This is fun.
I start out this morning at TechMeme, see that Nick Denton is telling the New York Times that there’s a media bubble, which leads me to the Blogging Times, which then leads me to Ask the Ninja who answers “what is podcasting.”
I love being told that I’ll be a failure in the New York Times by people who are far smarter and richer than me.
It puts me into a creative mood.
So, since I haven’t started my job yet, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do when I start.
The podcasting business is pretty simple, really. You need two things:
1) A distribution channel.
Distribution channel means “get on iTunes.” Well, there’s a lot more that you need to do too. Get on Google. Make it easy for people to get your content onto a PlayStation, an iPod, a computer, whether Mac/Linux/Windows.
Remove friction from the distribution channel and you’ll add value. Translation: make it easier for normal people to find, try, download, subscribe to audio and video content and you’ll get more audience. That’s what Google Video, YouTube, PodZinger, among many others are trying to do.
Content? That’s what I’ll be focusing on. Here you have two choices. Develop your own content ala Rocketboom or “Ask a Ninja.” Or, convince other people who’ve already developed such content brands to join your network.
I am interested in talking with you all about the network part of things, but that’ll be hard work of building relationships, understanding dreams, demonstrating that the network will bring them value beyond just staying independent, etc. I don’t have the answers yet, that’s my most important task after I start my new job.
So, what I can think about right now are the shows I’d like to do. What I’m passionate about.
Now, tipping my hand in public might seem like a not good thing to do. After all, my competitors might see this and might come out with something before I do.
I’ve learned over and over again that fear is bullshit. And, that by doing things in the public eye they not only get improved a lot more but also build networks of people who are interested in helping out (not to mention the Google juice). This particularly happened on our book project. It’s 10x better than if we tried to do it alone (and, the Google juice is so strong from people linking to it during its development that we’re #10 on the list for “naked” — how many people can say they out SEO’d the porn industry?)
So, here’s a few ideas that I’m noodling on. What do you think?
1) I’d like to do a show called “Don’t Tell Anyone Until Tuesday.” That’s what I told people when I told them I was about to quit working at Microsoft and it became an international story faster than I ever expected. This show would encourage entrepreneurs to come on the show and tell us about new stuff coming out. For instance, at a party at Gnomedex, one of the executives at Red Swoosh told me they are going to announce something pretty interesting on Thursday. So, why not get him on video, get him to demo it for our cameras, get an interview with the development team, get an interview with analysts and customers about how good or crappy the new service is.
2) Interviewing interesting people is one of the things that makes me excited about getting up in the morning. When I was heading toward PodTech’s offices on Sand Hill Road I noticed the Dish on top of Stanford University. John Furrier told me that some of his most interesting experiences in life were during walks up to that dish with interesting people. So, why not turn that into a show? “The Dish.” Invite interesting people to go on a walk to the Dish, record the conversation and put that up.
3) I love TechMeme. But I noticed something. Things really get blown up fast. For instance, last week Google’s Checkout was all over TechMeme. But I sense we need something that comes in after TechMeme and really discusses “what did we learn?” Jeff Sandquist has this little idea that he loves talking about: “does a new piece of software get used after one week?” If it does, he buys it. So, why not turn that into a show. Something titled “A Week Later.” We’ll look for stories that get overhyped on TechMeme, particularly products or services (Google Checkout would be one I’d work on this week if I were working right now). We’ll go and see the team that developed it, ask them for a demo on video, then go and visit people who wrote about it on TechMeme and interview them maybe five days later and ask “now that we are over the hype about Checkout, what else have you learned?” Maybe do a panel discussion of subject-area experts, sort of like a Sunday-morning news show where we tear Checkout apart. On the package on the Web site we link to our favorite five blogs and other podcasts/videoblogs about Checkout (Technorati reports that 2,312 posts contain “Google Checkout” so that alone would add some value).
Anyway, those are three ideas I’m noodling on. Some others? How about a show called “Outside the Valley” about innovations and new companies and new interesting people who live outside Silicon Valley?
Maryam has been talking about a show titled “Digital Diva’s.” That idea might be fun to talk about at BlogHer later this month.
Would love to know your ideas. Keep in mind that these are just things I’m thinking about, we’re a long way from doing any of these, they are just brainstorms from my brain to yours. PodTech is going to be doing a lot of things outside the tech/geek world too — we’ll talk about that soon after I start.
If I could do only one of these five ideas, which one is most interesting to you and why?