“What’s with the hashtag?”

years ago
in an internet
far, far away,
there were things called
“bbs’s” and a place called Usenet…

Figuring out how to get your computer connected to such things took a little bit of doing. This gave rise to some of the early online communities of shared interest.  Although I was just a young kid hanging out with the more knowledgeable folks, they were generally quite forthcoming with answers to my questions (well, as long as I took the time to make sure I asked them clearly.)
Whether it was trying to get computers and musical instruments to talk to one another, or figure out the best way to pull apart a Sturmey-Archer internally geared three-speed bicycle hub so that you had any hope of getting it back together, those who knew shared info with those who didn’t. The fact you could get connected and even show up garnered a modicum of respect. Such was the tone of the day.
Nowadays, it’s hard not to be on the internet. That makes it relatively easy for someone to pop up in any number of social media groups, posing very broad and unanswerable questions:
“How do I ‘make it’ as a voice actor?” “Where do I find clients?”  “What is the best microphone?”
I can’t truthfully answer any of those things, and I’d deeply question anyone who says they can.
It takes digging in under the surface to figure out the right questions to ask. At some point, those folks will start asking Questions That Matter.
Those are the questions I like to answer.  They usually reflect a subtle shift from a passive to active state. A person has probably worked to compile some basic knowledge but doesn’t yet understand how certain parts fit or relate. They might have found contradictory advice or statements. They need information so they can go learn more, rather than have a result handed to them.
I enjoy those questions.  Seeing the light go on and the enthusiasm build is one of the most gratifying parts of teaching classes – watching the spark ignite. That’s one of the reasons I still hang out in certain online groups.
These days, the current internet lets us do terribly clever things – like keep an eye on twitter and Facebook through hashtags.  So, if you have a question about VO gear setup or voiceover recording, simply ask your question here and use hashtag #justaskjimvo and I’ll try to get it answered in a future article or post.

JIm Edgar Voices on QuoraIf you have a question which is less about the technical recording side of voice acting, you might wander over to my quora profile.