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At least a few people have been asking, directly or indirectly, about what's going on with the podcast, whether we've ditched it entirely or on hiatus, etc. etc., and I've just realized a few minutes before midnight that the beginning of a new year is probably the best time to address this, so here you are (apologies in advance if I ramble/derail a bit). There's two parts to this situation - the problem and the solutions.
The problem, and I'll be perfectly straight with you about this, is how many different timezones the members of the podcast are spread across. Myself and Yume are in UTC-8 (West Coast), Koromo, JSD and Kaido are in UTC-5 (East Coast), Nova and Besty are in UTC, AoD's in UTC+1, and Fin...well, Fin's just all over the place at any given time. Point is, we're all over the place, and when you factor in things like work hours and school hours and sleep, lining up people's schedules so that we can all wag our chins about the latest chapter for 15-30 minutes becomes fairly difficult. Every time I've tried to get something going over the past two months or so, we simply haven't gotten enough people online for a decent conversation, and that's no fault of anyone in the group; life just keeps getting in the way, it seems.
Now for the solutions, of which there are quite a few. As it stands, we can only upload short podcasts to the official wikia channel due to a copyright strike that won't be expiring for another few months *grumble grumble*. We've gotten around this by only discussing one chapter at a time instead of the megacasts of the past, so that's not important here. In regards to future podcasts, what I've thought of for getting people together is:
- Use whoever's available on a set day. Whether 2 people or 12 (hahaha implying that we'd ever have that many people willing to join us), we select one day an of the week in advance to record and then record on that day at some time, no matter what. In effect, this would be the member-cycling style that Fin had in mind when he originally rebooted the podcast, but that means that in a given session you've got no way of knowing who to expect (aside from yours truly ofc because we all know Fin ain't gonna record shit anymore),
- Get everyone to plan their schedules around the podcast in advance to ensure they're present. This is a tough one to pull off, mainly because it involves asking people to set aside their time in advance for something they don't exactly reap a benefit from aside from fun (hopefully). Those of you who frequent the Bleach Wiki may notice that we put out podcasts once a week like clockwork and wonder why that can't be so easily replicated here. Well, I'll explain: the members of the podcast over there are almost entirely on the East Coast of the United States, meaning they're pretty much all recording at the same time, our schedules happen to line up with recording at 11 pm UTC, and we've been doing this for so long and so consistently that it's almost like a job now, whereas over here it's...pretty much the opposite of all those things.
As for the podcasts themselves in terms of content, we can:
- Wait for the copyright strike to expire and then do a supercast on all the chapters we missed until that point. This would effectively be an opinion spiel on the Zo Arc until that point in time, and we could use that opportunity to discuss broader aspects of the arc such as the characters introduced, the established history and setting, what we think of the Minks, etc. However, this would mean waiting a fair bit longer for said content to come out.
- Do a hyper condensed opinion podcast of the Zo Arc up until chapter 811 next week, then continue as normal. This would allow us to start off the new year with a revitalized podcast and set a precedent for getting them out in the coming months, so on and so forth, but it also means that you'll be getting very short viewpoints on the Zo shenanigans from us. Who knows, maybe that's what you want.
- Finally (and this is a very possible option), just cancel the damn thing for good. We've slipped so heavily off schedule by now that for all I know interest has mostly diminished, and if people don't want to listen to us rattle on or think that the weekly blogs are a good enough source of information on everyone's opinions, I don't see a point in continuing to record these. It would be sad, but ultimately pragmatic.
So there you have it. The fate of the godcast/stawcast/shitpost rests in your hands, so cast your vote in the polls down below and/or comment your obscene rage at me, and we'll see where we go from here.