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Chat Online with an Artist

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Posted · Report post

So we'd like to test-drive our chat module beyond the live Oscar session we did back in March.

Share with us some of your ideas.

My own thought is that we could occasionally organize a chat with a film director, musician, or writer.

Wim Wenders, for instance, or Scott Cairns, or maybe Over the Rhine.

Of course, we could also simply do chats amongst ourselves, on some topic of interest.

To help us start noodling on some ideas, we'd love to hear from you.

Let us know your thoughts.

For the IMAGE team,

Greg

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Posted · Report post

Wow.

This post sank without a trace.

Is the idea of a chat with a great artist, filmmaker, or writer just that...boring?

I'm easy -- but some feedback would be helpful, even if you just want to say "Meh."

So we'd like to test-drive our chat module beyond the live Oscar session we did back in March.

Share with us some of your ideas.

My own thought is that we could occasionally organize a chat with a film director, musician, or writer.

Wim Wenders, for instance, or Scott Cairns, or maybe Over the Rhine.

Of course, we could also simply do chats amongst ourselves, on some topic of interest.

To help us start noodling on some ideas, we'd love to hear from you.

Let us know your thoughts.

For the IMAGE team,

Greg

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Posted · Report post

What the hey, I'll jump in.

The notion of a chat with any of those folks is an thrilling one. I must say I find it intimidating, too, as I feel I'd be at a loss to contribute meaningfully to the discussion.

Practically speaking, too, I'd hate to rah-rah such an event and then be MIA because of a PTA meeting or whatever - then again, maybe that's just my overly harsh superego talking...

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Posted · Report post

I like the idea of being able to chat amongst ourselves, in addition to the other things (like the artist chat). The "amongst ourselves" function would be nice as an on demand feature, a la MS Communicator or FB chat function.

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Posted · Report post

Would an artist chat be a free-for-all or have a subject? It might be less intimidating for some if it had a clear theme.

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Posted · Report post

We can make it what we want it to be. I agree that having some focus might help.

It's possible that we could chat with artists who have new works out -- works that we could ask about (CD, film, book, etc.).

That's often when they're most likely to do things that resemble PR.

But in many cases I'm thinking about asking folks who are friends of IMAGE.

I could also make sure that going into a chat I had a couple people prepared to ask questions in case some people just felt like lurking until they were ready to ask their own questions.

I don't want to twist anyone's arm. Just trying to see what would truly jazz you-all.

Would an artist chat be a free-for-all or have a subject? It might be less intimidating for some if it had a clear theme.

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Posted · Report post

I like to lurk on chats :)--just being honest from the get-go. I find the whole process overwhelming if it's a free for all. My personal interest is authors--I'm clueless when it comes to most anything movie related. 8O

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Posted · Report post

In theory I'm interested, but I have to say that my experience with online chats has been fairly frustrating. The mechanism of having to type questions and responses tends to "dumb down" both, in my opinion, since it simply takes too long to be nuanced and detailed. I've also experienced the "free-for-all" phenomenon in which some people are responding to something typed five screens back, others are engaged in tangential discussions, and still others are typing things like "What?" because the whole exercise has become impossible to follow. Perhaps a moderator and a more structured process would have helped.

I like the idea. I just haven't seen it work well. But I'd love to be proven wrong.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

What's the goal of this chat? To serve those in this community, which boils down, probably, to a few frequent posters? Or to bring in new participants from the Image community and elsewhere on the Web? How would the event be promoted?

I'm not convinced we'd attract sufficient numbers to sustain a 60-minute chat, or even a 30-minute chat. We can submit questions ahead of time in case no one shows up to the event, but that defeats the purpose to some extent, doesn't it?

The artists mentioned earlier as poasibilities would be good "gets," but they've been discussed repeatedly in threads here. I feel like those discussions haven't generated lots of traffic or brought in new participants, so I'm not sure a chat event would accomplish those things (assuming those are goals of the event).

EDIT: I guess I should withdraw that comment in relation to Over the Rhine, which has been the focus of several discussion threads here. However, I can't shake the feeling that one or two posters started most of those discussions. So ... is the band of broader interest to A&F?

Edited by Christian

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Posted · Report post

It's a trade-off, Andy. I admit that an online chat might be less linear and nuanced than we'd like to be, but you could be chatting with Wim freakin Wenders!!!

See what I mean?

If we state some rules up front I think it would help, so thanks for the reminder of what could be less than fantastic.

It has to be a little asynchonous -- I mean, Wim has to type his answer, so another question or two will pop up while he's doing that....

Any other thoughts, folks?

In theory I'm interested, but I have to say that my experience with online chats has been fairly frustrating. The mechanism of having to type questions and responses tends to "dumb down" both, in my opinion, since it simply takes too long to be nuanced and detailed. I've also experienced the "free-for-all" phenomenon in which some people are responding to something typed five screens back, others are engaged in tangential discussions, and still others are typing things like "What?" because the whole exercise has become impossible to follow. Perhaps a moderator and a more structured process would have helped.

I like the idea. I just haven't seen it work well. But I'd love to be proven wrong.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

If there is a chat with Wim Wenders I for one would be extremely interested. As a bargaining chip to make that happen I am willing to refrain from making the following puns on "Wim": whim, whimsy, whimsical, whim-wham, whimpled. ("Wimbledon" I want to hold on to.) If the person involved is Wim's little-known brother, Wim Freakin Wenders, however, I can make no such guarantees.

Edited by du Garbandier

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Posted · Report post

Excuse me, while I take out the du Garabage....

Wimperingly,

Greg

If there is a chat with Wim Wenders I for one would be extremely interested. As a bargaining chip to make that happen I am willing to refrain from making the following puns on "Wim": whim, whimsy, whimsical, whim-wham, whimpled. ("Wimbledon" I want to hold on to.) If the person involved is Wim's little-known brother, Wim Freakin Wenders, however, I can make no such guarantees.

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Posted · Report post

Can we get Banksy online? It'd be the perfect forum for him.

His film Exit Through the Gift Shop hits Landmark theaters this weekend.

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Posted · Report post

Hm. He's not on my Rolodex but if anyone's got a lead....

Can we get Banksy online? It'd be the perfect forum for him.

His film Exit Through the Gift Shop hits Landmark theaters this weekend.

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Posted · Report post

I didn't mean for the questions below to come across as rhetorical. What is the promotion plan for the chat? Who, exactly, are we trying to reach? Is the goal to serve current members or to attract folks from "outside" so that they discover our community?

What's the goal of this chat? To serve those in this community, which boils down, probably, to a few frequent posters? Or to bring in new participants from the Image community and elsewhere on the Web? How would the event be promoted?

I'm not convinced we'd attract sufficient numbers to sustain a 60-minute chat, or even a 30-minute chat. We can submit questions ahead of time in case no one shows up to the event, but that defeats the purpose to some extent, doesn't it?

The artists mentioned earlier as poasibilities would be good "gets," but they've been discussed repeatedly in threads here. I feel like those discussions haven't generated lots of traffic or brought in new participants, so I'm not sure a chat event would accomplish those things (assuming those are goals of the event).

EDIT: I guess I should withdraw that comment in relation to Over the Rhine, which has been the focus of several discussion threads here. However, I can't shake the feeling that one or two posters started most of those discussions. So ... is the band of broader interest to A&F?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I didn't mean for the questions below to come across as rhetorical. What is the promotion plan for the chat? Who, exactly, are we trying to reach? Is the goal to serve current members or to attract folks from "outside" so that they discover our community?

I can't speak for Greg (who's probably ready to pull his hair out waiting for my remaining blurbs), but I think an ongoing series of artists chats would be "marketable" to those outside our immediate community to join us for at least those events. Something like that could be supported by a press release along the lines of what we did for the Top 100 list. Even a single chat to start, without announcing a "series" could draw some outside critics/bloggers/etc. upon invitation. If that goes well, maybe a more structured series could develop.

Edited by Darryl A. Armstrong

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Posted · Report post

Well, whatever other reasons there are to have a chat, I believe that the first reason would be to hold such an event with someone who would mean a lot to the regulars here.

That's why I started this thread. To find out who you-all would like to chat with.

In short, I want the old win-win scenario.

Sure, we'd like people to participate in the chat who'd be new to A&F. Some would perhaps stick around and become posters; others would just arrive for the chat and depart.

We'd promote it through the IMAGE website and our e-newsletter. Darryl has a few ideas I can see.

IMAGE can't deliver everyone you might like but we can deliver some pretty cool people.

And I'm not worried about numbers. Four or five intelligent, curious people could make for a good group to keep a guest artist happily typing for an hour!

I didn't mean for the questions below to come across as rhetorical. What is the promotion plan for the chat? Who, exactly, are we trying to reach? Is the goal to serve current members or to attract folks from "outside" so that they discover our community?

I can't speak for Greg (who's probably ready to pull his hair out waiting for my remaining blurbs), but I think an ongoing series of artists chats would be "marketable" to those outside our immediate community to join us for at least those events. Something like that could be supported by a press release along the lines of what we did for the Top 100 list. Even a single chat to start, without announcing a "series" could draw some outside critics/bloggers/etc. upon invitation. If that goes well, maybe a more structured series could develop.

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Posted · Report post

Drawing from Calvin's Festival of Faith and Writing, I'll toss out a few names: :)

Scott Russell Sanders

Joshilyn Jackson

Leslie Leyland Fields

Thomas Lynch ( I didn't hear him, but I've read some of his work)

Gene Luen Yang graphic novels

Others that come to mind as I scan some of my books scattered about:

Lisa Sampson

Sherman Alexie

:D

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Posted · Report post

Some writer-y types:

Anne Lamott

Barbara Brown Taylor

Robert Farrar Capon

... just whims, nothing more. I'm a lousy typist and kind of slow, so I find online chat a bit hard to use, but I sure would be happy to lurk!

Anne Lamott! Most definitely!

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Posted · Report post

Bruce Cockburn (of course)

Erik Poppe (Stef could be the interpreter :) )

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Posted · Report post

Erik Poppe (Stef could be the interpreter :) )

I don't speak Norwegian any more than the Swedish chef speaks Swedish!

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Posted · Report post

Wish I could pull off Ronald D. Moore but no leads there yet. Much less the writers and cast of BSG and Caprica.

Bruce Cockburn -- not yet, but I plan on trying to make contact with him. Some musical possibilities could include Over the Rhine (as previously mentioned), plus Sam Philips, Welcome Wagon, Kate Campbell, Pierce Pettis, Bill Mallonnee.

Maybe Sufjan Stevens and Joe Henry, though those would be long shots.

Maybe the creative band members behind The Fray and Mae.

Maybe Andy could help us with some musicians....

I guess it would be best to find our first couple chat guests from the ranks of those who are relatively well known across the A&F membership and who are Damned Fine Artists But Not Superstars.

Don't expect me to deliver Superstars. Bono, the rat, never responded to my letter. Maybe I'll have better luck when I write to Dylan or Springsteen or Scorsese....

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I thought of a person I'd really love to see in an A&F chat, someone who, given his location, IMAGE is probably already connected with -- but if not, should be -- Dan Allender.

Along the same lines, Donald Miller.

Edited by Persona

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Posted · Report post

So thanks to one of our uber-interns -- Nate Rogers of Top 100 website fame -- we've located an excellent chat module that actually works inside a thread. It's pretty cool. (It's not the Chat link at the top, which we will disable.)

The software allows for moderation, meaning that questions can be released to the guest artist one at a time (and questions submitted in real time, as opposed to PM'ed beforehand, can be vetted).

In short, we can now have an orderly chat session that can be followed by all quite easily.

That should cover some of the concerns raised earlier in the thread.

We'd like to give it a try. Maybe people won't be interested, but maybe they will.

Any final thoughts before the IMAGE team selects an artist and announces a chat session?

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