Thursday, March 24, 2011

online monster book club

for the month of april, another doorstop book and time magazine's choice for 100 greatest novels in the english language since 1923, david foster wallace's infinite jest.   this from wikipedia:
log on to every 2nd and 4th tuesday from 6-11 pm to participate. 

a quick explanation of the online monster book club:  the monster book club is just that; big books, monster books, doorstops...all the books you say you want to read but never do, or have attempted to read but have put down (after reading around 100 pages or so...).  the idea for the online book club is to make it easier for more people to participate.  the club meets online (see link above) anywhere from 6-11 pm "twice" a month; the 2nd and 4th tuesdays.  the length of the meeting makes it easier for people on the east coast to participate as well.  blogtv allows two people to video chat with up to 500 people in a chat room.  anyone with an internet connection and/or webcam can participate.  (i think there is an app in the works for iphone/ipad).  the live video/chat room experience can be quite frenetic and fast paced, but no more so than any regular book club that meets once a month.  people can have group discussions, private discussions and if they have a web cam they can come up for a video chat wherein they briefly give their take on the book and answer questions from the chatroom and host. 

some of you may know that i do a weekly poetry broadcast of the redondo poets at the coffee cartel in redondo beach every tuesday from 8 pm to 10 pm (on the same channel).  this will not affect the book club meetings as the poetry broadcast from 8 to 10 can be muted and any comments or sound from members on video "cannot" be heard by the cartel audience.  of course, those logged on for the poetry broadcast will be slightly put off by all the booktalk chatter but they can simply ignore the comments and mute the video.  (yes, i know it's a bit complicated but it becomes quite obvious what's going on once you participate). 

i have another channel on blogtv, this channel can be used in the future for meetings of the online monster book club.  if you know anything about blogtv you know that it's a very interactive and spontaneous medium.  it's primarily a social medium where 100s, sometimes 1000s of people are wandering in and out of various video broadcasts (called "shows").  of course, the default settings allow anyone to log on at any time and begin cursing like a drunken sailor at a justin bieber concert (that's a lot of cursing by the way).  i would like to keep the sessions open as it's possible to "kick" out any offending members or viewers if they begin cursing, fouling up the proceedings or if they have any negative comments about our forthcoming book club book under the volcano by malcom lowry (one of my favorite books).  if things get out of control, it's always possible to have a members only show where only pre-approved book club members can participate.  new members would be auditioned and given approval upon acceptance...of course no details have been worked out yet... 

my idea for the online book club is "hyper-casual," in the sense that i want a loose environment (insert dan garcia black joke here...) where members can come and go at will, give their opinions via video/chat etc and interact with others with similair literary interests.  i want the club to be something akin to a guy sitting at the end of the bar who won't stop talking about books and literature.  this guy is sitting at the end of the bar every 2nd and 4th tuesdays of each month from 6-10 pm and you can walk up to him and begin chatting about books anytime...he's not particular about the company he keeps. 

...and no, you don't have to have read any of the books we dicuss.  a comment such as "I wouldn't be caught dead reading that book..." is just as valid as any other. 

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