Internet

Potty Mouth

The rise of the Twitch superstar has been an interesting one. There are a ton of normal gamers out there who have managed to amass some pretty huge followings thanks to either their personalities or skills in a particular game. I’ve been following along with it for a few years since we started streaming stuff over there. If there is one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that there are a bunch of folks with filthy language out there.

I want to be careful not to be condescending towards them because a lot of people are really down with it, but it’s just not for me. I watch streamers who are positive, care about their communities, and generally try to maintain at least a PG-13 style stream. The only thing about the other style of streamer that concerns me is that a bunch of them seem to be getting in trouble for saying horrible things on the internet in front of their adoring fans. It’s really putting a damper on eSports in general because every few weeks you see another player who has been suspended from their team or another Twitch streamer who gets a temp ban for some bad behavior. I really want something like eSports to succeed, despite my not watching it, because it’s a cool outlet for people who were never into traditional sports. These folks are talented and they deserve an awesome venue to display those talents.

What I think these people really need is some sort of media relations coach. Being “on” all the time is incredibly stressful, but they also have to realize that everything they say is recorded and matters. It’s not unlike celebrities who have to do those obnoxious press junkets every time they have a new movie come out. They have to be prepared and they have to play their part without saying horrible things or spoiling something for everyone. I think Twitch streamers are often brought into the “famous” arena without properly being molded to it and figuring out how to handle that fame. They end up just being an obnoxious gamer but instead of ranting by themselves in their room, they’re ranting to a room full of 10,000+ people. Someone needs to teach them how to deal with that kind of stress.

I don’t mean to blanket all streamers that way. There are a ton of folks that have a fairly squeaky clean image and still have a bunch of followers. I just think we can do better as a community of gamers to improve our image. I would rather there be headlines about how much awesome charity stuff we do. CohhCarnage raised over $62k for St. Jude in a recent charity stream. That didn’t show up on any blogs that I read, but I see plenty of stories about homophobic and racial slurs all over the place. What can we do to fix that, man? Further reducing incidents of hate would help. A lot of this is just human stuff and works itself out in time for people I’m sure. I know I said stupid stuff when I was younger that was broadcasted to the world. I’ve been podcasting since 2005 so I know it happened. Hopefully, some of these folks just need time and some hard lessons to learn what not to say and how to grow into a better person. We all have to strive for it and we’ll get there someday.

 

That Felt Good

Tonight was the epic return of Horseshoes & Hand Grenades. We rode into the internet on tigers and showed the world what real fun felt like. It was amazing. I can’t believe we haven’t done that in six months. The best part about it was that there were a ton of people in the chat enjoying it all with us! I couldn’t believe the turn out we had! Even people who had brand new babies came by! I am extremely grateful for our friends out there in internet-land and the real world who feel like we’re worth listening to. They are so very awesome. I would argue that we have the coolest listeners in the world…and I really don’t have time to take any counter arguments, so don’t you worry about that.

Of Star Wars and Skyrim

I just realized that I have yet to write a blog post about what may very well be the most culturally significant announcement of this year. Nevermind that its only January. Legendary, TV/Movie director and creative genius JJ Abrams will be directing Star Wars Episode VII!! I found it hard to believe that they would be making another Star Wars movie, much less they would have the brains to pick a great director who absolutely gets the nerd culture that he’ll eventually be catering to. I don’t know that I could have picked a better person to take this on! I think we’ve all given up on George Lucas at this point anyway, so we’re all glad to have someone we respect in the driver’s seat. 

High Fiber

I was sitting around editing together another little masterpiece to herald H&H’s triumphant return, then I remembered, it’s blog time! I also felt my stomach rolling over and over thanks to the fiber bar, fiber brownie, high fiber taco shells, and refried beans I had today. Why would someone eat that?! I think I was replacing other foods I typically ate with a similar equivalent, but for some reason everything had “high fiber” written on it. This is very unfortunate for me.

H&H Returns

I was going to follow up yesterday with a part 2, but I’ve decided that it will be neither good for me, or anyone else. It’s just rant city, and I don’t want to be there right now. I’m having too much fun thinking about the return of mine and Ashley’s incredible PODCAST! That’s right! H&H is coming back in full force. We’re trimming the fat, losing the crap, and filling all that left over space with awesome! We are going to be melting some faces with hilarity the likes of which the world has never seen before!

It’s been nearly six whole months since we graced the internet with our presence, and, frankly, we feel like that is simply too long! No human being should go without hearing about strange news and weird crap for six months. I don’t even understand how people were able to handle it. It’s a wonder every listener wasn’t hunting us down and forcing our faces back on the air. We definitely had to pull ourselves up by our boot straps and make this happen again. We pulled together every resource we have to make our return, and we’re excited to get underway.

H&H is a great ship with a large booty, and we want to share that with the world. I’ve barely survived the hiatus myself! I’m kind of like Superman, but not powered by the sun, I’m powered by my own voice travelling through the internets to other people’s ears. I suppose it’s a little narcissistic  but I have way too much fun with it, and Ash laughs at me a lot so it makes me feel good about myself. I’m pumped! Look out world! Here we come!

 

Reading With My Ears

I don’t know about you guys, but in this culture where we have less and less time to do anything, one of the things I miss the most is having time to sit down and read a book. Between the podcasting, guitar playing, tv series watching, and social networking, I get may be 30 minutes to read before I go to bed at night. This is an awesome time to do it, but I barely have time to dig into a chapter and really zone out with the book. That’s where Audible.com comes in.

I picked up a subscription with Audible.com and it has changed the way that I “read” books. Ash, of H&H fame, was giving me crap tonight about listening to books because I’ve “forgotten how to read.” I totally remember how to read, but I’ve just found a way to enjoy books without having to completely focus. I just don’t have time to sit down and read books like  I used to, so listening to them is a perfect substitute. I’m still imagining everything in the book just like I would if I was reading it. I just get to read in the car…while I’m driving! It’s so awesome to actually enjoy a book while doing something would normally not be able to do while reading. Have you ever seen somebody reading while they drive? They are NOT good multi-taskers!

So if you are like me and just don’t have time to enjoy books on your couch with your eyes, give your ears a try. It’s just as fun, as long as the person reading doesn’t sound like Gilbert Gottfried. That could be a little much. If you want to try Audible, sign up here to pick up a free audiobook for yourself!

Synergized!

I’m just going to come right out and say it:

The internet is getting freaking ridiculous!

I mean, honestly, how many different social networking, news commenting, bookmarking, content distribution web sites does one internet need?! I’m sure by now that most of you who use a Gmail account have noticed that Google has opted you into a new service it has called Buzz. This is not going to be a “Buzz hating” post, because I actually think the service is kind of neat. My problem is that Buzz is just another cog in this ridiculous machine that does the same thing as some other service and even interconnects with that same service. Do we really need another status updating service to keep track of?

I am one of the many highly connected people that live and work on the internet. I use Twitter, Blippy, gdgt, Google Wave, Facebook, and I was even a member of Pownce when it was still around. All of these different services can pretty much interconnect with each other in one way or another. The whole “what are you doing?” concept that Twitter came up with is now invading every facet of our internet lives. Some people update Facebook which updates Twitter. I like to update Twitter which updates Facebook. Now we’ve got Buzz which can update Twitter or receive updates from Twitter. This post is way too hard to write O_o.

I guess the main thing I’m getting to is, how much is too much? I really only bother with Twitter for the most part and I have it update every other connected service. I guess I do that because that is all Twitter is made for. It’s the purpose of the service. Whereas Facebook and Buzz have other things they can do. Why would you want to use another service to update Twitter? It just doesn’t make sense. I just don’t know if I can keep up with an additional service for updated what I’m doing or what I’m thinking about at the time. It’s a social stream overload. I want to participate in all of these new tools, but I don’t know if I can keep up with them all!

Internet Junk

I’ve pretty much spent this entire day poking around on the internet trying to get into whatever it is one can get into on the internet. Minus the porn, though. I don’t really need to get into any of that. I’ve really just been trying to find some nifty software or websites that can do some stuff I want to do. One of the things that I have really been hunting down for the past few months is a decent comic collecting application for the Mac. I have Comic Collector Live for the PC and I absolutely LOVE it. The only problem with it is that it’s on Windows! Since I don’t use Windows as a primary machine, it’s kind of annoying to have to switch over to Parallels or Boot Camp in order to add comics to my database. It’s not that big of a deal, but why isn’t there software like this for Mac? It seems like something that would be very Mac-centric, but nobody makes anything good enough. If any of you know of something, please tell me in the comments.

Another thing I’ve been fiddling with and trying to figure out is Blippy. It’s a different kind of service that I’m trying to find a use for. Think of it as Twitter for your purchases or the items you get from services like Audible or Netflix. I think it’s kind of neat and I, of course, have a Blippy  page that you can visit and check out what I’ve been getting, though it’s pretty short. The one piece I haven’t jumped on is the credit card purchases tool. I’m currently showing my purchases from Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. I think the credit card piece could be pretty awesome, but I think one would definitely want a “special” credit card that you wanted Blippy to track. That way you could hide Christmas presents or birthday presents by using a different card. I’m still trying to figure out what purpose this will serve in my all around social networking world, but I think it has some possibilities. If you are on Blippy, follow me on my page!

I’ve also hooked up Ashley, of “The Penguin Legion”, with a URL that points straight to her blog of, you guessed it, www.thepenguinlegion.com. I don’t think she knows yet, but she will once she reads this post. So add her blog to your list of favorites and visit often. She’s brilliant.

I’m pretty sure that’s all I’ve really messed with today. That’s not to say it wasn’t time consuming. Searching for good software can be such a pain, especially when you have to test each one to see if it meets your needs. I think I’m going to go find some food now. Hopefully I don’t have to look much beyond the kitchen because there is about 2 feet of snow outside that I would rather not venture out into.

Reconstruction

I am busy at work on revamping the Horseshoes & Hand Grenades web site and I need a break! I think I’m going crazy looking at all these wordpress themes and doing everything I can to figure out which one will be an improvement to our page without sacrificing usability. It’s not nearly as easy as it all sounds. I’ve looked at a ridiculous amount of themes for everything from news sites, magazine sites, blogs, photo sites, and even superfan sites for Ricky Martin. Yeah, they still have those. It’s a nightmare.

I really do want to improve our site but I think I may just have to do so while retaining the theme that we’ve got. I can change the header and add some pretty sweet widgets to either size of content to make it POP. I’ll figure something out, it’s just giving me more of a headache than I originally anticipated. I’m not going to give up, but I’ll probably tone down my crazy brain. I feel like Peter Molyneux when he was promoting Fable. A whole lot of ideas but no real way to deliver. I’m not a web designer by any means so I just have to work within my sandbox. That sandbox is WordPress.

Is anybody out there with theme suggestions?