It's disappointing when the trolls win. Diehard fans get what they loved about a product taken away because some assholes had to ruin it for everyone. TWiT was unique. There was the direct interaction between the fans and the host live. Now, that's all gone. Fortunately, this isn't unique to TWiT anymore, Brian Brushwood's DiamondClub.tv might just be my go-to place when I just want something to listen to. Hell, everyone I loved at TWiT is pretty much all over there anyway, so it makes sense.
What made TWiT great wasn't a million dollar studio, or intensive news coverage, it was the personalities. Same thing with TechTV; people tuned in because these hosts look like they really cared about what they were talking about, and they looked like they were having fun. It seems since the move to the TWiT Brick House, the fun was left behind at the Cottage. What was once a fun place where great netcasts were being made has now become really mundane. It just feels like there's no effort going on whatsoever.
I remember one of the first times I tuned into TWiT Live, it was during an NSFW episode, and I was laughing my ass off. I remember watching all these great shows from the Cottage where they seemed to care about making a great show. I remember watching the parade to the new Brick House, and feeling excited about the possibilities with the new studio. I remember seeing "Game On!", a show about a topic I really didn't care about, but was so impressed at what looked to be a TV show, hoping more shows would look like that. I remember hoping TWiT Live would become the CNN of tech Leo always said it would be, a live online 24/7 channel. I've lost hope in that last one. It's been four years since they moved in the Brick House, and when there's no show being recorded, it's still just a VLC Player playlist. Shows still look barely produced, and there's only a handful of in-studio hosts that seem to care. There was, however, one thing I really liked: the New Years special they did. I thought it was very well produced and very fun, but now that's gone too.
It's all been one big downward spiral since Tom Merritt left. Leo's on-air attitude has soured tremendously. If you need any proof, totaldrama.net has a pretty big archive of it. Sure, a lot of it is linkbait, but there's a good chunk that is an angry and creepy Laporte. It's upsetting to see someone who pretty much invented the tech podcast and created a network devoted to it be revealed to be an asshole. And now with the return of a fan favorite: "The New Screen Savers," it just feels like a last resort to help bring people back to the network. Even this show, designed to be the flagship show, feels completely under-produced, especially when compared to "Game On!". It's just sad. I had such high hopes for this show, and I'm getting nothing but disappointment.
If you visit DiamondClub.tv, you'll find a bunch of shows either produced or syndicated in the live stream channels, similar to Pluto.tv, where podcasts that are fan funded showcase hosts that may not be seated in a million dollar studio, but at least look like they want to do the show. For those looking for what TWiT was, DiamondClub.tv is your new home, with a community that is ready to help you transition. Independence is key, it's what Leo used to care about.
Oh, and by the way, Leo thinks the diehard fans are weirdos who have no lives, and that the chat was never of value, so... there's that.