Welcome to Just Another AIO Blog, a site that is dedicated to the popular radio drama Adventures in Odyssey. We provide news, reviews on the latest episodes, articles, features, and we also are home to Adventures in Connellsville, a unique look at the town next to Odyssey through book form, We also provide a U.S.S. Response page that gets updated every other day. This page provides a response to recent comments on The Soda Shop Message Boards. And just recently, we started a unique Adventures in Odyssey podcast: called JAAIOP, or Just Another AIO Podcast. Feel free to post comments or subscribe to this site by email or with Google Friend Connect. Thank you!

Alex Jefferson, creator and operator of Just Another AIO Blog

Thursday, August 9, 2012

AIO Article: The Lovers, the Dreamers, and Me 8/9/12

     Well, I'm back on SS! Check out the grand return of The U.S.S. Response right after you're done reading this! Well, PF might write another article next Tuesday or the Tuesday after that, so I guess I can scratch what I said last post about no articles on Tuesday whatsoever. Anyway, I'm doing an article today. I hope you like it, cause it's longer and deeper than any article I've done so far!

     Note: After careful thought and consideration, this article has been edited by the writer a few days after it was published.

     Weird title for an Adventures in Odyssey article, right? After all, this isn't Just Another Muppet Blog! But, being a fan of the Muppets, I thought The Lovers, The Dreamers, and Me would be a good title for the article I'm about to write. It does have to do with AIO, though, don't worry!

     Once upon a time in 1987, some kid got a copy of Odyssey USA. No one really knows who that kid was, but I'm confident he's out there. I'm also confident that that kid was the first Odyssey fan, or maybe the kid who got the album next was. Whoever the first AIO fan was, they fell into one of three categories: The Lovers, the Dreamers, or my category: The Involved. I'm guessing the first Odyssey fan was a Lover. You're probably wondering what exactly these three categories mean, so I shall explain.

     The Lovers make up the majority of Odyssey fans. These people love AIO, and they listen to it a lot. But it doesn't go beyond that. These people don't usually go to live shows, (well, some of them do) they don't check Odyssey websites with the possible exception of The Official Site, and they don't know nearly as much Odyssey trivia as we do. Often, when these kids grow up, they'll forget about Odyssey, and it'll just be some little radio drama they heard when they were kids. These people, however, are still Odyssey fans, even if they're not very dedicated to the show. They learn a little and laugh a little listening to Odyssey, but it was never incredibly important in their lives. These are the people that we never hear about, but they're out there. Like I said, the Lovers make up the majority, and they never really do anything with their love of Odyssey except listen to it. This is perhaps because they don't know that message boards or Odyssey websites exist.. I had a friend a few years ago who was a Lover. He liked Odyssey, and in a way got me hooked on it, and at first, he knew more about it than me. But he sort of stopped listening, while I kept listening more, until I it's reached the point where I don't know if he's listened  to it in years. For the Lovers, Odyssey is a passing fad, not something incredibly meaningful. All of my family except maybe my little sister are Lovers. Even I fell into the Lovers category when I was an early Odyssey fan. But then there's the Dreamers...

     The Dreamers are another group of Odyssey fans, smaller than the lovers, but in many ways more important to the Odyssey fan community. Some of this group could be considered hardcore Odyssey fans, since they know so much about the show, but many of them, like the Lovers, don't really do anything with their love of Odyssey. Most of the Dreamers get online and look at Odyssey fan sites, and wish they could make their own. Or they want to become the next Nathan Hoobler and write for Odyssey, or they want to send in questions to The Official Site. In fact, I believe that most of the people who send in Q & A questions to Paul and Dave are Dreamers, with the exception of Austin Peachy. AIO Message Boards are made up of almost entirely Dreamers. Some Dreamers on MB's include: Hannah J., Pound Foolish, various adults on ToO, gabbygirl17, suzylou, and others like maybe mymustang17 from CC! Being a Dreamer is actually a good thing, it means that you want to get involved with Odyssey-related things but you just don't. That's absolutely fine. Fan sites must be carefully thought-out before being made. But if Dreamers have a good, unique idea for an Odyssey fan site, I don't see what's stopping them from making it! Dreamers are also sometimes people who have Odyssey blogs that stick around for just a month or two, (you know the blogs I'm talking about) or people, like I said, who do stuff on The Official Site and dream of writing episodes but just don't want to. Once again, I was stuck in the Dreamer stage for a very long time. It was probably only about a month ago when I 'upgraded'. Yes, I'm making these categories into special elite clubs with this article, but I'm not meaning to. Dreamers are big Odyssey fans who have listened to the show for years, but don't have the dedication to start a website or get involved with Odyssey. In fact, I might still be lingering in between the Dreamers and the Involved stage. My sister would probably barely be considered a Dreamer. Also, it may not be that Dreamers don't want to start Odyssey websites or step up and talk to Odyssey actors and Odyssey crew, it could just be that they don't have the skills or time to start their own website. But, if they don't have time, they can't be classified as Involved, the next category.

     Ah, yes, The Involved. The last group of Odyssey fans. As I said before, I'm not sure if I would be in this group, but I think I'm pretty close. This group has Odyssey fans sites that have stood the test of time, (I guess mine hasn't really, yet) and they're not afraid to let the Odyssey team know they're out there. Some examples are: Angela Phillips, (The Writer's Scholarship winner) Austin Peachy, Jacob Isom, Bren McFarlond, Ben Warren, and others. I'm not sure if I deserve to be put in that list, but maybe one day I will. I'm hoping that one day, when I'm 21, JAAIOB can have a 10th Anniversary Celebration. But that could just be wishful thinking. Who knows how long this blog will last? But anyway, The Involved fans are often not on MB's, but that doesn't mean they aren't involved. Actually, if you'll notice, all of the people who started the MB's are Involved! The Invovled group have credentials in the Odyssey fan world, and deserve to be put on TOJ's Cast and Crew: Take 2 page. They also are obsessed with Adventures in Odyssey. But, really, they probably know about as much about the show as The Dreamers. This is because there reaches a point when you can't learn anything else about Odyssey, and Dreamers and Involved alike achieve this. And these 'Involved' people go to live shows and meet the actors and talk to them and get INVOLVED! I hope that one day, I can without question be among them.

     In conclusion, it really doesn't matter which group you're in, it just matters if you're an Odyssey fan! I just noticed that there seem to be three categories that AIO fans fall into, so I wrote an article about it. Lovers can become Dreamers, and Dreamers can become Involved. You just have to want to.

     Sorry the article was a little weird, that's just what I felt like writing today. Comment and tell me which group you think you fall into! Just in case you guys don't know, I configured the settings so that anyone can comment under Anonymous, so you don't need a Google account anymore! Anyway, The U.S.S. Response will be out later today, so keep watching for that! Also, I have two interviews right now. One will be released this Sunday, one, um, next Sunday! Also, the Webster ceremony is due the last Sunday in August, so that should be great, particularly the possible acceptance speeches I can get.
     Thanks for reading, and please comment!


  1. Hi!

    I read your post and I decided that I had to post a comment. Please understand that even though I am going to disagree with you, I do so with all due respect. I do understand your line of reasoning and where you are coming from, but I wholeheartedly disagree. I realize that what I say maybe anger some people and even alienate me from community in some way; I do hope that doesn’t happen, but I’m willing to take the risk.

    It’s obvious to me that you have put a lot of thought and work into this article and I recognize your effort. You do write well and express your opinions concisely, which I appreciate. I don’t disagree with your assessment of those you call the “Lovers”; I think you hit the nail on the head there. My disagreement stems from your categorization and characterization of the last two groups which you refer to as the “Dreamers” and the “Involved”.

    Firstly, even though you say that “Being a Dreamer is actually a good thing…” I still get the feeling from the rest of the article that being a “Dreamer” carries somewhat of a negative connotation. It seems that you feel that being “Involved” makes one a bit better than a “Dreamer.” I do not feel that is accurate; I believe that they are equally important to the AIO fan community. Without the so-called “Dreamers” what would be the point of having an online fan community? For it to even exist we must have these “Dreamers”; they are what makes up the community. Without these fans and their interaction all the AIO websites, forums, blogs, and podcasts would be pointless. Dare I take it one step further and say, without these fans Adventures in Odyssey itself may not be around? If no one were purchasing CDs, downloads, and video games Focus would not be able to continue with the series.

    Secondly, your assumption is that in order to be counted as one of the “Involved” one must have operated “…Odyssey fans sites that have stood the test of time…” I feel that this is inaccurate too. A website must serve a purpose, fill a niche in the AIO fan community (and any community for that matter). One shouldn’t create a website just because one can; there needs to be a need for it to fill, a reason for its existence. As far as I can tell, in the AIO online community, there are 5 categories that a site can fill; reviews, news, commentary, facts/data/information, and interaction. The first three are pretty self explanatory, but let me elaborate on the last two. By facts/data/information I mean interviews, behind the scenes content, and simple information, like information on the AIOHQ and the AIO Wiki. As for interaction, that would be the message boards/forums. A site may fill one, three, or all of these categories, but it has to have something compelling, something to differentiate them from the others. I feel that all of these are pretty well covered by the great sites that we have in the community right now. If some people would just be more involved in the major sites that already exist instead of attempting to launch their own, it would add more value to those websites and the AIO fan community as a whole.

    So let me summarize what I’m trying to say. I believe that instead of 3 levels of fans there are but two. The first would be the average, regular Odyssey fan that you call the “Lovers” and the second would be the ones that are actively involved and engaged in the online fan community in some fashion. There are just different degrees of involvement within the two categories.

    I hope you don’t take offense to my lengthy rebuttal to your article. Again, I do it with all kindness and no ill feelings to you or anyone else. My purpose in posting this is to stimulate a discussion on this topic with others in the community; whether they agree with me or not. :)

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  3. Yes, you are right that being a Dreamer is just as important as being part of Involved. I agree with you on that, and I was trying to communicate that through the article. I apologize if I made it seem that Involved people are 'better' than Dreamers, because they are not. Just because Involved people are more well-known in the Odyssey community does not mean that they are better than the Dreamers. Dreamers can become Involved quite easily.

    And you're also right when you say that Odyssey fan sites must fill a void. But if an Odyssey website doesn't fill a void, it can't stand the test of time. Fans will get bored with it, and it will die off. So I still stand by my remark that to be Involved you should have an Odyssey fan-site that has stood the test of time.

    I also understand where you would think that Dreamers and Involved are basically the same group. I, however, can still see a difference between the two, though it's not as pronounced as the difference between Lovers and Dreamers. Dreamers are assets in the Odyssey fan community, but they really don't do all the things that Involved people do. This isn't to say that you have to have an AIO fan site to be Involved, I said Angela Phillips was Involved, and, as far as we know, she doesn't have an Odyssey fan site. And I'm also not encouraging all the Dreamers to go out and make ripoff sites of AIOwiki and The Odyssey Scoop. In order to start a website, I think you have to have a good idea. But I still don't completely agree with you. I believe I should change the name of the Involved group from Involved to Prolific. Yes, whether or not you have a page on AIOwiki or are mentioned on The Official Site doesn't matter a lot, but let's face it. The Dreamers aren't prolific, because, well, they just dream. Or they are contented with simply joining AIO message boards. They are not well-known throughout the fan community, because they haven't done anything too notable.

    So I'll change the name from Involved to Prolific, because I believe the Dreamers are Invovled as well. Thanks for the long comment, J.D.!

  4. Whoops, you commented just as I was writing my reply to J.D., Ben. I realized I needed to change a couple of minor things in the article in order to communicate what I was trying to say better. It's nothing big, but it fixes a couple of misguided comments that I made.

    1. No worries. You'll notice I have deleted my comments because the article has since changed significantly.

  5. Good post, Alex! I'm so glad I can comment on this now! One thing, though: Mymustang12 from Campbell County is probably mostly considered Involved, considering she is mostly the reason it's still running, and became a CEO when Bren stepped down.

  6. 7 comments? Wow. I'd could get used used to this! Yes, mustang might be considered Involved, but - I don't know. And thanks so much for commenting, Ben! Your comments were insightful and truthful, and that was one of the reasons I changed the article. I've always eagerly awaited your reviews each week when a new episode comes out, so it's an honor to hear that you're reading my blog.

  7. Great post! I'm probably half way between a Dreamer and Involved. I have a blog, but the only views it gets is my sister :p.