Every Wednesday Doug (a.k.a. DJ Doug) and I host Karaoke at a club called Firehouse Lounge in Austin, TX. The main reason I do it is because I love doing gangsta rap songs at Karaoke, and if I'm a host I get to sing more. Plus all of our friends come, so it's a really fun little event.
But last week was more fun than usual.
When I found out that my friend Elisia had a police taser, I immediately went to work trying to think of a good use for it. After a short while, Taseroke was born. The premise was simple - two people would sing a song of their own choosing and whoever the crowd thought did worse would get tased mercilessly by me.
The only problem was - how would a club possibly agree to let me tase people on stage?
One night at closing one of the owners was there.
"Hey man, I was thinking about having taseroke one week... "
I explained the idea to him.
He laughed and said, "I like it, but we can't do it. It's too dangerous."
"Come on. I know you want to see people get tazed. I'll make a waiver so you aren't liable."
"Well... I do want to see people get tased..."
With a little more cajoling, he agreed!
At first my friend Todd and my co-host/DJ, Doug, agreed to compete. I figured that even if no one else did, at least people would get to see someone get tased. But then something strange happened. As I told my friends about it, they ALL wanted to get tased. Jlaix and Christophe from Real Social Dynamics even flew in early to participate.
We decided to hold it on July 4th. What's more American than tasing your friends?
The club was pretty packed. Word had spread about Taseroke and everyone wanted to see it. I got slightly worried because I looked on google and there were many reported deaths from tasers. I didn't want to kill my friends.
Elisia brought the taser and Todd brought some batteries. We combined the two and then - NOTHING. The taser was broken! We took the batteries out, put them back in, NOTHING.
Todd ran to a convenient store and bought some new batteries.
After some finagling he finally got it working. The thing was scary. It was the size and color of a small police club. On the end were two brass electrodes. Pressing the button cread a little bolt of lightning between the two with a loud pulsing crack noise.
Finally at midnight I started the action... I'll let the video tell the rest of the story.
One other incident of note that wasn't captured on video is when Cristophe went totally nuts. He decided that I needed to be tased too. He riled up the crowd and asked who wanted to see me tased. Those ingrateful bloodthirsty peons rose against me, so he ran at me and tried to tackle me and take the taser.
Luckily I was... armed with a taser... so I was able to stifle the resistance. It was really fun getting to tase someone in a semi-real life setting.
Before I start this post - thanks so much to people who came to Karaoke. It was mostly people I already knew, but one reader, Curtis, came. I thought it was totally awesome that he read about Karaoke here and decided to go. Even better, he nailed Guns 'N Roses' Welcome to the Jungle. Also in attendance were my brother and his friends, Steve, Anissa, and Dan from work, and Todd and Doug who helped me run the show.
I had no idea what I was getting into. Things like "hey, I should probably have music for when no one is karaokeing" never even occurred to me. All I had was the leaked copy of Jay-Z's Kingdom Come, so I kept playing that. There was silence, there was no crossfading. That part of the show was a disaster. I also had no idea how to hook stuff up to their system, so the first hour was spent doing that. I felt really bad for people who came during that part.
Finally things got rolling, although I think only 4 people I didn't know sang songs. It wasn't too busy because the weather was cold.
I've been a power Wordpress user for a long time. We use Wordpress for our company blog, and it works well.
But for my personal blog, Wordpress has often felt like I was slogging through the mud. I wanted something more social. I want to create and foster a community of like-minded people who can all share knowledge with each other. And when my friend Tynan told me about a new blogging platform he and Todd were creating, I jumped at the chance to be the first external blog to make the switch.
For too long, blogs have been one-way broadcasts of information, when in reality there are communities of people interacting with a blog's content. Many of those people have very valuable perspectives and opinions to share. Despite the plethora of plugins available for Wordpress, it just hasn't been possible to get it to be as social as I wanted. SETT solves all of those issues.
The irony is that Tynan and Todd haven't even built in social sharing features into SETT yet, and still I find it to be much more social than Wordpress was. It really showcases what I mean when I say that people misunderstand social. Social isn't about sharing to as many people as you can, but rather about creating and fostering meaningful conversations between people who share similar interests -- even if none of them are "friends" or followers on any one social network.
Here's an interview with Tynan about what makes SETT special. I'd love to hear what you think in the comments. And try posting your thoughts in the community section, at right.