Saturday, June 6, 2009

Why Are We Here?



Gone Foreign asked for a short history of The 'Spill's beginnings, so here it is! 

The 'Spill began one very windy day at the start of January in 2008. If I remember correctly, it was so windy that the bridge was closed, so I couldn't go to work.
Whilst under the guise of "working from home" I decided to start up an idea that had been discussed a lot on the Guardian Unlimited Readers Recommend weekly pile-in. 
The regulars of RR had become fed-up with the limitations of "keeping on topic" and the comments closing whilst still in full flow. 
Because such a strong community of like-minded individuals cannot be kept in check like that - there needed to be another outlet! An outlet for the recipes, the off topic banter, and also sharing of the music being discussed (something that was verboten on RR).
So, I decided to launch "Readers Recommend - The Overspill", the original header of which can be seen above. I signed up for a google blogger account, designed the look and colour scheme and graphics, and went back to RR to spread the word. 
First on the case was Steenbeck, who had simultaneously been trying to do exactly the same thing, but ran into blogger problems when putting in 2008 as her birth-year. 
Then along came elderino, treefrogdemon, proudfoot, goneforeign, mnemonic, 2jokers, beltwaybandit, who started commenting and learning how to post, and things snowballed from there. Very soon most of the RR regulars had hopped onto The Overspill and signed up. 
There was (an still is) an open invitation for any RRer to join up and be able to post to the 'Spill, we now have 64 authors, and space for 36 more. 
20 days later, there'd been 160 posts, and the name had been abbreviated to The 'Spill. 

Now, 1750 posts, and tens of thousands of comments later, here we all are -The 'Spill has never been better! 

'Spillers - please add your recollections in the comments! 

26 comments:

Blimpy said...

oh, and if anyone can tell me how to catch the blackbird that's flying round my landing, that would be ace too!

CaroleBristol said...

I am really glad I joined The 'Spill. It is like RR but a lot freer and open ended.

Lots of nice people here and some really funny threads over the last year or so have kept me blogging far too often, particularly on days like today when it is wet and cold and I can't face a visit to IKEA.

I don't always contribute and I sometimes don't respond to the playlists (I KNOW I should really) but The 'Spill is a good place.

Hopefully, one day I'll get to one of the socials.

Well done Blimps! I've even forgiven you for that vile Mark E Smith picture you once posted.

TracyK said...

To be truthful, I find I'm happier over here now, rather than the RR site. I've managed to get quite a few into the A and B lists, so feel less competitive, and I miss Maddy and Dorian's characters. Though I don't always listen to all the music posts, I do read all the blogs, and I enjoy the interplay between people so much. I really liked how GF described us the other week, it feels cosy here. Thanks Blimpy for starting the ball rolling!

DarceysDad said...

Can I take that cue about the gurus from Tracy to give an early big-up for PaulMac? It may only be a week and a half, but so far I REALLY like his style!

ejaydee said...

Thanks for the 'Spill Blimpy, I guess this is one of those moments, if it hadn't been windy that day...
I remember watching for the sidelines as always, while the pioneers were figuring how to post images and music (I remember a few paintings depicting future RR socials) and then my first post was the RUN JAMC video above Nilpferd's history of Dondling. Looking back on it, it always felt natural to visit and participate in the 'Spill.

ejaydee said...

This prompted me to look back at the 'SPill's first month, very interesting, and I realised Nilpferd was waiting for an mp3 version of Keep Cool by Oscar Brown Jr, which I had posted via archive.org, before dropbox, boxstr and podbean. So NIlp, I'll put it in the dbox just for you.

Chris said...

Yeah, cheers, Blimpy! I feel like an interloper sometimes, because I haven't signed up and posted anything new, but I do enjoy chipping in and reading others' comments. (Maybe I should sign up and start the Story Of The Dead in 26 episodes... No?)
I, too, often get bored with RR itself these days. Few of the recent topics have been inspiring and, if there's no involvement from the RR guru, it can feel like everyone is putting in effort just to help a journo get paid.

TracyK said...

DsD, no criticism of the latest guy, but my Fridays at school this year have been a full teaching day (not now Year 11 have left, though!) and I simply don't have the time to check Friday morning. Then by Saturday, there's about 7 pages of noms and I just can't be bothered. I often flick to page 8 or 9 just to read the inevitable tangenital stuff. Since Maddy went, I might not even do that.

CaroleBristol said...

While I was out this afternoon, something reminded me of that Big Point Mississippi thread.

That was an excellent one, ever more so when BPM managed to transfer across to RR and we started making nominations for them.

Weird, but funny.

goneforeign said...

Tracy said just about everything I would say, almost word for word, and one of my early memories of the 'Spill is her introducing books and lit. Chris: great idea, I look forward to episode 1.
I recall very brashly suggesting that we all share pictures, emails and addresses etc, that got shot down smartly but all things in their time etc.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ Carole - I'm absolutely intrigued to discover what you could possibly have seen (heard? smelled?) that reminded you of the BPM thread!

@ blimpy - the day I first posted on the 'Spill (? Feb 2008?) was even more of a watershed in my life than my first RR post and I thank you unreservedly for making this strangely alluring place open to us all.

@ TracyK - I'm also struggling with very busy and very long Fridays (a full twelve hours yesterday) and I'm also struggling to get enthused by this weeks' theme. It's just much too big (a bit like the numbers one a few weeks ago) and I don't think that Paul's clarification really helped. Of course we should only recommend songs we like (otherwise what's the point of it all?) but I don't feel that we have enough of a focus on the topic so I don't really have the enthusiasm of the energy to justify the handful of tracks I've already posted (to the usual dondless silence, naturally, but what the hey ...).

Anyway, I only came on here just now to say what a real joy this
place is - my life would be a poorer place for its absence. God, I love you guys ...

ToffeeBoy said...

... or the energy ...

goneforeign said...

And so say all of us....

DaddyPig said...

I'll also take the opportunity to say thanks to Blimpy and the pioneers of 'Spilling. As well as being lots of fun and a place of discovery, RR & the Spill have also helped me (almost) painlessly get up-to-date with all sorts of posting, podcasting, cloud computing, 21st century shenanigans.

I'm fine with RR really, it's everyone on it that matters. We can't expect every guru to put in as much as Maddy did - or Dorian, though I came in towards the end of his work here. And Chris, I'm sure most journos could fill a column in much easier ways than reading & listening through all our stuff. I think we're lucky to have someone pulling it all together - most blogs don't - and if they're friendly and join in that's a bonus.

Love to all and thank you for the spillage xxx

tincanman said...

@ DsD
Did I not say that about Paul the first night of his regime? He's in a whole different league than the last guy.

tincanman said...

@ Blimpy
Don't inhale

ToffeeBoy said...

Agreed that Paul is a step up - still not keen on this week's theme though. Doesn't mean much in the greater scheme of things (world poverty, global warming, continuing domination of the Sky 4 etc., etc.) but I don't have to play if I don't want to. So there ...

nilpferd said...

*extracts head from keyboard, creaks, coughs. Dust expelled from nostrils. Speaks in a whispered croak*

Thhhaaannnkkkkss EEeejaaayyyddee...

*Head falls back onto keyboard. Computer automatically returns to Standby mode. Silence falls over the nilpferd swamp*

Japanther said...

ah...bollocks. I just wrote a heartfelt and sincere soliloquy to the charms of the mighty 'Spill and the computer went all funny and lost it all.

Here's the abridged, unemotional (but still sincere) version.

- I started hanging around here over a year ago, first just as an observer, after joining I threw in the occasional comment, leading up to my nerve-wracking first post.
- it's an absolute privilege to be part of a group of people who take time out of their busy lives to be kind enough to not only listen to the uninformed mutterings and unlistenable music of my podcasts (this in itself; making a podcast, would have been unthinkable a year ago, despite it being a long held fantasy), but also to take the time to comment and discuss and say nice things.

- Where else, or by what other means would it be possible to learn about jazz from people who lived through the golden age (or is the golden age yet to come?!), discuss the philosophy of pop, debate the concept of "noise", get access to music from every possible genre from across the world on an almost daily basis, shoot the shit on anything from herb gardens to high art?? This would be absolutely impossible within my circle of 3D friends.

3 cheers for the 'Spill!!

CaroleBristol said...

@ Toffee - it was a car registration number with BPM as the letters.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ Carole - excellent! But how far away could you smell it?

tincanman said...

She's probably not answered because reading a car registration up close is exhausting.

(I can hear your muffled screams already)

CaroleBristol said...

Weirdly, I don't generally go around sniffing car number plates.

Am I missing out here?

ToffeeBoy said...

@ Carole - just one important tip for you... Stationary. OK?

Abahachi said...

Like what everyone else said. About the 'Spill, that is, not the number-plate fetish. Having previously been completely out of loop on digital music, I can now download and upload, I have an mp3 player and Audacity, and I'm so hooked on podcasting that I'm going to be doing it for some of my classes next year. As someone said last year, this place is like the best pub you could imagine.

CaroleBristol said...

@ Toffee

Yeah, right!

Suddenly realises why head hurts