LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Talk about this week's LRRcast and what you'd like to see in future ones.
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LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby Graham » 13 Dec 2014, 19:14

Join Graham, Kathleen, Paul and Ian as they talk about this years Desert Bus for Hope.
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby King Kool » 13 Dec 2014, 21:06

I remember the 4:00AM stuff from Desert Bus 5 very well, because those were pretty much the only times I could leave the email along for a long period of time. And it was less populated, so it felt more intimate, both with chat and the others there.

I wasn't there for 4'0-QWOP, though I heard Alex screaming with laughter from the blog computer.
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby Lord Chrusher » 14 Dec 2014, 01:45

I associate Zeta Shift a lot with Alex. Zeta shift is also the part of DBfH I saw the most of in DBfH 4 to 7 due to the time difference between Australia where I was living at the time and the Moonbase.

This would make a good challenge for next DBfH but someone should do up a logo for each of the shifts.
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby korvys » 14 Dec 2014, 03:06

Well, they have shirts: http://teespring.com/zetashift
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby Lord Hosk » 14 Dec 2014, 08:02

Why is Kathleen so down on zeta shift being popular?

I watched A LOT of the run and from what I saw the viewership was pretty much even until the final shift when it peaked. There were peaks and valleys but it wasn't like oh there are only 500 people watching, it stayed in the 3000 person range the whole time.

There are time zones, "prime time" in Victoria isnt prime time around the world. Its kind of strange to me that All of the "good" auctions and guests were 11PM-2AM Eastern Standard Time where I suspect a lot of the viewership is based on people chatting about where they are from. I imagine its even more strange from other geographic regions.

I get that there has to be some grouping of things but the concentration seemed to be even stronger this year than in previous years and Kathleen in particular seems to be upset when things take place outside of the 6-10 PST window. There were several times in the run when she was like "why are there so many people here doing fun things its late" and here again in the podcast when zeta shift being popular came up she said "Well we will reschedule things next year so that doesn't happen again"

The Zeta shift Merch raised what $5000 on its own? I dont think discouraging it is a good thing.
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby Master Gunner » 14 Dec 2014, 09:48

The grouping of events and shifts around Pacific's evening did seem odd, considering that the majority of North America's population is 2-3 hours ahead of them - not even mentioning Europe which also appeared to present a large contingent.

I understand that from an organization perspective, there are benefits to scheduling things during Pacific's Prime Time...but they seemed to be more than organized enough this year to spread things out more, especially since they've had a more even spread in the past.
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby Lord Chrusher » 14 Dec 2014, 17:26

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This is the viewership from Dix's Log. The solid line is the average viewership for each hour of the day while the dashed lines are the highest and lowest viewerships for each hour.

The trend is quite clear - viewership peaks between about 10 am and 10 pm local time and reaches a minimum between about midnight and 8 am.
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby Kapol » 14 Dec 2014, 18:30

But I think not utilizing the zeta shift hours would be a mistake. If only because it helps prevent issues that other countries are untapped for stuff like auctions and giveaways. Trying to access just one part of the world for donations seems like it results in less overall donations. So there may only be 2000 people watching at 4am their time, but those 2000 people likely still have access to their funds. The people in the 'prime time' who might be able to only donate a little bit might have used up their donations by then. The only issue that seemed to come up in terms of times and the locations that were more awake for them were the game giveaways.

That said, I think the main problem that was brought up was, as Graham put it, the 'fetishization' of Zeta Shift. Or the idea that people see it more as what he called 4 o'QWOP rather than the time there isn't a ton of people there and/or everyone is exhausted. Which is kind of an interesting thought. There's a lot of down time with Zeta Shift where nothing is really happening. But the same exhaustion (or I assume that's the state of everyone there) can allow for some of the best weird moments. But this year had a lot more weird spread out over the rest of the run than normal I feel.

And I'm not sure where I was going with all that. So back to why I mostly posted.

The discussion on the new location brought me back to something I'd thought about during most of DB8. The place felt a lot less... intimate as a viewer than the Moonbase did. Honestly, it felt a lot more like a sound stage than anything. That became especially apparent when there were wide shots. For me at least, having that much open space made it feel a lot more like a televised, scripted event rather than an interactive telethon for lack of a better term.

That's not necessarily bad mind you. I felt the same way when there was a shift from being in a badly lit room without any space to the current Moonbase. And honestly, the huge benefit everyone at DB get far outweighs what is really just a minor nitpick. It's just something I found interesting while watching this year. That same tonal shift is also something a friend commented on as well.
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby 7SecondsLeft » 14 Dec 2014, 23:11

Lord Chrusher wrote:I associate Zeta Shift a lot with Alex. Zeta shift is also the part of DBfH I saw the most of in DBfH 4 to 7 due to the time difference between Australia where I was living at the time and the Moonbase.

Kapol wrote:That said, I think the main problem that was brought up was, as Graham put it, the 'fetishization' of Zeta Shift. Or the idea that people see it more as what he called 4 o'QWOP rather than the time there isn't a ton of people there and/or everyone is exhausted. Which is kind of an interesting thought. There's a lot of down time with Zeta Shift where nothing is really happening. But the same exhaustion (or I assume that's the state of everyone there) can allow for some of the best weird moments. But this year had a lot more weird spread out over the rest of the run than normal I feel.


As a Brit with a job that provides easy access to a net connection during work, my main viewing hours covered the transition into and out of Zeta, i.e. night, Zeta, morning, and early day. Getting to see any of the "prime time" hours involved messing around with sleep, although I did force myself to get through as much of Paul's final shift as possible.

For me, there is more to Zeta than just being the "exhaustion / weird" time - it is also, as Lord Crusher suggested, the time when Alex + Beej + Cam +Ian are in charge, along with the non-DB-prime staffers and whichever random exhausted stragglers haven't gone home from their shift yet. Sure there might have been a new schedule to try keep people there longer, blurring the edges, but there's still that key Zeta-ness there that is as much about the people there as it is about being the time between the last Prime shift going home and the next Prime shift getting in.

And during Zeta, yes things did feel different, even this year. Everything felt calmer and more relaxed, the style of humour changed to something a bit more surreal, they didn't mind taking time talking about stuff about anime or scifi for a while, or what other geeky topics popped into their head like the Oculus. As things drifted towards Prime though, things felt more manic, there were always more people in the room, everything always rushing towards the next prize or auction, everyone always bouncing around like dancing monkeys trying to grab an extra few more dollars from people.

Maybe it's just the way my tastes aligned, maybe it's just a result of the hours I could watch, but for me, nearly all of my highlights of DB8 came from Zeta (+/- a couple of hours). I hope this doesn't change much for DB9, but short of some more DB-Prime staffers volunteering to work through the night and breaking up the Alex+Beej+Cam+Ian group, I don't see how it could...

Kapol wrote:The discussion on the new location brought me back to something I'd thought about during most of DB8. The place felt a lot less... intimate as a viewer than the Moonbase did. Honestly, it felt a lot more like a sound stage than anything. That became especially apparent when there were wide shots. For me at least, having that much open space made it feel a lot more like a televised, scripted event rather than an interactive telethon for lack of a better term.


I admit, I had a similar feeling at the start, and put some of it down to the more professional-looking overlay as well. But as time went on, the wide angles stopped feeling so wide and it soon just felt like normal DB to me, to the point where looking back on DB6 and DB7 videos just feels odd now. The point where it will really feel like a televised event though will be when they get more close-up camera angles, or worse still, handheld/steadicam video! (shudder)

Maybe they can find a way to use the back wall better next time, though? Put up a proper green screen, or send video to the TV, maybe?


Regardless though, DB8 was great, thanks to all the team who worked on it!

(Team Zeta rules! :P)
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby Lord Chrusher » 15 Dec 2014, 00:05

I think a key part of Zeta is that there is less structure during those hours than in prime time.

I think that the donation challenges and silent auctions were distributed fairly evenly across the day. It was the guest call ins and live auctions that all between about 11 am and 1 am local time.
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby korvys » 15 Dec 2014, 01:49

I think the thing is as Kathleen said, it's getting more and more organised. There's less QWOPing balls, due to sleep deprivation, and less "dead" air where there's hardly anyone there. Zeta shift as it was is no longer.

So I don't think it's wrong to make Zeta Shift whatever we want it to be. If it's just a time period, so be it. Name the times of the day, give get some rivalries going or something, and have fun with it.

Most memes don't last more than 2 desert buses anyway. Maybe that's true of this? Zeta Shift is dead. Long live Zeta Shift.
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby romangoro » 15 Dec 2014, 03:42

Kapol wrote:The discussion on the new location brought me back to something I'd thought about during most of DB8. The place felt a lot less... intimate as a viewer than the Moonbase did. Honestly, it felt a lot more like a sound stage than anything. That became especially apparent when there were wide shots. For me at least, having that much open space made it feel a lot more like a televised, scripted event rather than an interactive telethon for lack of a better term.


That might be due to the better organization, the focus on being on/off shift, the stronger role of the copilot and so on. This was the first DB I got to watch live, so I don't know if the flow from giveaways and auctions to challenges and other "artistic" things was always this smooth, but I was floored by the organization and production of the whole event.
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby Graham » 15 Dec 2014, 15:48

The issue actually—and I guess we weren't clear—is for staff and volunteers. Everyone wants to be around during Zeta Shift because "that's when all the fun stuff happens" and people are less keen to be scheduled for, say, the mornings.
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby Lord Chrusher » 15 Dec 2014, 16:46

I do not think the issue was when people were scheduled to be there - if anything there were fewer people 'supposed' to be there overnight. The issue was what time people wanted to be there just hanging out. I think this because many of the people involved in Desert Bus are night people, myself included, for whom it is easier to stay later than arrive early. I know for myself I wanted to sleep in before my shifts while it was easy to stay longer than I intended after my shifts.
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby Graham » 15 Dec 2014, 17:23

We can talk off-forum, but that absolutely was a problem.
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Re: LRRcast - Desert Bus Part 2

Postby Bergie » 15 Dec 2014, 17:32

This is probably more of a site bug (not sure where to put it).

I have noticed recently, mostly on LRRcasts but now on the most recent checkpoint of the video simply shutting down right in the middle of the video. It doesn't reload and start again, but goes back to the start with the arrow "please play now" prompt.

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