Thoughts on Podcasting [VEDA #1]

Context: I got to write and host on a class podcast titled The Web We Weave in an episode centering around Tony Zhou’s Every Frame a Painting. This is a reflection on what I learned from this experience.

Preparing for this podcast was definitely one of the more nerve-wracking parts of my life. I felt as if I needed to prove to myself that I was capable of being in charge of such an episode, of being able to take the stage with my voice after hiding behind the written word for so long.

Photo credit to: https://singingmachine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/stage-fright.jpg

When looking for material to address Every Frame a Painting, I went through first some of the series entries before poking around Vimeo to find every episode of the series uploaded there, before turning to Tony Zhou’s Patreon for EFAP, which offers alternate versions of the episodes for educational use (at a price), and then to Twitter and Reddit, both forums that I used quite often. Showing these different resources to my partner, we both made our own observations. As I watched Zhou interact with his followers and advise them on how to critique the works that had impacted them, I saw how viewer-audience participation worked its way into Zhou’s new media and how it allowed him to continue participating himself despite how long it had been since the series had updated.

I was not initially exceedingly familiar with Every Frame a Painting, nor was my partner Kevin. However, I was familiar with the YouTube scene and personalities like the Nerdwriter, so when we sat down to plan out the episode, we each brought our own impressions on the series and our own contexts (Kevin had previous experience with the Soul Pancake episode of The Web We Weave). Kevin pitched questions to me while I did my best to answer them, and I would then in turn bring up different topics of conversation (such as the Reddit AMA mentioned in the episode and the idea of Tony Zhou perpetuating the participatory culture with his work). Collaboration was more than integral in making this episode what it was. It was also more than reassuring to have someone who was so confident on board and had faith in my work. We worked on applying Every Frame a Painting to the terminology we had covered in class and we put it all into one Google Doc entry.

The document was interesting because it was far more fragmentary and incomplete- when writing for another mode, because it relied much more on my voice and the natural chemistry I had with the co-producer, I found that it was both challenging to not fall back and write out whole monologues or answers to questions without stifling the conversation, and recording became difficult because I found myself worrying that my co-host would feel cramped or cut off. It was difficult to not be overwhelmingly self-aware of everything. This did help my rhetorical composition in the end and I think it’s made me more adaptable than I was before.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Rubber_bands.jpg
Flexible like a rubber band!

The process also felt much faster and immediate than writing, say, this reflection or another blog post or article, which takes me a lot more time. It also felt natural to go faster than with my previous work. While structuring the argument and conversation was both very much the same, it also felt different because I had someone else to bounce off and interact with. In a way, it was like having another person alternating the argument paragraphs- similar arguments that still differed in subtle ways.

I’ve learned that I need to work on my timing- we went over by a lot and editing involved cutting out a lot of material and it was a struggle to finish the episode in time while balancing other obligations. I need to work on my self-confidence as I was exceedingly nervous during the episode, and I think that it is evident that while I eased up as time went along, I still have a long way to go.

But given the chance to work on a similar project? I’d jump at the opportunity.

Welcome Back.

Ladies and gentlemen, my dear readers of The Oddity Writer,

I’m back.

Did you miss me?

With the ending of “Dear Kath”, I thought I’d make an update post and address you all about my game plan going forward. This is not all going to kick off at once, and it’ll probably go off in stages as I commit to more and as I feel ready and as I feel I have more time to grow.

The WordPress blog is going to continue to update daily. It’ll be a lot of rough drafts and raw material and ideas, and much more like a diary or journal. None of what I publish here will be specifically for this site, except for maybe progress reports.

OddityWriter.com is going to become a portfolio site and a hub. It currently only hosts my portfolio of works for other sites, but the ultimate goal is to change that, give it more uses than that as I expand on some projects and skills I want to develop.

I’ve decided to run two Tumblr blogs, one specifically for my writing and one for my own personal enjoyment where I reblog things that I think are important or funny. These two blogs differ from the first two sites in that Tumblr will probably be more for fun and shits and giggles. I’ll be cutting loose and experimenting here.

Twitter will be just personal thoughts and one-liners throughout the day if I’m doing anything interesting or if I have something quick to say.

(I’ve also got Instagram! But I have no idea/game plan for that sooo to be announced, I suppose.)

Across the course of 2016, I was far too complacent, and I didn’t write and post enough. That was the first thing I wanted to work on changing. If this post has been published, it means I’ve got a decent idea of (and maybe hopefully settled into) the routine that I want to have.

I’m hoping I can keep up posting at noon- we’ll see if that keeps up or if I’ll need to switch to a later time.

Ready? Here we go.

Two Hundred Followers

Good evening and hi, ladies and gentlemen. As always, my name is Daniel and welcome back to The Oddity Writer!

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So first things first… we just hit 201 WordPress followers- which is amazing! Thank you all so much for this honor. I’m seriously touched that you guys felt I deserved a few minutes out of your day to read my ramblings and stories. It means a lot to me, and I love reading all your blogs and every comment I receive here is a treat. So thank you all. And of course, a huge thank you to the 33 followers on Tumblr and the 43 followers on Twitter, respectively. I know I don’t do all that much on there yet, but I’m trying to think of things that I can do, make it worth your while. But thanks for stopping by and giving me some time.

The thing is that I never really expected that the blog, being the Oddity Writer, would amount to anything at all, and the fact that I’ve been able to meet so many people and also create stuff that I enjoy is great. And I can’t wait to do more whenever I have the chance. I’m always scribbling down ideas and I love this thing.

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Acquiring Position…

So the obvious question that I suppose I’ve been answering a lot recently is, “Daniel, where have you been this time?” And yes, I realize it’s been awhile, and I apologize that my updates have been rather sporadic recently. I’ve had a rough past couple of days, I’m not gonna lie, and I don’t really feel at my best. However, I’m still alive. Still moving, still working.

The next question is probably, “What are you working on?” The answer is mainly this story which will be released online. I don’t know how it’s going to be released, whether it’ll be animation, or as an interactive adventure/video game, but it is coming very soon. My story’s deadline is December 10, and from there, I’ll be deciding what to do with it. I’ve also got some poetry running through my head which I’ll try and write out.

So the main question: “What’s next for The Oddity Writer?” The main thing I want to focus on is finding my stride here with school and the blog. I need a balance and also a consistent schedule. I honestly don’t know what that stride is and how to hit it but I’d like to. Once I get that done, the next thing to do is to work out what I want to do with Tumblr and Twitter. I don’t want it to just be a promotion hub, I’d like it to be something more. Give you all your money’s worth even though everything is free and my metaphor is invalid.

So I’m going to leave you with a question about this project, and please feel free to make comments about what you’d like to see more of down below. If there’s any particular series you’d like to see continued, or any topic you’d like me to cover, let me know!

Thank you all so much for reading, and thank you all so much for 200 followers. I’ll see you all on the next page of this story!

The Day of Tumblr

Good evening and hi, ladies and gentlemen- My name, as always, is Daniel, and welcome back to The Oddity Writer! If you’re wondering why there wasn’t any posts yesterday, it was because I was out for most of the day, and there really wasn’t much time to write an Oddity Writer post about… whatever I plan to write about, what questions I seek to answer.

However, I did have a lot of questions and tags to answer on Tumblr so I went through them all and answered them today. So if you feel like getting your daily dose of Oddity Writer content (despite the fact that it’s late), click some of the links below to learn more about my weird nicknames, some of my favorite books, what music I listen to… God, I’m turning you guys off to clicking these links already.

A little preview of what's to come (which is misleading because I mostly answer questions and posts I'm mentioned in)
A little preview of what’s to come (which is misleading because I mostly answer questions and posts I’m mentioned in)

I do have thoughts on my mind that I’d like to share, but I’ll bring them up later. For now, go enjoy these little things and have fun! I know it’s always fun to go on Tumblr- not just for the content but also for the people I meet. They’re always nice to talk to. Wow, that makes me sound like a lonely child, but it’s true.

10 Followers You’d Like To Know More About Tag

Me When Exams Are Impending (Every Single Time You Make A Mistake, Take a Shot)

The Playlist

Relationships, Yesterday and Shopping

But yeah, I hope you all enjoy that. I’ll be back with something good… quite soon. Thanks for taking the time to read, and I’ll see you all on the next page of this story! Until then, have fun surfing the madness that is Tumblr, and stay amazing.

Housecleaning Bulletin

Good morning and hi, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Daniel, and welcome back to “The Oddity Writer”! I just wrapped up a ton of housecleaning on the Internet, cleaning up the Twitter account, updating the About page with an addendum at the bottom, renaming “Memoirs and Musing” and adding about 10 entries to the table of contents.

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So now all that’s really left is to actually come up with content for Twitter and to consider Tumblr. And actually, this is what I’d like to ask you guys a question about- I’ll be posing the question – is whether or not I should reset the Tumblr blog and delete everything. Because the thing with Tumblr is that the blog there (theodditywriter.tumblr.com) was initially opened as a secondary writing blog, in order to facilitate more creations and to try and write more stuff that might not fit on the primary Oddity Writer blog. It would cover pretty much anything that this blog did not. However, my Tumblr account has diverged from that somewhat, for nowadays, I just end up reblogging a lot, without much actual original content. Normally, I wouldn’t care because all this is a hobby, but I still want to do something with the Tumblr blog… I have some ideas in the pipes.

Currently, I have the ability to take everything on the Tumblr blog and delete it all with that magical Mega-Editor, but I find myself hesitating. Yeah, it’s become a place where I screw around and just reblog silly things, GIFs and other random stuff, and the content might be fleeting. But it’s still part of a moment and I’m not ashamed of hiding my silliness.

So part of me doesn’t want to reset it. It’s all stuff I laughed or smiled at, or something that was important up there. So while I lean to keeping all the old stuff around, I thought I’d get your opinion on it all and take your opinion in mind.

But this is just a small update- telling you to look out for silly tweets and more original Tumblr comment in the future. Thank you all so much for taking the time to read, and I will see you in the next post!

The Influence of Social Media

As college decisions quickly approach, high school students are often reminded of how easily the Internet can create or mask their identities. So in order to hide their social media profiles from college officials potentially looking at their applicants, students often change their Facebook names, and bystanders will frequently watch in confusion as unfamiliar, sometimes outlandish names appear in their News Feed and Friends Lists. These changes have raised one question: Is social media a true representation of students’ offline identities?

When asked whether her social media identity reflects who she is, junior Elizabeth O’Keefe responded,  “I feel like they’re similar but you strip away all the problems.” Senior Victoria Seremetis added that it “shows how I want others to see me.”

After polling RHS students, the High Times staff found that most people felt their social media identities relatively or effectively represented who they were. Most students picked 7 on a scale of 1-10, as to how accurately their social media profiles reflected who they were. This leaves room for some inaccuracies, and interestingly enough, no one rated themselves lower than a 6. When asked how exactly students used their profiles most responded that they used their accounts primarily for keeping in touch with both their immediate friends and friends abroad in other states or countries.

Photocred: TRON Betrayal
Photocred: TRON Betrayal

To clarify, “reflection” of a person through social media profiles implies that one’s profile displays one’s interests, likes and personal traits through status updates, group and social circle memberships, or personal photos.

Social media profiles can be both great distractions and mirrors. But the question still remains (and please, feel free to comment below)- is this hypothetical mirror a pale digital reflection?