Tag Archives: podcast

put something down on it

Photo by flickr.com/slimdandy

Photo by flickr.com/slimdandy

Chris Penn reflected today on the future of podcasting, in response to something Chris Brogan wrote about the fragmentation of social media, and as a result, of its community and events.

Chris has been putting out a very professional, targeted, and (from what I can tell) successful podcast called The Financial Aid Podcast. In today’s post, he reflects on the really incredible time commitment necessary to really make a podcast work.

It takes a lot of time (and other resources) on a day-to-day basis to produce and promote a high caliber podcast like his. It also takes a serious, unflinching commitment of those resources over a long period of time to have a shot at any real, lasting success.

This is true for all social media projects, and it’s important to discuss the long haul very explicitly, with all your internal stakeholders, before getting started.

It is so important that everyone agrees at the outset what success will look like, how it will be measured, at what intervals you will be measuring your target metrics, and what weight you will assign to each interval over time.

Now is the time to find out whether or not key people expect to see thousands of active community members on your site within three months, or if you can agree on making a somewhat more gradual, sustainable growth curve your goal.

And get it in writing. Remember that staff turnover in nonprofits is incredibly rapid, and plan for each interval, if necessary, being evaluated by an entirely different IT team, different full-time staff, different executive director, different board of directors.

Ideally, you want to create a document that, if sealed in a time capsule and opened up by strangers, would spell out exactly what your goals, strategies, and tactics are going to be, and what responses you plan to put into effect if different benchmarks are met — or not.

It’s a technology plan, or even a social media plan, and it should be integrated, if at all possible, with your development plan and your communications plan. Write it up, get your board to sign off on it. Record it in the minutes.

Putting together this kind of an integrated plan requires a lot more time, it’s true, than just saying Let’s start a blog/podcast/facebook group and see where it takes us. But it can also offer much greater returns, and can give you two solid legs to stand on when times are tight and people start eying your budget as potential fat to be trimmed.

As Penn writes,

There is far more yet to come, if you are willing to have the vision, commitment, and dedication to achieve long term success. If you’re not willing to make that commitment, that’s okay, but don’t expect the same results as the folks who are.

great conference, unfortunate acronym

The Technology in the Arts conference is a hit — at least with me.  It is indescribably refreshing to be among other technologically-inclined folks who work in the arts, just like me.  I realize that this is the real, secret reason to go to these conferences, to maintain your tribal membership and get your annual secret decoder ring (talk about useful technology), but it’s one thing to know it and quite another thing to experience it.

Enjoyed a very chatty lunch with Dee Schneidman of the New England Foundation for the Arts, whom I had met once before a year or so ago.  Our organizations are similar in many ways, and so the bulk of the (highly enjoyable) conversation consisted of one of us verbalizing a challenge we are facing, to which the other would respond I know!

So satisfying!

Speaking of satisfying, my first workshop of the day was a nice, juicy, hands-on crash course in podcasting that resulted in my walking out of there thinking I can totally do THAT!  We played around with a short MP3 file in Audacity, created a musical intro with podsafe music, even bleeped out an (actual) expletive.  Very fun, very demystifying, lots of information in a short, entertaining format.

Then, after lunch, we were treated to a keynote talk by Jake Barton of Local Projects, the design studio responsible for Story Corps, the National September 11 Memorial Museum, and more unspeakably interesting projects.  The thought that kept running through my mind during his presentation was this is making me feel like this is the best and most exciting possible field to be in right now.

And what more could you want from a keynote?  Free chocolate?

This was followed by a delightful dinner with Len Edgerly, coincidentally also affiliated with NEFA, with whom I shared still more commiseration, brainstorming, and twitter accounts.  Both this conversation and a few earlier in the day stirred up some interesting new thoughts on scaling some of the bigger, broader-brush-stroke technologies like Digg and Twitter into a more locally-focussed application that I plan to develop my thinking on a little and post about later.  Right now, more ruminating and tossing around of wild ideas is called for.