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Bucho

Should Chart Chatter Be At The Start?

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It feels kind of odd to give any kind of production note to a podcast which is already one of my favourite things since the invention of the trebuchet, but I really feel like the show would be even stronger if the stupendous intro rolled straight into bringing in the splendid guest.
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It's not that Chart Chatter isn't a good section, it's just a bit of a momentum killer right up front and feels like the magical hype built up by the magnificent intro goes to waste somewhat because all I want at that point is for all that adrenaline and momentum to roll like an unstoppable force into Howard and Kulap bantering up a storm with a guest who's swept along by their wave of hype-joy. I'd prefer to hear Chart Chatter between the second chart and the roulette/duck/goose game or at the end of the show.
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Am I right? Yes. But do the other Wolfganstas and Chart Luvvahs recognise my correctness?

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I dont mind it at the top, but maybe at least introduce the guest first. That way they know they're free to comment on the chatter if they want to. Later in the show would work too though.

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I agree with Mr. Pete. I don't mind it at the top, but maybe introduce the guest first. MAYBE. Paul still contributed before he was officially introduced by his government name, which is why I officially don't feel the placement of Chart Chatter is an issue. I can definitely say that it does not belong anywhere but the start of the show, as it is comprised of tidbits of news and ideas (Chart Chatter is pretty much synonymous with Small Talk), and that stuff belongs at the top of any show.

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KAJUS: "I can definitely say that it does not belong anywhere but the start of the show, as it is comprised of tidbits of news and ideas (Chart Chatter is pretty much synonymous with Small Talk), and that stuff belongs at the top of any show."
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Chart Chatter is less about news tidbits and ideas than it is about audience inclusion. Many shows do all that stuff - as well as the news, announcements, plugs etc - later in the show or at the end. An audience inclusive feature can be a successful feature, but for your lead feature you want to go with a strong one, and Chart Chatter, while it's often fun just because Howard and Kulap are always fun, is nevertheless the weakest feature on Who Charted. An example of a very successful show with an audience feature section is Jordan Jesse Go and their Momentous Occasions, which typically occurs about 3/4 to 4/5 of the way through the show.
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When Who Charted or Jordan Jesse Go kicks off I'm amped to get to know the guest - to establish them as part of the episode and understand something of their point of view. At that point I'm much more interested in them than what's been written in the forum or through email because a) I've probably already read it myself, and B) the guest is 99% more likely to be entertaining than what one of us forum dopes has been yapping about anyway.
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The other reason to move it later in the show is that even if the guest does come in to respond to Chart Chatter at the beginning, they probably don't know the show as well as they could yet. If they do it later in the show, once they've found the groove of the show and have a much greater understanding of what Who Charted is, their feedback on the audience feedback would come from a more meaningful and entertaining place.

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@Bucho JJGo places its listener content just right. Who Charted? isn't JJGo, so I don't know if it would work as you've laid it out.
I'm not saying it won't work, but to base the placement of Chart Chatter on the successes of JJGo's listener feedback isn't a solid argument.
JJGo's content formula is different than Who Charted?. It's stream-of-consciousness conversations. They start a discussion topic, see where it goes, then wrap it up and go to break (sidenote: they also don't introduce their guest right away). Who Charted? has a guest and three charts to explore. Done and done.
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Unlike JJGo, Who Charted? doesn't take breaks (besides their one Earwolf commercial between Music and Movies). JJGo deliberately wraps up each segment before taking a break and starting over. Their listener feedback segments are FULL segments themselves, that they then have to take a break from. Chart Chatter is in no way comparable to Momentous Occasions, as it is the smallest of small talk and as a rule you get that small talk over with at the top of a show.
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Usually by the end of the movie chart, I am ready for the game. The guests USUALLY sound like they too are ready for a game. To insert Chart Chatter between the two charts and the game chart feels like a huge misstep, as the show's current format is one of forward momentum through the charts (with momentum being something you already stated as being very important to you), and that kind of break would almost certainly kill that magical momentum.
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However, the clincher is this— Chart Chatter isn't relevant to the current guest, and therefore it is good manners to address it before the guest is introduced in an official capacity, whether they can seamlessly riff on the material or not.
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I'd say you'd make a stronger argument for removing Chart Chatter all together for reasons of momentum than placing it somewhere else, but I doubt they'll get rid of it as the listeners appreciate knowing they can interact with the show.

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Nah I'm with Bucho on this one - as with many other shows, the feedback/Chart Chatter should go at the end. You can bundle it with stuff you may want the listeners to respond to, and since the show is about to end it's probable that we'll actually remember to respond and do it right away.

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I think the CC more naturally fits at the top like they have it right now. The only suggestion I would agree with is to at least introduce the guest first and give them the go on commenting on us idiots. I think the flow of the show could be greatly helped with a new Howard intro ditty for CC. Those are great in serving as a strong break between segments. So, the basic beginning would turn into: Intro song, Ku intro, short small talk between H&K, intro of guest and immediately state we are going to start with some "Chart Chatter", followed by CC intro song. I think this would make Chart Chatter feel like more of a bonifide segment and the guest could start their commenting.
Brendan L

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Yeah, I think you're right that it shouldn't go in the middle of the show Kajus, it would risk messing that momentum up too much. It would feel like an interuption. And I don't think it should be removed because it's important to some listeners to have that connection.
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The thing about Chart Chatter not being relevant to the current guest was my guess for the main reason for placing it at the start, but my thinking countering that was that Who Charted always gets sweet guests who can riff on anything - especially since Howard is a ninja at taking anything and making a beautiful non-sequitirous question out of it.
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So I agree with BenV agreeing that it would be really good at the tail end of the show, both for the very salient point he makes about memory and response and for the devilishly perceptive point I made earlier about the guest being right in the Who Charted groove by that stage.
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I think there's something in what Brendan said too though. The main thing is I feel like the show would kick off stronger if the guest wasn't left on the sidelines while a whole segment goes by. And as we Earwolf Challenge listeners are familiar with by now, you need to grab the potentially new listener early.

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@Bucho Having given way too much thought to Chart Chatter's placement now (no thanks to you!), I can confidently say I understand the concern over the segment's placement. It may not be ideal for the beginning of the show, and it may not be ideal for the end if the show is rearranged. Kulap and Howard work it every week, and I am more than satisfied with the final product. Part of that product is the charming clunkiness sometimes present in the segments, conversations and transitions, and that off-the-cuff flavor is ridiculously appealing to me.
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Chart Chatter is a new addition, for sure, and to be honest, I didn't even notice it was a new thing until you started this topic. I just rolled with it. If Howard and Kulap decided to make it a larger segment— one in which the guest could get in on the action after fully marinating in the episode, a la a JJGo— then putting it at the end would be a smart alternative. But right now it doesn't seem like that's what's in store for the Chatter, and I would hate to see them tamper with the show's balance, which is gloriously wobbly at times before smacking you in the face with steadfast purpose and direction. The show has MAJOR character, and I would hate to mess with a good thing.
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*EDIT* @Brendan- Chart Chatter could definitely use a theme!

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What's that expression.. Overthinking a plate of beans?

But now I'm thinking too. I don't have any conclusion, but some observations:
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Positives for keeping it at the top:
- Gives guests an idea of what the show may be like via fan commentary
- Possibly provides fodder for recurring jokes (MATH ROCK!)
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Negatives for keeping it at the top:
- Uses time that could be spent getting acquainted with the guest (i.e. how the show was before chart chatter - what happened on the guest's way to the studio, what they've been up to lately, whatever..)
- Not always enough momentum in the segment to get the ball rolling just out of the gates.

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