ANYway, my interview was set for 2 PM and it was just after 1 PM. I drove up to the university and sat in my car, eating pretzels and listening to the radio. After making my way to the office of Professor Thompson, I was still about forty-five minutes early. So I paced. A lot. For about half an hour. Finally, I knocked on his office door, only to find out that they had finished early and were waiting on me, and had been leaving frantic messages on my answering machine. Oops.
I arrived on the scene, a bit out of breath, and was introduced all around. The sound guy gave me one of those microphone clip things to snake through my shirt, and a little mike pack. I sat down in the hot seat while they adjusted the lighting and background for about thirty minutes. I'm not kidding. Like I wasn't nervous enough.
Finally, the interview began. After I gave some background on myself and the site, Ted tossed out some softballs, like "Why do people watch the show?" and "Why do people want to discuss it online?" It soon became clear to me that I was "Web Girl" and that he didn't necessarily want my opinions on the show -- he wanted to know what "people on the Internet" thought. So, I ended up speaking for the entire Internet community. I hope you all don't mind.
The questions were pretty basic, and I hope that I answered them competently. I was very nervous, and I tend to make a lot of goofy faces to express my points, which I'm sure will come across on camera like I have Tourette's or something. The only sticking point was when Ted asked me to discuss some of the other Real World sites on the web, which I wasn't comfortable doing. I felt like it wasn't my place to speak for those sites, and if they wanted to know what those sites were about, maybe they could just ask them. Also, I didn't want to inadvertently badmouth any competitors, because I just think it's bad form. Ted wasn't very happy with my decision, and kept re-asking the question in different ways until he finally realized that I just wasn't going to answer it. The whole time, I kept thinking, "This is what Melissa was talking about when she said that the producers get you to say what they need to further their storyline." I wanted very badly to cave, and just start talking trash, because it would have made Ted happy, and I'm a people-pleaser. But I think I was firm. Of course, you all can judge that when you see the special.
The only thing that bothers me about the interview in retrospect is this: I think I was a little too "People of the Web, join hands, start a Love Train." Ted asked me a lot of questions about anonymity and the Internet, and if people say things they might not otherwise say. Well, of course they do. But I was concerned that the piece might turn into an "evils of the Internet" thing, so I tried to emphasize how the Internet can bring people together and help them see opposing points of view. And I might have gone a little too far that way. Oh well.