Opinions Episode 56

Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! This week, in consideration of starting a new second podcasts, hosts David and Holly try a trial run and discuss some of this week’s geek news! Topics include streaming, with Disney and NetFlix in the news; the Hugo Awards; the digital release of Guardians of the Galaxy; and password rules. Let us know what you think of the format and the episode!

Comparative Opinions is a weekly half-hour-ish podcast hosted on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes every Sunday!

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Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros

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Some Thoughts for our Future at Comparative Geeks!

Hello, dear readers! You may have noticed it’s largely just been me (David) around these parts lately. Rather than bury the lead, I should just say… we’re expecting a second Geek Baby! Due in November, so we’ve been making a lot of plans around this fact, and it’s coloring our decision making otherwise.

And one big decision is, of course, Comparative Geeks. We started the site because we felt like we had so much we love to talk about, and the Internet gave us the place to put ourselves out there and do so. We’ve met a ton of great people along the way, and last year, we swept up a bunch of those great people and brought them along with us to this new self-hosted site to make a go of it on our own.

It’s not really gone to plan.

Life has caught up with each and every one of our contributors, up to and including Holly then with the pregnancy, and me just chipping away posting every day isn’t quite the vision we originally had for all of this.

We’ve also noticed that, surely, it’s not as easy to interact with this site, for our longtime WordPress-based readers. Easily measured elements like the “like” button and comments have been down. I know some of that is that quality has decreased lately – like I said, it’s just been me trying to keep things afloat – but it’s more than that.

So one thing that we’re going to work on figuring out in the coming weeks is moving the site back onto WordPress.com. More details on that to come. We’ll move this whole archive over, and bring along all the contributors as well for when there’s time and interest for them to write. Overall, I wouldn’t expect much of a change in that way – just that we’ll have WordPress taking care of the technical aspects of this whole endeavor.

One of the big pushes for going out on our own was to do more with advertising, which also hasn’t really come together. Given that I think we have more of a smaller, dedicated readership than necessarily some sort of growing brand, I’m thinking something like a Patreon may be more appropriate – and doesn’t need a self-hosted site at all.

We would tie something like that to the Podcast or perhaps the webcomic (or exclusives tied to those sorts of things). Which, speaking of those…

Comparative Opinions and Podcasting

One thing we’ve found – and discussed in this last podcast – was that it’s been a bit easier to podcast than write, of late. And we expect that to only be more true in the future. As such, we’re working on coming up with a second podcast, scooping up some of the bits of Comparative Opinions and overall leading to what will hopefully be more like two 30-minute podcasts, rather than one 45-minute podcast.

The second cast we would focus around geek news, and would include information and opinion around the world of geek. Then Comparative Opinions would focus around the longer topical element each week.

The Webcomic and other articles

One thing that’s happened to the webcomic – other than me taking a break and losing my stride – is that by picking up more and more of the weekly content, I haven’t had time to add the webcomic creation back into my life. It did take some dedicated time to do – usually the effort of a few sessions, not just one like many posts will be.

But I want to keep going with it, and even see if I can get to posting 2 or more times a week. However, to do that – and to more correctly align with our current life reality – I think that the goal we’ve set for ourselves of daily posting needs to be let go.

We got into daily posting in the first place as a reasonable, realistic goal to set for ourselves, and we kept it up for a good long while. Well, okay, it was originally 6 a week with a day off. During the first Geek Baby pregnancy, we dropped it to 5 a week. With the new Comparative Geeks, we went to one (or more) a day and I’ve tried to keep that going, without necessarily re-evaluating it. Well, that time is now.

I would rather we were providing good content – interesting, unique, or at least passionate – rather than just presenting content just because I’m forcing myself to do so. The biggest risk will be that we start to slide and post far less frequently, so please, dear readers, keep on top of us. I’m not looking to take big breaks. But if in two nights I could do one good post, rather than over two nights doing two filler posts, well, one of these scenarios is truly better.

Looking Forward

Holly will be back at it. Other contributors will return, and each will have time and not as their lives ebb and flow. Comparative Geeks is continuing on.

But it’s time to both return to where we probably should be, and to slow ourselves down to be a better voice. Thank you for sticking with us, dear readers, and let us know your thoughts and anything you would like to see from us. Cheers!

The Pesky “Save” Feature on Facebook

I have, at various times, turned to different ways of scrolling through and experiencing the Internet. At one time, it was opening all my webcomics to read in different tabs from my bookmarks. Going to forums. Facebook feed, WordPress Reader, Tumblr feed, Twitter feed, Instagram feed…

I’m currently back on the Facebook feed, and have added a number of sites and things that I might otherwise go to some other way (like news sites). Sure, you suffer under Facebook’s display algorithms, but by-and-large I get a pretty decent experience. And I use things like AllSides and Twitter Moments to make sure I’m not missing something.

However, there’s a feature of Facebook that I’ve used… yeah, way too much. Since I’m generally scrolling on my phone, while doing something else, filling a few minutes, whatever – when I get to something that I want to read but that seems too long, I click the “save post” button. Similarly, when I find an image, story, or meme that I want to consider sharing here on Comparative Geeks in some way, but that I’m not sharing immediately, I save the post.

I have over 1,500 saved posts at this point.

So in an effort to clear up some tiny bit of this now unmanageable backlog, here’s a few things from the saved archives… Happy Throwback Thursday!


Cool Art!

Click Bait/News I thought might be good for blog posts…

Potentially, at some point, I’ll still at least read these articles…


Hopefully you’ve smiled or read something here that was new to you… Maybe I’ll do this again sometime! But for now, hey! Slightly fewer saved items on Facebook!

Building on the Ashes of Another’s Work

So an interesting thing happened this past week and that is videos started showing up on the old “SourceFed Nerd” YouTube channel, but now it is called “NowThis Nerd”. For anyone who does not know around a month ago it was decided by the parent company that “SourceFed Nerd” would be no more and they fired all the staff working on that channel. It seemed that would be the end of that channel and they would move any similar content to a different franchise. Then this past week or two it appears that instead of starting a new channel they are building upon the ashes of the channel that they burned to the ground.

It has been an interesting move because the name and everything just feels like trying to ransack the channel that they just destroyed. Now this is a business so I understand why a decision like this might be made, but I do wonder if it is the best decision that could be made.

Building a New Channel

Now obviously the first thing would be – why you couldn’t build a new channel and advertise it on the old one? Let people know that you have moved this content to a new channel and say we would love to have you join us. It would be polite, but wouldn’t feel quite as much of a betrayal to the original fans of the show. At the same time building a new channel with a new following takes a lot of time and effort. There is not a history of episodes to make money off of and for people to find, as well as the fact that you are having to build a brand new audience. Even if you advertise to the old audience there is no guarantee that anyone will come over to the new channel you created. It does not help if you name the new channel a seeming copy of the old one, but it is potentially difficult to avoid.

Renaming the Existing Channel

The direction that they obviously chose to go is to rename the existing channel and try to build from there. Now this could work because offering similar content does mean that you are offering the information that the current audience wants, but at the same time it is a risk. A lot of times people do not just come for the content, but the people. So to fire the people and build up something new with a new production cast can come across as a little disingenuous. It is probably why someone decided to create a Twitter account using the new name and devote it to bashing the new channel. So far the reaction has been pretty bad from the fans with dislikes and negative comments galore.

Will It Work?

Now the big question is will it work and I think that it eventually will if the content is good. I think they will have lost a ton of people at the beginning who might have eventually watched, who definitely won’t now, but that doesn’t mean that they will not build up new people. Folks who did not watch “SourceFed Nerd” who are already fans of “Now This” might be willing to watch a channel dedicated to nerd news. The question is how long are they willing to hold out and how long with the rage of the fans last. Yes, at first here there is a big backlash, but in a month, three months are people still going to be logging in whenever a video is posted just to bash it? I don’t know.

I just think eventually it will fade and they will be able to distance themselves from this. I do think that there were some bad decisions made that they will cost them a bit and it depends on how long they are willing to hold out to make it work.

 

Throwback Thursday – Discrimination against Science Fiction and Fantasy

So this was something of a conclusion to my posts on the definition of Science Fiction and of Fantasy, by diving into a personal and specific example of why the whole discussion mattered to me in the first place. I hesitate to share it again for two reasons: one, for the personal aspects, and two, because the original post generated a whole bunch of discussion. As such, going back to the original to see others’ opinions is a good way to get more than my single story here. Also, the personal aspects are no longer accurate.


One of my favorite things I’ve written on the blog is my series on the definition and importance of Science Fiction and Fantasy – of fictions that might be called Speculative, or Romantic. And when asked, I said that one of the things that I would most like to change in the world is people’s opinions about these genres, or maybe about genre fiction in general. However, through all of this, I lacked a solid, concrete example. An example of prejudice against Science Fiction or Fantasy.

There are a lot of things in this world that we shouldn’t discriminate against. Things you can’t control, things that aren’t a choice, things that should have no bearing on life. But then, there are things that are opinions, that are a choice, that I can go right ahead and be upset about. And for me, the one that takes the cake is being against Science Fiction and Fantasy.

So, I had said I was going to do a post about movies this week. That’ll have to wait. Because last night I got a great example of anti-Sci-Fi discrimination. And I feel the need to share, and to vent. So let me set the scene, let me rant a bit, and then hopefully I’ll have it out of my system!

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