Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Introducing Epbot Movie Nights!


It's a Big, Momentous, and otherwise adjective-riddled day, my friends.




NOT ONLY am I turning 42 today - thereby leveling up to becoming the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything - but also - ALSO - Epbot (this blog, in case you forgot where you were) turns 10. Ten! Can you believe we've been together a whole decade??



I actually forgot that my first Epbot post was on my birthday, and I CLEARLY did not plan this far in advance, or expect a global pandemic to be in the mix. So I've decided to focus on Epbot's anniversary first, and have my Hitchhiker's-themed birthday party (which you'll all be invited to, don't worry) later this year.

I want to celebrate Epbot first because John and I've been cooking up something new and scary, and it seems appropriate that we announce it on Epbot's 10-year-anniversary, which at the time was ALSO new and scary.

So starting this Friday, May 15th, at 8:30pm EST, I'd like to invite you to the first official Epbot Movie Night over on our shiny new Epbot Discord server.



Don't worry if you have no idea what Discord is; neither did I 'til a few months ago. It's essentially a private online chat room where you can hang with friends, watch movies or games together, and have real-time conversations through text, voice, or even video. Unlike Facebook this is going to let us interact in real time, which I hope will help us feel more connected and seen.

Just think: No algorithms hiding your posts, no waiting for someone to "like" or comment. Instead you click into a virtual space with other real live people and chat about your day, show off pictures of your latest outfit or project, ask questions, lurk and just listen to other people, etc. And because the server is private we shouldn't have many random trolls or meanies wandering through.

Here's how the Epbot Discord looks in action:

                         (This is screen grab from our test viewing of The Goonies last week.)

We also have a voice channel room if you want to actually TALK to each other, or you can grab up to 10 friends for a group video chat. I know that's a bit scary jumping in, though, so rest assured most of the areas are text-based only - including our Movie Night chat.

Discord is free to use and you only need an e-mail address to sign up. Once you're there you'll get the gist in a few minutes; it's not hard to navigate. We have a dedicated channel (or chat room) set up for Movie Night, so the plan is we all gather there this Friday to watch... 

[drumroll, please]

... BACK TO THE FUTURE
Aw yeeeeah.

I'm choosing BttF for the Movie Night kick-off because this is also happening this week:

Yep, Josh Gad's new reunion show is going to feature the cast of Back to the Future! WOO WOO! 

I am so excited, y'all. SO EXCITED. And who better to watch this with than my fellow geeks right here?

So Friday we'll watch the reunion show together at 8:30, then start the actual movie right around 9pm. Set your alarm clocks.

Oh, and if you want to go the extra mile, then you can dress up with me and John! Maybe something 80s, something 50s, or something Time Travel Chic to fit the Back to the Future theme? You can share photos of anything Back To The Future related during the chat, so gather up your Deloreans, your flux capacitors, and your best Biff puns embroidered on pillows, 'cuz the rest of us want to see. If you like this idea I can even add an extra Movie Chat room just for photos, so it's easier to share our silly selfies and collectibles and whatnot.

If you're not sure what I mean about dressing up, then here are my last 2 Movie Night looks, for Enchanted & The Goonies:


For Enchanted I literally took down our bedroom curtains and pinned them into a dress, lol.

You can bet I have something special planned for this Friday. ::mad scientist grin::

John and I hope to stream a new movie every Friday, and eventually I'd like to expand Movie Night to include fun stuff like photo contests, crafts, recipes, trivia games, prizes, and more. (We could also add multiple showings for different schedules and time zones.) I am giddy over all the possibilities, but first let's see if any of you are even interested.

To join the Epbot Discord server you'll need to click through this link, which, in an effort to prevent spammers/trolls, will expire tomorrow. After that I'll post a new link in my Story every day, so just check there. You only have to click through the invite link once, so I recommend clicking through now, just to join. After that, feel free to explore! We have several channels set up for things like Floofs, Crafts, Support, Introductions, etc:

 
Each channel is a separate chat room.

We've had a small group of beta testers over there the last few weeks, so you'll see our previous movie chats and plenty of conversations and introduction posts already up.

Now a few boring-but-essential technical notes for Movie Night itself:

If you own the movie we plan to watch, or can stream it for free somewhere, then just start playing it at the start time and chat along with us in the Movie Chat channel.

If you don't own the movie, then you can watch it with us inside Discord itself. Just join the aptly named "Movie Streaming" channel. However, only a max of 50 can watch in there, so arrive a few minutes early to claim your spot. Also keep in mind it could have a few glitches or buffers.



Listen, I genuinely don't know if many of you will want to do this. Maybe it'll just be me and John and the virtual chickens there Friday night. Or maybe a few of you will show, and we can make up all our own inside jokes that I'll reference later here on the blog just so you can raise your eyebrows at the screen someday and be all, "I UNDERSTOOD THAT REFERENCE" and it will be glorious.

I'm doing this so those of you who aren't on Facebook have a place of your own to interact. I've already heard from a few people saying our test Movie Nights have been the most social they've felt in months, and honestly, that's all I need. So don't worry if this doesn't sound like your thing; I know this won't be for everyone. But for those who need it, I hope - I so, so hope - this can be one more lifeline, one more point of light, through a dark and lonely time.

I love you guys. Thanks for making me the happiest 42 year old geek ever to plan a movie night. ::MWAH::


*****

Oh hey, and if you're looking for something to wear Friday, I found a cute tee over on Amazon Prime:





51 comments:

  1. Squeee! I'm excited though the link doesn't work for me, but Happy Birth and Happy Epbot!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Woot! How do I join? I am having trouble finding the link.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I also cannot find the link. I'm excited for when it appears though, since Discord is one of the very few things I actually use.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not seeing the post either. I'd like to join in! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love Discord! Best friend and I are rewatching all the Marvel superhero movies in order together. I shall check back for a link.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Happy birthday Jen! And happy birthday Epbot! This has been the best geeky corner of the internet for the past decade! And now Friday nights are going to be the best night of the week. :) Can't wait for the next movie night!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Congratulations on your birthday and blog-anniversary!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is a VERY private Discord server. You have to first follow a series of intricate clues to locate the link. ;)

    That said, I'm super excited about this! I don't use IG or FB, but I'm on Discord CONSTANTLY, so I feel like I've just been given my golden ticket to truly join FOE with this. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man, I needed this giggle just now! :D Thanks, and sorry, the link's there now!

      Delete
  9. Joining in on the happiest of birthday wishes, and also the chorus of "Where's that link?" I haven't used Discord but I'll give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
  10. SQUEEEEEEE. I left FB a few years ago (I did my time with Social Media), so this is SO COOL, Jen! Thanks for thinking of us Exiles. :)

    Happy Birthday (Don't Panic and don't forget your towel!) And Happy Anniversary to EPBOT!! Looking forward to many many more years of Geeky camaraderie!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Denmark here, so movie night starts at 3am. So yeah, more viewings would be nice, haha.

    Love the idea. Don't know how active I'll be, but it sure beats the Facebook I'm not on ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we get enough folks interested then I will definitely be looking for international 'bots willing to take over Streaming responsibilities, so stay tuned!

      Delete
  12. My birthday was yesterday, so from one Taurus to another - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. So sorry about the link snafoo, everyone, it's there now! (I *knew* I was forgetting *something* this morning, ha, aha, SOB.)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy Birthday Jen and EPBOT! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Here's how to make an easy pirate hat: Buy a broadbrimmed straw hat (preferably black) - I got mine at Target. Pin the brim to the crown in three places, making a tricorne. Spray with water and let dry. Unpin and trim as you like (I used some silver rickrack and silver buttons for mine).

    So easy and so cheap.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I turned 42 on Easter! Welcome to the Answer!
    :D

    ReplyDelete
  17. The Princess Bride would be a good choice for movie night, don’t you think? Happy birthday!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Happy Happy Birthday, Jen! May the year to come be the best yet! ❤๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿงก

    ReplyDelete
  19. Happy Birthday, fellow Taurus!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Happy Birthday Jen! And of course you're the one giving a gift to us on your birthday. Oh gosh, I haven't felt excited for an upcoming Friday night like this in quite sometime. I'll be there, can't wait for this to be a regular thing!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Happy birthday!!!! Thank you for always making us smile.

    ReplyDelete
  22. How fun! I've joined TWO Discord servers in the last week! I'm a total noob, too, but you're right, it's pretty easy to navigate.

    Might I suggest, at some point, a Princess Bride movie night? :D I have created a totally amazing, if I may say so myself, PB Trivia game I'll be running via Zoom this Friday night, so I can't join you for BttF this week. But if you're interested in that Princess Bride trivia (it's a Google Slideshow, very simple), holler and I would be happy to share it with you! My nonprofit, Geek Parties of the Grand Valley, is having a Facebook watch party of the movie this Thursday followed by trivia on Friday. Hopefully people show up, and the trivia goes well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like so much fun! I'd love to incorporate trivia into Movie Night somehow, I wonder if that's possible through Discord?

      Delete
    2. Voice chat + screen-sharing? Is screen-sharing a thing in Discord? You could show the Slideshow and talk through it, then go back through each round saying the answers aloud for people to score themselves. Mine is very low-key, honor system.

      Delete
  23. Happy birthday! And happy Epbot day!

    Movie night is such a cool idea :) Thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Happy Birthday!!
    I'm from Germany, hope i can join and don't fall asleep before :-D (normaly, i'm rather a morning person^^

    ReplyDelete
  25. Happy Birthday, Jen!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I commented on FB but forgot to say something here! Happy birthday, Jen!!! I'm also turning The Answer this year, and I'm happy to share a birthday party with you. It's not until October, so plenty of time to be able to socialize again. :D I love this idea and hope to join at some point, but unfortunately I have an existing commitment on Friday nights. Don't think I'm not joining for lack of interest! :D

    ReplyDelete
  27. I had no idea you were over 40. I thought you were 29, or 32 at the most! You're aging more than gracefully, you've stopped aging completely!! Happy birthday love <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, thanks, Cat! I get it from my mom - people thought we were sisters when I was in high school, and I've always looked a bit younger than I am. Hated it when I was under 25, but now I don't mind so much. ;)

      Delete
  28. Happy Birthday! I will do my best to join!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Probably dumb question: What/where is "my Story" to get a new link?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's both on Facebook and on Instagram: click on my Epbot avatar for either one to view my Story. The new link is up there now!

      Delete
  30. Totally get having to expire the invite; but will those of us that have to periodically catch up with Epbot get another chance to join?
    Thanks, and Happy Belated Birthday! @>--8--

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's posting a new link each day on the Epbot page's Instagram and Facebook stories. You can get the link there. :)

      Delete
  31. The link's still invalid. Are you sure you didn't accidentally leave it at the default, which is 1 day expiration?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! The new link just expired, too - I'm using one-day links on purpose, because I don't want open invite links posted anywhere. There's a new link in my FB/IG story right now, though, which should last either until midnight or for 24 hours - I still can't figure out which. o.0

      Delete
    2. They should be 24 hours. I've checked your personal FB/IG, Epbot's, AND CakeWrecks... nada. It's just not visible to me. :(

      Delete
    3. If you could please invite me manually, I'd appreciate it. Cygnata#2029 Not sure why I can't find any of the links, but I'd love to hang out with everyone. :)

      Delete
    4. Cygnata, here's a new link. Hopefully you see this within 24 hours!

      Delete
  32. Happy belated birthday to both you and to Epbot. Thank you so much for everything you do.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Happy belated birthday!! I <3 you guys so much and all the good honest vibes you put out into the universe. :-)

    ReplyDelete

Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>