Emerald Specter 22: A Milestone, and the Future

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For anyone looking at the word “milestone” in the title and wondering how Emerald Specter 22 is such, stop. The milestone is for the Greatest Show, which yesterday had the 100th episode in the (little over) three years of existence. Congratulations to us, and that gives me a topic to talk about for this edition of the Emerald Specter column.

When Bob Miotto and I started the Greatest Show (then called the Greatest Show Online), we didn’t really plot out whether or not we were going to make it to episode 100. We certainly hadn’t done anything to facilitate that in the three plus years we’ve been running the show… yeah, we should actually be closer to 200 right now but we took a lot of weekends off. Still, making it to episode 100 is a triumph.

I’m the only one who has been on every single episode of the Greatest Show… which is primarily due to the fact that I’m the only one that knows how to operate the YouTube broadcasting set up. I’m about ready to start teaching a couple of the others on how to do it, especially considering that if I can’t make it and others can, we’ve cancelled a show that didn’t need to be cancelled. I don’t like doing that but it is necessary sometimes.

Another thing we’re getting ready to do is to have some “pre-loaded” replacement episodes in the event we are forced to cancel for one reason or another. This means we’ll be doing all kinds of things that are neat, humorous, and side projects we’ve been talking about doing off the air for future little bits of the show. If we can get a few of them going, if we can’t make it to the broadcast window, at least you’ll be given something in exchange for our absence. Yes, those things will be numbered, too.

Which brings me to another little thing I’d like to discuss: will the numbering matter? If we decide to hold a live show in the middle of the week where we talk about fifteen minutes on Snickers or something, will it matter if that is the Greatest Show 109 or if it’s just Greatest Show: Snickers Discussion? I like the idea of the numbers, especially since we’ve gone all out in making episode 100 a milestone event but I’m open to hearing suggestions.

This all leads me into what I’ve been looking at for the future.

I’ve been teasing the Specter Show for almost two full years now. I was supposed to have started this thing way back, and I’m again shooting for a “clean starting point” for starting the show. Once again, I’m also looking at the format options for the show and I’m going to run some of them by you now.

Originally, I wanted to just discuss a single topic, by myself, and run about 30 to 60 minutes in length per episode. That slowly them morphed into running five shows a week (Monday through Friday, daily) with more of a focus on discussing the news and current events. With my five a week plan, I was less likely to number the shows, which I am still partial to doing. That then got dialed back to ramping up to a five day a week show by starting weekly and returning to just the single topic. I have gone back and forth so many times, I don’t know what to do at this point.

The problem with discussing current events and the news is that my show is immediately dated, and that is one thing I’m not a fan of doing. While I am trying to be current and discussing a variety of things, I do not want my show to devolve into opening a newspaper and randomly discussing topics I come across as I come across them. That would also make me lean towards a “Specter Show for November 7, 2016” titling format rather than a “Specter Show 17: Subtitle Here” format.

The problem with picking a topic and rolling with the numbered event means that, while I’m not immediately dating my show, I am more or less shoe horned into discussing pop culture and the impact of it on my life. That is another type of show that can be sustained, but I don’t think that kind of show will stand out.

I’m in a conundrum.

One thing I’m trying to push for is that I’ll be starting my show in the new year. I want episode one to drop on January 1, 2, 3, or 4 of 2017 and run weekly at first, perhaps ramping up as time passes. I can certainly do a live feed of the show, like we do with the Greatest Show, but I would then remove that video in order to produce the podcast (with theme music, audio cues, and other lovely stuff) for release on iTunes or other such feed distributors. If I can maintain a weekly presence in the podcast world, or if I choose to podcast at a time that is convenient to making a regular schedule happen, then maybe I start a twice a week release, moving up from there. I do not, however, want to do a seven day a week show, because that would mean I’m tying up even my precious days off.

I’d like to hear some feedback. Right now, I’m looking at doing the weekly pop culture reference show selecting a single topic and rolling with that until I talk myself out. The topic might be as broad as Star Wars or as narrow as “Doctor Who, season 10 episode 2.” Time will tell on that one.

Do you have an opinion? Comment! Or go to the forum!

Think on it.