Watching My Children During The Quarantine Convinced Me To Get Back Into Podcasting -- And Expanded Media

Watching My Children During The Quarantine Convinced Me To Get Back Into Podcasting -- And Expanded Media

category: podcast

I was wrong.
 
Watching my teen-aged children during the quarantine was fascinating. As adults grappled with working remotely, fumbling over online meetings, teens took to  connecting virtually like fish to water. For the generation that knows not a world without Facebook, connecting with peers solely through the internet was a natural seamless act.

For my gamer teens, their hardware of choice was fascinating. Of all the devices in all the houses in all the world, they had to step into... PC's! PC hardware is my balliwick. First thing I did when I bought my first PC was crash it about fifty times on purpose to learn exactly how DOS behaved under different circumstances. Ports, interrupts, file systems, boot records... For the longest time I thought this stuff was going out of style, limping along solely due to a fringe of gamers and a bigger fringe of software developers (and an even fringer fringe of "Hackintoshers" -- {cough cough!}).

Oh boy, was I WRONG. Wrong with a capital exclamation mark! First sign, which didn't quite dawn on me until in retrospect, was when my gamer teens asked Dear Old Dad to put down his PC Hardware magazine (shout out to MaximumPC.com) and suggest hardware purchases. Suggested components turned into real purchases turned into an impressive array of boxes at home. Which turned into a plea to morph the boxes of hardware into a working PC. My first Ryzen build!

When it comes to monitors, gamers cannot have just one. The visual effect is stunning! One monitor devoted to The Game, the other monitor running support stuff -- multiple windows, including Netflix (I recall seeing the odd school online session here-and-there). Various devices orbit The Gaming PC for texting and what-not. Every screen was in motion.

Having confirmed that the games played could be played on a gaming console, I queried why opt for a PC? Reasons: more power, and wider selection of games. And, I'm sure, the overall set-up is more conducive to an overall integrative experience gaming with their friends.

I was wrong about how robust the PC world really is.

To mention it in passing, there is a third generator of PC hardware demand: content creators.

I was very wrong about streaming in general and Twitch in particular.

Not that my teen-aged children are Twitch users, they are at most casual users. However, they have Discord open in the secondary monitors constantly. Twitch and Discord integrate, a recent feature. Meaning that it came into being during the quarantine -- very interesting!

I come at this from a few approaches: someone who is curious, someone who was an active podcaster, someone who co-organizes technology meet-ups. And, someone who is a software developer. And, perhaps not insignificantly, as a dev getting deeper into Amazon Web Services.

What does Amazon have to do with anything? Well, I missed this. Sure, it's been six years: Amazon buys Twitch. That answers the question how Twitch is able to cope with the increased usage these last few months.

I learned that there is broadcasting open source software free for the downloading. This is not exactly news, but it is to me because it's not an area I've been following. Well, I should have! It's called OBS Studio. Guess who one of the "premier sponsors"? Twitch. Which means Amazon. Which means that sight unseen I assume that this software is stable and up-to-date. To induce people to stream, Amazon kick's in money for this FOSS. I assume this is the motivation. I just installed OBS Studio and am enjoying it so far. Yes, enjoying it. I literally do not understand the video tutorials I watch, but give it time. 

I want to emphasize this: OBS Studio is free. For everyone. Remarkable!

I discovered a video editor that is feature rich, modern, and free. Free! It's called DaVinci Resolve.

These two free programs are made for the PC (and MacOS). Did I mention content creation as a demand motivator for PC hardware?

Getting back into podcasting, along with getting into some tech streaming and videos, has potential. Podcasting is bigger than ever. Cross platform media has quite the potential, a potential I've either ignored or under-estimated.

Watching my teenaged children during the quarantine was an education!

P.S.: Just saw this article about Discord raising $100million to "expand its service beyond the gaming community".