September 15th, 2014
This seems like a well thought out way for a more performance based occupation to be able to incorporate data to improve. Maybe something to consider in the future would be to add a "Play optimal show" which puts all of the highest scoring clips together to get a sense for what that best show would be like, although the transitions between the segments might be a little awkward because the samples would likely be coming from different shows.
This is an interesting idea. I don't go to many comedy shows, so maybe you can speak to this better than I, but my feeling is that a comedian can glean more from an audience than an app that simply detects sound levels. After all, people can boo and heckle at least as loud as they can laugh. How might you compensate for the app's inability to discern between the nature of these different audience reactions?
It's an interesting problem space, but I would second Kevin's question about do they not implicitly receive this information from the audience/response? Maybe this is something you could think about integrating. For example, if it wasn't an audio recording but a video playback of the audience reaction would that give them a richer perspective?
Beyond that comedy is much more complex than just the laughs. Depending on the comedian and style, shock, silence, gasps, etc might be the desired reaction at a given time. What if you only showed the stuff that went wrong? That wasn't as expected? What I'm really asking you to consider is how could you be unconventional in your approach but still arrive at a rich outcome?
As a footnote, Viegas's perspective on a 'forceful point of view' isn't about irrefuatable data - its about creating aesthetic forms that encourage people to reconsider their everyday experiences, cultures etc. They are perfectly fine with manipulating data to arrive at an outcome that provokes inquiry.
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