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Episode — Earwolf Challenge Epilogue

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I really do love Matt Besser. No sarcasm. I only really know him from CBB and this show, but he's great. I don't get to see him, or most of these comedy or sketch artists frequently, or ever, really, and all these podcasts on the earwolf have introduced me to some incredible, talented people who bring a lot of joy to what can sometimes be a dull life. I loved to get to hear Matt's personality instead of just a character. Don't get me wrong, I love the characters, but just hearing him riff in an informal setting is so unique and informative. He's got a great personality, and I really appreciate that he did the show. I love that everyone on the earwolf does the shows. You are all fantastic. It really brings me much joy. Even the people who spend a great amount of time complaning and degrading you are getting a ton of pleasure from the shows, I'm sure. So thank you, I love you all. I don't know how this turned into a love letter to earwolf, but it did. You all deserve it. I also wanted to critique the show. So, hah!

I like the idea about a host. Kulap, anyone? Although, I would definitely miss Besser introducing himself. That always made me laugh. Oh, and for the 'all contestants hearing the coaching' thing I agree, but I understand the logistics problem, too. Put them on speaker phone and then call them on skype? Low tech bad idea sure. But look at how much praise I heaped above.

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@Dirk Your apostrophe usage and necessity to add your own laugh-track to that incomprehensible post make me concerned (amongst many other things), but I'll respond to the one part that has to do with me personally.
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Firstly, no, no-one has ever said anything about the Earwolf app (there's no need for apostrophes there, by the way, since it's neither an app pretending to be related to Earwolf when it's not, nor an Earwolf-related entity pretending to be an app) sending out push notifications a day late. Thanks for letting me know now, so I can look into it.
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Since you brought it up, I can assure you that it's not an issue with my iOS programming, it's a server-side issue. Any iOS dev should know that push notifications are sent from a remote server, and that it's poor design to have the app receive and hold that notification to be displayed at a future time. So it is the server that is sending out notifications a day late, and I can also assure you that it is not a "SINGLE LINE OF CODE" (I am using quotation marks here because it's a direct quote from your post. I really hope you're taking notes on how to use these things). That's something people pretending to be developers often say, usually because they want people to think they're more knowledgable than they actually are.
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However, I don't want to accuse you of being a liar, so I'd really, genuinely love to see some of your iOS apps! Or even your guess as to which "SINGLE LINE OF CODE" you think it is that needs changing!

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First of all, Shahruz, I'm very proud of you.

I've let Dirk rile me up a few times in these forums. No longer. You see, I clicked on his Twitter profile and saw his picture. With a bird sitting on his shoulder. Then I left my client and went to his actual Twitter page and saw his wallpaper.

These two visuals leave me feeling foolish that I could let someone like that upset me. I don't know what any of his 40 followers see in him. Photos attached of @lordthree account.

[attachment=8155,179] [attachment=8155,180]

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@Bucho In my mind, the criteria has been incredibly clear ever since Scott and Jeff told everyone their single criterion for the final week: the judges voted on whichever podcasts they prefer. This was true for Scott and Jeff, and was true for all of the judges. Clearly, preferences are subjective and of course people are going to prefer different things.
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What was often discussed (sometimes over-discussed in my mind) was not criteria, but the details of a task - for example, how to incorporate a guest, what a theme and intro ought to do, or, most infamously, what counted as a recurring segment. In my mind, this is where the show sometimes got repetitive at the detriment of instead specializing on the strengths/shortcomings of each individual podcast. Obviously, a balance between both would be nice - and clearly discussing the nuts and bolts of these podcast components can help serve as instruction to help anyone launch their own podcast. But the main goal of the Earwolf Challenge (at the end of the day) is to be entertaining.
When I suggested that the show frame each podcast in how they were changing, Matt countered by saying that not every podcast necessarily had to change - that when Elizabeth got all tense responding to feedback she did worse. If the show wanted the podcasts only to succeed they would just give them tasks well suited to what they do (in their wheelhouse). Instead, the show is called "The Challenge". I stand by my contention that watching shows struggle and overcome difficulty is more entertaining than shows keeping on doing their "own thing". Though, this too, is probably a matter of preference as well. So it goes.

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my head just exploded....dirk just lost all credibility as a human whos opinion matters to anyone other than maybe programmers for phones and shoulder birding enthusiasts

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Bingo Chris. That's why they got nothing but praise and thanks for finally making it explicit in the last week. As long as they keep making it clear "going forward" they'll set up much less confusion in the audience.

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DIrk for president 2012
He knows what's up! EARWOLF CHALLENGE IS A FARCE AND YOU'RE ALL SHEEPLE BUSH KNOCKED DOWN THE TOWERS /s
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Ulrich makes me feel right at home with his ridiculous Chicago accent.

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@jeff wow! way to go addressing solid points!
 
When a guy is backed into a corner and has no real arguments to rely on they frequently resort to personal attacks. Like you did here... "He's got a bird on his shoulder! What a noob!"
 
How easy would it have been for me to MAKE FUN OF YOU?- for being a bearded, lisping, xanex head? I DIDN'T tho did I? You point to that twitter (one of many, although I don't have as many as you or scott lol) account and say that everything from me is irrelevant. This amuses me. You act like a teenage girl... really. I just threw you the only bone you'll get and you blatantly exploited it. (predictable much?)
 
 You really shouldn't get all exited and worked up (i'm sure your friends will tell you the same) about the internet. It's bad for your soul. You seem to have too much invested in peoples opinions who differ from your own. You're VERY upset... clearly. Otherwise you'd simply not respond to my comments and just let them bounce off you- and let your minions criticize me instead. (The first real indicator was when you immediately jumped in and said you were sleeping with elizebeth laime! methinks tho doth protest too much!)
 
You may not be aware but the internet is made of TUBES (lol). I can put any goddamn picture I want up and claim I'm anyone I want. If I choose to , I can make multiple earwolf accounts (like you have) and post from proxies all day long. I'm not that petty tho. (well I COULD be that petty if you really want)
 
But way to go dude! You truly are a 'winner' (like that brian? Those quotations? Your argument about the notifications is BS BTW and I don't even need to point out why- you know it. I know it. I've only ever developed software for private entities- specifically the US census bureau- otherwise i'd be happy to point you at my 'apps'. I'm tempted to develop some trivial thing just to prove you wrong but I just don't care enough at this point. ) or... not...
 
The reason you got traffic on the podcast with LHR elimination is because you weren't 'policing' the forums and regulating people who don't agree with you. As soon as Scott stepped in and said 'only one comment per show' your traffic immediately dried up. You can argue all day, but it's a statistic you're arguing with and not me this time. When you 'moderate' you immediately lose the traffic. It's that simple. I think Matt even explained on this last show how there tends to be as many 'haters' as 'lovers' of 'reality' shows. let it go. If you want traffic (I heard scott bragging about 'clicks' recently lol! have you guys turned a profit yet?) you should prolly just keep classy and not make gibberish personal attacks on your patrons. Just sayin....
 
Anyway... Your last post lacked class. This is constructive criticism. I'm pointing out a fact. I could easily post a picture of your pill-face and trash you on a PERSONAL level all day long, but I don't. If you don't believe it's within my power to do the same thing as you..., try me. Ban me. Block my IP. It's all easy to get around. I'm just don't care enough to resort to those kind of tactics.
 
I wonder how much traffic I just gave you...
 
This post was PG-13.
 

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Dirk,
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1. My name's not Brian.
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2. My argument about notifications isn't BS at all, it's exactly how it works. Please explain to me how you think it may operate otherwise. Be as detailed as you can, please. Don't just say I'm wrong and not explain why you think that is.
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3. Why is it that every claim you make that you're called out on, you simply back up with more claims? Or simply state that you don't care or don't want to waste your time? I knew you wouldn't have a single app to point to, you'd just come up with some convenient excuse that you think fools everyone.
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4. Thanks again for the laugh-track. It's good to know that you're at least somewhat self-aware of your insanity!

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Hey guys, it's Frank! I just read through all of this stuff, and you know what? Wow!
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@Dirk, you are absolutely right. A forum is a place for haters and lovers alike to type their thoughts away from the quiet, safe, anonymous safety of their house/apartment/basement. However, I'm going to contend the self-description of your posts being "constructive criticism". Normally I let the stuff that's said here in the forum just roll off my back; it truly doesn't bother me. I believe this is for two reasons: 1) most of the criticism isn't about me, and 2) I am a member of Generation Z (or whatever you call our shitty generation); meaning that I grew up on a computer and I know what kind of "power" people feel they wield when they can anonymously slander others.
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Like I said, most of the time I don't let this shit bother me. It's petty and stupid. But @Dirk, I have never seen such gross use of exaggeration or insinuation used by anyone else on these forums. The reason you bother us is not because you're right, or you're really "sticking it in our craw" or that you wound us on any personal level. The reason you bother us is because you have no idea what you're talking about. Your claims are unsupported and have no grounds, your opinions and insinuations are uniformed and fabricated, and your rhetoric is just ATROCIOUS.
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Look, life is short, and to continue this back and forth bullshit through words is time-consuming and stupid. @Dirk, if you're still really pissed (even though you claim that you're not and that "you probably won't even check back on these forums anymore") I'm sure Matt would still be willing to get on the phone with you and hear you out. If not, I'm sure we could set up a time for you to sit down and get some coffee or something. Just do me a favor and stop talking about this show like you know what you're talking about. You weren't there, you have no idea how we did things and you have no leave to speak with the feigned authority that you love so much. Because I was there, and I know that we worked our HARDEST to make this show something special, fun, entertaining, exciting and FAIR. We've already owned up to the things we messed up, so I do not know what point you are still trying to make.
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With love and tenderness,
Frank
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P.S. Leave Shahruz out of this. The dude single-handedly programs everything that has to do with Earwolf. I know nothing about computer programming, but I know that Shahruz could write code in circles around you. And I'm basing that solely off of how ignorant you've come off in your many forum posts.

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Dear Dirk,
Hi, I am Brian. I am not some false account made by the earwolf powers that be to keep original, unique minds like yourself down. I am also not Shahruz, I have never made an app, I have only ever made a website with some solid frames and tables back in the 90s (it was probably a dragonball z fansite). I am a real person, I have real opinions, I have real feelings. Here are some of them. First and foremost, you have some kind of delusion that you represent the listeners of Earwolf, that you are the voice of the people as it may be. You are not. We all have strong, unique opinions that we have developed over time and do not need some one without tact and decency to blow the conch shell and lead us into a better world. So for now on, if and when you state your opinions, do not act like anyone agrees with or stands by you. Secondly, you have always been the one to make personal attacks. You have said ill of Scott and Jeff alike. You made that twitter account, apparently one of many you have (?), public, so you created the opportunity to be roasted in such a way that would call out your absurd look. He did not make fun of any of your genetic defects, your personal flaws, or your financial status, just the look you chose to point a camera at. Which is pretty funny. Now, you mention that Jeff should just just ignore this, and let other people handle trolls like you. One of the reasons we respect guys like Scott and himself, is because they get involved. If we have a question, it will be answered. Jeff wants the fanbase of his shows to be happy. When someone is unjustly rude to everyone in the forum whose opinion does not match their own, they need to be shut down, and Scott and Jeff choose to be a part of that process. These forums are not like brooklyn vegan, where you can remain faceless and just say ignorant things, and not really be called out on it. I know you are thinking, "None of this stuff describes me, I'm not rude or ignorant... I'm awesome. I work for the government census, and tell people I do LSD, and my forum posts are typed in front of a live studio audience." I will leave you this, don't say that you have played the white knight throughout all of this, and have never made personal attacks throughout this, as you voice your common sense opinion of the people about the earwolf challenge. The first time anyone was introduced to the crazy that is Dirk was when you were saying the only person who likes totally laime was some virgin (I don't remember the name of that user, and don't really want to bring him into this anyway, but in your delusional world you will say that I am that very virgin, as well as Jeff ulrich, as well as Richard Nixon, as well as etc etc). You have no right. So if a vote ever comes up to decide whether to just kick you out and get rid of the bad karma that is Dirk, then my vote has been duly cast.

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Dirk, you've had one or two valid points to make that have been lost in the tirade of baseless accusations. You've been provoking and deliberately trying to upset people, all because you seem to be incapable of processing the possibility that some people actually like Totally Laime. Is it so hard to believe?
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Jeff - I hate to say it, but I don't think making fun of his profile picture wasn't the classiest move, you don't need to resort to that. It might have something to do with why people like to remain anonymous on the internet. But I can understand your frustration.

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I like to listen to this song whenever I get overwhelmed or hurt or doubtful or feel insignificant or misunderstood. Each and every one of us on this thread could probably use it.

If anyone wants to call me a pussy, know that I'm already acutely aware of this fact. But I mean, if you don't like this song, you're missing out on a great feeling.

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Keep responding to the yelping of the delusional drama queen and he'll just keep on yelping. If you want to see an end his yelping then treat him as what he is: someone too tediously irrelevant to give even half a shit about.

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@B Naylor - You are right. Not the classiest thing I've ever done. It's just hard to be present in the forums for those of you who are great to interact with and not every once in a while let other noise annoy you. And I was in a particularly bad mood on top of it, I probably shouldn't have even been on the forums. I would remove it but then the rest of the comments won't make sense and I guess I should stand by what I posted. Although I'd prefer I hadn't posted at all.

@Bucho - You too are correct.

Thanks for supporting me even when I am not at my best.

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Here's my thoughts after listening to the epilogue:

1. TRANSPARENCY. I think the biggest issue, which did get touched on a fair bit, was on lack of transparency at certain points. Having the discussion about what counts as a recurring segment or using the guest or what funny means is fine. But it worries the audience with so much confusion that judgments aren't fair. If like Matt said in this show, it didn't have a deep impact on the decision, then saying that in Day 3 quells a lot of the problems. Same thing for the LHR elimination. If Matt had said clearly, "We did give them some leeway because of the nature of the challenge but we still felt it wasn't good enough given that leeway," then people would be more appeased. In retrospect, the producers, Matt, and judges were not tripped up by criteria or fairness, it just needed to be more transparent and clearly communicated throughout.
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2. NATURE OF CHALLENGES. I think there are plenty of options for Season 2 challenges that ARE real challenges, but don't push podcasts outside of their wheelhouse in terms of content or production. For example, Intro, Recurring Segment, Using the Guest all were general enough and open enough that the playing field was limited. Challenges about, for instance, interacting with listeners or pitching the overall show are general and open. Challenges such as focus on a current event or use a certain catch phrase are fun challenges that are also open, but specific for the Earwolf Challenge. Focusing on a solid list of open and level challenges will help mitigate complaints.
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3. HOSTING VS. JUDGING. Having a separate host and constant judge is a great idea. Someone who opens the show, maybe leads through Day 1 is great. Then the recurring judge (hopefully Matt!!) is joined by 2 guests judges. Matt can base his judging off all weeks and the guests can do it for just that submission. This would give the show a more structured tone, I feel, and give Matt room to do the part he liked best.
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4. DAY ONE. This is where having a host would be helpful. I really like the idea of just having the host give a quick recap of the judges' comments and having the show talk about how they hope to change (or not) for this week. For example, "F Plus, the judges said they thought you needed to break up the reading with more commentary. What do think? How can you fix that this week?" That would give the shows a chance to talk about their ideas for this week and respond to criticism. It's similar to the defense part of Day 3, but now they know they're safe. I think this would also give the listeners a chance to hear the character growth. The host can even talk about who is the front runner, how did you feel about last week, blah blah, like Matt did. The coaching aspect depends too much on the podcasts being really prepared and got too repetitive. Discussions on criteria and definitions can wait for Matt and the judges on Day 2, since not all the podcasts are privy too those discussion anyway. And again, as long as they are transparent about if/how those criteria discussions affect judgment, then everyone will be fine.
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5. SEASON TWO. Please can we haz it???

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I am late to the Earwolf Challenge, but I just listened to all of it in a few days. I was constantly frustrated and infuriated, especially with Matt Besser, but I will try to keep this constructive. I apologize if any/all of this has already been said. If you ever try this again, maybe you will find this useful. If you don't, well, at least I can get this off my chest and feel a little less filthy continuing to support Earwolf.
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1) Don't bother with the time-crunch again. I loved the concept and it worked well, but podcasts will be ready for it next time.
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2) One challenge should be (should have been) "Send us 3 minutes that will make us LAUGH." I was so disappointed to hear more and more as the Challenge went on that you weren't necessarily interested in finding the funniest podcasts, or rewarding the funniest clips. Really? Well how about ONE week where you actually care about being funny?
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3) Mute the judges when playing the clips. The judges pointed out many times how difficult it is to follow audio without confusion. How do you think we felt with an extra track thrown in there, and we have to figure out if that laugh was in the clip or not?
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4) I don't care if you want to advance two podcasts with terrible sound quality to the final two, that aspect really doesn't matter to me very much. But please, please do not give sound quality notes over and over to other podcasts, but heap constant praise on and continually advance podcasts who sound like they're talking into paper cups.
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5) Listen to the clips again, at least the bottom three. So much of the time, the judges were so confused, or missed the premise, or remembered the clip incorrectly, and it was torture for us listeners who, well, actually listened. There were times when they literally picked on a podcast for "not doing" something they clearly, objectively, did. They spent so much time debating what they thought they heard and what they misremembered they heard, but they couldn't spare a few minutes to just check again? Just a quick check to determine, "Is it me, or is it the podcast?" Please re-listen to the bottom three off air, during deliberation.
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Thank you for putting all of this together, Earwolf. In a way, I suppose I enjoyed listening, and I found some podcasts I really like. Thank you Matt Besser, I know we didn't always get along (in my head), but to do all of that for free is really admirable.

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For those of you in L.A., Tommy Dassalo from the Little Dum Dum club is going to be on the Comedy Bang Bang live show next Tuesday! I hope I can find out when to make an advanced reservation - they always go so quick for that show. While I loved being a guest on the Epilogue episode, I almost wonder if some of the feedback (both on the epilogue episode and for Jeff/Frank/Matt to consider for a potential future season) should be coming from the podcast contestants themselves - clearly they will have a different perspective to add. I'd be particularly interested to know whether if any podcast contestants were disappointed that they didn't get more time to interact with and/or respond to comments by some of the great guest judges on the podcast. Each week, only the bottom three got to interact directly with the guest judges. Obviously, the show could easily become a sprawling mess if each guest judge were to skype call each podcast contestant, but it would still be a treat to directly hear every podcasts' reaction to guest judges notes (not just the bottom three).

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And the Tuesday October 11 live show of Comedy Bang Bang is no longer accepting reservations. Really would have been a treat to see Dassalo in that theater. Damn you comedy nerds!

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