Archive for August, 2011
I really liked how last week’s video came out in turning the camera on the people that join me to talk wrestling on a Podcast every week. I realize that with this week to week, everything turns to sort of a whirlwind and even I forget how these people got involved, and I think they’re stories worth telling. How do you get engrained into a production like this. How did you find this? Why do you stay? What sort of experience is this? Sometimes, I don’t know what we do so right to get these people that dig the show SO much. I wish more would speak out on what we’re doing wrong so we can get better.
This week, we talk with the youngest Mayhemer and one of our most recent converts visiting the show this week…
Gamestop is up to their old tricks again. I ranted and swore off the company a while back when we bought a copy of Assassin’s Creed 2 at a new price, but had obviously been resealed. More recently, the company has come under fire for opening boxes of the new Deus Ex: Human Revolution to remove the “competing” Onlive coupons that were included.
For those not in the know, Onlive is an online video game service that allows you to play the game in the cloud, freeing up your need for high end hardware to play the PC or Mac (and soon on tablets and phones) versions of the game. This competes with GameStop’s recent efforts to stave off extinction by opening their own online game shop.
Either way, customers are again receiving a boxed game that isn’t what they paid for. When you go to a store and pay full price for a new game, you want an untainted, untouched packaging. Gamestop already outright disrespects their customers by lending out copies of their games, or opening display copies of the game, then resealing them and selling them for full price. This is abhorant behavior. The thought that the customer is ok with buying a copy that has been outright used or even put in a sleave is rediculous.
How do they fix this?
The easiest thing to do for a simple fix is to eat the cost. That package gets open? It’s been used. Put it on the preown shelf, take that whole five dollars off the price. No one would care. You don’t outright break the trust of the customer.
And stay out of my PC game box. Deus Ex gamers are having their product deliberately tampered with by the seller. If they’re openly doing this, what else are they taking out of packages and NOT telling us. If you tell you’re customers to take a promotion out en masse, what does this do to you’re company culture? This loosens the grip that Gamestop employees may feel less inclined NOT to reach into a package and grab a quick key code to play the game online, or free trials or something else that will lock someone out who legitimately play that game. According to This is My Next, the company has changed this policy now to recall all of the offending boxes.
All of this promotes a general culture of disrespect to the people giving you money in an age where you’re brick and mortor stores are already under fire from competition from consoles and publishers cirbumventing using them as a point of delivery and striking out straight at the customer.
This is a bad time to give us more reasons to move on to a place where we don’t have to get upsold your discount card when we buy a copy of Halo online.
Tonight it was another night of Podcasting awesomeness. And I decided to point the camera at our long time fans-turned-crew of the Wrestling Mayhem Show. I did sort of a spot interview with Mad Mike and Rizz who attended tonight’s show via Skype and here’s what we got:
I honestly forget just how long how many of these guys had been around, or how they found us. Often, we wonder how people are engaging with us and finding us. Sometimes it’s nice to ask…
Yes, it’s my nephew’s birthday this Monday as well. Two days apart I get reminded of the two bundles of joy that changed my life.
I still fondly remember when Austin was baptized back home and he turned as if to say hi to the whole congregation. That was the first glimmer of the positive light this kid had. I don’t know how much was natural or how much was from his parents take no shit attitudes. (Trust me, I’ve been on the brunt of my sister’s version of that ‘tude on more occasions than I can count) Austin always had an enthusiasm to be involved. When we were playing around doing our backyard wrestling a few years back, he wanted to be involved with the big boys, as usual, and was a real pro as a referee. To see him grow to be a sports guy has been tremendous.
“Something in the water” seems to be the case as this kid grows more hair and has grown like a thick tree trunk. To the point that he could have been easily sold beer at age 13. Now he’s turned the dangerous age of 16, and is probably less dangerous than most 30 year olds on the road today. He’s been ripping up cars in the back field for years, even taking me on a hell of a joy ride last year.
So here’s to my nephew, who I’m proud of and can’t wait to see how far he can go in wrestling where he’s had a tremendous start so far.
Oh, and he dances!
In the spirit of my brother’s birthday, I thought I’d do something different since I’m far away in the land of Ravens and crabs in Baltimore.
He’s a quiet soul. Until you get him riled up on video game talk. He’s another of our generations creative Sorgs. He’s a creative fellow that’s superseded my love for video games to an impressive level and seems to be addicted to Rock Band. If you find him sitting to himself at Podcamp, engage him in some of this talk and you should be pleasantly surprised.
And if you believe some legends, he steals jawbones in the night
I’ve had a lot of fun sharing my city with him and can’t wait what he’s going to turn out as he gets his schooling done.
Happy birthday brother.
Early on on our newer Freelance4Real podcast, we were talking about our brands and how we market ourselves. A quick Google search for Mike Sorg or Michael Sorg reveals a problem (make sure to logout of Google or other providers since they use my social networks to point everything at myself. ) While I’m not stuck with the name Smith, it may be the German equivelent.
Either search will lead you to my name connected with a pianist, realators, and even a fellow who’s, ironically “Head of New Media” for a company in Germany at one point. It’s a little bit of a quagmire for me since I’ve had involvement with “New Media” and music ventures. Though never real estate.
Enter “Sorgatron”. A name given to me by my cohorts of the Wrestling Mayhem Show, lead by the diabolical Will Rutherford, in naming me for all the tech I surrounded myself with making the shows happen. It’s become my online monicor. Thankfully one much better than the Red Hot Chilli Pepper inspired “sirpsychosexy”.
I still own the .net for that one…
So what does this moniker do for me?
Uniqueness. Well let’s be honest. Michael isn’t an exciting, nor memorable, name. And simply being referred to as Sorg as my friends often do may become confusing, and unfair to the rest of my family as I branch out. In fact, even my wife, who took my name, still calls me Sorg instead of my first name. You may get a lot of variation from my name, but “Sorgatron” usually leads back to me. There are years of videos, blog posts, and more connected to that name. It’s handy.
To be honest, it wasn’t a conscience decision to begin with. It took a while to embrace the name, but I always liked having a minikor online. That’s sort of been part of it. And it continues today as I know people that I refer to in such loving ways as “Crappy” or “Spoon” or whatever other descriptive term or object. But I’m sure our motivations vary…
So I am Sorgatron. Not a pianist. Not a super cool German dude doing something similar. I make Podcasts about wrestling, tech, and the like.
And I hope I’m having the most fun…
There’s a nice string of blogs that have gone up the last couple weeks on Podcamp Pittburgh’s official website. You should drop by and read them. You know. After you register! Here’s my contribution to the cause…
It’s been a long time since that very first Podcamp Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. I still remember that rainy day and collecting in the auditorium for the first time to see what this was all about. At the time, I was starving for information on this new world of Podcasting and what people were doing with it.
For the next four years, we were moved to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, which was fantastic since it was a familiar building from my days there. Centrally located downtown, and an environment full of creative things lining the hallways. There was also a keen inability to NOT get stopped in a conversation. But I suppose that’s a bit of the problem. We saw growth every year since Podcamp’s inception in our fair ‘burgh. Classes were packed with the likes of Burgh Baby’s (Michelle is her people name) and her Blogging 101 session, instigating spill over rooms using our own streaming setup via our friends at VivoLive. Last year, we expanded to spread our classes through two floors to get some more breathing room. But even then, things can probably only expand so far.
Earlier this week, I had the fortune to tour our new digs at Point Park University. More specifically, the University Center. Oddly, I wasn’t completely new to this place. Years ago I might have wandered into this building for some project that required looking through newspaper cells back when it was a Carnegie Library branch.
To say I was taken back by walking in is an understatement. For those that may have felt claustrophobic in our past locations, this will be a welcome change. The mail hall that welcomes you is three stories high. Our Hub is now going to be a proper auditorium holding much more than our AIP version, and bringing us full circle from that first Filmmakers auditorium. It sounds that we will have access to most of the building, which is just full of nooks and crannies. Well furnished nooks and crannies that are well suited for impromptu “sessions” to bring about the next “bacn” level of inspiration. Many of the rooms we’ll be holding proper sessions (or improper if Wrestling Mayhem Show decides to have another session) are rather unique from each other. Which should come across as apposed to our past session videos looking like that may have almost all been held in the same room. The chairs look to be much comfier, so I more than expect to see a few nappers in the screening room after a night of 724s the night before.
This year, our venue really feels like Podcamp Pittsburgh is a”all grown up” in what should be a great presentation to first comers and veterans alike. And don’t worry. It’s only about three blocks away from our last location!
I’ve been one that had trouble moving on from the old physical media metaphor. I bought CDs well past their prime. I felt sketchy at first about buying Virtual Console and Xbox Arcade games without a disc. Something needs to be transferred, physically, into my possession.
The first thing that caught my eye was Steam, though. Not iCloud. I was dumped into it, like most, with it being required when you bought the Orange Box, a super pack that included Half Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal. Eventually, I find myself re-buying old games like Quake and Unreal Tournament! I’m a gamer that always wants to revisit the classics, but you pull that old Unreal first release disc, then you have to find the update from the site that’s been sold to a new publisher three times over before it’s close to compatible with the current OS, if at all. Not to mention some games not fairing so well, like my sadly cracked Future Cop disc, or the long time missing Duke Nukem 3D (still have the case. Empty. Re-bought it on Xbox Live!) Having that access online, I can easily mark the games I want on a new system and have it in a relatively short time! I have a completely non-physical and complete library of the games I’ve bought, from a certain era on, wherever I log in.
This was something that worried me on my iPhone. I’ve loved the games, but the lucidness of the apps made me weary of buying anything more than a few bucks, even the 9.99 of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars took a good bit of consideration. When iCloud launched for purchases just months ago, I saw my entire library. No longer do I have to worry if something happens to my old iMac I sync to that holds all of my apps. They’re in the cloud. Even apps I’ve downloaded (or purchased) that have been pulled by the publisher for a different version(Orb), violation (iDOS) or copyright (Tris). Nice of Apple to bring this back. It takes the onus off of the consumers, who by and large are irresponsible with their software (how many people have lost their system discs to their computers. Honestly think they backup their music purchases?)
Of course, all of this depends on Steam and Apple keeping everything available to you, in perpetuity.
Do you feel safer buying a piece of “the cloud”?