I’m tasked with building community among the internet video producers, the videobloggers, the folks using moving images to inform, tell stories, share something interesting. Part of this is to build friends, get to know people, and really rock out on this exciting time in our lives. The other part involves developing things, advancing our causes, and building energy around ideas that have yet to be realized or recognized. This latter part is obviously more challenging.
First off, You Feel It, Right?
Are you still vibrating since PodCamp or Video On the Net or the Podcast and Portable Media Expo? Do you have that sense deep inside you that you’ve stumbled onto something here that is much larger than you expected?
To me, it feels like Fight Club. I feel like we’re this group that’s now back amongst the “normal” people, waiting to be activated for something larger, but all the while working on what we think it’ll take to get us there. How about you?
Do You Want to Make a Living From This?
I’m not selling anything, and I don’t have any answers. However, I’m interested in your thoughts on this matter. There are precious few people making a living off audio or video podcasting (or videoblogging, etc, etc). There are a few folks making a living off text blogging. Do you want to make a living from new media?
If so, what types of things are you doing to try and make that dream come true? How are you doing things differently to try and up the ante, or move you from hopeful to speaker series? What’s your take on how you’ll be able to quit the office and make movies forever more?
How Good is Your Product?
If you think about it, podcasts (audio or video) have a responsibility. If I am going to consume one of these pieces of media, it owes me one or more of the following:
- It must be entertaining.
- It must provide the best possible quality.
- It must be informative.
- It must add value to me.
How does your product stack up to this? For example, I would say that my New Media School site is entertaining and informative, but I don’t think it’s of the best possible quality. If I am to consider my future with that show, I should consider building up its quality, and perhaps finding ways to offer even more value.
What makes me need to see your head, versus just hear you on an audio file? Why should I listen along until I come to the part I need, when I could just skim a blog with the FIND function on my browser? What’s entertaining about the information you’ve presented to me as video?
How does your show stack up?
Who’s Your Audience? How Are You Reaching Them?
I’m speaking on a panel in the coming months, and it’s about how technology is grand, but if your mom can’t use it, there’s a much smaller market of people who’ll be able to use it. The consumption and use of new media is absolutely saturated with barriers to entry:
- File size versus download speed.
- Software versions.
- Weird words like “wiki” and “podcast” and “podcatcher” and “rss” that don’t translate well for moms.
- Poor directories, or difficult navigation of what’s new.
- Even less understanding of what’s good, and why?
What are you doing to reach out to the community that might benefit from your product (your audio or video podcast), and how effective do you feel you are about reaching them? What would be helpful for driving broader adoption of what we’re doing here?
Money Changes Everything
The old guard are looking at us. They see us and know what we’re planning. What are you going to do to win money from their current relationships with marketers and advertisers? How will you show the old guys on the block that you matter, and that you’ve got audience, and that you are someone worth an advertiser or sponsor’s time?
If not Click Per Thousand as a way to charge for advertising, then what? How do you prove the case that you’ve made for advertising dollars?
Besides contributing to various email lists and mentioning each other’s podcasts on your show, what are you really doing to build community? I believe strongly that the future of continued audience and value to the consumer involves gathering, building power under unified brands, and moving that dense content out to consumers in the easiest, fastest way possible. Do you agree?
What are you doing to make that happen?
Not Just Talking Here
I’m not just talking here. I feel these are the questions of the day, and that we have to pull past our internal dialogues, and move beyond the walls of what it takes to put our individual shows out there. Instead, I think we must gather. We have to improve the quality of what we’re producing, move closer and closer to pro, but on your own scale, budget, and level of experience. We need to “get married” to other shows, gather, collect, build fatter feeds for people to consume easier.
So, I’ve laid it all out here. What do you say? What are your answers to this post? If you respond, please consider throwing your RSS feed into the reply. I’m collecting the “voices” of this discussion, so that I may further contribute to the conversation wherever it goes.
Let’s move this forward.