Reentering the world of podcasting

vintage-microphonePodcasting is hot, right?! So what better time to jump back in than now? My (Internet) last name IS Radio after all.

Last year I attended and spoke at the first Podcast Movement and – fingers crossed – someone should pull off PodCamp Philly again. Before my stint at a 9-to-5 in 2014 I was also working with quite a few corporate clients on improving their own podcasts and designing marketing for the shows.

Needless to say, I have wanted to do a show again for quite some time. Since I’m back out working for myself (as well as working as Director of Marketing Technologies at Mingl – nearly always room for additional clients), it’s a great marketing platform for my business and product.

Trouble is, I’m ‘eh’ on going solo. Sad fact is I can’t find a single-person show that I feel is done well and not hyper-professionally produced (NPR). Although the story genre is not my thing, Serial also piqued my interest.

I know how the podcasting medium, technology and marketing works I just lack enough proof that a solo show is actually going to work. While some hosts do a great job with the interview-everyone format, it’s been done to DEATH because it’s packaged and sold as an infoproduct to wannabe podcast superstars. I had my fill of that last year at Podcast Movement (that seemed to be ALL that there was there) and don’t truly feel that’s the only direction the medium is good for.

Since the landscape has changed I’m conducting a lot of research. That means I’m listening to a lot of single-host podcast shows. I’m *bored* *to* *death*. In the average of a 20 minute show, I have to hear:

  • How much they are thankful for the intro music and how it’s their brother-in-law’s neighbor’s garage band and is going to me the next big thing and how lucky you are to hear them on the podcast first!!
  • Quote a bunch of other experts in their field and gush over how much they love them and offer little to no unique ideas of thoughts of their own.
  • How cool their podcast gear is.
  • How envious they are of other people’s podcast gear.
  • How podcasting is going to reinvent business.
  • How much they hate the sound of their own voice.
  • Products or brands they LOVE and wish were sponsors and if anyone can hook them up they’d appreciate it. (No actual sponsors cited.) (Also: I am a believer that you should first monetize off-show.)
  • Five or more minutes asking begging for iTunes reviews.
  • Five or more minutes complaining about the lack of iTunes reviews.
  • On-air reads of every comment or review they get on the blog and iTunes.

Yes, I’m cynical. I started podcasting in 2004 and want to get back to my own show (as opposed to always working behind the scenes with client’s podcasts.) I’ve nearly always done solo shows and they’ve done well “back in the day.” What shows DO I like and listen to? Disclaimer: I know these folks and have had dinner with most of them (not all at the same time but that would be bang-up awesome.)

You may notice that these shows are consistently top of category in iTunes. They also all have more than one voice in the show. So. Do you know of any solo-host podcast shows that sound great, have great content and have a host that sounds great? Share it over!

Meanwhile I’m going to keep grinding forward on my own podcast again.

Got online in 1988

Haven't been disconnected since. Ran a for-fee BBS in the early days where we sold fiction stories (don't ask) & drink recipes (we were underage). People would mail us a $5 bill in the mail for monthly access. Every month I'd go through a Lotus 123 spreadsheet to mark who stayed on and who got kicked off.

The whole racket was run after hours in my job's server closet – also doubling as the actual janitor closet. During the day the equipment was used by employees to access the Internet (via Rutgers) and email (most of which they wanted me to download, print, and postal mail to them!!!) Everything sat idle at night, so we snuck in our own homegrown machine and ran a BBS. I think the whole thing lasted for nearly a year before it was too much to manage.

I remember the World Wide Web being born (HYPERLINKS FTW.) I remember the very first computer virus. I also remember the three dozen or so of us in 2004 that started podcasting and foolin' round with something called RSS to swap MP3 files… but that's another story.

O.M.G. I'm old. Get off my lawn.

(PS – Collecting $5 per person, my partner and I cleared about $400 cash EACH per month. Entrepreneur in training… Hell yeah I think so.)

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How I Grew Up On The Internet
The internet is IRL. It always has been.

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Brand New Beginnings

Although I made the announcement a few weeks back on my professional site, I thought it might be a good idea to put a little info over here on my ‘casual’ blog. I’ve made the jump after 16 years of self-employment to full time employment to AWeber Communications. It’s best if you jump over there if you are interested in reading all about my career move.

In the meantime I’m trying to catch up with my non-work life and blog as well as a few projects I still have in motion. Somehow I thought I would have more free time, but with kids home for the summer, my job transition and writing my second book, my ‘extra’ time has gone missing. That’s okay! I’ve discovered Stitch Fix* and the personal shopping service at Nordstrom. Seriously, I have no idea how people that work 40-50 hours a week have time for the rest of the stuff that needs to be done to run a household!!

 

 

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Mother’s Day Crazy-Mom Style

Brace Yourselves for Mothers Day

As you will soon tell, I’m already cranky about Mother’s Day. I am not really a fan of the ‘holiday’ much in the same way I hate Valentine’s Day. Pinterest-perfect expectations that wind up making you feel that if your family / husband / partner / kids don’t plan this elaborate thing with epic gifts you are somehow not a good mom. Or at least not as good as other moms.

While I’m grumpy about the day, I’m not in the least bit ungrateful for my family or any effort they make on made-up holidays like this. They are great to me every single day and are always showing and telling me how appreciative they are of me (yes, my kids even love and appreciate my crazy Minecraft parody song karaoke dance-off’s). Mother’s Day has been artificially bloated to make you (edit: ME) feel that we should be getting flowers, breakfast in bed, spa trips, etc. and seems to pit moms against each other in competition. I will need to be off things like Facebook and Twitter for the weekend or I will fall into the trap of watching “everyone else” (not really, but it seems like it) having the HOLIDAY OF ALL HOLIDAYS while I’m driving all over New Jersey in a minivan and no makeup.

This is what it boils down to for me. The “selfish mom” wish list in my head or the “crazy normal mom” stuff that I am actually doing this Mother’s Day weekend.

Selfish Mom:

  • Long weekend spa trip someplace warm
  • A bathing suit that doesn’t look frumpy
  • Tropical cocktails (which works against the bathing suit)
  • Multiple cheese plates (which works against the bathing suit)

Normal Mom:

  • Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Several work-related projects
  • My daughter’s school play (two nights)
  • A birthday party my son was invited to
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Cooking without an oven
  • Shopping for a gift for MY mom for Mother’s day
  • Working with my kids on their homework projects
  • Having my brother over for a few nights (and trying to get my 6 year old to sleep in my home office on the futon)
  • An overnight trip to NYC to go pick up some furniture my brother can’t use in his new apartment

Most of that stuff falls on Saturday. I don’t even want to go to sleep tonight (Friday) because I know what the next day will be like. We don’t dare go out on Sunday for brunch (or dinner) because the entire country does that and it is always a stressful madhouse. My oven is still broken so I am very limited on what I can make in my own kitchen. This upcoming weekend happens to be Mother’s Day but it also happens to be very, very busy even for a normal weekend.

A lot of moms will come forward and say they get the same (non) treatment for Mother’s Day, and may even try to one-up each other on how shitty their holiday is. Other moms will do the passive / aggressive thing and proclaim how they too suffer as this year they only got a three day stay at a spa resort instead of a week. Some moms, much like honey badgers, don’t care.

One thing I DO know is that the moms that don’t have the ability to be with their kids on Mother’s Day or during the year, for whatever reason, are the exact people that need love and attention the most this Sunday. And, even though the holiday isn’t celebrated there, my heart sinks for the moms missing their daughters in Nigeria.

You know what? Suddenly I don’t mind my schedule this weekend at all…

The Real Life Effect of Cyber Bullying

I want to talk about something so serious and dangerous that it pains me to know that this stuff happens ‘in real life.’ Christine is a blogger friend of mine (same awesome last name but no relation) and has been battling a cyber bully targeting her daughter since February of this year.

This isn’t some random Internet stranger flinging around hate on Twitter. It’s another *GIRL* in Christine’s daughter’s class and she’s driven this family to the brink of a breakdown.

Repeated death threats. Stalking in real life. Hacking computers and phones. Eavesdropping. Threats of suicide. What pre/teen girl (and her family) deserve this kind of life? I cannot even imagine the life they have been living since this started.

Their local police are useless. The FBI shrugs their shoulders. Their school system is useless. Why does the legal system fail our own children? Zero tolerance school policies that suspend Kindergarten children for playing too roughly during recess, but repeated death threats get a blind eye?

This family lives in the greater Austin, TX USA area. I know they are trying to get their story on the news to put some pressure on the law enforcement to take the repeated death threats to their daughter (and her friends) seriously. News stations & police in the area…

I pray that this family finds peace and the bully finds help and the MOTHER and step-father that have been enabling her daughter to actively be a bully finds a jail cell quite chilling.

New Office Layout

All my life I’ve had my back to the wall at work so that passers-by don’t loom over my shoulders and look at my computer screen. (I don’t even want to get into the creep stuff I had to deal with in corporate IT.) I had a little ‘rear view mirror’ on the top of my monitor so that I could see people coming up behind me. It didn’t always work…

Now that I’m out of corporate, I have my own huge 14 x 19 office but I shoved myself up against the wall here too. It made video work hard and always made me feel closed up even in a very large room.

Today I rearranged my entire office layout. Now that my desk is against a wall (and not in the MIDDLE of the floor) I need to decorate behind me a bit. And figure out how to hang my lighting kits from the ceiling.

I’m a horrible decorator and never know what to put on walls. I think we have five pieces of ‘something’ on our walls at home after 14 years living here. Time to hit Pinterest!!

Props to my husband Dave for moving heavy furniture for me.

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Keeping Your Online Opinion To Yourself

Today’s pet peeve has me in such a twist it deserved a post on my blog rather than a ‘throwaway’ comment on a social platform.

Makeup EyeshadowWhat rubs me the wrong way? When “well meaning” people (men and women) comment to someone and give unsolicited advice about another woman’s appearance. Namely:

…how a woman is wearing too much makeup

…looks better without makeup

…looks ‘fake’ with makeup

…looks like they are ‘trying too hard’

…looks ‘over optimized’ with makeup (WTH?)

…is trying to fight her age using too much makeup

Did it ever occur to these armchair critics that some women (and hell, some men too) LIKE to wear makeup and like the way it makes them look or feel? I for one love the process of putting makeup on, experimenting with new products, and how I can work at making my outside feel like my inside. Makeup makes me feel more professional and it helps me be “on” especially for work. I’ve been known to put on a full face of makeup for audio conference calls just for the bump in confidence.

Listen. Just because a person uploads a photo of themselves does not give you the unfettered right to make sly remarks to them and push your opinions on their fact. To this end, if a person posts about a new love interest (or a former one…) it is NOT okay to jump on the bandwagon and go on giving opinions. A friend of mine posted pics with her new beau recently just to have PUBLIC comments made that “you can do (or have done) better,” “you’ve put on some weight,” and my favorite “he doesn’t look like he makes enough money for your high maintenance tastes.” WOOOOOW. Poor fella was even tagged in the photo, so he saw all the shenanigans of this gal’s “friends.”

A few weeks back I read Amy Vernon’s #SMEtiquette article about someone offering unsolicited advice via Facebook regarding a friend’s plastic surgery. I was horrified that people actually think it is not only okay to offer unsolicited advice but to feel offended that the person didn’t take the advice. Now I’m seeing it in full force. Just. Stop.