n.e.r.d. vision feedback

Andy and I are talking about taking about possibly taking the show in new and different directions. So we are here to ask you what you like best, and what you hate about n.e.r.d. vision. If you could leave comments that would be great!

I just send you a long e-mail, but I guess I can put it here too. Check the e-mail listed in the Episode 3 show notes, because there’s some other stuff at the end.

  • More “non-live-to-tape” type content. The DiggNation format is great, but you could break it up (and make it seem less long, that last one was a doozey) by adding some other segments.

** In the Mayhem at the Merrimack episode, you showed intro footage of some people making Liquid Nitrogen ice cream: why not interview them and have it be a segment on the show?
** Interviews. Maybe you can interview someone well known in the community. Just ask them some questions and things like that.
** Video Contest: Lots of teams have video sub-teams. You know how 71 made that Motorola knock-off video? Have a contest where teams can submit a short movie like that to NERD Vision, and then the winner(s) get included in episodes! It’d get you free content, and promote video making in FIRST.

  • Fancy Graphics!

** I know how much of a pain it is to do anything complex, but a few pop-overs would help. Like you did with the myspace URL in the last episode, overlays help us figure out what’s going on. A bar at the beginning with “Andy Grady Jess Boucher” or whoever is on screen would be helpful to help new viewers learn who is who. Also, when you’re talking about a particular event, you could throw images on. Like the NERD Awards, it would have been cool to have the pictures taken of the teams accepting the awards, or even just of their robots. And when you say e-mail addresses, you can flash them up on the screen to give the audience the actual thing, instead of having to listen.
** Credits are cool. Tell people who did what. Play our theme song again. Throw in blooper video.

I definitely agree with Greg in that there needs to be more, as he said, “on-live-to-tape” stuff on the show. I think that would definitely make it more interesting. I also think that the file sizes need to somehow be smaller, as it was already discussed in the thread on episode 3.

I really think that more editing and more of an outline of the show needs to be made. The unorganized chaos of the show is funny, I’ll admit, but there’s a limit that needs to be set on how much of that can be put into one show.

I do think that Greg made a lot of really good suggestions, and I agree with him on nearly all of them.

I’ll be looking for n.e.r.d vision episode 4 (despite the fact that I’m a MAVERICK :p)!

EDIT: Also, here’s an idea. Maybe next season, you can follow a team (from n.e.r.d territory, of course) around a bit and take some video. You can show the way the team goes about designing and building the robot, complications that they had, etc. Then, you can edit all the video and have an episode where you show the highlights of it.

Also, it would be cool to have a “featured team of the episode,” where you invite someone from a team to come on the show and you do a short interview with them. It would help to add bit of flavor to the show and make it even more interesting and neat.

Right now, the 300 meg download for video offers no advantages over just pure audio, you guys just set up a camera infront of you and taped, nothing was added, and as such, it lacks. I agree with Greg, you guys NEED to have more video-centric things, such as how-tos, interviews, etc, not just MattK, Andy, & insert random person sitting infront of a camera. If this is the format you guys want to follow, why not just release an mp3 download then? Even with diggnation you get clips of videos and urls to links.

And while this is NERD centric, why limit yourselves? I sometimes get the feeling that NERD is like a snotty country club that only invites based on geographical location, not a tool to spread the message of FIRST.


This is exactly the type of mentality we are trying to get away from. NERD Vision is hoping to actually expand beyond the bounds of New England competition and we will in time…its just hard to show because we are from New England and it seems as this is the only place we can tape right now.

We have also made efforts to try to stop posting so many pictures, and instead of posting about NERD without results, we are trying to post what we are doing. NERD Vision is one of the projects of NERD which we hope will benefit all of the people in the FIRST community, not just those in New England. We have made NERD Awards to help spread the spirit of New England around our region, we are heading a group of people from all over New England to travel out to IRI to take part in what should be a wonderful competition, and we have alot of other things comming up.

In short, I’m sick of hearing people call us “elitist” or “snotty” or whatever. And I am sick of explaining it over and over again to people that we are not trying to be elitist, and that results are forthcomming. Here are your results…our mission is to spread excitement for FIRST in New England…so far its been a success. Now we are reaching out to the rest of the FIRST community by sharing what we think will be alot of fun for everyone to enjoy in NERD Vision.

I’m done.

Maybe we will release an MP3, and Idea that n.e.r.d. had before FIRSTCast came out… however we respected that you acted on it first and felt like if we started an audio podcast we would be stepping on your toes… we would not want to steal listeners.

Edit: In hindsight this post came out totally different than I had intended it to be. I never really meant to be come out sounding so defensive, and I was strapped for time when I wrote it so I didn’t fully reread through it the way I normally do when posting. I’m sorry. :o

[strike]Way back in the summer of 1787, several dozen delegates from the thirteen original colonies met in complete secrecy to rewrite the laws on which this country was founded from the ground up. As a result of these secret meetings, the United States Constitution was born. One might argue that why should the formation of a democratic nation be solely the work or an “elitist” group of rich and wealthy delegates?

What it all comes down to a case of having too fingers in the pie at once.

The N.E.R.D. organization wanted to start small at first with a small group of people to help set organization in the right direction. And once everything is moving in the right direction we said we would begin to get more and more people involved in the program - which is what we are doing at the moment. Over the last few months, we have added literally dozens of new N.E.R.D.s; the only difference is that we have stopped posting pictures of every N.E.R.D. here on Chief Delphi.[/strike]

We are extremely sorry that you may feel offended by us, as we have never meant for any of that reaction to occur. This is not any different than IndianaFIRST promoting FIRST in Indiana. Would I call InFIRST elitist because they primarily focused on supporting FIRST only in Indiana? No. Would I call N.E.R.D. elitist because our primary goal is supporting FIRST in New England? No.

The only difference I can see between the two organizations is that N.E.R.D. hit a sweet spot among the FIRST community - where many consider themselves nerds or geeks. One may argue that our organization is a victim of its own popularity, in that everyone in FIRST wants to be a “nerd”, while the primary goal of our organization is growing and maturing FIRST in the New England region - but we are also working on a lot projects to help or benefit FIRST and FIRSTers everywhere.

Umm, I’m pretty sure this thread is for feedback regarding NERD Vision.

Yeah, that’s what I thought, as my origional comment was made more towards the podcast and not towards general NERD.

Putting out an MP3 audio file won’t steal listeners from other podcasts. If anything, you’d probably gain listeners. Just because FIRSTCast releases audio doesn’t mean you guys can’t either. The more options you have for people, the better.

I do agree that the podcast could use some more substance and content for each episode. But I think that will come with more time and experience.

I see that you guys are thinking to the future and that you don’t want the podcast or N.E.R.D. itself to seem reserved and such. However, right now I’d say work with what you got. You have a lot of teams in a closely compacted area. The podcast is called N.E.R.D. Vision after all, so why not go out and interview some East Coast teams. Get the word out about them. Many of us don’t know much about teams from out East. I’ll admit it, I don’t. I’ve been to VCU once and that was my only ‘out East’ experience.

Anyway, I’m rambling some. My point is, I think it would be cool, if even for only 5 - 8 minutes, to interview a team, see what they are working with and find out their history. How they came about, any cool stories that aren’t well known but maybe you guys could make well known.

Just an idea, do with it what you will.

I’ll end this here and now, and get us back on topic to N.E.R.D. Vision…

FIRST isn’t a despotic nation, ruled by a group of aristocrats; England was (for the record, I’m English).

The argument that it seems many people have against the organization is that many respected, known people in the New England area weren’t added into N.E.R.D., solely because they weren’t “in the circle of friends of Andy Grady” (I won’t cite who said this, they want to remain anonymous).

IndianaFIRST doesn’t have an exclusive membership list like N.E.R.D. does. People don’t have a problem because its just New England being affected, but rather that there isn’t an open membership.

You might want to ask around. That really isn’t the issue.

And now returning to N.E.R.D. Vision:

You guys have a good thing going with the video. There occasionally are some points in the episodes where things go a bit off topic, and people lose track of what’s happening. I’ve had to pause the video while watching it some times just so I can take a break from the constant talking, with little differenciation between topics. Perhaps you could add an overlay on the video showing the section of the episode you’re on.

Speaking of overlays, would it be possible to also post the host names at the bottom of the screen under each person at the start of the show? It’d make it much easier for those who don’t know the faces of the hosts too well to learn them.

Listen, Adam, I appreciate your comments, and with all due respect I have answered every single one of your statements in previous posts and it aggrivates the heck outa me that people keep going back to them. The quoted statement in particular really gets to me because everyone assumes that these people that were given shirts were personal friends. Fact of the matter is, most of those who are currently NERDS are people who just simply came up to me and asked to be a part of NERD at the right time. Many were also people that I JUST MET and impressed me with their dedication to the program and I felt they could help the cause. IT WAS NOT A POPULARITY CONTEST AND IT WAS NOT MY CIRCLE OF FRIENDS. As I have said before, we may have went about things the wrong way by making it seem like we were elitist…but I did it the way I did it so that we could get the attention of the FIRST community…and it sure as heck worked. Because of all the attention…I managed to get many people (well over 50 now) involved with NERD. And we are continuing to grow (with many NERDS not even having shirts) and will continue to do so.

I wonder if instead of handing out shirts, and calling the group NERD, we just called ourselves New England FIRST and invited certain people to make a group, whether or not we would have got the same attention. I think thats what Art’s main point was in his post.

I appologize if I sound harsh or defensive in this post, but this has been a sore subject that we have been working hard to try to eliminate with our efforts. If you could see how much the members of NERD want to show people within FIRST that we do not intend to be “elitist”, no one would give us any grief. That is genuine, that is the truth, and that is the end of it.

Outside of NERD Vision, our efforts in NERD will now be silent to all of those in these boards. We will work on improving our region and ideas in a quiet and non-intrusive manner so that no one will be offended anymore. I appologize for causing so much trouble to all of you.

As for the comments about NERD Vision…

We are definately understanding the idea that you want to see more inlays and such. We are going to work on finding a balanced way of doing so, plus adding alot of the segments that Adam and Joe mentioned. We are still in our baby phase and hopefully as we get more accustomed to doing this show, we can throw in all kinds of little neat tricks and such. We are about you the viewer and we hope to make this a show that can be very cool for everyone to enjoy!


Personally, I love it! It’s taught me so much.

And take their advice.

Please don’t turn this thread into a closed one. Because feedback is good.


By stating this you seem to say, Only those who impressed me became a N.E.R.D., now wouldn’t saying they impressed you put them above those who do not? This also means someone who does not impress you can not enter into the group. Saying only those who impress me are aloud to enter pretty much means you consider them the elite. This also means all those who wish to enter must come through you, preventing its growth, controlling it to only allow an elite group.

Now this could have been a wrong choice of words or it could have meant exactly what you meant.

About NERD vision, I found it too long, funny at times but too long to be watching people sitting on a back deck. Perhaps insert video, edit out the bad parts/mistakes. Like said before there is currently no/few reason(s) for this to be a video, rather than audio.

I’ve made my points about NERD and I have PMed you, I am done talking about it. I ask that everyone else drop it as well so we don’t get this thread closed as Daisy had said.

I am kinda curious to see what you would consider as a mistake that we should pull? I think one of the charms of the shows we have done so far are when things get a little out of control and we make mistakes. Usually when mistakes happen, thats when the funny stuff takes part. Do you have an example maybe we can view to understand what you mean?

I definately understand the long part…40 minutes is a long time for someone to sit there and look at a bunch of people talking with no screen cuts. We are going to try to develop a way to make it more pleasing to the eye…as right now, you are right, it is very similar to a radio show with a camera tossed in front of it. Though I will say, with the camera, you can see things you can never see during an audio podcast (i.e. facial expressions, random happenings, etc…). I think some of the funnier moments have been when something random pops up on screen and we react to it. Thats what the major difference in the visual has been as compared to audio.

Thank you all so much for your input on NERD Vision. We are definately listening and hope that we can help make this something better with your help.