Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Society of Dead Chasers * Back To Basics

Greetings dear reader, as I choke and cough from all the dust in the air created by me brushing this thing off for the first time in a few months. It's been a fun and interesting time recently, as I've successfully found new ways to feed the chase passion that forever burns inside of me like a lantern that never runs out of kerosene.

In the wake of The Debris Show, which had a great run but slowly faded the past few years into virtually nothing, I decided it was time for me to create something new that I alone controlled. Despite the fact I loved doing TDS, over time I began to feel pressure to keep myself in check, because sometimes I can be a bit too over the top and the recoil comes down not only on me, but everyone associated with me. Also, my creative bursts hit when they hit, and when you're working with other people, scheduling conflicts can be a huge issue (and can also kill creative momentum). No, I needed something new, something simple, and something I could do whenever the fancy struck.

So I created a new thing on Ustream called simply "The Shane Adams Show."  It was fun, and ended up being more popular than I anticipated. But after a month or so, I grew bored with it because it started feeling like TDS again....not what I wanted. I walked away from it, but the urge came screaming back to be on camera telling it like it is. I resisted, while waiting for someone else to take the torch. No one did, so eventually I decided to come back, but with a bit more thought put into each show. I didn't want to do Lewis Black type rants exclusively, because I'd done that to death and it gets old quickly, for both me and the audience. I had to find my groove.

The day I decided to come back and do a show was the same day I heard about Robin Williams. I remembered the movie "Dead Poets Society" and thought it sounded cool, so I changed "Poets" to "Chasers" and created a new show. Nobody has ever really asked where the title comes from, but since naming the show based on a Robin Williams movie, I've come to feel it has many other meanings. Mostly now I enjoy the title because I feel it somewhat invites controversy.

Ustream eventually failed me, by not notifying me I was running out of free storage space before simply stopping my live recordings, thus destroying my ability to archive. DCS has become a 95% archive driven show, so my inability to record live broadcasts was simply unacceptable. I slowly migrated the show over to Google Hangouts, which ended up being a great move. Popular platform, great reach, and easy to use. The show has done well, with an average of over 65 views per episode, which is close to what Debris used to hold throughout a 2-hour live broadcast in its heyday.

I've decided to start simplifying my website, partly because I'm lazy and will probably never get around to finishing all the novella-style chase summaries I've still yet to start from years past, but mostly because there's just too much content to keep up with the way I've been doing things. I hate writing chase summaries to begin with, so I tried to make them interesting in the "creative writing" style so as to entertain myself enough to keep me going. However, it's 2015 and I still have summaries from 1999-2003 that have never been written, as well as several more from recent seasons (2010-2013). I simply don't have the time or interest to keep writing detailed chase logs, complete with several embedded links, that few besides myself (while proof reading) will ever see.

I decided to start losing all the hyperlinks within the summaries themselves (an idea I stole from Doswell a decade ago), and just throw the images up on the same page with the text. The text itself will remain as is (after all, if I ditch the complicated reads for simplicity, I still have to re-write them all), although moving forward I may start scaling down the Stephen King type details and just stick to the whens, wheres, and whys. Time will tell on that.

Lastly, for the aesthetic angle, I've decided to do away with my long time color scheme of Passion Twist Purple Blue and Fuchsia. I've reverted back to my roots, back to what has always been my favorite color scheme - black and white. I can never lose the black backgrounds, as IMO those have always trumped anything on any website ever. I've received complaints over the years about how hard on the eyes my bright text on black is, so to eliminate that issue I'm opting for white and gray. Easy on the eyes, visually pleasing to me, and simple enough to not have to change ever again. The only motley shade I'm leaving will be the main Passion Twist purple banner at the top of the home page. Beyond that, I'll let the images themselves provide the color.