Be Our Guest

I was recently a minor figure in an internet dust up. It's summarized here. My response that is referenced is here.

For the lazy, the short version is that a guy is accusing Vaatividya of plagiarizing portions of his videos and profiting off the community. There are a lot of chaff accusations in there as well but that's the central thrust. Last night, at gamenight, I started getting tweets asking us to comment on it so I did. Some people, including people at Kotaku, found my response and added it to the discussion.

I stand by everything I say but it reminded me of something I could talk about on the backerblog. Kole has all the tech stuff cinched up so there are whole elements of our programming I'm ill equipped to comment on. But I can talk about what it's like to have guests and how I interact with them because it's relevant to the contraversey.

It's easy for me to forget that Kole and I have been doing this for 4 years or so and in that time we've developed a patter. There's a rhythm to our discussions that just comes from practice and bringing our respective experience speaking to the show. This is why WOFF flows so well (I think, at least). Bonfireside Chat is sort of a different beast, and it's not always a good thing.

Since I do almost all the booking for the show, I can speak to the process. For guests, I look for people with a unique perspective, people I like already, people who I know our fans want to hear. What I don't seek out is radio articulation. In fact, I like that our show gives people without that sort of avenue a chance to try it out. What this means is that for every podcasting pro we get, we have someone like Vaati.

I think it's evident Vaati is immensely talented. But people have different talents. Being good at things isn't leveling up in a video game. Being good at what he does, amazingly good, maybe the best, doesn't make him automatically good at what we do. It doesn't eclipse it. And vice versa. So when people called him out on being quiet during the recording, they were expecting something unrealistic.

I'm a humanities guy. I like stories and I like to think I have an ear for dialogue. I'm not an engineer or a scientist. The world being what it is, specialization is mandatory. And Souls, being what it is, follows the same. Which is why Kole and I want to call on guests to shore us up.

It's really our job to get people to open up and involve them. And not talk over them, to be honest and I think we have a lot of room to grow there. But don't blame the guest, don't blame the people who aren't podcasters for not podcasting well.

So, how do we get better at this? Fuck if I know. I plan to get better at it the same way I've gotten better at music and critique and writing. Just practicing, doing it again and again until it clicks. I'm luck that I'm able to have an audience while I better myself.