Screen Jam hasn't been a screen gem, but I still have hopes for it.
It's been clear that I can't give an entertainment blog the same dedication that I give a Dodger blog. Part of that is just the time constraints on my schedule; part of it is that my job at Variety prevents me from being completely open with what I'd like to say. As a result, my posts have been sporadic - sometimes disappearing for more than a week at a time.
Nevertheless, it's also clear that members of the Dodger Thoughts and Baseball Toaster community join me in having a passion for arts and culture, as well as an occasional ability to articulate that passion, and I still think Screen Jam and Toaster.TV can be a great home for that. So, although I have given thought to merging the Screen Jam content back into Dodger Thoughts, I'd like to give Screen Jam another shot. I actually still have very high hopes for it.
The first step has already been taken: I'm making as explicitly clear as possible what was always true - every chat thread at Screen Jam is an open chat thread. One of the great things about Dodger Thoughts is how the community keeps the discussion going without me and initiates new discussions. That same feeling hasn't crossed over to Screen Jam, but I want people to know they can. The only thing people in different time zones have to be careful not to do is spoil TV shows for those who haven't had a chance to see them yet.
Of course, one of the biggest complaints about Screen Jam is that there's no point in starting a discussion with no one going over there. On the other hand, I began Dodger Thoughts with an audience of one, so I know you can't be a slave to your audience or lack of one. But absolutely, the more the merrier. If people begin to expect ongoing chats there, I think we'll start to get momentum.
For my part, I'll try to keep the chat going by being more rigorous in posting there myself. The posts may often be super short - nothing more than conversation starters - but it should contribute to that feeling of life.
In addition, I want Screen Jam to be more than just television, more than just television and movies. This is especially important right now, trying to generate participation in the final month of the broadcast TV season. In a month, there won't be nearly as much television to talk about. So please, jump in any time and talk about a book you read, a song you like, a play you saw. I'd like to see some philosophy if you can muster it.
Finally, people have suggested inviting guest posts to Screen Jam. I'm finding myself open to this idea. I still have some questions in my own mind to answer about the logistics and the quantity, but I can see it happening - I sort of am intrigued by the idea of becoming a de facto managing editor of Screen Jam. If this is something you'd be interested in, you can let me know in the comments.
My instinct is that guest posts should strive to be of a higher quality than your average comment in terms of style and grammar - not that the comments here aren't first-rate - but you can tell me how you feel about that as well. Certainly, I'm not going to have time to edit other people's posts.
Anyway, that's where things are today. Screen Jam has been going for about eight months now, and it's been a learning experience - which is good. But now it's time to make it better. I really hope some of you will join me in the effort.
Every thread at Screen Jam is an open chat thread.