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HT Rules and Tips for Recapping

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Magpie   

Oh, I beg to differ...uaintjak's recaps are a fine example of what HT is all about. They were among my favorites to read when I was a n00b at HT (and they still are), and I'm sure somewhere in his posts, he must have at one point or another had some actual recap in there. Either way, they're damn funny.

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Snooky   

Hmmm... As someone who spent way too much time recapping last year (my first year), the advice already given is so good, I don't know what to add!

 

Oh, a practical tip. I got the BB Reloader program, which enabled me to have all four feeds in separate windows. That was cool. I think it cost a couple bucks, but well worth it. I've since seen there are other programs out there, too. One's called the BB Viewer. I haven't tried that one yet.

 

What's the stand on "commenting" or "correcting" others's's recaps? I got "corrected" a couple times last year by follow-on posts when I made fun of a hamster's make up or hair, or things like that, by well-meaning recappers who wanted to protect the hamster in question from my venom in favor of the truth. Hee! Truth? Think I care about the truth!? Anyway, it was a lot of fun recapping, and really kept my typing skillz in tip-top shape.

 

I would also emphasize re-reading your posts, as Puff-Trinket said, either before you post, or editing them after. More than once I re-read my own posts and realized a reader wouldn't be able to figure out who hit whom with the pool floatie, or who shouldered whom out of the way of the fridge. Try to make clear who said what to whom, in other words -- especially tricky last year when so many people's names started with J. Let's not have that, BB producers! Since I read virtually every post ever posted in the recap thread (GOD, I'm anal!), it really helps to make sure you're clear, and speeds the reading and catching up time.

 

ETA, to reiterate a great tip from a previous season:

I enjoy reading recaps with line breaks and spaces in them. It's hard to read a long paragraph with no breaks in it on a computer screen.

Amen!

Edited by Snooky

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tooletta   

I suggest reading the posting rules first. Or again. Hamster bites can scar.

 

As much as I liked BB Reloader, and not having to worry about the feeds timing out, I didn't like that I couldn't rewind the feed if I'd missed something. Which happens a lot.

 

My best advice is to find the Edit button and use it. It is your friend.

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Snooky   
As much as I liked BB Reloader, and not having to worry about the feeds timing out, I didn't like that I couldn't rewind the feed if I'd missed something. Which happens a lot.

This is very true. I think that's a function Real keeps for itself. I asked the BB Reloader people about it, and that was basically the response. I often used BB Reloader to monitor all four feeds (with the ability to switch between them very quickly and listen in), then used Real to do serious recappage, because yeah, if they're discussing the next great strategic move, one MUST rewind!

 

*sigh* There's no perfect way, apart from having the feeds downloaded directly into my brain! (Hear me, producers!?) Uh, on second thought, that'd be a just a wee bit creepy!

Edited by Snooky

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ff174   
Oh, I beg to differ...uaintjak's recaps are a fine example of what HT is all about.

 

Magpie, I completely agree with this. In fact, when I suggested that new recappers look at Season 7 posts to prepare for this season, uaintjack would have been at the top of the list.

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MrsGryn   

 

What's the stand on "commenting" or "correcting" others's's recaps? I got "corrected" a couple times last year by follow-on posts when I made fun of a hamster's make up or hair, or things like that, by well-meaning recappers who wanted to protect the hamster in question from my venom in favor of the truth.

 

What is truth?

 

Annnnnnyway...corrections should only be for factual errors, like if someone said the BBQ tried to incinerate Maggie instead of Ivette. And even if a mistake like that is pointed out, it had better be NICELY said, or Fisty gets out the chompers! Chomp! Chomp!

 

Be mean to the Hamsters, not each other. It cannot be emphasized enough.

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Snooky   

Thanks, MrsGryn.

 

Another tip -- TAKE BREAKS. Seriously, this stuff can get addictive, so be cognizant of your posture and ergonomics, and don't fret if you miss a few minutes to, you know, eat dinner. Even if no one else is about, chances are you won't be missing all that much. I found the best times to bail were when most of them were in the kitchen, fixing their little hammie meals. They hardly ever talk strategy -- or share sweet nothings, for that matter -- at meal time because the kitchen's so open and anyone could wander in at any time.

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Towanda   
*sigh* There's no perfect way, apart from having the feeds downloaded directly into my brain! (Hear me, producers!?) Uh, on second thought, that'd be a just a wee bit creepy!

 

Glad you realized that you don't really want Maggie, Cowboy or *shudder* Booger inside your head? The thought of that is just to traumatising to consider.

 

I stock up on Dr. Pepper, wine, kettle corn, wine, PB&J, wine, Warm Delights, wine, and quesadillas before the season begins so I'm ready when the cravings hit.

 

Cancelling all doctor appointments and arranging car pools for the kids helps too. Run all your errands in the morning while the lazy asses lie abed.

 

Too many new nicknames makes it confusing - choose one and see if it sticks. If not, then go with one of the popular favorites.

 

Raising my hand in my best Girl Scout hand sign: I ,inky, promise to recap more this season than last, even if I suck.

Luckily, If I break my promise, there are a lot more recappers than there used to be "back in the day" to pick up the slack.

Edited by inkyL

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MrsGryn   

We've opened a "Love Your HT Recappers" thread, so this one will stay with its intended purpose.

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I am not a prolific recapper but I've done some stints and have considerable experience as a reader of recaps.

 

Another tip -- TAKE BREAKS.

 

Don't just take Breaks during an evening of recapping, but also throughout the course of the show. Take a night or two off during the week. I have seen a lot of outstanding recappers burn themselves out about a month or so into a season after providing nightly coverage.

 

Don't feel you have to hang in there because no one else is recapping. Save those extra efforts for the rare time when something electric is happening. It's ok to go to bed. Really.

 

It isn't necessary to be the 6th person in a row within a short time to chime in with "They're still all sleeping" or "Still on flames/fish/FOTH". It's not that these things should not be noted, but readers don't really need 10-minute updates. Endurance competition recaps are a different matter and can be more frequent, but it's nice for the reader if something of interest is added. "All the hamsters are still holding their keys.... Janey has removed her bra and Jase is braying like a donkey." Join other watchers in Hamster Time's Chat [link in the HT header] where we often wait together for something to happen.

 

Make a 'cheat sheet' photo ID card of the hammies [photo and name] and prop it right below the screen for quick access during the first week or so until you know them by sight.

 

I used to have my posts 'eaten' by the old board; I don't know if that happens to anyone here. I ended up using a simple text program, such as the Notepad accessory and then copy them into the reply window; if the post gets eaten it is still on the Notepad.

 

For those of you who would like to capture photos or videos from the feeds, I recommend Snag-It software; check the HT Tips for Screencaps and Videos thread for more information.

 

Have fun!

Edited by lifeonhold

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Lausana   
Make a 'cheat sheet' photo ID card of the hammies [photo and name] and prop it right below the screen for quick access during the first week or so until you know them by sight.

 

Great idea! It'll be weird to go back to new people this year. Maybe a printout of the acronym list too for reading or recapping.

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overg   

Given that I named this site, and co-wrote the original tips for recapping, I feel as though you all owe it to me to make me laugh. To hell with everyone else, if you entertain me, you win. On that note, and based upon the fact that it was my job to read every single recap posted for a number of years, here's my advice to becoming a legendary recapper.

 

1. Avoid using nicknames. Sure, your nickname just might be the one of several bajillion that catches on and makes everyone laugh every time they read it. But more likely than not you're just confusing the huge majority of people who missed the post where you coined the nickname AUSFW (annoying ugly stupid fame whore) to refer to April.

 

2. Have a positive outlook on life. This one is going to sound strange, seeing as its hate that makes HT go round. But seriously, unbridled nihlism gets old, and there really are only so many interesting ways to wish death on someone. A little positivity just makes everyone's recap a little brighter. So instead of something negative, like "I hope Erika gets a parasitic worm that sucks all of that gross fat off of her", try something positive like "Erika would be extremely gorgeous if she would just fully commit herself to bulemia." See, now don't you feel better already?

 

3. Don't point out how boring the hamsters are. Know what's more boring than watching boring hamsters? Reading about boring hamsters being called boring. Of course they're boring. If these people led interesting lives, do you think they'd agree to be locked up in an astro-turfed house for 3 months? Instead of calling the hamsters boring, make them interesting. Start a game for your readers to play along with (e.g. "Which hamster would require the least amount of gasoline to set on fire?"). Write poetry and attribute it to your favorite hamster ("Nicole rubbed my johnson with her foot, but in the end I got the loot" - BB2 Will (who's really not much of a poet)). Identify which animal each HG would most likely be eaten by if left alone in the wilderness for 6 months (BB4's Robert would be the one to eat Boogey. . . get it?!? Hahahahah). Interactive recapping is much more fun than recapping boredom, and your audience will feel special that it gets to be involved.

 

4. Suck up to the mods. Trust me, these guys have powers you've only dreamed of. You want them on your side. Not just on this site, but in life. Plus, ass kissing is funny.

Edited by overg

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Rainesty   

4. Suck up to the mods. Trust me, these guys have powers you've only dreamed of. You want them on your side. Not just on this site, but in life. Plus, ass kissing is funny.

 

 

Bend over, overg. *samooooooch*

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gforce   

Oh, overg, we miss you terribly.

 

Yeah, basically what overg, said - especially number 4.

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Magpie   

But overg, what about nude recapping? I seem to recall you being somewhat of an expert on the subject.

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