...and that's ZoomDown

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Gavin Chipper
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:33 am

Tom S wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:19 am
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:21 pm
I take it there's a documentary.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahyi-qP4mVs&t=1429s
Thanks. I am subscribed to the channel but like any sensible person almost all my internet browsing is incognito and I don't stay logged in.

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Paul Anderson » Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:55 am

Page 4 eh?

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Fiona T » Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:54 pm

Documentary's good - really enjoyed it. Expected to find 80 minutes a drag, but it was really well put together and the time flew. Great job Paul.

But I've gotta shake off this mumsy image - it's not how I see myself! Gonna get HATE tattooed across my knuckles or something. :D
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Paul Anderson » Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:40 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:54 pm
Documentary's good - really enjoyed it. Expected to find 80 minutes a drag, but it was really well put together and the time flew. Great job Paul.

But I've gotta shake off this mumsy image - it's not how I see myself! Gonna get HATE tattooed across my knuckles or something. :D
Cheers, glad it was enjoyable.
Yeah, you might need to shave your head too 😉

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Dan Byrom » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:05 am

Enjoyed that a lot!

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Paul Anderson » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:17 pm

Dan Byrom wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:05 am
Enjoyed that a lot!
Ah good, glad to hear it

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Fiona T » Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:26 pm

Back tomorrow at 8 for the start of series 3

This episode sees Paul in the hot seat with Callum stepping in to host. Zubair will be hoping for a fourth win. Whatever happens, we have a great second game lined up too!

Hope to see you then :)
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Paul Anderson » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:39 am

I really enjoyed that last night, so thanks to the team for arranging. Hopefully my playing experience will serve me well as a host.

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Tom S » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:30 am

Paul Anderson wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:39 am
I really enjoyed that last night, so thanks to the team for arranging. Hopefully my playing experience will serve me well as a host.
10 maxes over both games. Mr Consistency! Additional consistency would have been nice for the viewers' sake if you had another tie-break in game 2 ;) Great performances nonetheless, though...

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Paul Anderson » Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:51 am

Really enjoyed hosting the newbies last night, great craic and some very interesting, if consonant-heavy, selections.
Looking forward to Monday already

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Johnny Canuck » Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:44 pm

Just had a sudden idea for a potential future series.

FaceTime Teasers.
Funny message'); DROP TABLE signatures;--

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Tom S » Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:59 pm

Paul Anderson wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:51 am
Really enjoyed hosting the newbies last night, great craic and some very interesting, if consonant-heavy, selections.
Looking forward to Monday already
Yeah was great fun. Would be good fun to potentially see a battle of the spouses on Monday, as a suggestion...

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Paul Anderson » Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:21 pm

Way ahead of ya, that was always the plan if he won.

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:23 am

Right so!
I wouldn't have bothered with this post, but I got labelled as "Agitator" in the ZD documentary so I now feel obligated not to disappoint.
Here are some much needed criticisms of Zoomdown (Ye can thank me later! :mrgreen:):

--------------------------------------

1. Paul's gift of the gab.
Dan was correct in his criticisms. Paul can often chat with a guest and end up regaling us with one of his own anecdotes instead. So much so that some my family (who have been exposed to Zoomdown on the odd occasion) know him as "that fella who loves the sound of his own voice". Best to let the guest do the lion's share of the talking in that segment, unless they are particularly shy / tongue-tied, then step in.

2. Selective censorship.
"Packies" (not a slur) and "Pooves" need editing because they may 'offend' some unlikely fictional viewer. However, fisting references, and the occasional traditional curse word (that would be bleeped on TV) are just fine? Be consistent. Either ye want to offend people or you don't. Pick one.

3. Overlays that fall off the screen.
This one is a basic technical issue that is easy to fix. On some devices (TVs in particular), the YouTube video sits differently on the screen. As a result, some parts of what is visible on PC is not visible on TV. This cannot be helped, but what suffers the most is the overlays. They can fall off the end of the screen, so that the bottom parts of the letter / numbers selections are missing. Also it is common that only the surnames of the contestants are visible because the names are too far to the left of the screen. Anyone who does video editing knows there is a "safe zone" in which your key content should be placed. Video editing 101. Check past episodes on various devices to see how they look, and in future episodes, adjust the positioning of overlays accordingly.

4. That theme tune.
The theme tune / round music has never been great... but if you insist on sticking with it, you could at least go into the master track and address the excessively trebly hi hats, and give it a bit of a remaster to sound more like a finished track.

5. The "Focal Talk" name.
YouTube allows you to change the name of a YouTube channel... which is handy because that name needs to go. It is a rip-off of the name used for the co-events circuit... so that is bad for starters. It kind of made sense for the Podcast ye used to do, because of the "Folk will talk" pun. But now that Zoomdown is the main purpose of the channel... it'd be better to name the channel to suit your brand, and not just as an irrelevant nod to someone else's good idea.

6. Respecting guests of honour.
The thumbnail pic for the ZD documentary showed SH's cat's arse as a centrepiece, flanked by pictures of Paul A and Susie D. Is that really the level of respect ye have for Susie... that you would put her picture next to a crude and graphic one? Is this a message that you would like sent out to Nick, Rachel, and any other future celeb guests? My suggestion... change that picture now. Why risk alienating high profile guests for the sake of briefly amusing a handful of lads in their mid 20s who still like toilet humour? Best replace the cat with a pic of the ZD trophy, or perhaps of Conor (the 1st champ) holding the trophy.

7. Sound (and video) issues.
Yes, Callum's sound settings were Godawful in episode 1 of Series 3. These things matter! People will not want to regularly tune in to something that looks or sounds awful. What's weird is that he sounded ok as a contestant and in that Beardown yoke... so it was a setting that was changed for his hosting job last Monday. Figure out why that was bad. Get a handle on what the optimum sound settings for broadcast are, and spend some time before each broadcast making sure that each contestant's sound settings are optimised. Same goes for video settings, camera angle etc. e.g. it was good that Fiona got Taz to adjust her camera on Thursday night, but it could have done with being lowered a little bit more.

---------------------------------------

I did have a private chat with Paul saying I would make a post on C4C about this... he asked me not to (well, in particular not to mention point #6). Normally that would be enough, but given that he asked for no negativity in the ZD doc... and I politely gave none... only to be labelled as "agitator". That was a bit rich. So I feel, based on that, an uncompromisingly honest review is warranted, and let's face it... expected!

Aside from those 7 things - all of which are minor issues that could easily be rectified... ZD is still great and improving (incrementally, as you rightly said in S3-Ep2) all the time.
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Fiona T » Sat Feb 27, 2021 6:58 am

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:23 am
.. briefly amusing a handful of lads in their mid 20s...
And women in their early 50s ;)
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by JackHurst » Sat Feb 27, 2021 4:20 pm

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:23 am
Normally that would be enough, but given that he asked for no negativity in the ZD doc... and I politely gave none... only to be labelled as "agitator".
I would say "Agitator" is on the polite side...

Eoin, you do productive stuff for the community (e.g. host co-events and make youtube videos) and you have a super high level of enthusiasm for everything Countdown related. This is a strong basis to be a well respected and liked member of the community.

There's this other side to you which seems to only be able to express your opinions in the most abrasive (and often offensive) way possible. These posts then gets followed by argumentitive discussions and personal insults and its just all round unpleasant to see. Over the past 12 months your behaviour has managed to turn the whole forum against you. I could forgive a child for behaving the way that you do, for for a middle aged man to be behaving this way isn't right.

I really hope you can turn this around and start treating others in the community with more respect putting your opinions forward in a more dignified manner. Expressing a different opinion something we should all feel comfortable to do - it's just important that we do it in a respectful and mature manner. If you can do this I am sure you will quickly become respected and liked.

Hope this doesn't upset/offend you too much! I just want us all to be friends.

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:23 am
Here are some much needed criticisms of Zoomdown (Ye can thank me later! :mrgreen:):
...
3. Overlays that fall off the screen.
5. The "Focal Talk" name.
Some of the feedback above was quite useful, but I doubt the ZD team will take much of it into account given the abrasive manner of the post. It would be a shame to overlook any good points Eoin raises. The two above points are good points and very easily actionable. A YouTube name like ZoomDown would be better, and a bit of padding around the selections wouldn't go amiss.

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Paul Anderson » Sun Feb 28, 2021 4:56 pm

Really looking forward to the Mr & Mrs contest, which was always meant to be its own special, but couldn't get the numbers before.

And we finally get to see Joseph Bartram, who's improved a fair bit.

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Tom S » Fri Mar 05, 2021 3:08 pm

I wonder as to whether a "viewers request" could be a possible feature when determining the matches? If so, I'd like to see a rematch between Joey and Ruth:)

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Fiona T » Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:55 pm

Posted on apto, but duplicating here for good measure :)

It seems that youtube has been over-zealously deleting comments from live chat while people are playing along. Googling doesn't offer any suggestions as to why this might be.

But there is an 'approved users' section that we can manage - according to the description "Comments from these users are automatically published and won't be filtered for blocked links, blocked words, or potentially inappropriate content" - however it's not clear whether comments includes live chat.

But if anyone is frustrated by having their words of wisdom removed from the live chat, feel free to PM (or fb messenger) me your channel link (I need your youtube channel, not just your name) and I'll add you to the approved users as long as I know roughly who you are!

Note that we don't know if this will actually solve the issue!
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by JackHurst » Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:49 am

7

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Paul Anderson » Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:08 am

JackHurst wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:49 am
7
Deadly sins?
Ways to win?
Holy paths to hell?

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Sun Mar 14, 2021 10:04 pm

Why has Ruth been reinstated for Monday's episode?
That is weird. She was beaten last Monday.

2moro should see Ashwin bid for Tetrachampdom...
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Fiona T » Mon Mar 15, 2021 9:20 am

Ashwin has withdrawn for personal reasons.
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:41 am

I've heard he's got a recording contract and an international tour lined up.

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:51 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 9:20 am
Ashwin has withdrawn for personal reasons.
But why reinstate Ruth?
Is this another cheating (well suspected cheating) controversy that ye are trying to hush up?
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Fiona T » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:18 pm

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:51 pm
Fiona T wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 9:20 am
Ashwin has withdrawn for personal reasons.
But why reinstate Ruth?
Is this another cheating (well suspected cheating) controversy that ye are trying to hush up?
Ashwin has withdrawn. After some discussion, the decision of the team was to reinstate Ruth as Ashwin is no longer in the competition.

I'm afraid that's all you're going to get.

I'm sure if you had withdrawn for personal reasons, you wouldn't want the ZoomDown team announcing those reasons to the world.
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:09 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:18 pm
I'm afraid that's all you're going to get.
Not at all Fiona.
This community is too small for that sort of secretive malarky to fly.
I'll get as much as I please.
Fiona T wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:18 pm
for personal reasons
Yeah, but that's the same lie you used for James, so it can't be taken at face value this time either.
"Suspected cheating" does not count as a "personal reason" (except in the wider sense where one could argue that *any* reason is personal.)

Here is what I know:-
1. It was widely suspected that Ashwin 'hansforded' his crucial conundrums.
2. Ruth was invited back because it was considered she was robbed of victory by aforementioned Hansfording.

Here's what I don't know yet (but will find out - either via ye deciding to be transparent about these things, or via other means):-
1. Whether there were other question marks around the performance other than the hansfording incidents.
2. Whether Ashwin has admitted to any wrongdoing.

----------------------------

The way the alleged cheating incidents have been handled* on Zoomdown really does leave a lot to be desired. The everythingisawesome-esque attempts to hush each one up entirely, do nothing to inspire confidence, or to foster trust in your brand.

The most alarming thing about the known cheating incidents so far (the two big ones) is that last time I spoke to the players in question (i.e. Matt and James) they both still insist that they were innocent. And maybe they were. What solid proof do you have that any cheating took place? Are we just supposed to take your word for it? Why is your word any better than theirs? And what happened to innocent until proven guilty?

So yeah... this is probably something that needs to be dealt with differently. The "sweep-it-under-the-carpet" thing is not healthy.

Interestingly there are two high profile players (can't remember who... I think Conor T and Jack H, but may be wrong on that) who admitted typing the selections into their computers during the rounds, which I believe is as flimsy as the evidence used to DQ Matt? The same standards should be applied equally across the board, despite Paul's penchant for putting some players on pedestals based on their perceived level of talent / 'importance'.

Based on how these things have been handled so far, this is what the story seems to be:-
1. You can apply for Zoomdown, but if we think you have cheated you will be disqualified.
2. There does not need to be concrete proof that you cheated.
3. Your word of honour holds no sway when it comes to such decisions. If we believe you are guilty, that is enough.
4. You do not have a right to know who your accusers are.

It is only fair that any new applicants (especially ones that are new / peripheral to the community... aka: less likely to be believed) are made aware in advance of exactly what they are letting themselves in for.

----------------------------

*So far. They haven't been handled well up to this point, but I have confidence that ye will get your act together and be fairer / more transparent in future. :)
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Fiona T » Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:21 am

There are a lot of suppositions in your post.

The ZoomDown team do not believe that anyone deserves a public shaming. However, if any player feels they have been treated unfairly by the ZoomDown team, they are of course welcome to instigate their own public discussion - but IMO it's not for you to make that decision for them.
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:50 am

Fiona T wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:21 am
The ZoomDown team do not believe that anyone deserves a public shaming. However, if any player feels they have been treated unfairly by the ZoomDown team, they are of course welcome to instigate their own public discussion - but IMO it's not for you to make that decision for them.
Literally this. Every word. I thought James-gate made all this obvious, particularly the first and last clauses.
The forum's resident JAILBAKER, who has SPONDERED several times...

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Jon O'Neill » Wed Mar 24, 2021 9:00 am

Fiona T wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:21 am
There are a lot of suppositions in your post.

The ZoomDown team do not believe that anyone deserves a public shaming. However, if any player feels they have been treated unfairly by the ZoomDown team, they are of course welcome to instigate their own public discussion - but IMO it's not for you to make that decision for them.
First, a caveat, which is that I don't know the specifics of this case.

The problem with this way of dealing with cheating incidents is that when somebody cheats, it's not just their opponent who loses out. They've also cheated everyone who watched what they thought was an even contest. They've cheated everyone else in the series of being 100% assured that they are competing on a level playing field. They've cheated the people who work hard at producing the show out of some of their product's credibility (although I would assume that you're comfortable with this particular one).

Each "retirement for personal reasons" damages the reputation of the show, and for what? To protect the reputation someone who deliberately undermined the many hours that you've put in to making the show what it is for their own personal glory - which is indeed a shameful act.

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Fiona T » Wed Mar 24, 2021 9:50 am

OK - these are my personal views, not necessarily those of Paul or the rest of the team.

When we started ZoomDown, perhaps naively, I don't think any of us even entertained the possibility that people might cheat. We certainly hadn't discussed a process for dealing with people suspected of cheating.

Since then, there have been a number of suspicions and the process has evolved as follows

If a player is suspected of cheating the ZoomDown team look at any 'evidence' that reports have provided and decide whether or not there is a case to answer.

If there is, then one or more of us talk to the player concerned and ask them what they have to say.

There are four possible outcomes -

1) They provide an explanation which we believe alleviates the concern - no further action required
2) They deny cheating, but do not provide a satisfactory explanation - they play on, but are required to rearrange their setup to play with hands in view to provide assurance to us and the audience that they are playing fairly
3) They deny cheating, but do not provide a satisfactory explanation, and are not able to/don't not want to rearrange their setup - we withdraw them from the competition
4) They admit to cheating - we withdraw them from the competition and appreciate their honesty about the cheating, because the whole process is much less traumatic for all involved.

As Eoin correctly points out, without a 'confession' it can only be a suspicion. We're not a court of law. Even with a confession we do not believe any player deserves public shaming (it's hardly going to encourage others to confess) and most of the community seem able to quietly (or not so quietly) put two and two together in these situations.

The alternative is to publicly say we think someone has cheated - when, without a confession, it is possible that we are wrong. Apart from being potentially libellous, it's not something I'd feel comfortable doing anyway. In the event that they have owned up to it, then the fact that they've made the whole process a hell of a lot less painful means I don't think a public shaming is in order.

I don't think there is a "right" way of dealing with these things, but we're satisfied (if that's the right word) with the balance we've stumbled across over the course of several incidences. I understand the frustration - I feel the same frustration when opponents I like and trust are DQ'ed from apto without a word of explanation, but in the same way that we all trust Charlie's judgement, you're going to have to trust our judgement on ZD.

I can't speak for others, but every time one of these things happen, I feel like jacking the whole thing in. It's thoroughly depressing. If you don't feel you can play without being tempted to get that little bit of extra help, then please don't apply. It's a thoroughly shitty thing to do, causes a massive amount of stress and upset, and is not fair on your opponent, our audience, the team or even yourself.

(also worth a note that plenty of players have played with hands in view who have not been suspected of cheating - please don't assume that seeing hands = suspected cheat!)
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Phil H » Wed Mar 24, 2021 7:52 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 9:00 am

Each "retirement for personal reasons" damages the reputation of the show
I agree about the "personal reasons" wording to a certain extent - "withdrew after suspicions were raised" would surely avoid any suggestion of libel, or if the aim is to be completely neutral, then personally I'd prefer simply "withdrew from the show".

Having said that, I've a fair bit of sympathy for what the ZD team have had to deal with and I don't see that their approach damages the show's reputation as such - the cheating itself does.

Perhaps one of the fundamental issues is that, while the details of the Cheatomatic remain secret and rightly so, it's not hard to imagine how Apterous could allow a better standard of evidence for cheating than ZoomDown.

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:53 am

My one absolute solid piece of advice for ZD people would be this:-

<Be firm and fair.>

---------------------------------

Being fair is paramount.
Being fair is more important than being nice, and certainly more important than being 'politician nice / corporate nice' (aka, nice on the surface, but not really nice at all)
People respect fairness and honesty.
The attempts to hush up cheating incidents time and again, does more harm than good to the show. (Though your most viewed videos are some of the cheaty ones, so maybe I have that arseways... or perhaps it's a sign that more cheating should be secretly encouraged - for the sake of ratings! ;) )

Ashwin has a certain hansfordy conundrum style. That is how he rolls. He was allowed do it on TV without being DQed... so why would he expect that the exact same method would not be acceptable on the YouTube imitation of CD?

If ye were going to DQ Ashwin for doing his usual conundrum thing... it should have been made crystal clear to him in advance of screening. Every contestant deserves to know how exacting your standards are (i.e. stricter than the actual show) before they play their game.

---------------------------------

Being firm is also key.
Do not let people (like e.g. the ZD chat, private complaints, or trolls on C4C) influence your decisions too heavily.
The possibly / probably hansforded conundrum against Ruth was allowed stand at the time... that should not have been rolled back later. It was definitely a bad decision to reinstate Ruth. On TV, AA would have been the winner of that game, and any complaints that came in from nitpicking viewers after the fact would have been -rightly- ignored. Some things are time-sensitive, and the instant judgement call should stand 99/100 times, unless there is a VERY good reason to change your minds.
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Fiona T » Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:27 am

For clarity - Decisions about whether to allow fudged numbers games, handsforded conundrums etc have to be made instantly by whichever members of the team are on the call - we can't pause filming to have an off-air discussion. We've allowed stuff that in hindsight we shouldn't have on a few occasions. We would never DQ someone for an incorrect decision that we made during the game. I suppose if we really felt we'd got it badly wrong and the result was affected, we might reinstate an opponent for another attempt, but that hasn't happened yet.
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Phil H » Thu Mar 25, 2021 8:45 am

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:53 am
He was allowed do it on TV without being DQed...
I didn't see either of his TV episodes, but according to the wiki, he didn't attempt the conundrum in either of his games?

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by JackHurst » Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:55 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 9:50 am
I can't speak for others, but every time one of these things happen, I feel like jacking the whole thing in. It's thoroughly depressing.
Agree with this. The one time I got caught up with one of these things, I found the whole thing stressful, depressing and infuriating. No matter which side of the debate people were on, it was just a hugely negative experience all round

Fiona T wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 9:50 am
If you don't feel you can play without being tempted to get that little bit of extra help, then please don't apply. It's a thoroughly shitty thing to do, causes a massive amount of stress and upset, and is not fair on your opponent, our audience, the team or even yourself.
Also agree 100%

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Rhys Benjamin
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:21 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:27 am
I suppose if we really felt we'd got it badly wrong and the result was affected, we might reinstate an opponent for another attempt, but that hasn't happened yet.
This is the precedent for the televised version, albeit referring to mistakes made by Susie or illegal conundrums etc. If the result was affected, then the loser typically gets another go.
The forum's resident JAILBAKER, who has SPONDERED several times...

Gavin Chipper
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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:07 pm

Jon Corby wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:31 am
Haven't had a good 1/20th of a pint for a while.
Second TTT.

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Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

Post by Paul Anderson » Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:44 pm

Don't forget to join us for our 1st Birthday Celebrations tonight

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