JoCo Cruise Crazy 4 – A Nerd Cruise Full of Fans Turned Friends.

Is Klout All That and a Bag of Chips?

Chicken and Waffles? Try Chicken IN Waffles – Kitchen Experiment Time

Why I Love Fan Conventions and Why They Matter

Is Klout All That and a Bag of Chips?

I’ve been a mock-fan of Klout ever since the service launched. The whole notion of being deemed influential on the interwebs based on your social networks and their interaction with…

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JoCo Cruise Crazy 4 – A Nerd Cruise Full of Fans Turned Friends.

Last year, instead of a NYE resolution, I asked a question: “What do I need?” I answered:
I need to:

  • Experience love.
  • Get out more.
  • Less Planning, More Doing

I’m proud to say that I’ve accomplished all 3. (all though I need to be better at #3)

Going on the Jonathan Coulton JoCo Cruise Crazy 4 trip was one of the trips that I said “Why not?”
I’ve heard of the cruise through several mentions during w00tstock events and when Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm attended Dragon Con in 2012. A 6-day cruise is an expensive trip, but I’ve never been on a cruise and I wanted to do it. I’m glad my girlfriend Misty said yes to going on the cruise.

Overall, the Joco Cruise Crazy was great. So many friendly, smart and creative people all in one space. The cruise was 6 days – Sunday and Monday were on the water, Tuesday – Grand Cayman, Wednesday – Jamaica, Thursday – Labadee Haiti, Friday on water. On location days, you would go on an excursion if you paid for one and get back to the boat in the late afternoon. 6 to 8 was dining and after 9 were the performances.

For a list of events, you were giving a Sea Monkey newsletter as well as the app CruiseMonkey that utilized the ship’s wifi without you paying for wifi access. The Twit-Arrr feature on the app was a Twitter like service that did the same functionality -that was genius.

JCCC 4 had about 1,000 attendees from what I gathered, about 1/4 of total amount of cruise guests. A majority of the attendees hailed from either Boston, Washington DC, Portland or Seattle. Los Angeles and New York was lacking – I never met anyone from there (although most of the entertainers live in those two locations.) From meeting people, I did find a total of 9 from Dallas/Fort Worth TX – where I’m located.

I’m writing this three days separated from the cruise. The vacation was very much welcomed and needed. I was looking for inspiration and I got it.  I was going to write more about the event in detail (I might later) but I’ll let the pictures explain for now. If you get the chance, go. This was a great experience.

This was the registration bag for the cruise.
I will use this bag of holding for grocer shopping.

My lanyard.
joco-cruise-crazy-lanyard-lance

There were multiple lanyards to choose from. They gave away the left overs at the last day of the cruise.
joco-cruise-crazy-4-lanyards-cards-against-humanity
Sea Monkey Newsletter

Conference Room – People brought their own games on board for communal play. This room was a great place to learn a game and to make a new friend or 10.

Entertainers. Here’s a list of all of the performers.

Independence of the Seas – That was a very nice ship.

A group of attendees made this card set for the cruise. Misty and I met one of the people who made these cards and gave us a deck. That was generous and awesome.

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Is Klout All That and a Bag of Chips?

I’ve been a mock-fan of Klout ever since the service launched. The whole notion of being deemed influential on the interwebs based on your social networks and their interaction with you.

Back when Klout first introduced their topics list for person, I would game the system and give +K to friends on topics like “Tuna” or “Pokemon.” Klout suggested that they might have influence in these topics based on words and phrases on their posts -which generated all sorts of random topics. It was fun. Later, Klout topic matching got better and this game kinda ended.

I really still don’t understand the Klout ranking scale. I hover between 52 and 61 and my score goes up when I post frequently and goes down when I don’t. How does my increase of snarky posts on Twitter, or lack thereof, make me any more on an “influencer”? I am talking to the same people.

This past December, mega-brand Frito-Lay decided that I was such an influencer in the realm of snacks that they offered me a bag of chips through Klout.

20140126_201922I accepted.

I was all that, and a bag of chips.

In a couple of weeks I got a bright box on my doorstep. In that box I got a bag of chips for me to eat.

This result was created by a line item of a tactical marketing plan to get people to talk about a new flavor of chips. A Brand Manager at Frito-Lay or one of their agencies pitched this idea and got it approved.

Klout got paid. They get paid because they created a platform that allows and rewards people to be a bit narcissistic by valuing a number. All your experiences and your connections with your friends get equated to a number and that number is used to deliver an influential demographic that Klout can present to ad agencies. These agencies then deliver the promise of effective social media strategy by getting people with a select number range to try their product. The hope is that these numbered Klout users they send samples to can spread the positive experiences of the product better.

This isn’t anything new. Go to a supermarket on a Saturday or a Sunday, free samples to any and all.

But in these times of social media sexiness, why not send samples to people who get a brief dopamine high when you get an email that their Klout score went up? Why not a double shot when they get deemed worthy to get a perk?

Considering the size of the box, the shipping must have been $8 -the chips maybe $.50 at cost, but you have to factor the shipping and handling to the fulfillment house and the cost of the red box. So…$2? (this depends on volume pricing) Then Frito-Lay paid Klout for the access of their user base and the promotion. Say a bounty of $3 cost per user. (A CPC of $3 is fairly good rate)

So Frito-Lay thought I was worth spending $13 on to eat a bag of potato chips.

I wish I had their marketing budget…

All That and a Bag of Chips

Klout Dear Influencer Letter

Klout Code of Conduct for Chips

Lay's Pico de Gallo Klout Potato Chips

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Serial Experiments Lain – Anime – Animerica – September 1999

Serial-experiments-lain-anime-article-Animerica-Sept-1999Cover story is a lengthy Serial Experiments Lain feature that I’ve included below. Remember when Serial Experiments Lain was released. Few people had DSL, broadband was growing but slowly. The majority of people still had dial-up. Read the three interviews from Producer Yasuyuki Ueda, Screenwriter Chiaki Konaka and Director Ryutaro Nakamura. Don’t remember these people associated with Lain? It’s probably because people associate the show with character designer Yoshitoshi ABe. Reading these interviews give you a better perspective on the series.

The 1999 Fall Anime Preview – WOW. A lot of great shows that people still care about in this article. End of Evengelion, Perfect Blue, Pokemon The First Movie, Princess Mononoke, Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star, Martian Successor Nadesico, Gundam Wing, Trigun and Vampire Hunter D.
Damn.

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Tenchi Muyo! From OVA to Movies to Universe and Manga – Animerica August 1999

tenchi-muyo-universe-animerica-1999Harem Scare’m it’s Techi Muyo Time!

Ahh…Tenchi Muyo. The godfather of harem anime. To me it seems like the best era for harem titles started with Tenchi Muyo and ended with Love Hina. Then it all turned into extreme boob fanservice at the expense of the story.

Anyway…I scanned the feature story about all things Tenchi Muyo – from the OVA, TV series, manga and movies.

Highlights:

  • Anime That Time Forgot: Tokyo Vice, Midnight Panther
  • Animexpress section highlights GTO – Great Teacher Onizuka and The Big O –I had no idea that The Big O was this old.

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1st Pokemon Cover -Pikachu and Ash Ketchum – Animerica July 1999

AshPokemonAnimericaAnimeCover1999Pokemon cover! I choose you! I was too old to get into Pokemon when it started, but I know that a lot of Poke-kids got into anime because of Pokemon. “Anime – Gotta collect them all!” Here’s 8 pages of the Pokemon feature that fully introduces Pokemon to the novice. The Editor’s page has a picture of the Pokemon Volkswagen Beetle.

After reading this, I had no idea that the game was first, then the manga and then the anime. I like that they interviewed a retailer to get her perspective on how the game was being played at her store. Really good question and answers. You need read this. There are two Pokemon interviews with the Japanese producer Takemoto Mori and English actor Eric Stuart who voices the characters Brock, and Team Rocket’s James and various Pokemon like Squirtle. Fascinating note: He’s a professional singer who has toured with Ringo Starr, Lynyrd Skyyard, Jethro Tull, Hall and Oats…and Chicago.

Highlights from this issue:

  • Did you know that Columbia House did a monthly anime subscription service? Free preview and low introductory price to get you in and then you get charged one new title for $19.99 (plus shipping and handling) every 4 to 6 weeks.
    • Keep the Anime Mayhem coming! Future videos include the killer robots from Patlabor: Mobile Police and the lethal vixens of the Legend of Lenmear!

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Satoshi Kon Interview – Perfect Blue Animerica June 1999

Kite-anime-cover-smI was at Big Apple Anime Fest (BAAF) in August 2003 and got to see the world premiere of Satoshi Kon’s Tokyo Godfathers and also got to see Millennial Actress as part of the double bill that evening. That was a treat.

Below is a feature article introducing Satoshi Kon’s directorial debut for Perfect Blue. Take time out of your day to read this 3 page interview below.  I still haven’t watched Perfect Blue nor Paprika. I really should. The only knowledge I have of Perfect Blue is this AMV that I first saw about 10 years ago.

Kite is on the cover. Similar to Perfect Blue. I know only about the show because of an AMV:

Highlights from this issue:

  • First appearance of Outlaw Star.
    Both Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star were first released in VHS with only a $5 markup for the English Subtitled version

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Animerica May 1999 – All About The Slayers and Over Priced VHS English Subtitled Anime Releases

Tatsunoko-anime-gatchaman-animerica-May-1999-smThe cover is Gatchaman Tatsunoko greatness, but I think The Slayers feature is the best part of this issue. If you want to introduce your friends to Slayers, send them to read this feature scan. That’s kinda it on the main items to cover. Onto the highlights of this issue. Lots of 90s ads.

  • Urban Vision uses an accent in the word anime. Plus this cringe worthy copy “The latest and greatest animation releases for every boy and girl.”
  • Those Who Hunt Elves – Never seen it but I remember people asking questions about this title at several ADV industry con panels in the 2000s.
  • The price hike from English Dub VHS to English Subtitled VHS has now dropped to a $5 difference. The English subtitle version costs more, but in reality producing an English dub costs more than an English subtitle release. Just a little bit of profit grabbing that every studio did back then.
  • I have about 15 volume of Five Star Stories but not a full set. Maybe I should make this an Ebay and Amazon Marketplace challenge.
  • Did anyone reading this become a member of CPM’s Mangamania Club of America? What was it?
  • Enjoy 4 pages of scanned beach themed anime fan art.

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Animerica April 1999 Full of Lum and Urusei Yatsura

Video-Girl-Ai-Animerica-smBack in 1998-99 these Animerica issues had lots of promotion for Video Girl Ai. I eventually got this series in 2009 in a Right Stuff sale for cheap and have yet to watch it. But that’s not really the focus of this issue for me. It’s the Urusei Yatsura feature.

I had no idea that the Urusei Yatsura manga went from 1978 to 1987 and that there were 195 episodes. This is one show that I would like to see streaming on Hulu or Netflix. It’s still referenced and talked about, but few people have access to learn about and watch it.

I’ll be scanning these series features when they are shows that have stood the test of time.

Other highlights from this issue:

  • The Seven Types of Anime Girls – Will all the sub-genres of current anime, this list could grow to 10-15.
  • Ad for Chibi-Pop Manga. My sister has a copy. I will scan the cover and a couple of pages one day.
  • Media Blasters priced the VHS English Dub and VHS English sub of Kite for $19.98. Same price, no $5-$10 increase for the English sub.
  • CPM does the same for Slayers VHS.
  • Theme for this issues anime fan art is western. Bizarre.
  • No idea that this release of Sakura Wars was this old.
  • I might have night terrors from this ActionAce toy ad. Too much Pikachu plush.

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Animerica Irresponsible Captain Tylor March 1999 Issue

Animerica-captain-tylorIrresponsible Captain Tylor is one of the shows where I have purchased the series years ago, but have yet to watch it. I know this to be the old school favorite of older fans, but I don’t hear the praises of this title much these days. Maybe some of the old fans suggest this to a new crowd or show it at their regional anime convention/club.

Highlights for this issue:

  • I scanned the entire 7 page feature on Irresponsible Captain Tylor. Perhaps this will get people interested into watching the series. (That’s my intention with scanning these features)
  • This issue had a lot of ads of anime shows that time and fandom have forgotten. Let us go through the list: Panzer Dragon, Ushio and Tora, Ninja Resurrection (a title just similar looking enough to Ninja Scroll-but not related), Ninja Cadets, Eat-Man, Agent Aika, Battle Athletes V, and Haunted Junction. I predict in one year’s time of writing this article, Discotek will have licensed rescued at least one of these titles.

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Animerica February 1999 – The Loser Hero – Story Trope – Bastard!!

Animerica_bastard-anime-Feb-1999Bastard!! The only reason I have a copy of this anime series is because of the exclamation points (that and at the time I traded FUNimation shows for Pioneer shows with a counter-part at Pioneer)

Onto the highlights!

  • Animerica gave some information from those paper response card people sent it. The majority of Animerica readers 50/50 male, female split with the average ages of readers being 15-17 female and 17-19 male. The youngest given age was 9 and the oldest was late fifties.
  • Best article explanation of the most overused anime trope at the time The Loser Hero. Must read. Double must read.

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Manga Mania #42 – UK Anime, Manga and Asian Action Film Magazine – October/November 1997

Manga_Mania_thumbnailIn the ’90s while North America had Protoculture Addicts and Animerica, the UK had a couple of anime magazines.

This is an issue of Manga Mania, edited by Helen McCarthy and Editorial Assistants Jonathan Clements and Martin Eden.  Spend a couple of minutes and check out their personal sites for more info on these people.

I like the tone of UK anime magazines. They read very conversational and honest – calling a spade a spade – with a lot of news and speculation of future projects.

Hightlights:

  • Princess Ghost does sound more interesting/cooler than Princess Mononoke in my opinion.
  • UK convention write-ups and a fanzine review
  • Reviews for Tenchi Muyo!, Grappler Baki, Zeoraima: Project Hades, Gunsmith Cats, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Detonator Orgun, MD Geist and Black Jack
  • Article profiling composer and arranger Shiro Sagisu – mainly about Neon Genesis Evengelion work
  • Kia Asamiya is profiled as well.

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