Archives for October 2014

Walker Stalker Con 2014 Atlanta Highlights & Musings #WSCAtlanta #TWDFamily #TWTT #HorsePLAY

Happy Halloween!

I know it’s a little early but the coming weeks will be very busy for us on the network.  We’ll be with our families and catching up on projects here and there..  Don’t worry: while we may not be streaming, blogging, or podcasting much, we’ll be here in spirit..  And probably watching lots of horror movies and shows.  I know I will be watching American Horror Story and maybe Sleepy Hollow with my wife.  YAY!

Happy Halloween - Trick Or Treat - Tasteful Anime  Witch Wallpaper

 

I’m still on that Walker Stalker Con high but, sadly, I can’t enjoy it as much.  Duty calls as projects pile up and my family prepares to move…  But enough about me!

Here are a few videos that cover the highlights at Walker Stalker Con Atlanta 2014.  If you’ve never been to WSC, you’ll know what to expect.  If you went last year, you can get a feel for what has changed.  Read onward for some highlights and the burning question:

Is Walker Stalker Con [or conventions in general] a mere money grab?

I want to say that I really enjoyed the convention but, as with anything else, there were opportunities.  We’ll get into that after the “video break”.  Sit tight, friends!

 

HorsePLAY! LIVE EP45: Walker Stalker Con Post-Show

The GANG Minute / Geektastic Vlog Mashup: My Personal WSC Highlights & Concerns

On-Location At AmericasMart Atlanta: Walker Stalker Con Fan Reactions & Event Photos

 

Walker Stalker Con was a fun event to go to as a fan and there was plenty to cover as media.  There were tons of panels, celebrities, vendors, and other attractions.  WAY too much to cover in proper detail.  Here are the main things that stood out for me.

Before I share my impressions and opinions here, I want to note that this was my first Walker Stalker Con but I have been to many conventions.  Typically, conventions are forgettable to me but WSC has something special to it.  I believe my feelings here may be in the minority because I don’t get excited by autographs and star-studded events.  Before I share my thoughts, here is what I look for in a convention to consider it worthwhile:

  • You’ll enjoy the event regardless of how much money you spend.
  • Vendors get enough foot traffic to justify booth costs.
  • Autographs and photo ops are subsidized or minimal to provide more time/focus for other events.
  • Event schedules account for waiting/travel times, breaks, and the like.
  • Merch mark-up covers costs but does not exhibit extreme profit margins (i.e. greed).
  • It is clear that fans of all kinds are the priority.
  • Media is given proper access and treatment without taking away from paying guests.
  • Behind-the-scenes information and anecdotes..  Stories worth sharing!

These are some of the things I’ll be pondering as I share my thoughts on Walker Stalker Con Atlanta.  Now let’s jump in!

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#DoctorWho Podcast: #TWTT 9 RECAP: Mummy, TWD and Selfie cc @allgamesradio

DoctorWho Podcast: TWTT Episode 9 RECAP: Mummy on the Orient Express, TWD and Selfie

 

Aurosonic’s beautiful song, Lift You Up, was featured with permission in Episode 9 of the TWTT podcast. Many thanks to Evgeny Smirnov and Sergey Klimov of Aurosonic! Check out their music on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Aurosonic

Doctor, who?!

In Episode TWTT 9, Yomar and Stan talk about Mummy on the Orient Express, The Walking Dead’s Season 5 Premier and Selfie Episode 2. And don’t forget to wish a very Happy Birthday to Stan. Today is his birthday!

The doctor takes Clara on a purported last hurrah. By many accounts and ours, it was an interesting plot. The Orient Express in space. How cool is that? And a mummy too?! Wow!

Sometimes, the only choices you have are bad ones, but you still have to choose.

As always, we gladly shared some of the comments you left on YouTube and voicemail for TWTT Episode 8.

Tune in Saturday, October 25th at 12 noon ET for TWTT Episode 10 on http://www.twitch.tv/geekyantics or http://www.allgames.com.

October 25th. 12 noon for New York City, Washington, D.C. and Miami, 9am for the U.S. West Coast, 4pm in Madrid, 5pm for London and 7pm, Bucharest.

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Mini Zombie Photo Journal: #WalkerStalkerCon #Atlanta 2014 | #TWTT #HorsePLAY

UPDATE:  Had some tech issues.  All sorted out now.  This was supposed to be a early morning piece.  My bad!

Day One of Walker Stalker Con was pretty darn awesome.  It’s already almost time to head back but here are some quick highlights.  I apologize in advance for some of the crappy photos but, hey, it’s something!

 

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Eric and James of The Walker Stalkers podcast kicked off the event sharing a brief history of the event.  It’s hard to believe it hasn’t even been two years since WSC started.

 

They discussed how the event started as a simple fan meetup.  The expected turnout was 1K but, instead, over 10K people showed up.  This year, they are expecting over 50K at the event.  Their growth has been amazing and inspiring!  This reminds us that podcasts are still ripe opportunities.

 

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Walker Stalkers LIVE reminded us that this is a true fan event.  Eric and James offered General Admissions attendees a chance at a free VIP upgrade by playing The Walking Dead Family Feud.  It was awesome seeing old TWD cast members sitting right there with the fans.  The energy and wit the actors brought was refreshing and it really set the tone for the event.  This is huge considering Dania, a.k.a. Michonne, cancelled at the very last minute and other issues overshadowed Day One.  To that I say “shame on you” to the managers and agents who failed to see the importance of this event.

 

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Lots of great surveys were featured in this game of Family Feud.  The big one is shown above, when contestants were asked, “What are the biggest threats in The Walking Dead?”  Sadly, spoiled food and squirrels did not make the board.  Doh.

 

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The main panel room on the 3rd floor of AmericasMart building 2 is huge.  There is not much scheduled in the space, which is a shame, but the setup is nice.  Great lighting and set pieces.  This event space in Atlanta is impressive and spacious, yet it’s not overwhelming like, say, Jacob Javits Center in NYC.  There is a certain warmth here.

 

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The next panel I caught was Emory University’s Zombie Ethics discussion.  They went deep on the allure of The Walking Dead and what defines ethics under normal or apocalyptic circumstances.  Are zombies sentient enough to be subject to ethics ?  Is mistreatment of zombies animal cruelty?  Does choice and free will determine the responsibility of ethics?   I really enjoyed the discussion so expect a write-up on it.  There were audio issues but the presenters and experts were wonderful so I stuck around for the whole thing.

 

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Walker Stalkers 100th Episode & UNofficial Walker Stalker Con 2014 Guide

Walker Stalker Con Atlanta is COMING!

 

UPDATE 10/17/2014:  There are a few last-minute  cancellations.  The latest was Dania G, known to us hardcore The Walking Dead fan as the super hero ninja – Michonne!  It’s a bit disappointing but there’s still much to check out and tons to do.  See you soon!

With just a few days til Walker Stalker Con Atlanta, we figured it’s time to share some love with our fellow zombie fans, podcasters, and cosplay geeks!  First and foremost, congrats to Eric and James on their 100th episode of The Walker Stalkers podcast.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, we’ve embedded the MP3 player below:

Eric & James From The Walker Stalkers Podcast With Robert Kirkman

Here are some of my favorite nuggets from The Walker Stalkers Episode 100:

  • TWD companion series has been ordered for pilot. It’s official! Robert Kirkman can’t spill the beans (though he would love to) but he can confirm that it’s not in Georgia.
  • TWD was one of many projects Kirkman was working in back in around 2003. He admits it was luck that TWD stuck. It was released under the Image label as part of a big horror push. Initial sales were abysmal. Storylines were rushed because Kirkman thought it would not last. By around issue 3, it started to gain traction, much like the show.
  • Robert Kirkman says, “The Walking Dead is essentially the Twilight of zombie series… It’s essentially a soap opera.”
  • Robert admits influence from Quentin Terentino, Stephanie Meyer, and others.
  • The Kirman workflow: bouncing around projects.  This keeps him invested and engaged so he does not burn out on any one project. If you are curious about Kirkman’s other projects, check out Invincible.
  • Robert Kirkman despises cameos because it ruins immersion. He realizes people seem to love it but he can’t do it. He promises he will never do it because it feels arrogant to him.
  • Kirkman says, if he had to cosplay as a TWD character, it would be Michonne.  The poncho is the closest thing to his “dress for comfort” approach.
  • Kirkman on clothing: “Pajama pants are to an extent my work pants… I like to feel to an extent I am naked.”
  • Kirkman admits he is not a music aficionado. He does dig Neil Young.  “My Top 5 is messed up Neil Young, Nick Cave, Presidents of the United States of America, George Michael (Faith album, not WHAM), and AC/DC.”
  • Tori Amos, Marilyn Manson, and Natalie Merchant are the only three concerts he ever went to.
  • Eric and James reminisce about the early days of The Walker Stalkers podcast and how far they’ve come along.
  • The trolls of yesteryear are called out..  Where are they nowadays?

Robert Kirkman is an inspiration to me because he is an everyday kinda dude.  He’s approachable, down-to-earth, and pretty darn humble.

What’s important here is that The Walking Dead wasn’t an overnight success but he stuck with it.  That’s success in simplest terms: it’s a marathon, not a sprint.  Sometimes, you just get lucky..  So don’t give up, geeks!

Similarly, Eric & James experienced great success with their podcast and eventually turned a fan meetup into a massive event.  It wasn’t always easy.  Like many creative works that start off as a  labor of love, there were critics and trolls.  But here they are..  You guys did it – CONGRATS!

Walker Stalker Con Atlanta 2014 - Lauren Cohan!

It’s not too late to get your tickets for Walker Stalker Con Atlanta 2014!

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#DoctorWho RECAP: Timey Wimey Tea Time E8: Kill The Moon cc @allgamesradio

#DoctorWho RECAP: Timey Wimey Tea Time Episode 8: Kill The Moon

 

Doctor, who?!

In Episode TWTT 8, we talk about Kill the Moon. The doctor takes Clara and Courtney to the moon – to make up for his mouth garbage. By many accounts and ours, it was a good story. Even Stan liked it. Some say that the moral of episode 7 is to choose life. Or is it about growing up?

You’re never finished with anyone while they can still make you angry.

As always, we gladly shared some of the comments you left on YouTube for TWTT Episode 6, we played some previous submissions for the #SoftKitty song contest and, heck yes, we went deep.

Tune in Saturday, October 18th at 12 noon ET for a pre-recorded TWTT Episode 9 on http://www.twitch.tv/geekyantics or http://www.allgames.com. Hopefully, we got the tech to do this.

October 18th. 12 noon for New York City, Washington, D.C. and Miami, 9am for the U.S. West Coast, 4pm in Madrid, 5pm for London and 7pm, Bucharest.

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#TWTT Soft Kitty Singing Contest Details & Voting Page @Faryna @Yogizilla

Fellow Whovians, Whovers, geeks, and Hearthstoners – here is the official Timey-Wimey Tea Time Singing Contest page!

Stan feels terrible about my sleeping issues so he has rallied the TWTT community to have everyone sing me some lullabyes.  The song of choice is Soft Kitty!  As an incentive, three of the best singers, as selected by the TWTT and overall Geeky Antics community, will win one of three Hearthstone throw pillows.

BTW, we are not affiliated with anyone discussing testicles and other nonsense under the #TWTT hashtag.  We apologize about the confusion in advance!

You may not love Hearthstone or video games as much as I do but, hey, it’s a throw pillow..  You can use it for cat naps, travel, or questionable decor.  It’s pretty darn spiffy, if you ask me!

NOTE:  This is a *contest* under the overall giveaways category.  The distinction is that selection of winners will be objective, as opposed to random.  Read “How It Works” section for details how this specific contest works.

Hearthstone Throw Pillow

*You* can win one of three Hearhtstone throw pillows, courtesy of Stan Faryna!

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#TWTT XTC & #FlashFiction Potluck Kick-Off @Mattomcfly @Faryna

…Greetings, friends!

We have two bonus #TWTT videos for you this week, which should offset any potential interruption coming up in the near future (details on that forthcoming).  Matt Bradford of Zombie Cast, Video Game Outsiders, GamesRadar, and Guiness World Records joins us as we GO DEEPER®!  These shows feature what you, our beautiful community, have requested; namely, LIVE flash fiction readings!

In addition to the three pieces I read on-air, I added another piece I just whipped up.  Hope you enjoy them!  XTX001 Part 2  is where you can go to listen to the live readings and our concepts thereof.

If you want to be part of my #FlashFiction Potluck, e-mail your piece to yomar(arroba)geekyantics(punto)net – looking forward to inspiring each other!

…Proper attribution/credit will be provided, of course!  This is just a fun way to share quick, raw fictional works with each other.  In future installments, I’d like to share writing prompts and challenge everyone (myself included) with monthly themes.  For example, we can do word count limits, use word banks, or set up specific topics and formats.  Let me know what you think, lovely geeks!

 

Timey-Wimey Tea Time PART 1

 

  • What is the purpose of podcasting?
  • What keeps us motivated with podcasting and social media?
  • Is the Video Game Outsiders approach a good model to follow?
  • Do we have a responsibility to our fans or community as creatives?
  • Can you do something you love AND be productive with it?
  • Doctor Who Series 8 mid-season review.
  • Writers need to know when to “leave a moment alone”.
  • Series 8 may suffer from too many hands in the pot…
  • …or is it lack of creative direction?
  • The importance of managing expectations in ALL ventures.
  • Narrative Structure VS. Podcast Structure

 

Timey-Wimey Tea Time PART 2

 

  • Is Danny Pink manly or whimpy?
  • A man’s struggle of ego vs. righteousness vs. love/compassion.
  • Does the Doctor love Clara
  • Stan’s encounter with infidelity, deceipt, and mind games.
  • Is it insecurity or strength?
  • Flash fiction readings..  These are truly raw works!
  • Inspirations and creative processes driving our fictional works.
  • A future of lazy couch potatoes.
  • Foreshadowing of augmented and virtual reality gone wrong.
  • Control is an illusion.
  • Everyone has a boss.  Complete freedom is also an illusion.

 

…and now for some flash ficiton!

 

Mrs. Busy Work

“Honey, I am awfully busy today.. Can this wait?”

Wilfredo was very perplexed. Why did all this have to be done now? He had deadlines up the wazoo. As it was, he would be lucky to get any sleep in the coming weeks. In spite his pleas, his wife, Suki, insisted.

“No this NEEDS to be done NOW.”

Today was the day Suki decided that everyone would take on the urgent tasks of relacing all shoes, shuffling furniture about, cleaning the fridge, vacuuming every nook and cranny, and mastering the absolutely mudane. As usual, these “plans” were executed on a whim. There was no distinction between want and need. Every task was treated as if thousands of lives depended on them.

The kids played it smart. After bathing the dogs and mowing the lawn, they magically disappeared. Wilfredo continued to break his back as Suki barked unrelenting orders.

“No no no… That’s not how you load the dishwasher. Do it this way.”

“Sweetheart, I read the manual and this model has the sprinkler arms in the middle. Every dish should face the center.”

“WELL, I don’t care what the manual says.. I want it done MY way.”

Wilfredo thought to himself, “This is gonna be a looooong day…”

 

Virtual Reality Television

The new P0-T8-T0 XXL DX Limited Edition VRI suit supports both augmented reality and full-dive virtual reality. We are proud to announce that you can now use SFS 3.0 to not only synchronize your visual substitutions but also all sensory feedback. This allows participating parties to experience your augmented reality as you intended it.

For our users who prefer the longer full-dive immersions, we now support all popular septic and waste recycling systems. You have the option of using a G-Lock quick-connect adapter or the native V-Clamp.  Now you’ll never have to return to messy clean-up jobs!  For those on-the-go, liquid waste recyclables can be converted into ten fantastic flavors including root beer, grape, and piña colada.

Last but certainly not least, we are proud to announce the brand-spanking-new Jer-Z-HOAR system. This new scripting platform will allow you to live out your favorite reality TV stories! Full-dive servers are online and fully functional. AR support coming in six months!

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#DoctorWho RECAP: Timey Wimey Tea Time Episode 7: Mouth Garbage

#DoctorWho RECAP: Timey Wimey Tea Time Episode 7: Mouth Garbage and Mid Season Review

Doctor, who?!

In Episode TWTT 7, we talk about racism, mouth garbage, robots, the mid season review and more. We noticed the mention of racism cooled down the retweets big time. Can you say, false consciousness? [grin]

As always, we gladly shared some of the comments you left on YouTube for TWTT Episode 6, we played new submissions for the #SoftKitty song contest and, heck yes, we went deep.

There is a small chance that we’ll have to skip the 18th and 25th. Yomar will be at Walker Stalker con on the 18th and Stan may be traveling on the 25th. We’ll let you know on the 11th.

Tune in Saturday, October 11th at 12 noon ET for an interactive, live chat experience of TWTT Episode 8 on http://www.twitch.tv/geekyantics or http://www.allgames.com.

October 11th. 12 noon for New York City, Washington, D.C. and Miami, 9am for the U.S. West Coast, 4pm in Madrid, 5pm for London and 7pm, Bucharest.

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What’s Your Podcasting End Game? #NationalPodcastDay @zmblpodcast @gamingdeath @freemandaddy5 @spydersvenom

In honor of October 1st (or is it September 30th), #NationalPodcastDay, here is my rather epic diatribe on the state of podcasting and how we can bring about positive change.. You may want to grab a large cup of coffee or tea!

For many podcasters, their shows are labors of love. They stay on the grind because they have built an audience and, with that, have developed a sense of responsibility. They might really enjoy what they do but they are not necessarily compelled to up their content marketing or social media game. The tragic part is that, to them, there may not be much value in podcasting beyond sticking to habit/ritual.

Why is that?

Well, podcasters tend to have day jobs and other responsibilities well beyond the general umbrella of social media, online business, and marketing. That is not the primary challenge but it does impact how producers and creatives approach their podcasts. The more other projects and work take precedence, the more podcasts suffer in quality and growth. This happens in business and it’s the result of not having a deliberate direction or clear plan early on.

My challenge or, better yet, burning question to podcasters is this:

Why can’t your podcast(s) support your other endeavors? Brah, do you even social media strategize?

I’m all for labors of love and doing your life’s work, but eventually something has to give. You also have to think about your collaborators. They may have other expectations and obligations… But we’ll get to that.

What I have found is that many podcasters do their shows “just for fun” but, deep down inside, whether they realize it or not, they are desperately seeking motivation and purpose. They wish they could monetize the content or justify doing it full-time. In some cases, our fellow podcasters simply use podcasts as an excuse to catch up with friends. Remember, folks: podcasts may be one of the last forms of free media left but that doesn’t mean it should be devoid of rewards.

Success in podcasting, like all social media, starts with being honest with yourself.

Friendly podcasts are nice but there is a growing number of brocasts these days. Brocasts are typically defined by pointless banter, lack of diversity, and the chaos that ensues from lack of preparation, organization, and/or motivation. I’d hate to say it but pointless brocasts are the direct result of doing things “just because you love it”; a nice notion that is usually not 100% true and leads to resentment. Without some path to revenue or incentives, podcasts become mere technical feats, time killers, and space fillers.

Not all brocasts are inherently bad.. Our friends at the Gaming Death Podcast go deep on gaming news, social issues, and other relevant matters, but they keep things fresh with banter and sophomoric humor that some geeks find endearing. The podcast is not for everyone (no podcast is or should aim to be) but they make it clear what their tone and voice is early on in each episode. Love them or hate them, they’re authentic and passionate about the subject matter they discuss.

Let’s be clear: pursuing some personal gain is not a bad thing. So long as the art and message come first, no one can really blame you for trying to do more through and with a medium you love. We all have to make a living, after all. Monetization doesn’t have to be a dirty word.. Just don’t be a shark – be honest and social about self promotion.

If only money did grow on trees...

Perhaps if money grew on trees, we wouldn’t have to worry about the stress of making money.. But it’s not that easy, sadly.

 

What’s Your Podcasting / Social Media End Game?

A theme I often revisit in business and marketing coaching sessions is the notion of maintaining a deliberate direction. The idea is painfully simple: identify and support systems for repeat success. In order to do that, you need to set milestones and have goals. With deliberate efforts towards goals, momentum will be steady and your direction intentional. Of course, there are plenty of people that have random luck and simply stumble into big success but that’s usually reserved for those in niche markets with timing or brand power already on their side.

With that in mind, think about what your “end game” is. It can be an exit strategy or a major milestone. What will happen when you reach that goal or if you don’t in X amount of time? When will you feel most or least satisfied? You need to know your limits and those of your team members. Before you can think about your ultimate goals, you have to look at the road laying right in front of you.

As weeks, months, and years pass by, what will keep you and your collaborators engaged?

We simply must pace ourselves and not jump TOO far ahead. Again, it all boils down to what will give you the most satisfaction and motivation. Running on fumes is no good. Plan ahead but also enjoy today for everything it brings. Be content and grateful.

I saw our friends at Zombie Life Podcast tweet about how podcasting is the last of free media. They tweeted (and I’m mostly paraphrasing),

#Podcasting is the only truly free media left. We dont do it for $$, we enjoy it

I LOVE that sentiment but podcasting can only move forward if we start think more strategically. Sharing compelling content we are passionate about is awesome.. But love alone won’t get you through the rainy days, folks.

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