e179. ImproveReality?

Several weeks ago, we did a show on how stand-up comedy works in the middle of a pandemic. We talked about the transition that comedians went through to move a traditionally “in-person” art form to an entirely virtual environment. But what about other art forms? Lots of performances that at least seem to “require” a…

CFC: Improv in the Living Room

From Mav: Way back in April — which granted, wasn’t actually that long ago, but in the world of COVID, feels like a lifetime — we did a show about how stand-up comedy works in a world where everyone’s socialization is socially distant. Since that time, the world got a little better and then a…

e176. What Was Social Networking?

Instagram recently made an announcement that they were going to be shifting their social networking focus away from “photos”. This decision prompted a collective “WTF?” from the users who saw it. You see, Instagram claims that their primary business isn’t photos (despite having a whole motif from their logo to their name based around polaroid…

Call for Comments: Photo Sharing isn’t for Photos?!?

From Katya: Instagram recently announced that the photo sharing app is no longer a place to share photos. The actual design implications aren’t clear nor is the actual goal. Instagram head Adam Mosseri says that the app’s goal is “to…entertain” with a focus on “Creators, Video, Shopping and Messaging.” Which reads as a pretty accurate…

e157. Standup Comedy Sitting on the Couch

Zoom meetings are are a simple fact of life in the pandemic lockdown world. Work meetings, school classrooms, social events. At this point, we’ve all done them. And quite honestly, we’re all sick of them. But as long as we’re trapped in the lockdown world, they’ve just become a reality. But what about jobs that…

Call for Comments: Performing the Minimum and Virtual Protesting

From Katya: This episode is more than a bit overdue but it’s especially pervading online culture right now: online activism. The internet has unquestionably opened up historic new options for sharing information, fund raising, and promoting causes and events. But for smart phones and the internet, most of us would not know the names of…

Call for Comments: Social Media and Free Speech

From Hannah: At the end of March (so basically, an entire decade ago) we released our episode “News By Meme,” which dealt with how social media spreads news and the consequences with this — especially content that is inaccurate. Briefly in that episode, we discussed the policies social media companies like Facebook are adopting to…

Call For Comments: Avatars and the Virtual You

From Mav: In the last few days an interesting meme of sorts has popped up on Facebook: people posting their “Facebook Avatars,” stylized cartoonish self-made images generated with Facebook’s mobile app. They’re cute enough, but rather innocuous and I didn’t think much of it. I did play around with it for 5 min and made…

Call For Comments: News by Meme

From Mav: I had the idea of doing a show based on the benefits and failings of meme culture quite some time ago and given the events of the last few weeks (and this last week of worldwide covid-19/coronavirus pandemic especially) it seems like it’s maybe more important to do this one than ever. I’ve…

Call for Comments: Pop Culture Etiquette

From Hannah: We spend a lot of time on the show talking about how we experience pop culture with other people. I only watched Game of Thrones, really, because I enjoyed sharing it with my friends. We have online communities of strangers, where we can all commiserate over The Bachelor franchise. Back in the olden…