Located here is an almost 2 hour discussion that claims to be about “the future of radio”.What it’s really discussing is the future of podcasting. That’s the first problem with podcasting and personal broadcasting of all kinds…not being accurate about what you’re selling.
but, i’ll get to that….
First some background.
When i went to Ryerson in the late 70’s, I discovered radio. Oh, i loved to listen to radio – Reiner Shwartz & David Marsden – truly great broadcasters – but i had no interest in working in it until i stumbled on it a month into my journey to be a TV director. But i was hooked the moment i found it, and within 10 weeks i was Entertainment Editor, and by the end of my first year i was Music Director, complete with a $50/week salary and my own cubicle with a lock on the door.
To be 19 with a key to by own personal space? Priceless.
I will take credit or the blame for insisting that jazz and Classical music would be the only thing you would hear until 11AM at CRFM, then with its new call letters CKLN. I MD’ed for 2.5 years. It was heaven. But, i already digress…
Years later, though i certainly was not among the first 5% to discover, claim, use, or have an interest in podcasting, I was certainly among the first 15%. Me and my company – arpix media – began creating podcasts in early 2005 (prior to launching an actual podcast specific company in august called Podzapper…yes, i was just that sure of podcasting’s potential).
In fact, If I wanted to lay claim to stuff like so many others do, I’d trumpet that I/we were first or super early to this or that format, hill, checkmark, or genre.
We created, named, and produced “ReGenesis : ReMixed”. I’m pretty sure we were either the first or among the first to;
get paid to produce a podcast (lol) – this was 2005;
to create a podcast discussing some aspect of a television series – certainly for a Canadian tv series;
to create a podcast based on the music of a television series – probably for the world;
Earlier in 2005, we created Indie6, a music discovery podcast. It charted on some crazy podcast charts as high as #50. We were understandably thrilled.
Google Video started to show up on our radar.
Youtube was invented by a couple of guys.
People started asking each other if they’d heard of something called “youtube”.
People started to share videos.
People started using the term “viral”.
Just like TV kicked the ass of radio, people into podcasting quickly began thinking about “video podcasting”.
Google bought YouTube.
The world changed…yet again…people ears were taken over by their eyeballs.
All of which is my long story long way of beginning my own “future of radio” commentary.
Here’s the first problem…ask the right question.
Like i said at the top, its not the future of radio…its the future of podcasting…or call it personal audio blogging…or personal broadcasting…all it whatever u like, but we all know it when we see it… hey, i hate the term trans-media…but people have made it the de facto term to describe uh…trans-media stuff…
well, just like a two hour video-enabled show of 3 guys at a microphone is devoid of visual information – eg boring by definition, so too is a two hour conversation even with-out visual information.
See, one of the key elements of successful online video is duration!! short wins the race. The beauty of Lynda.com or macprovido.com is every chapter of every lesson is specifically about one topic. Success online requires attention to this.
Far too many personal podcasts are full of “how are you” and bullshit nothing…eg get to the point, and make it a good point, and you will have an audience…if there’s an audience for your point.
Coverville – as of this writing having release episode 1017!! – has been one of the most successful podcasts due to its laser beam focus on cover songs. He delivers the goods.
Here’s The Thing is my favourite podcast. Alec Baldwin is an awesome interviewer and he knows not to overstay his welcome with his audience or his guest. Having said that, his shows used to be w a single guest, but somewhere along the way they’ve been doubled up, as if Lena Dunham and Elaine Stritch were on the same show, but that’s not how I listened to it at the time.
In any event, be brief – unlike this very missive – as very few people will not invest the time in something TWO HOURS LONG! Be focussed, and make eight chapters of 15 minutes each out of your tome. Yes, that takes time. Poor you.
And, FOCUS! Don’t get off topic. The success of the best text fails, or trucks hitting an underpass is that’s exactly what they are, and nothing else. Don’t be anything else. Be ONE thing, and be great at it.
So, don’t tell me you’re gonna discuss one thing, then discuss another.
Don’t then never shut up about it without considering that an edit might help get you more customers and/or consider editing one long thing into several short things (gee…that’s what a tv series does)
Don’t create a video podcast and give me nothing to look at.
Lastly, Apple isn’t the best at podcast promotion. But, its not their job, so don’t blame them. You know what i love? @soundcloud. Soundcloud could totally rule the personal audio space. They are doing a fairly good job with songs, and have some podcasts already, but they could dominate if they had just one talented person behind the scenes with his/her eye on the ring. if you’ve not yet checked any podcasts out there, give it a whirl and you’ll see/hear what i mean. But…it has to get better…its a mess right now.
I love personal radio…i love podcasts…i love communication…but i don’t like to waste my time.
My time is what i’m trading when i decide to interface with you, just like your time is what you had to consider while deciding if you were going to reach the end of this piece just now.