Leo Challenges Podcasting Assumptions

Lots of people assume that you need to do short podcasts. After all, people’s time is valuable, right? And we’re all overloaded with too much info anyway.

But Leo asked his audience and 20,000 people responded, Phil Windley reported from a keynote Leo did today. They told him “do longer, more technical podcasts.”

Leo’s show? It’s TWiT. Length? 120 minutes.

That said, on ScobleShow you won’t find me shying away from weird length podcasts and videoblogs. Why do we need to fit into a format? If it only takes three minutes to demo a product, why take six? On the other hand, if walking through San Francisco with Thomas Hawk is interesting, even after two hours, why shorten it to 10 minutes?

We’re playing the Web 2.0 drinking game tonight

Hey, we’re going drinking tonight. At the Podcasting Expo here in Ontario, CA. But now I see we have a Web 2.0 drinking game to play with, thanks to a Steve Rubel link.

How about we customize this game for the Podcasting expo?

Everytime someone says something about Adam Curry, take a drink.
Everytime someone mentions Revision 3, take a drink.
Anytime Kevin Rose is standing next to you, take a drink.
If you see Chris Pirillo naked, don’t take a drink, just turn off Valleywag.
If Leo Laporte mentions Robert Scoble in his keynote, take a drink (I have to take three).
If Jason Calacanis offers you $10 to blog for him, take a drink.
If your picture ends up on Valleywag because of your drinking behavior, you must take a week off of alcohol.

Anyway, say hi if you’re at one of the places in Ontario we’re at. Cell phone is 425-205-1921, but I usually can’t hear it ringing when we’re out partying.

Yeah, I know I’m not funny. So make up your own game. :-)

It’s about being part of the conversation

I love Jacob Bowser. He gets it. He said “it felt like you were right there, part of the conversation.”

Exactly.

Aside: second installment of Photowalking with Thomas Hawk is up. I should have titled this “it gets darker.” The other installments should be up soon.

Being part of the conversation is the key to this new world. It’s why I hate talking about advertising and CPM (cost per thousand visits) or ad units or interstitals. I’d rather talk about what is on Digg or Techmeme or on Dori Smith’s blog.
There has got to be a new kind of advertising where companies can get their products found and discussed, but not cause they shoved them in your face like they do in TV where they interrupt your football game to talk about shavers or beer.

I wish I had better answers, though. If you were a company trying to find new customers, how would you approach advertising?

And, yes, we need advertising to fund content development. Even a “cheap” show like mine is expensive. You should see the bandwidth bill we’re running up, not to mention that doing it right (with multiple formats, better audio quality, better lighting, etc) costs money.

How do I provide value to my sponsor so that they are happy and keep doing it? I love how Hugh Macleod made Stormhoek wine part of the conversation. How so? He gave me a bottle of the stuff. Now I’m addicted and keep asking for it at the local store. That draws stares cause the local store already has something like 100 different kinds of wines. But they don’t cause a conversation with my friends the way that Stormhoek does.

I pour that sucker and everyone starts talking about their favorite Hugh cartoon.

Or, go over and see Ze Frank. I don’t even need to link to him anymore. If you don’t know how to find Ze’s show you don’t deserve to watch. Have you clicked on his “snack?” I have. It’s getting tastier and tastier as time goes along.

I can imagine finding a little treasure from an advertiser in there someday. Imagine if someone like Starbucks says “free lattes for Ze viewers.” I’d be there, and my loyalty to Starbucks would grow cause they are supporting something I love. Not to mention, it’d cause a conversation.

Yahoo this week is about to cause a conversation. Watch what they do on Friday night. Watch your Flickr feeds. Your videoblog feeds. Your podcasting feeds. I bet Yahoo gets in there. Why? Cause they figured out a way to cause a conversation. Even better. They figured out how to bring the conversation to their front lawn.

What conversations are you a part of?

Google Reader updates (and a video too!)

Wow, just read this over on TechCrunch that Google Reader has been updated and they put up a video too. Nice! But I’ll still go over and do a more in depth video. I’m also downloading it and will see if it gets me to switch off of my favorite NewsGator.

UPDATE: I’ve loaded all my feeds into it. It’s quite nice. Works fast, clean UI. Does what you’d expect a news reader to do (brought in my OPML file from NewsGator without complaining).

Some things I’m still missing. Is there a “river of news” option here? That’s what I’m looking for. I want to just have a continuous scroll where I can go through my news feed. No folders, just a chronilogical view of all my items. OnFolio used to get pretty close to that, but I haven’t see any company really change the news reader metaphor very much. I’d also love to see a reordering of the list of feeds based on who publishes most (right now it’s just alphabetical). Or, who has the most links according to Google BlogSearch. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Some problems exist. I clicked on “email” at the bottom of a feed item and it gave me a “Bad Request” error. “Your client has issued a malformed or illegal request.” I’m using latest version of Firefox.

I don’t understand what the “Share” icon does at the bottom of each item. I click on it and it just changes to “Unshare.” OK, I guess I gotta go do some homework about where that gets shared to. It’s a mystery to me. But, what do I know? I’m blonde.

Oh, yeah, where’s the integration with Google Blog Search? One of the most powerful things I’ve been showing audiences lately is you can track anyone in the world who says anything on a blog. Say someone says “Scoble sucks” on a blog, even one without any readers, well, it could show up in my Google Reader. I don’t see a way to build a “search subscription.” NewsGator has that built into its online reader. NewsGator also has a community ranking feature built right in. Imagine if Google were going to build its own “Digg-style” community? In fact, there’s a URL where you can star things, but it’s not clear that there’ll be a site where I can subscribe to everything that people have “starred.”

It’ll be interesting to read the reviews about this and see where it goes.

HP news all over the place

I promised no more HP news, but sorry, this story (seen here on Google News) just continues to get attention from all corners of the business world. I never imagined that it would get so bad when I first started reading about it and reacting to it. But, my initial instincts (that the smell from this board were awful and a huge price needed to be paid by HP’s top management) are still in place. I wish it weren’t so, but Congress was firing away today.

Best quote I saw was in this article by the New York Times:

In a brief moment of laughter in an otherwise tense interrogation, Representative Joe Barton, Republican of Texas, told Dunn, “If I called you up, Dunn, and asked you for your phone records for the last six months, would you give me that?”

“In your position,” Dunn said, then added after a pause, “I would give you my phone records.” The room exploded with laughter, and Barton replied, “Well, praise the Lord, I wouldn’t give you mine.”

Bay Area geeks: Lickety Ship will get you stuff fast

I’m trying LicketyShip out (just turned on publicly this morning). Unfortunately the first thing I wanted (some more Avery business card holders for binders) aren’t available from LicketyShip. But my friends who’ve tried the service say that it works great and gets stuff to your office in a few hours. I wrote about them a while back, but they are using shipping services and couriers to get stuff to you in less than a day.

I imagine one day I’ll be able to jump on a service like this, say “I’m heading to San Jose airport at 1 p.m.” and have it tell me if there’s a package waiting nearby that I could pick up and make some money. Anyway, nice UI.

One thing is that it starts up an IM if you have a problem. So far no human has answered. That’s not good. I’d love to see a webcam of who’s answering customer service questions so I would know if he or she is on break or not. It says they are online…