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This record is the summary of a discussion currently being put forward by CaptClare, Pamagotchi and myself.  The points being discussed are something we have thought about for some time and we wanted to put our ideas and comments together and release them for discussion in the Town Hall.

Note: Where you see "I", understand that is "we"

Hi all,

I was browsing through the ‘Collaborate’ page, looking for a particular collaboration (specifically The V’s Collab), and I noticed that the ‘In Production’ and ‘In Development’ pages aren’t nearly as cluttered as they were before.

While this is good that those pages have been tidied up, there are an awful lot of things that have been removed (like The V’s Collab).

Then I started guessing the reasons why.  Were they finished? Were they dropped? Are there simply no more contributions required for them?

But here’s the thing: I shouldn’t have to guess.

While hR has been very good about putting up requests and doing ‘Project Update’ texts, those records are about asking for more contributions.  But there isn’t anything telling us what isn’t being worked on.

It sounds simple, right?  But honestly, it could make a big difference if we knew what was going on with all of the requests that have been made over the last 9 months.

With my first question being ‘Can we have an update on past requests that won’t be making it to the finish line?’  my second question is: Can we please have an episode list ?

Specifically, it would help if we could have a breakdown of the episodes, and what segments would be included in each episode. 

While I realise that it may not be ‘locked’ or whatever, it would at least give us an idea of how each episode is shaping up.

It would also tell us which segments are in, and which are, sadly, dropped.  There was a lot of disenchantment last season over some segments which were cut, which was a complete surprise to us when the episode was aired.  We could easily alleviate any sort of controversy this season by simply listing out what is or is not being included.

Once the list is written for the community to see, it could then be updated regularly, maybe with a simple scoring out of segments that are finished, or that are no longer being included in the episode, with a simple notation saying why.   So for example: NAME OF SEGMENT (Cut for time) or NAME OF SEGMENT (completed).

Basically, this is all to say that I don’t want to guess anymore. I don’t want to surmise, and I don’t want to suppose.  I’d rather just know.  And I think we’re all mature enough to be able to handle it, and would probably handle it better now than finding out on the episode air date.  This kind of communication could go a long way to heading off any potential intense discussions, hurt feelings, shock, disenchantment, etc, that we’d have to deal with further down the road.

Also, and this might seem a bit harsh, but I don’t think everything has to be a secret.  It feels like everything is, but we’re a community.  Why are there any surprises at all?  Just say.   I’d rather have a full network of communication than just a trickle, which is seems like we have just now.

To further exemplify my point, one thing that I've noticed is that we've had a massive bottleneck of drama lately: Lexi's song being remixed with Joe’s vocals, the new green screen footages, Mindy Kaling being commissioned to write something, the hiring of a voice over actress for Octopus Mom and now the ‘What They Say’ song/video shoot. I can't help but think that all of the drama could have been avoided if you’d been up front with us from the beginning of each of those things. I feel like, if there had just been an announcement at the time of each of those things, then there wouldn't be a bottleneck of drama going on. For instances:

  • Back in November , if the community had been told, 'Hey, we're going to get Todrick on board, who is going to sing this song with his posse'

  • Same with the voice over for Octopus Mom. If,  back when you were scheduling the actress to come in, if there was a quick update saying 'Hey, we're getting someone in to read this, but this is because we feel it requires a bit more hands on direction.' that would have been cool.

  • If there had been a record released beforehand which said, 'We're shooting some green screen footage with Chris Messina, oh and also, we're pleased to announce that Minda Kaling has expressed an interest in writing something for Re: The Dark'. 

I think that in all of these instances, just saying ahead of time would have prevented so many small fires from cropping up every couple weeks.  And you know what?  We’d have been so cool about it, and it would save so much time for those in HQ not to have to chase after every single potential flare up.

What we got instead were some ambiguous selfies from Joe, some random raw behind-the-scenes footage popping up on the site, and a tweet by Mindy Kaling and that isn't right. 

I get that the goal was probably to get us excited wondering what was going to happen, but actually it accomplished exactly the opposite.

The click-bait, like the selfies, etc  listed above, will work a treat on Twitter and other social media networks, to help to pull people into the community.  But I think we, as the community, should be told. 

I hope that these suggestions and requests are all taken in the manner in which they were meant: that I’m trying to start a positive discussion to find some solutions.  It may seem obvious to the community that these are problems to overcome, but it might not be glaringly obvious to anyone over at HQ, and so I felt it best to just get it all out in the open so that we can continue to have a healthy discussion about the best way forward from here.


Lis, Pam, Clare

Please see Pamagotchi's record 'Town Hall: re: Communication, Transparency and Community'
Edit: I've been trying to figure out how we could possibly resolve the 'teaser pictures' etc, you know the ones that are posted up on either Joe's or hitRECord's twitter with very little or no explanation? I had the startling discovery of a Joe Fan Blog today (which was an eye-opener!), and so I sort of understand why these photos are released on twitter, etc. I kinda get it. It gets the fans all excited and then they start supposing things, and this creates a buzz and an excitement about his newest project.

But surely there must be some way that we can get info that isn't then leaked to these fanblogs and then destroying the buzz. I want to respect Joe's fan strategy, but at the same time, I feel like these 'accidentally on purpose' photo leaks are part of the cause for our low morale around communication.

Does anyone have any ideas?  

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