Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

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StalinSays
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Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by StalinSays » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:00 am

Feature: The Big Splash by George R. Galuschak

Image

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I passed the sign that read Warning: Shark Zone. The sun was setting,
lighting up the tops of the condos sticking out of the water. They had been
swallowed by the swollen ocean, when it spilled over, like everything else:
the skyscrapers, the cars, the fast food joints, the schools and
supermarkets and liquor stores…


Episode Sponsor You Shall Never Know Security by J.R. Hamantaschen


Art by Jonathan Wilson
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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by tbaker2500 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:45 pm

"You shall never know security" is a great title for horror. I enjoyed that snippet!

For the main story, I don't normally react well to tear-jerkers. However, the timing was right, and I like this story. It was well put together, with all the right elements of strange. The only thing that struck me as odd was the juxtaposition of expected casual sex. Was that thrown in to try and create the death/life cycle?

Excellent music, great production.
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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by strawman » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:13 pm

I think the casual sex and drug use serve, (unfortunately), to make the story setting seem typical. Putting your pet down? Aw, sorry, consolation sex. Phone app for casual sex and a crab making off with your genetic material as the shark makes off with the surfer's foot, but it's no big deal. Really no deal at all. I like how the housing market is still underwater, and the alien's planet exploded so, no, he won't be going home for a Thanksgiving visit this year. Call it all ordinarification, playing syfy straight. The postlogue song was interesting. Not Shermanesque.

Altogether, an appropriate episode for a new website which, btw, looks very nice. I wonder: is the site subject to further evolution?

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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by StalinSays » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:44 pm

strawman wrote:Altogether, an appropriate episode for a new website which, btw, looks very nice. I wonder: is the site subject to further evolution?
Yes. The web site is a living document: the desire for active updating and tweak are a part of its essential design. If you have thoughts, share them, we will try to incorporate, working within the constraints of the technology, and the fact that Tom and I are sleep-starved volunteers with only so many hours in our days and pints of blood in our bodies. 'Add this missing link' level stuff, got it, working on it, helpful, 'we should make an iPhone app' and 'let's add profile pages,' probably not.

The new drabblecast.org is up ahead of the final, 'announced launch,' so bear in mind Tom and I are still working through final list items. For example - DRIP data has not yet been posted. The fact that we won the 2011 Parsec is not in the header graphic. We don't have a great 'gallery' yet. Etc. November 2nd is when we'll be shouting on the mountain top, and at that point, oversights are oversights.
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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by strawman » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:22 pm

I do think it is important that you add an escape hatch.
If that is too complex, maybe a simple "Eject" button.
Failing that, at least a stairwell to the forums section or an elevator to Dribblecast.
Plus, shouldn't there be a C. Ruggles 24 hr webcam?
And audio.
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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by tbaker2500 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:43 am

strawman wrote:I do think it is important that you add an escape hatch.
If that is too complex, maybe a simple "Eject" button.
Failing that, at least a stairwell to the forums section or an elevator to Dribblecast.
Plus, shouldn't there be a C. Ruggles 24 hr webcam?
And audio.
:D Strawman, why do I feel that your prose is even further obfuscated today?
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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by strawman » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:52 pm

It isn't my prose. It's the voices in my head. I can't type fast enough.

I think you guys are doing a, (what is the word?) "ausgezeichnet" job.
Encouraged by Bo's statement about future refinements, I would like the goal to be to add that note of "experienced strangeness" that characterizes the Drabblecast. And to give some examples, I suggested maybe making the site experience 3 dimensional, getting to different levels by means of hatches, ejects, or secret stairwells instead of simple links.

I imagine that this is possible, but also probably unrealistically complex... for the moment. But wouldn't it be cool for the website navigation to be a strange experience? Maybe down the road we will be able to get the same pool of development talent as Bo has with episode art. A Wikiwebsite, anyone?
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by StalinSays » Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:57 pm

strawman wrote:It isn't my prose. It's the voices in my head. I can't type fast enough.

I think you guys are doing a, (what is the word?) "ausgezeichnet" job.
Encouraged by Bo's statement about future refinements, I would like the goal to be to add that note of "experienced strangeness" that characterizes the Drabblecast. And to give some examples, I suggested maybe making the site experience 3 dimensional, getting to different levels by means of hatches, ejects, or secret stairwells instead of simple links.

I imagine that this is possible, but also probably unrealistically complex... for the moment. But wouldn't it be cool for the website navigation to be a strange experience? Maybe down the road we will be able to get the same pool of development talent as Bo has with episode art. A Wikiwebsite, anyone?
I am in full agreement that the site is, for the moment, regrettably 'vanilla,' in terms of character and quirk. It betrays the Drabblecast sensibilities in that way. Tom and I focused a majority of our time on content and organization and search optimization. Far less on 'presentation' and further 'experience.' Now, I do want the site to feel 'ours' and I completely share your enthusiasm for that. I do not though have any intention on confusing the interface with bells and whistles, especially ones focused on puzzle solving, silliness or misdirection. While it would add character, the gravest sin an interface designer can do is artificially complicate navigation. We can achieve quirkiness in other ways. This site is first and foremost a recruitment tool. It should be crystal for new site visitors what the site is for, where information is, and what they should be doing to get started. No mysteries, no hurdles. Web surfers are impossibly flighty, even in our market, we must facilitate average, ADD user.

That said, how do we infuse character? I have thoughts. In 2012 I was looking to commission some of our more prolific art contributors to create non-episode-centric, theme oriented, imaginative drabblecast banner space images. Similar to what podcastle has now. Or what 4th letter does with their cycling header image (refresh a few times). Cleanly fitting an allotted space, but broadcasting a mood.

I also wanted to add more non-episode oriented posts. Similar to what Tom started with his archive site and 'top ten lists,' but on a greater range of topics. Comparable to a drabblecast blog, though not exactly. Norm could throw something together on his top ten elusive cryptids. Or something totally obtuse like 'why I love my cat.' Someone like Munsi could contribute a piece of writing (on drabble writing). I'd lead off with a less fun but very helpful 'new to the drabblecast' page, pointing to a sampler of our best episodes. Down the line, an entry like 'best of drabblecast zombies' or 'top 10 weirdest drabblecasts.' DiaboloicalPlots is already generating similar content, and they're great, and have a lot that we could benchmark from. That sort of content is good for enriching the community, getting more of our character infused in to the site, and more pragmatically, good for catching the interest of search engines (hello 'zombie podcast' traffic).

I've personally made plenty of experimental, animated, and hand-crafty sites in my time. They have their place, and on a level, they suit us. But in the here and now, matured and client feedback hardened web designer man Bo Kaier has a different outlook. Function first. Goals second. Neato gonzo falderal third. we'll get to it, but not in the short-run, and never as an opponent to simplicity and usability.
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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by strawman » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:11 pm

You da man, as they say. But on a more down-to-earth frequency, maybe a link for Dribblecast, and ASID's twitfic sizing tool.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

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Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by ROU Killing Time » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:13 pm

Summing up: Remember the fracas over Facebook changing their layout.
"Never fuck with The Culture"
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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by strawman » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:23 pm

I do. But our new site is such an improvement, I bet we get zero complaints.

Whereas Facebook customers, whose mean demographic is a 12 year old girl, is made for whiners.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by tbaker2500 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:17 am

Probably time to pop this over to it's own thread.
On topic- I thought the Alien beach dude was a pretty neat character. Well done!
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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by Drewcifer3939 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:52 am

All I have to say is that this episode was the first Drabblecast to make me tear up since 124: Ghosts and Apparitions. I don't know exactly what it was, but something about Roger's death really resonated with me. In that moment, I really felt like I was in tune with Mark on some deeper level that I've very rarely felt in short fiction. And it wasn't just the dog dying either. I'm not really a "dog person" (though I have nothing against them). I think it was the combined thematic elements of being on the cusp of change and the grief that can come with the realization that the world isn't going to stop spinning. Things will keep changing no matter what. Fantastic story, I loved it.

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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by JRH » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:41 am

Just like to thank everyone (and anyone) who purchased a copy of the collection or, failing that, enjoyed the snippet presented here /and, or Wonder. It's been selling quite well (exceeding our modest, small-pressy expectations), probably because we're priced it so low and because it has a well designed cover.

BTW, I hate to think that's how my voice sounds to other people.

Anyway, thanks again for any and all support.

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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by JRH » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:41 am

Oh, I should probably add that I'm the J.R. Hamantaschen featured in the this week's Drabble

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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by ROU Killing Time » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:51 am

JRH wrote:Just like to thank everyone (and anyone) who purchased a copy of the collection or, failing that, enjoyed the snippet presented here /and, or Wonder. It's been selling quite well (exceeding our modest, small-pressy expectations), probably because we're priced it so low and because it has a well designed cover.

BTW, I hate to think that's how my voice sounds to other people.

Anyway, thanks again for any and all support.
Precisely the same reason the hitchhikers guide outsells the encyclopedia galactica.
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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by Unblinking » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:54 pm

StalinSays wrote:Down the line, an entry like 'best of drabblecast zombies' or 'top 10 weirdest drabblecasts.' DiaboloicalPlots is already generating similar content, and they're great, and have a lot that we could benchmark from. That sort of content is good for enriching the community, getting more of our character infused in to the site, and more pragmatically, good for catching the interest of search engines (hello 'zombie podcast' traffic).
Hey, Diabolical Plots, that's me! :) Wasn't expecting my site to be mentioned here. Speaking of "Best Of" lists, 3 days and counting to "The Best of The Dunesteef." Check back on Monday. :)

Regarding the website interface, I like Bo's strategy on that. Some weird flavor would be good, but nothing that interferes with the interface. Regarding having extra content, I guess my only advice there is that it be easy to get a list of just the podcast episodes, through tagging or sorting or what-have-you. I'm one of those odd people that doesn't use podcatchers, so I actually go to websites and download manually. Since Escape Pod added lots of extra content for their site, if I wait too long to download there's more sorting to be done to extract an episode download. This would've been more aggravating when I was first picking up the podcast and downloading scads of episodes at a time. So, just so that whatever is done, I hope it's easy to sort out just the podcast episodes for those who just want those. :)


Anyway, on to the story:
I'm afraid I didn't really get the appeal here. It seemed to be all over the place with nothing of great consequence happening, nor the various events really being tied to each other. I never really felt tension about anything that was going to happen or what might happen. Even when the surfer lost his foot, that was so expected that it didn't cause much tension before or after.

So, I guess I just didn't "get it" whatever "it" is.

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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by tbaker2500 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:43 pm

JRH wrote:Just like to thank everyone (and anyone) who purchased a copy of the collection or, failing that, enjoyed the snippet presented here /and, or Wonder. It's been selling quite well (exceeding our modest, small-pressy expectations), probably because we're priced it so low and because it has a well designed cover.

BTW, I hate to think that's how my voice sounds to other people.

Anyway, thanks again for any and all support.
Hi J.R.!
First off, I want to thank you for doing a sponsorship of the Drabblecast. I apologize for the new website being a little late! :-)

I'm glad Norm decided to run a short from the book. I tend not to buy horror and would have dismissed the book out of hand, until I heard it. I was impressed and was going to pick it up this weekend. That is what I call a marketing win. :-)
BTW, very clever book name.
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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by Mr.Shadowbxre » Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:12 am

Now I can die a happy man. Finally got my 20 seconds of fame in a drabblecast. I knew I should have sent Bo an audio file... Guelph, Ontario is a tough one to figure out unless you hear a local say it. Hope to do another cover in the future if Bo casts one my way. Thanks again. :)
The alien horde had finally halted. Our sonic weapons had worked. Their battle cry was no more. "Yep yep yep yep, uh huh!"
---------------------------

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Re: Drabblecast 219 - The Big Splash

Post by Mr.Shadowbxre » Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:14 am

and I've been waiting a month and a half to see a new episode. Guess I should have tryed the new address rather than waiting for the old one. :roll:
The alien horde had finally halted. Our sonic weapons had worked. Their battle cry was no more. "Yep yep yep yep, uh huh!"
---------------------------

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