EGC Clambake for October 29, 2006

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for October 29, 2006.

I play a song from Michelle Malone; I talk about Ze Frank, Andrew Baron and the Nerdfight; I talk about Halloween; I play a song from Tom Waits and try to get out gracefully.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

5 thoughts on “EGC Clambake for October 29, 2006”

  1. John says:

    You are not the only one downloading his RSS feed. I have been using his feed for around 4 months and I didn’t notice that his file was named the same thing until you mentioned it. Why? Two reasons.

    I have succumb to the iPod ways. I now use iTunes for the majority of my downloads. I have really got to change my ways because until iTunes makes their podcatcher with bitTorrent I am not being a green netizen. However, iTunes and the iPod can handle the file names because I have Ze’s last 5 episodes available to me right now. How is it doing this? Good question, iTunes handles all of its information not on the file name, but inside the ID3 tags.
    With that being said, iTunes is so easy, and I am a lazy bastard.

    The second reason is before I used an ipod, I was using juice, and I believe I was augmenting the name of files with the dates.

    I don’t believe this should be left up to the user to change on his own because I support the notion that the listener is the customer and the podcaster is the service. The customer should subscribe because they enjoy the content, but they shouldn’t have to do the work for it.

    Just as if the customer was in a resturant, one would not expect the customer to have to prepare the food before it could be consumed.

    I don’t know, I am making a ton of metaphores for something that doesn’t need them. I will end my rant now.

  2. E says:

    Hi, Dave. I must say I’m a bit surprised by your response to Ze Frank’s “Rocketbooming” comments. I’m a long time listener to both “Evil Genius Chronicles” and “The Show with Ze Frank.”

    I did not find Ze’s original comments (on 10-23-2006) about Rocketboom particularly inflammatory. These comments were made in the context of satirical instruction on how to video blog. Basically, he was saying (I’m paraphrasing), “Don’t worry about content; devote your efforts to meta content, like your background, your stats, and the medium.” Pretty funny, I think. Part of Rocketboom’s charm is that it is self referential. I like watching Rocketboom figure out what their background should look like. I like watching Rocketboom’s take on the new medium that they are helping to define. That said, I have great respect for someone (Ze) who is using the new medium without (frequently) directly addressing the new medium. This is an impressive feat that distinguishes Ze from many others. And it is natural that he would find meta-oriented video blogs odd (particularly those that poorly model themselves after Rocketboom) and that he would take some satirical snipes at them. Concerning stats… I think it’s very clear that Ze is not saying that Alexa has the final word on stats. I think he’s saying, “here’s one bit of evidence that maybe you’re not being told the whole story and people probably exaggerate and twist the stats to their advantage.” No big whoop. Of course, they do. Everyone does. This is an important part of learning to video blog (according satirical instructions, anyway), wink, wink. In the end, to me Ze Frank remains a funny and sensible person.

    I’ve always found you to be a funny and sensible person, too. But I’m perplexed by your reaction. It appears that you didn’t understand Ze’s comments. You took them out of context. You got pissed. And then you did what people often do when they get pissed. They start looking for ammo. Here I’m talking about your comments about Ze’s RSS feed (the issue). What does this have to do with Ze’s comments? Maybe this is part of the reason why Ze’s show is less popular than Rocketboom, but that’s not the issue here. The issue is that Ze satirically attacked Rocketboom’s meta-nature. If one is pissed about that attack, one should probably address the attack directly. It’s true that content producers should be compensating for poorly implemented viewer-side software (obviously your RSS reader has a bug, no?), but this is off topic. Arguing that Ze doesn’t do his show very well is irrelevant and (sorry to say it) kinda childish.

    Finally, I’d like to tell you what impresses me about “The Show with Ze Frank.” Many video blogs and podcasts are very meta. They talk ad nauseum about the Portable Media Expo. They talk about how hard it was to get a show together this week. They talk about the equipment they use. They talk about how strange it is to say they are doing show x (where x is a very big number). I like all of this and all of this is enabled by the new medium. The meta-ness is not the only defining characteristic, but it is *a* defining characteristic of these shows. But Ze has a completely different and very appealing approach. His emphasis is on building a community of viewers. He doesn’t do this simply by doing an entertaining show and making a forum available. Everyone else does that. He encourages his viewers to work together. They have collaborated to play a game of chess against Ze. They have collaborated to write the show. They have collaborated to place slices of bread on opposite sides of the earth (earth sandwich!). Ze has defined a new vocabulary, and a community has arisen to help people understand this new world (via forums and the wiki). Some of the stuff he has done works. Some of it has not. But it is enabling people to connect in ways that they couldn’t previously. All video blogs and podcasts draw an audience together, but I’ve not seen any show that does it as directly as Ze’s show. I’m not raising this point to convince you that you should be watching the show. I’m mentioning this because it is a way in which Ze’s show is unique (as compared to most shows) and it would be a shame for anyone interested in new media to be ignorant of this.

    I do enjoy “Evil Genius Chronicles.” Thanks for producing it.

  3. dave says:

    John and The Mysterious Mr (or Ms.) E –

    Thanks for the feedback. I will twig to the fact that the only reason I watched that episode is that I saw it referred to in Drew Baron’s blog so on one level I may have already been predisposed to a leaning when I got there. I think the attack was more inflammatory than you seem to be that’s probably because Ze has banked more karma with you than me. I think – even jokingly – suggesting that someone’s name should be synonymous with lying can’t be construed as anything but an attack, meta-ness or not, court jester snarky overall tone or not.

    The whole point of bringing up that is to point out that he’s doing some difficult creative things right and some of the most simple things wrong that no one else fucks up. After watching his “Why do it if you aren’t going to do it right” episode, that irony is even starker to me. I’m just pointing out the simple fact of the attention economy – The Show is too hard to deal with for me in relation to the value it brings me. It has a lot going for it but it’s a pain in my ass to try to watch it and thus isn’t worth it to me. Like I say, I’d walk a mile just to watch Tiki Bar TV on a borrowed monitor but Ze doesn’t do it for me that much.

    As far as whether Juice has a bug or not, I don’t think so. It would be nice if it didn’t overwrite files of the same name but doing what the feed says – I have a file named X, save it – isn’t strictly speaking a bug in my eyes. Even if it did some sort of renaming to keep it from overwriting, the resulting files would still be a pain in the ass when you throw them all on a SD card and watch it various places like I do. Would it be so hard to name them “” or something like that so you can tell one from another?

    Thanks to both of you for the input and your time in writing those up. I don’t want to make it seem like I’m on an anti-Ze campaign or anything, but it seems like a glass-house-stones thing for someone screwing up the fundamentals to be on anyone else’s case.

  4. dave says:

    PS – I’m open to discussion on a lot of this, but I don’t think I’ll budge the passive voice of “I seem to have gotten myself involved in a nerdfight” being completely disingenuous. He did call someone else a liar, and if it was me I’d have taken it far worse than Drew did. At least, I would have before I realized he was just zefranking me.

  5. John says:


    I can’t say I blame you for dropping the show. If you don’t miss it, then is it really worth your time when there are thousands upon thousands of podcasts out there?

    As far as if there is a bug in juice…
    It shouldn’t matter if there is a bug in juice. That was the point I was trying to make above. If the producer of the content can take the time to get your “order” right, then said producer should also not be upset if you leave.

    Ze probably doesn’t care if people leave his podcast for something else based on those grounds. He is a pompous ball of arrogance, and I love him for it.

    You sir, are also pompous, but not in an asshole way. I don’t look at that word to be necessarily negative. If you feel something is important, and “better” then why not express those feelings. It shows that you are independent, and free thinking. I like independent and free thinking. It is a cornerstone of human behavior that is quickly waning.

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