My Digital Life Show #7: The Future of Radio and Podcasting

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Here is episode #7 of the “My Digital Life Show” for Tuesday, July 16th, 2013.  This episode topic is about “The Future of Radio and Podcasting from 2005 to 2013 with Radio Expert/Consultant Mark Ramsey.

In this episode we cover these more specific questions:

  • How Podcasts and Radio Content will blend together in the Car?
  • Possible changes coming to broadcast radio?
  • Does radio needs some of the current podcasts talent to succeed now and in the future?

I interviewed Mark Ramsey back in 2005 for my ITConversations Network “WebTalk with Rob Greenlee” show.  Back then, we both talked about the potential of podcasting in the face of shrinking radio audiences and how major celebrities will lead to audience growth in podcasting in the early days of podcasting.  Here is a link to that full interview from 2005.  I replay a key 9 minutes from that interview in the current episode here.

Fast forward 8 years, to 2013 and how have things changed and did we get it right back in 2005?  What are the predictions for radio and podcasting going forward from 2013?

Links:

Full WebTalk with Rob Greenlee on ITConversations Interview from 2005

Mark Ramsey Media

Hivio

Radios Ripped from New Cars, Consumers say, “Not So Fast”

Retraction: The Exact AM/FM Dash Story by Eric Rhoads of RadioInk

Episode length: 56 min MP3  Recorded: 7-16-2013

Please feel free to give me feedback on this show to: rob at robgreenlee dotcom or twitter @robgreenlee .  Leave some of your thoughts here in the comments and I will respond to them in next week episode.

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My Digital Life Show #6: The YouTubeization of Video Podcasting

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Here is episode #6 of the “My Digital Life Show” for Tuesday, June 25th, 2013.

This episode topic is about “The YouTubeization of Video Podcasting” and the birth of an animal pet video podcasting star “Lil Bub” the cat that has achieved 212,000 YouTube views within only 4 days release of the Premiere episode of “Lil Bub’s Big Show”.  I am seeing many new video podcasts coming from Revision 3 that are redistributing successful YouTube shows as podcasts.

I also visit my backyard greenhouse to get an Aquaponics farming update.  My custom built system is up and operational now with flowing water and leafy plants already growing.  Hear my visit to the greenhouse to get the dramatic water flow play by play.

Links:
My Backyard Aquaponics System Tour - Watch Video
Lil Bub – https://revision3.com/lilbub
Always On – http://cnettv.cnet.com/always-on/

Episode length: 20 min MP3  Recorded: 6-25-2013

Please feel free to give me feedback on this show to: rob at robgreenlee dotcom or twitter @robgreenlee .  Leave some of your thoughts here in the comments and I will respond to them in next week episode.

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My Digital Life Show #5: Part 2 Growing Globalization of Podcasts and Electric Cars

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Here is episode #5 of  “My Digital Life with Rob Greenlee” for Tuesday, June 18th, 2013.

This episode is part 2 of a series on the growing globalization of Podcasts and what that means for podcasting’s future.

This week, I have an extensive interview with Nicole Simon, Author, Social Media and Podcast Consultant at nicole-simon.eu from Berlin, Germany.  She can also be found on Twitter here @nicolesimon .

I also present an update on my 2 year ownership experience of an 100% Electric 2011 Nissan Leaf.  CNET TV Top 5 Electric Cars is also discussed in this episode — read more from CNET here .

Links:
DropCam.com
Paladin

Please feel free to give me feedback on this show to: rob at robgreenlee dotcom or twitter @robgreenlee . Leave some of your thoughts here in the comments and I will respond to them in next week episode.

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My Digital Life Show #4: Growing Globalization of Podcasts

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Here is episode #4 of the new “My Digital Life with Rob Greenlee” for Tuesday, June 11th, 2013.

This episode is focused on the growing globalization of podcasts and what that means for podcasting’s future.   As you can see, I stay focused on my passion and that is the medium of “Podcasting” for another week.

Interview guest is Karin Hoegh, Podcast Consultant at Podconsult.dk from Copenhagen, Denmark.

The below ranking chart gives a glimpse into the future of podcasts and maybe all on-demand media consumption over the next 5-10 years.

Here is a Top 10 Ranked List of the Most Spoken Languages around the World:

  1. Mandarin – 1 Billion + (Chinese)
  2. English – 508 Million +  (New Zealand, U.S., Australia, England, Zimbabwe, Caribbean, Hong Kong, South Africa, Canada and more)
  3. Hindustani – 500 Million + (India)
  4. Spanish – 400 Million + (Spain, Mexico, Cuba and most South and Central American countries)
  5. Russian – 300 Million (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, US to name a few)
  6. Arabic – 250 Million + (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt)
  7. Bengali – 215 Million – (Bangladesh mostly, but many other countries have these speakers)
  8. Portuguese – 200 Million – (Brazil, Macau, Angola, Venezuela, and Mozambique)
  9. Malay-Indonesian – 175 Million – (Malaysia and Indonesia)1
  10. French – 135 Million – (France, Belgium, Canada, Rwanda, Cameroon, and Haiti)

Here is a download referrer ranked list by country breakout of the top countries consuming podcasts over the past few months.  This data is from the largest podcast hosting provider in the world – Libsyn.

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Canada
  4. China
  5. Australia
  6. Japan
  7. Korea, Republic of
  8. Germany
  9. Spain
  10. Mexico
  11. France
  12. Sweden
  13. Russian Federation
  14. Singapore
  15. Brazil
  16. Saudi Arabia
  17. Italy
  18. Netherlands
  19. Thailand
  20. India

China has broken into the top 5.

The other languages represented in the above Top 20 country download referrer list, that are not included in the Top 10 Most Spoken Languages are Japanese, Korean, German, Swedish, Italian, Thai, and Dutch.  The current largest languages not represented in the Top 20 country list are Malay-Indonesian and Bengali.

Links:

http://www.vloggerfair.com

http://thebuglepodcast.com

Please feel free to give me feedback on this show to: rob at robgreenlee dotcom or twitter @robgreenlee .  Leave some of your thoughts here in the comments and I will respond to them in next week episode.

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My Digital Life Show #3: Top 13 Things that “Really” Build a Podcast Audience

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My Digital Life with Rob Greenlee

My Digital Life with Rob Greenlee

Here is episode #3 of the new “My Digital Life Show with Rob Greenlee” for Sunday, June 2nd 2013.

This episode is even closer to the vision that I have for this show, but have more improvements to come.  You will notice that I improved the audio production and am now using my Sure SM7B microphone and Mackie 802-VLZ3 mixer.  This change from episode one is dramatic.

My goal here is not do a monologue show, but to have some guests sprinkled in to add some varied opinions and to get listeners more involved in the show.

The topic this week stays focused on my passion and that is the medium of “Podcasting”.

The Topics This Week:
1) Top 13 Things that “Really” Build a Podcast Audience
2) EFF Legal Defense fundraising $50K+ to Fight a “Podcast Patent Troll”

Here are links to things mentioned in the show:

The EFF Save Podcasting effort is here, the link to submit and see submitted prior art is here

Thank you to Michael Wolf and JD Sutter for contributing with comments that you will hear in this episode.  Here is a link to the article written by JD Sutter.

Here is a link to the “Speaking of That” podcast hosted by Robert Keeme of which I played a snippet.  Thanks guys for the nice comments.

Please feel free to give me feedback on this show to: rob at robgreenlee dotcom or twitter @robgreenlee .  Leave some of your thoughts here in the comments and I will respond to them in next week episode.

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My Digital Life Show #2: Is Podcasting the Same as Radio?

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My Digital Life with Rob GreenleeHere is episode #2 of the new “My Digital Life Show with Rob Greenlee”.  This episode is much more focused and becoming more like the vision that I have for the show.

The topic this week gets back to my passion and that is the medium of “Podcasting”.  This show will target one specific topic each week.  These topics will generally be about new media and podcasting, as it seems those topics are on my mind more then others.   I will write an article then do an audio episode about it to go into more detail on the topic.

In this episode, I discuss the long-running issue of “Is Podcasting the Same as Radio?”.  I also wrote an blog post on this topic here about a week ago. Give it a read and then listen to the audio episode.

Thank you Adrian Bacon and Daniel J. Lewis for contributing with comments that you will hear in this episode.

Please feel free to give me feedback on this show to: rob at robgreenlee dotcom or twitter @robgreenlee .  Leave some of your thoughts here in the comments and I will respond to them in next week episode.

Posted in My Digital Life Show, Podcast, Podcaster Tips | 3 Comments

Is Podcasting the Same as Radio?

I have been hearing some radio broadcasting folks make posts to blogs about how to best produce a podcast and must comment on the topic, as it hits at the core of why radio and podcasting industries have not been more connected.

I think that podcasting is significantly different than radio broadcasting and it is not the same medium.

In podcasting, the content “segment” is rarely related to a commercial break in the program format. Most ads and sponsor messages are best delivered as part of the flow of regular content. In podcasting, you rarely need to use exit music or the concept of “we are leaving” and coming back after this message.

My experience is that well produced podcasts do have a structure to the format that is led by the type of content or titled parts of the show that are very loosely timed in the program as you are not needing to hit a certain time clock on the production. The thing about program length is that it does not need to fit some standard model like radio does and thus presents the opportunity to give the appropriate length that is wanted by the audience and what producers wants to produce. The length issue is a more important factor in different genres of podcasts programs – no one size fits all.

The thought shared was that all podcasts should be short and the issue of listening duration, “see how people stick around” thought is missing the real point here: podcasts are more about engagement and are more personal than “radio”. Podcasts just don’t have the channel flipping issue that radio has, as it is more difficult to change to another podcast episode than to change a station on your radio dial. Podcasts are on-demand and can be continued later, as opposed to radio which mostly airs live or on replay. If you missed it, “Sorry”.  The content is never able to be heard on the listener’s timeframe.

I believe that podcasts and typical radio show formats can co-exist, but the folks coming from radio to podcasting need to spend some time to learn from successful podcasters and podcasters can learn some other things from the professional radio broadcasters. Both should not view each other as the same thing or same medium. Both require a certain set of core skills that are the same, but both sides need to understand how each is uniquely best.

Listen below to episode #2 of “My Digital Life Show with Rob Greenlee”, as I discuss the above topic.

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My Digital Life Show #1: Not So Digital Backyard Aquaponics Project

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This introduction episode is about my backyard Aquaponics project that I have been working on for almost a year now. This episode just spends a few minutes explaining the project and its challenges.

Aquaponics is very much like Hyroponics, except for the fact that it uses fish as a source of food to grow your produce in water.

See the image below of the current system under construction.

Please feel free to give me feedback on this show to rob at robgreenlee dotcom or twitter @robgreenlee . This is my first personal podcast since I stopped recording the Zune Insider podcast and the nationally syndicated WebTalk World Radio Show back in 2006.

 

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On-Demand or Podcasts are the Next Evolution of Talk Radio

If done right podcasts are much better then regular broadcast talk radio. The niche focus is very much the strength of the medium and their general on-demand accessibility on internet connected devices. This scheduled live or live-like broadcast radio is just not needed as much for topics other than traffic, weather, local news, live sports and breaking news. That is enough to keep broadcast radio alive in the future, but much of that will be delivered to the car via internet radio streaming. We will also see some DVR like functions in the car via live radio apps and on-demand radio show playlists that auto update.

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Podcasting vs. YouTube

By podcasting’s definition, YouTube Channels are not the same as podcasts.  I keep hearing the comparison and matching going on by users and some newer content providers.  The current state of perceptions might lead one to that conclusion, but they are very different things.

What you generally find is that podcasters and YouTube content creators are very different.  You also find that successful podcasters are not always successful YouTubers and successful YouTubers are rarely successful podcasters. The two areas cater to very different audiences and usage scenarios.  Here is a case study presented by content provider Pat Flynn that discusses his success in combining YouTube and Podcasting distribution.  He did find a synergy between the two for him, but depending on the type and genre of content your success will vary.

The existence of proprietary distribution platforms like YouTube and other mostly streaming hosting platforms is creating some confusion around what a podcast is today.  Things come in cycles and we have seen this gravitational pull to streaming that started in the late 90s and is continuing to grow in popularity. The thing that always kept streaming grounded in reality is the unreliability of internet connections to deliver the data speeds to keep us connected to the audio and video content we seek online.  While admittedly, our wired and wireless broadband has gotten much better over the past 10 years, we still have a need to store our media files locally for playback anytime at a consistant quality level.

We are seeing increasing user demand for on-demand streaming like playback for podcasted content today and am sure the demand will continue to grow.  This will cause the podcasting community to evolve the current model more towards favorites and click-to-play user scenerios.  These new user scenerios and functions are already being built into podcast aggregator apps, but for us to move towards more streaming, will require podcasters to move beyond the current download and subscription model that is still popular, but fading today.

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Top 13 Things That “Really” Build A Podcast Audience

I have been recently reading the advice given by many others about ways to promote your podcast.  Many focus on new types of things like distributing CD’s and making business cards for your show – not really the best of ideas really!  I believe in making sure you are doing the basics well first before doing some of these other ideas.  While all the promo ideas given online can help to some degree or so.  The real keys to building your show audience boil down to these things mainly – doing these things well WILL GROW YOUR SHOW:

  1. Great audio/video quality
  2. Entertaining or informative topics with passion, knowledge, personality are KING!
  3. Compelling album art that is refreshed/updated regularly
  4. Clear and interesting show name/series descriptions
  5. Get your show distributed to as many aggregation platforms as possible – even broadcast radio
  6. Major parts of the show include audience involvement/contribution to show and topics
  7. Meet your audience in the real world as much as you can
  8. Guest on other podcasts/radio/TV shows – as a topic expert or entertainer
  9. Contribute via written word to online topic discussions in your genre
  10. Produce shows on a consistant basis and at a fairly consistant duration
  11. Join a network of other podcasters
  12. Work to be known locally in your community and gain local media attention
  13. Get top listing in search engines based on your topic genre keywords
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On-Demand and Time-Shifted Talk Radio is the Future of Audio Podcasting

The talk of the death of podcasting is an annual right of passage these days,  but I am starting to think that nothing is really wrong in the podcasting medium. We are just seeing the natural maturation of this form of media.  Saying that is not to discount the need for the medium to improve its distribution platforms and offer greater quality content. It seems like the future should be centered on developing more synergy with the broadcast radio side.  I know this is a little counter to what we might all think, but really radio has wide adoption and podcasting fills a need that radio is weak at and that is around on-demand and time-shifted consumption of serialized audio programming.  It seems like many of the folks on the radio side don’t really get podcasting and the podcasting side does not get how radio works.  Both could really learn from the other and help each other.

I also see the video side of podcasting beginning to fade away as video shifts to being more cloud based-streaming that can be more easily monitized.  It seems that within a few short years podcasting will be 90% audio and radio stations will be much larger podcasters then they are today.  The other major concern area for me is around distribution platforms viability long-term as it is very difficult for any of these platforms to make any or enough money to keep investing in these platforms.

Here is an excerpt from a recent Wired Gadget Lab article:

“Stitcher Stitcher is a free talk radio app that lets you listen to your favorite programs on demand. You can choose from more than 7,000 shows, and the app is available on all major phone platforms — including Windows Phone for the first time.

“We decided that the time was right to create a Windows Phone Mango app now that Windows Phone is definitely becoming the third member of the space,” said Collin Billings, Stitcher’s director of user experience.

Stitcher aggregates popular content by source (for example, NPR, BBC and CNN) and by topic (for example, food and motorcycles). Content is wirelessly synced, so if you start listening to a program on your Windows Phone, you can pick up where you left off on an Internet-connected radio or on your PC.

The app’s name is derived from the practice of “stitching” together multiple stations and podcasts to create a personalized talk radio playlist. If you’re not quite sure what to listen to, or are looking to branch out to new sources, you can see what other listeners of the same show also liked.”

I need to say that the lack of podcast aggregator platform revenue is number 1# limiting issue around podcast distribution platform innovation and improvement.  The answer to this question looks a lot like Stitcher with more integration with internet radio in the car and on mobile/wifi devices.

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[VIDEO] Next Gen TV Discussed on Saturday Morning Tech Show

I joined Geek News Central’s Todd Cochrane and Geekazine’s Jeffrey Powers to discuss the latest tech news and next generation tv topics this past Saturday, Feb 4th.  Give it a watch.

Posted in The New Media Show | 1 Comment

Does The Web Have a Future?

I have been following the discussions on the web about the future of the web as we see more closed and walled gardens grow again. The pending Facebook IPO has shined the spotlight of attention to this topic that Robert Scoble was concerned about 4 years ago, when he feels that something could have been done to slow the decline of the Web and RSS.  Robert feels that it could be too late to save the web and he has moved on.  He might well be right, but I am not one-sided on this topic as I think a shade of grey here is more appropriate.

I feel compelled to partially agree with these guys thoughts: Dave Winer, Robert Scoble and John Battelle (give these web-based blog posts a read).  I respect all those guys as they have shown thought leadership around the growth and development of the web for many years.

In some ways I feel like this is a little bit of a rehashing of the past as I mentioned in my prior post it feels like 1994 all over again when it comes to the worries around the threats to the growth of the open web.  Many worried back then that AOL would stifle the growth of the open web.  While I do think things are very different now, most of the important aspects of this debate are just as valid.  The web is everywhere and all these companies like Facebook, Google, Bing, LinkedIn and many others are still accessed largely via a “WEB” browser.  I say this knowing that more and more users are accessing these social and search services via apps, but yet the web is still huge and really not dying in any really significant ways yet.

I think it is rather ironic that as part of me thinking about commenting on this topic that I considered posting it to Google+, Facebook and Twitter first.  I realized that this topic belonged on my blog first and then use these networks to help reach readers of these thoughts.  I also realized that I may be in a growing minority of this world to have three active blogs.  I did feel the social gravitational pull to post this post on the big social networking sites first as it is easier to do, take less time and the expectation of the writing is generally shorter in length.  While blogging does not always have to be longer and in more depth, yet I always feel more compelled to write more of my thoughts on a blog.  I see longer posts on regular web-based blogs that are completely open from Robert, Dave and John.  I agree with Robert that more online users should be completely open on these big social networks.  I am and have always been as I have nothing to hide and have lived my online life for years as an open book for the world to see if they are interested to look.

I do worry that the long-term health of the web is under threat and attack, but why is that?  I pose this question, because the answers need to be heard and the answers are directly responsible for the existance of Facebook, Google+, Apple, Xbox and many other controlled online platforms and services.  The main reasons are the lack of web security, online safety, difficulty in finding/locating, ease of use and viable business models.  The combination of the web and internet creates the opportunity to innovate as well as be destructive.  Most early online users had many bad experiences with the web, from viruses, worms, phishing threats to identity theft.  To add to it the early operating systems we all used had lots of bugs and the web was SLOW in early browsers.

Many started to see the web as a very scary place and just did not trust it.  I believe that these large online social networks solve most of the problems. We are also seeing much simpler and safer operating systems with faster internet connections. These developments are the reason that we could see the web grow again.

I also think that the current Apps craze is just an extension of these closed networks that could fade over time as aggregation and filtering of information becomes more important.  Generally specialized Apps have always been important to computing and will continue to be, but apps today are all about control and making money for the developers.  Does bouncing in and out of limited function apps the type of user experience we all what in the long-run? I don’t think so, I think we will demand more integration and this might be where Facebook might fill the future need. Sorry to say.

I think we in the tech industry need to think about how we make the web better and safer for billions of coming users as these closed social networks will not be able to provide everything the human-kind needs as business models don’t fulfill all our information, communication and sharing needs.  I say that it would be good for all of us to each have a place on the web that is on the outside of these large social networks to contribute our thoughts as a foundation for more thoughtful discussion.  I think 140 characters is just not enough for the world to be a healthy and democratic place.

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Apps vs. Web of Today = AOL vs. Web in the ’90s

This Apps vs. Web smackdown is only beginning.  Apps and Facebook, like AOL’s Walled Garden of the 90′s threatens many parts of the Web and Internet we know of today.  This issue at its root is about “Short-Cuts or Bookmarks” for users and greater control for content providers/user aggregator companies.

The web is very viral and open from being linkable. This viral part has been what fueled the webs rapid growth.  Most web users only visit 5-12 destinations on the web on a daily basis and major media video is consumed from a limited set of networks.  Content providers have not been able to effectively monetize content on the web, yet it is common for people to buy software applications and freeware has a history of trial to then pay.  Bingo… Content providers have a business model finally.  This App movement is based on these core aspects, yet content inside of apps is generally not linkable to other apps… with the exception of Facebook and Twitter.

The interesting thing about Facebook is that it is a web-based app and it is being externally linked to all the time from apps and websites, along with Twitter.

The part that worries me is that the combination of content/services apps with web-based apps could be what ultimately replaces the web – years in the future.  We need to decide if we want this erosion of the web to happen and if we don’t then we need to all get back to using the web more and creating our own websites again.

I believe that the web will continue to be strong in the face of this new walled-garden threat to its easily networked and open nature.

I agree with Dave Winer, who explains here “Why Apps Are Not The Future

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