Saturday, 30 September 2006

Slow Marketing

“slow marketing is a focus on human, one-on-one connections” – Evelyn Rodriguez

The great thing about technologies like RSS, is their low-committment persistence, their bias for – as Evelyn calls it – ‘slow marketing’.

For example, take real estate. It’s a big purchase occurring infrequently. Most of the time, I’m not looking for or buying a house. Having an RSS feed in my subscriptions continually reminds me of the voices and people I trust – continually in a very non-distractive manner.

The longer term horizon on this is refreshing.

Photo of Me at PodcastExpo

(Dave, Victor and myself)

(Me, Kris Smith, Rick Klau, Eric Olson, and many others at Dinner)

Big thanks go out to;

  • Kris Smith – for letting me hang out with him all weekend and running the best session of the conference.
  • Tim Coyne – for some amazing conversation.
  • Dave Slusher – for dropping zen wisdom all weekend (“there is no good and bad – only relevant to you or irrelevant”, “statistically nobody is listening to your podcast”) and hosting a great BBQ.

I completely agree with Tim Elliott’s and impression of the event:

“I was a bit disappointed in the lack of advancement in the podcasting world over the past year.”

Tim’s right, it isn’t just in the vendors. As a community, the most vocal podcasters are still stuck on the same questions: the name of the thing, measuring success/value, justifying their continued involvement. Disheartening.

I made a number of laps around the expo floor over the 2 days – generally stalling out at the LA Podcasters booth and chatting with Tim Coyne. The other booths seemed to be selling one of the following;

  1. Stuff I already have that works great
  2. Stuff I won’t ever use
  3. Stuff that doesn’t make sense
  4. Snake oil

I left thinking there are 3 problems with the expo as it exists currently;

  1. It’s serving 2 separate cultures; those that love podcasting and those that missed the first dot com rush
  2. It’s too niche. As evidence by the expo floor, there’s just not enough innovation happening within the podcasting-specific space year over year to be interesting. Now, if the context was expanded just a hair to anything-RSS we’d start to see far more interesting things. Plus, it’d give larger media brands a better justification for attending.
  3. Too many logos with the word ‘pod’ in a different color than the rest of the company name.

Friday, 29 September 2006

What’s the Future of Media Networks? pulls 70+ podcasts in to a single page using a single script.

Is it a network? I hope not.

But it does many of the same functions as a media network (ABC, BBC, NBC, etc); aggregate and present a collection of voices with some common collection of attributes.

While other functions – distribution, production, bandwidth – are handled by the individual podcasters themselves. Is that what makes a network?

To paraphrase – we are all network programmers of each other.

I call this collection of focused, attribute-based re-syndication a lazy networks

“Two podcasters can’t stand next to each other without it being a network” – Dan Klass

FCC’s Current Stance on Internet Censorship

This topic came up in a lunch conversation today, and I wanted to confirm I still accurately understood the FCC’s current position:

“That being said, the F.C.C. has no jurisdiction over what content an individual broadcasts over the Internet, assuming it is legal.”

Looks like the recently ratified Cybercrime Treaty is the closest to internet censorship.

The treaty requires the U.S. government help enforce other countries’ “cybercrime” laws – even if the act being prosecuted is not illegal in the United States – EFF

Seems consistent with the previous statement…if only that it extends to the following 15 countries; Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Romania, Slovenia, Macedonia, Ukraine.

The Buzzword Blacklist Part 2

  • Content – we can be more specific like; copy, pictures, conversations, talks, music, performances, etc). Doc Searls makes a good case to blacklist this word in this Giant Zero talk
  • Monetize – under a hunch that this was a made-up word…it’s not. It means ‘to express in the form of currency’. So, it’s not a hammer…it’s $7.49. Uh. That doesn’t seem very useful…more like duckspeak.

Thursday, 28 September 2006

Don’t Visit the Truckstops

Just got off the phone with my dad who recommended not to visit the TA truckstops in Ontario, California.

I’m going to heed his suggestion. Though, I’m not sure where that leaves for dinner.

Podcasting: Hot or Cool?

…in the McLuhan sense.

“Hot media are high definition (“well filled with data”) and demand a relatively passive audience; cool media are low definition and require intensive audience participation to fill in the blanks. Hot media intensely engage a single sense; cool media loosely engage multiple senses. According to McLuhan, movies and radio are hot media while television and conversation (on the phone or in person) are cool ones. Print is generally a hot medium (the eye must closely follow a linear arrangement of symbols) but can be cooler depending on context.” – Cecil Adams

From this (I don’t have McLuhan’s Hot & Cool within reach) I say cool – require intense audience participation and are low definition.

For reference, television and phone conversations are ‘cool’ – while movies and radio are ‘hot’.

Security is Really Customer Service in Disguise

A confused, elderly woman with a full, knotted, plastic shopping bag was in front of the scanner. The security checkpoint line out of Minneapolis stalled as I put all my stuff in multiple bins.

When a uniformed TSA person asked her if she had a boarding pass, she mumbled the need for help getting a ticket for Transworld Airlines.

“I can’t help you ma’am, I’m the supervisor and I could lose my job if I left my post.”

After a couple exchanges identical to this, the supervisor thankfully handed the woman off to another TSA person.

Reminded me how customer service is smarter, cheaper, more effective, and generally happier than level-orange security.

Reminds me, why are airports so dreary and generally unhappy. Thankfully, Ze Frank gave me the airport smile I was looking for.

Wednesday, 27 September 2006