Since Joanna has left the team to go save Outer Space or something, we've decided now is the ideal time to revamp Communitoid. We want to tweak things a bit to make the show better, and America still needs your help!
First things first, we want to come up with a better name for the podcast. Too many people either don't have any idea what a Communitoid is, they think the content is stuff only devoted community members will get/care about, or they assume we're a Podtoid clone. Part of the podcast's mission is to draw in casual listeners and sneakily get them interested in joining the community, so we're looking for something that will have broader appeal to people who read the site and people who've never heard of Destructoid. And we have been able to come up with jack shit.
So here's the deal: We want you to come up with a new name for our show. Give us your suggestions, we'll pick our favorite, and I'll buy the winner something from their Steam wishlist. Or get you a gift card for XBL/PSN/eShop. Or PayPal you $30. Look, it'd be way easier for me to just buy you something on Steam, OK?
Also needed is your feedback and suggestions about what works and what doesn't with Communitoid, so we know how to best tweak the format. Favorite segments? What stuff bores you to tears? Is there too much of one thing and not enough of something else? Please let us know, and be honest!
Since there's a hole in our hearts in the shape of Jo, we're plugging our empty heart holes with Mash Tactics host Rick, the King of Fooms! Listen for his debut in the soonish future.
Sorry about the delay in new episodes, this last month has been kind of insane. The good news is there's two more episodes of Classic Communitoid in the bank, with episode 25 coming in the next day or two and episode 26 sometime after that!
About the Name: I say stick with it. Why? Because it fits. It's a Podcast made by people of the community and of course people will recall Podtoid, because it's a podcast around Destructoid that ends with -oid. People are stupid like that. And you've done it over a year now, the name is, I think, pretty established.
Also: broader appeal is what makes Activision games shit hurr durr *add other stuff like that here*
But all right, if you really want a new name no matter what:
- The Five Destructeers
- Andy Dixon and some other people talk (ADASOPT)
- Community Talks
- Top to Bottom (as a reference to that higher ups, like Andy and Aaron, and normal users like the regular guest come together and multiple levels of the community are represented)
- What's up, DToid?
My favorite would be "Community Talks": first off, it loses the Destructoid reference in the title. Secondly it still keeps the focus on the community. Because that is what the podcast is all about (or at least was, until now - depending on how much you wanna/will change things, all those titles might be for naught of course). It's not too long for my taste and easy to abbreviate.
But like I said: I like Communitoid and think it's a good name and you should stick with it. If you really want to change it no matter what, my vote goes to "Community Talks".
I already said it before, but I think the length should be between 90 and 120 minutes. Everything shorter than that leaves me, as the listener, longing for more. Everything beyond that gets a bit tiring.
As for the content itself: when I was on I noticed that being able to choose the amount of content freely made me choose to much in the end. Maybe you should limit the stuff your guests can choose (and also your picks) to 3-5 things or something like that. That way you guarantee that there is always content, because there is a minimum, but also you don't risk on having too much. And maybe not only restrict yourself to community related stuff. I think it should stay the main focus of the show, but talking about one or two of the biggest "official" things that happened would surely be okay too. But aside from that, I honestly liked the content so far. I remember you kicked the new members out - good call on that one. Never really liked that part too much. Also: play the song you choose as a little break out completly. I often found the part you play far too short for my likening. Play it out completly, it's cool and a nice little breakup in the middle. As long as you don't take "Ende" from Nocte OBducta (+20 minutes length) I think nobody will complain.
My favorite segment are the questions, but you really can't influence those too much since you have no control over how many come in. But please, keep those (also keep asking for questions one or two days beforehand - I hated how Podtoid always did it "On the fly" because I couldn't ask any due to time zone differences). The same for guest intros. I really loved Nihil's one. I think every cast should get an intro from someone else. It would keep the intro fresh everytime and could be done without too much effort.
As ideas for new segments go:
- do something "retro" focused every episode. Like discuss your first video games ever. The most beloved memory you have with videogames. Your first own console. Something like that. Not too long, but long enough for you and your listeners to take a trip down memory lane.
- do the exact opposite: something like prediction bingo. Now this is something that'll only work in the long run. You all do five video game related predictions for the upcoming year (for example "Microsoft will revert it's XB1 DRM"). Every guest you have will be allowed to add 1 or 2 to the list. At the end of the year, you'll take a look at those and talk about what came true, what didn't and how you thought things would end up (and maybe didn't). Maybe you can for that also get a little comment from every guest you had so far (just really a short comment they record and send to you - that would all wind up in a big "end of the year" special episode then).
- you guys all play ONE game as much as possible, then discuss it in depth. Multiple viewpoints, multiple experiences (especially with sandbox games), multiple interpretations etc --> interesting exchange.
- "Why doesn't it exist": ideas for videogame merch that would be awesome and doable, but nobody has ever done. Maybe ThinkGeek will pick up on your ideas and do that stuff for real, wouldn't be the first time.
However: all in all I was happy with the show so far. You don't have to invent the wheel anew and sticking with a working formula is not a bad thing. Never try to fix what is not broken. Maybe you can also rotate through the new segments a bit to keep it frehs? So you do the "discuss a videogame"-thing for example only every three episodes or something like that, you know?
I think that'll be it for now. If something else comes to mind, I'll post it.
The first suggestion that leaps to mind is a technical one rather than a stylistic choice, but it'd be good if you guys could test out balancing everyones' levels. So far, most episodes have at least one person much quieter or louder than everybody else. I appreciate it's hard when you have guests on, but still, that's the change that comes to my mind first. Turn your mic up, Conor!
Other than that, and I think maybe getting Beccy some Red Bull, it works well as-is. With Foom around it'd be nice to have some talk about all the Dtoid streaming stuff, but that's... yeah, that's about it. I'm not a good ideas man.
Bring on more than one community member per episode.
I love hearing new voices. The body stays the same, but at least wear a clean shirt and pants every episode, you know? It would definitely keep things more interesting for me, keeping it 7/8 the same people every time is basically listening to the same show every time, to my ears. It reminds me of morning talk radio, otherwise.
Which is why most podcasts don't last long for me.
I'm kinda typing this out as I think of them, so I'm sorry, if it's a bit jumbled. For the name, the first thing that came to my mind was The Fapcast, but that sounds a bit too Cblog-centric. Another idea is to keep the name, but drop -toid and call it the Communicast or The Dtoid Communicast. You could also go literal and just call it The Destructoid Community Podcast (maybe TDCP for short). OR, do an acronym name because those are always fun. PODCAST - Podcast of the Official Destructoid Community And...ST. Actually, forget that idea, it's stupid. My last idea, which essentially riffs off of the ideas of JackShadow and OpiumHerz, is Better People Talks or The Better People Communicast. Of all these ideas, I think I like The Dtoid Communicast or The Better People Communicast the best.
As for features, I like how y'all include all the new community members, but maybe only include the new members that have actually made an effort to become part of the community. For instance, maybe only mention new forum members that have made an intro thread and have made at least 15-20 posts by the recording. I'm not sure how that would translate to Cblog members, but the same idea. Oh, and when a new member makes their intro thread, it would be great if someone told them about the podcast and said that if they make an effort, then they'll get mentioned. I know it's not a huge deal, but some people will like the idea of "hearing their name on the radio"
I think it would be a good idea to also talk about some (not all) of the news and features (Memory Card, etc.) that were covered on the front page. Maybe one article for each person on the podcast. If it's Aaron, Andy, Beccy, Conor, and a guest, then that's 5 articles. Just go over the ones that really caught each of your attention. That could also easily seque into your favorite quotes section, which I imagine comes from the articles that really caught your attention.
Finally, I know that Andy or Aaron usually makes a front page post when the new episodes are put online, but I think it would be a good idea to mention on the FP when you will be recording the next episode. I know that Mxy already does this with the facebook page, but the only people who are on the facebook page are the people who already know about the podcast. If you're trying to draw in people who casually look at the site, then it seems like that would be the most logical place to mention it. Just a quick Front Page post that says we have this awesome podcast that features several of our awesome community members/managers/moderators with rotating member guests. This week's guest is (insert guest here). We're recording on (insert date here). If you'd like to ask us a question and hear your name on the show then post a question here. You can also go to our facebook page and ask your question there.
Hopefully, something like that would draw some interest and get them to listen to an episode or two. If not grabbing more new members, maybe it will cause more seasoned members to listen in and submit questions.
Finally, this was just something that I typed up to draw a bit of awareness to the podcast. Feel free to use it if you like:
Hey, we all know Destructoid is pretty awesome, right? RIGHT! Did you know that we also have an EQUALLY awesome community? Well, we do! 'How is that possible?' you may be asking yourself, right this very second. Well, join the community and find out just how batshit insane awesome we are. We also have a podcast specifically for our community that, if you're good (i.e. if you ask), maybe you can be on one day. It's called [insert new name here]. It's really good! No, seriously, it is. You should totally listen to it. You can listen to it here or on itunes. Go on, give it a listen. I'll wait.
See, I told you it was good. You should totally ask us some questions for the next time we record. Oh hey, that just so happens to be [insert date here]. Go ahead and leave us your questions here, or head on over to our facebook page and ask us your questions there and then we'll answer them on the show.
Communicast is already taken by like five things, we rejected that when we first started because of that reason. Please Google suggestions first, if we can't get the Twitter/other social media accounts for a name or if we're fighting half a dozen things with almost the same name on search engines, it's not going to work out.
The problems I keep running into with Communitoid as a name is that I constantly have to explain how to spell it so people can find it, and the word "community" seems to be a big turn-off. It gives the impression that if you're not already invested in the community, then you shouldn't bother listening. That's pretty much the opposite of what we want, the point is to get more people listening so they become motivated to get more involved with the community. We're looking for a name that won't driveaway someone who randomly stumbles across it on iTunes. RetroforceGo and bit transmission were names that work both for people who read Dtoid and those who've never heard of the site.
But do you really WANT to reach people who aren't into the community? And if so, why? It's a DToid focused Podcast. So even if you choose a name that is held in general so someone who isn't really interested in the Community downloads it - that person will catch on to the fact it's a community focused Podcast and turn it off.
I really don't see any positive outcome here for you guys.