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Re: Separation & Long Tail, Inc.

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  • Eric Rice
    I never understand the contradictions that exist around various movements and Long Tailers. Maybe I m too centrist for my own good. I subscribe to major
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 30, 2005
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      I never understand the contradictions that exist around various movements and Long
      Tailers. Maybe I'm too centrist for my own good. I subscribe to 'major' stuff and 'minor'
      stuff all the time. Good blend, *for me*.

      Then I hear, 'well you don't need to sound like radio' followed by 'here's the quality mics
      and mixers you need' (and that usually gets you closer to 'radio sounding' stuff).

      Then I hear phrases like 'big boys taking over' and then from the long tail, I hear phrases
      like 'rise to the top'... (not singling you out Todd, it's not a bad thing)

      I heard a couple of comments since I took over at Engadget. Over produced. Too slick. The
      (and I LOVE the irony of this one, no offense, Adam) 'wannabe Adam Curry.' And the
      show's practically thrown together. I have no real experience in this stuff.

      So which is it? Are we expected to make armpit fart noises on a ten dollar Chicken Shack
      microphone, or are we expected to whip out the big guns and start storming Clear
      Channel's HQ (virtually)? Are we competing or working together? Are we trying to change
      the Way Things Work in Busytown or are we trying to overthrow Busytown?

      Cuz right about now, I'm real confused.
      Of course, those are just my observations, I could be wrong.

      (apologies to Dennis Miller)

      ER
    • Matt May
      ... Dude, it s your voice. It s _too good_. Before you do your next Engadget podcast, eat your Gravel O s and get stuffed up like the rest of us. I can send
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 30, 2005
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        On Thu, 31 Mar 2005 02:31:49 -0000, Eric Rice <eric@...> wrote:
        > I heard a couple of comments since I took over at Engadget. Over produced.
        > Too slick. The
        > (and I LOVE the irony of this one, no offense, Adam) 'wannabe Adam Curry.'
        > And the
        > show's practically thrown together. I have no real experience in this
        > stuff.

        Dude, it's your voice. It's _too good_. Before you do your next
        Engadget podcast, eat your Gravel O's and get stuffed up like the rest
        of us. I can send you some cat hair if you need it.

        > So which is it? Are we expected to make armpit fart noises on a ten dollar
        > Chicken Shack
        > microphone, or are we expected to whip out the big guns and start storming
        > Clear
        > Channel's HQ (virtually)? Are we competing or working together? Are we
        > trying to change
        > the Way Things Work in Busytown or are we trying to overthrow Busytown?

        So, here's how I see it. You can't lose by sounding good. Good gear
        makes you sound good. Bad or built-in gear may make you sound
        amateurish, but guess what? Almost all of us are amateurs, and our
        listeners know that. As long as the host isn't boring, or worse,
        annoying, it's all good. (Speaking of: I have unsubscribed from two
        feeds now because the host's mouth noise is unbearable. I don't want
        to hear you smacking your lips, or swallowing, or worst of all, that
        wet, gross sound your mouth makes when it opens. I want to hear your
        voice. Move away from the mic, and/or reposition it, and/or get a pop
        filter. Please.)

        Most of what I think people care about is in what the host says. If
        you're doing a generic top-40 show with witless witty banter, it's not
        worth anybody's time, because every radio market in every country has
        something better. You can't compete with mass-market content by
        pretending to be the same stuff. The Long Tail approach is to do
        something that a mass-market format will never do, which is why
        Coverville is so popular. And Engadget, for that matter.

        Now, on your Busytown question: for the moment, we _are_ Busytown.
        There are things we like in neighboring Radio City, and things we
        don't like. Some of us don't like lots of noisy bumpers, or lots of
        ads and other disruptions, or the playlist. That's the stuff we get to
        mess around with, to differentiate our sound from theirs, before Radio
        City invades Busytown.

        I think some people may consider things like professionally-produced
        bumpers and the like to be too much like commercial radio, and be
        turned off. Others may like them because they're familiar. It's going
        to take some time to find exactly what is the nature of interesting
        audio and try to provide that to listeners while we're not burdened
        with marketing and programming departments and radio legacy and all
        that junk. I don't want to sound like a radio DJ. I want to sound
        better.

        -
        m
      • Peter Ker
        Kwe Hello Eric, I m Low Tech, staying Low Tech and happy with the few folks listening in to my Mohawk Language Podcast, as long as they can hear what I m
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 31, 2005
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          Kwe Hello Eric, I'm Low Tech, staying Low Tech and
          happy with the few folks listening in to my Mohawk
          Language Podcast, as long as they can hear what I'm
          saying I'm High Tech enough ;-)

          I get a kick out of this group sometimes with the talk
          of commercial vs non commercial and starting
          Assosciations and Awards shows. Never a dull moment
          here eh?

          I'm rambling on and going off now ;-)

          Skennen Peace.

          http://www.geocities.com/bearclanmohawk
          http://www.cafepress.com/ohkwari



          __________________________________
          Do you Yahoo!?
          Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new resources site!
          http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/resources/
        • mcdtracy
          ... Vive le contradictions!!! I love the variety of this new media... Hearing Dave Winer ramble on about protocol politics as he drives through the south was
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 31, 2005
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            "Eric Rice" wrote:
            > I never understand the contradictions...
            >'well you [do|don't] need to sound like radio'
            >'big boys taking over' vs 'rise to the top'
            > Engadget=Too slick vs thrown together
            > So which is it?

            Vive le contradictions!!!

            I love the variety of this new media...

            Hearing Dave Winer ramble on about protocol politics as he drives
            through the south was incredibly interesting "radio" (as I drove home
            from work).Dave throws in music by playing the car steroe and we hear
            through his deadphone mic. Audaciously aweful audio but interesting.

            As Adam Curry gets more and more commercial he looses me... then he
            pulls me back in with a soundtour or some honest commentary on raising
            a teenager. "Good Charlotte" show cancelled!
            Incredible radio. There's a real Dad there... just like me.

            There can and never should be a single answer. I'd rather hear
            Eric Rice talk about his world on a 4Kbit dial-up line captured
            via Skype with audio dropouts than the "Jay Leno PODcast". Phony
            doesn't cut it for me.

            We don't need no stinkin' transmitters, or program directors,
            or marketing consultants, or market ratings, or product tie-ins...
            but we'll get them along with all the homegrown, seat-of-your pants
            types. "If you don't like it... skip it."

            Contradict all rules... explode all media assumptions...
            Praise talent.

            Of course... you're mileage may vary.

            McD
          • Andrew Baron
            ... produced. ... Adam Curry. ... I think this gets at an issue of being able to identify your audience. Because different audiences like different styles.
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 31, 2005
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              --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, Matt May <mattmay@g...> wrote:
              > On Thu, 31 Mar 2005 02:31:49 -0000, Eric Rice <eric@e...> wrote:
              > > I heard a couple of comments since I took over at Engadget. Over
              produced.
              > > Too slick. The
              > > (and I LOVE the irony of this one, no offense, Adam) 'wannabe
              Adam Curry.'
              >

              I think this gets at an issue of being able to identify your audience.
              Because different audiences like different styles.

              Please forgive me me for being so stereotypical and broad in scope,
              but just for the sake of conversation, I would identify these comments
              that you are getting Eric as a problem with style, not quality.

              Not a problem with your style, but just a problem because perhaps
              there is some degree of mismatch in style between you and the audience
              that had been built up already.

              When I was a young musician, anytime anyone told me they didn't like
              my music, I told them to go to hell and I didn't really care or listen
              to them. I was onto my own style that was whatever I thought it was
              and wanted it to be.

              Later, I started composing orchestral pieces for local plays, dance
              and short-films, etc and my relationship to the music really changed.
              Suddenly I had gone to being in complete control of my own random
              vision, to trying to specifically accommodate someone else's vision,
              which obviously, quickly led to being more versatile at different
              styles. I don't see it now as selling out. I enjoy being able to
              approach music in differnt ways.

              Back to the engadget audience in particular. I'll bet they are mostly
              sensitive to Hollywood propaganda, so to speak, so even though you may
              be sincere, like Pavlov's dog, just the sound of production scares
              them off and requires everyone to go investigate. So let 'em. Thats
              who they are. Thats your audience. Perhaps.

              The question I would ask then is, can you alter your style to be a bit
              more relaxed and "less produced sounding", while also increasing the
              quality of the show? This is a monster task, but thats what podcasting
              is all about, I think. Unless of course you merely want an old style
              radio station with internet distribution. Thats the beuaty of
              podcasting too. But not sure thats what the Engagdget's audience wants.

              If you are not willing to change your style to match your new audience
              though (which I suppose is kinda contrary to what THEY want) then
              perhaps the audience will change. Perhaps for the better. Who knows.

              All of that was meant to merely suggest that it's important to know
              your audience. Most of us are building an audience from scratch so its
              easier to pinpoint and identify with who our audience is.

              Everything here is subjective opinions and just food for thought. I
              could likely argue against myself later today.

              Andrew
            • Eric Rice
              Any more relaxed and I d be asleep! Although this does bring up some interesting points that I ve been mulling over, having done a show that s not in
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 31, 2005
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                Any more relaxed and I'd be asleep!

                Although this does bring up some interesting points that I've been mulling over, having
                done a show that's not in production any more, and the female co-host went her own way
                and it Always Comes Up. Over and over.

                There is a place not yet discovered yet, and it has to do with the listener emotional
                attachments. Imagine (heaven forbid), if Dawn and Drew split up. And one of them wanted
                to do their own show. Think of what that sole person would have to hear, deal with,
                experience in attempting to do what he/she loves. It can potentially become a huge strain.

                Blogging has a diminished level of ego invested. You write, and you are judged on your
                words and perhaps, how well you get your point across.

                Audio, and video subsequently, have a higher investment in ego involved. You can be
                criticized for physical characteristics. You might be the smartest mofo on the block, but
                people say, 'your voice makes me want to put nails in my eardrums'.... how do you, as a
                human being and as a content creator, cope with that? Apply the same concept to video.

                Not everyone is thick-skinned. You can't obsess over the endless streams of feedback,
                because You Will Never Ever Ever Please Everyone. No matter if you are long tailing or mass
                mediuming, the same issues apply.

                Just keep doing what you're doing (unless you are governed by someone else's rules) and
                don't let it stress you out.

                And I think that's a point I take to heart personally. I blog, podcast, videoblog. I will
                create as much media as I can, *because* I can, and to quote the notorious videoblogger
                Michael Verdi, 'there ain't shit anyone can do about it.'

                True dat.

                Eric
                http://www.ericrice.com


                --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "Andrew Baron" <videoblogyahoo@r...> wrote:

                > The question I would ask then is, can you alter your style to be a bit
                > more relaxed and "less produced sounding", while also increasing the
                > quality of the show? This is a monster task, but thats what podcasting
                > is all about, I think. Unless of course you merely want an old style
                > radio station with internet distribution. Thats the beuaty of
                > podcasting too. But not sure thats what the Engagdget's audience wants.
              • Chris Kalaboukis
                I podcast therefore I am. I made the point a few podcasts ago in my very own podcast - why is podcasting different from radio? Is creating a good podcast the
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 31, 2005
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                  I podcast therefore I am.

                  I made the point a few podcasts ago in my very own podcast - why is
                  podcasting different from radio? Is creating a good podcast the same as
                  creating good radio?

                  Well, first of all podcasters aren't as accountable as radio folks - they
                  don't have to worry about being pulled off the air due to ratings. They are
                  working in a plentiful medium (internet) as opposed to a scarce medium
                  (radio) Even satellite radio is scarcer than podcasting.

                  Secondly, if one of the tenets of good radio is that it engages the listener
                  and talks about what the listener cares about then podcasting right now is
                  most definitely not that - podcasters tend to talk about what *they* are
                  passionate about - not what their listeners want to hear. If those match,
                  then you have a popular podcast - if they don't - then you won't - but
                  unlike radio, you don't have to be worried about getting thrown off the air.


                  This is why I think we'll be seeing more coooperation and less competition
                  in the podcasting space than in radio.

                  On the long tail stuff - the root of the concept is that people liking a
                  certain type of "head" may not know that the "tail" exists - unless they are
                  told about it - via user suggestions or through some kind fo concept
                  clustering. Therefore, people who like head media like Stern will like tail
                  media like Dawn & Drew because the content is similar.

                  Personally the stuff I like about podcasting is its radical nature - the
                  fact that the audio quality varies widely makes no difference - unless of
                  course the quality is so poor that you can barely hear it. For those
                  podcasters who have good stuff to say, but lack the skills to get in tech in
                  gear to make it happen and at least sound half-decent, we should help 'em
                  out.

                  However, I wouldn't mind if radio shows start podcasting - if there is a
                  show that I can't get locally over the airwaves - I can get it via
                  podcasting. If you don't like the show - you can always skip or delete it.

                  Freedom Of Choice I say!

                  thanks...chris
                  ---
                  chris kalaboukis
                  thinkfuture podcast - future / politics / entertainment / whatever
                  http://www.thinkfuture.com/podcasts.asp
                  RSS: http://www.thinkfuture.com/tfetc.xml

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Eric Rice [mailto:eric@...]
                  Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2005 1:59 PM
                  To: podcasters@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [podcasters] Re: Separation & Long Tail, Inc.



                  Any more relaxed and I'd be asleep!

                  Although this does bring up some interesting points that I've been mulling
                  over, having
                  done a show that's not in production any more, and the female co-host went
                  her own way
                  and it Always Comes Up. Over and over.

                  There is a place not yet discovered yet, and it has to do with the listener
                  emotional
                  attachments. Imagine (heaven forbid), if Dawn and Drew split up. And one of
                  them wanted
                  to do their own show. Think of what that sole person would have to hear,
                  deal with,
                  experience in attempting to do what he/she loves. It can potentially become
                  a huge strain.

                  Blogging has a diminished level of ego invested. You write, and you are
                  judged on your
                  words and perhaps, how well you get your point across.

                  Audio, and video subsequently, have a higher investment in ego involved. You
                  can be
                  criticized for physical characteristics. You might be the smartest mofo on
                  the block, but
                  people say, 'your voice makes me want to put nails in my eardrums'.... how
                  do you, as a
                  human being and as a content creator, cope with that? Apply the same concept
                  to video.

                  Not everyone is thick-skinned. You can't obsess over the endless streams of
                  feedback,
                  because You Will Never Ever Ever Please Everyone. No matter if you are long
                  tailing or mass
                  mediuming, the same issues apply.

                  Just keep doing what you're doing (unless you are governed by someone else's
                  rules) and
                  don't let it stress you out.

                  And I think that's a point I take to heart personally. I blog, podcast,
                  videoblog. I will
                  create as much media as I can, *because* I can, and to quote the notorious
                  videoblogger
                  Michael Verdi, 'there ain't shit anyone can do about it.'

                  True dat.

                  Eric
                  http://www.ericrice.com


                  --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "Andrew Baron" <videoblogyahoo@r...>
                  wrote:

                  > The question I would ask then is, can you alter your style to be a bit
                  > more relaxed and "less produced sounding", while also increasing the
                  > quality of the show? This is a monster task, but thats what podcasting
                  > is all about, I think. Unless of course you merely want an old style
                  > radio station with internet distribution. Thats the beuaty of
                  > podcasting too. But not sure thats what the Engagdget's audience wants.








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                • Dennis A. Amith
                  ... Hi Eric, You are doing a cool job with Engadget but I think with any replacement, it s always somewhat of a challenge to take the mantle for something
                  Message 8 of 8 , Mar 31, 2005
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                    On 3/31/05 12:50 PM, "Andrew Baron" <videoblogyahoo@...> wrote:

                    >> On Thu, 31 Mar 2005 02:31:49 -0000, Eric Rice <eric@e...> wrote:
                    >>> I heard a couple of comments since I took over at Engadget. Over
                    > produced.
                    >>> Too slick. The
                    >>> (and I LOVE the irony of this one, no offense, Adam) 'wannabe
                    > Adam Curry.'

                    Hi Eric,

                    You are doing a cool job with Engadget but I think with any replacement,
                    it's always somewhat of a challenge to take the mantle for something
                    successful. I was surprised at first that you took over Engadget because I
                    thought Phil's comment of the Engadget podcast still continuing, I thought
                    he was in hiatus. But I liken it to news commentators, with a lot of the
                    well known ones retiring and new people having to fill the seat, I feel that
                    you are doing a good job. Different style but I still enjoy the Engadget
                    podcast.

                    Keep up the very good work. You, Todd and many of the tech podcasters are
                    doing such a positive thing for those of us interested in technology news
                    and gossip.

                    I will say though that I have been jonesing for a tech videocast since
                    TechTV was no more and Yahoo! FinanceVision ended and as much as I love
                    hearing it, for the gadgets, I love to visualize it and I hope to see
                    someone in the podcasting realm also consider videocasting.

                    I am waiting for Kevin Rose and friends "Systm" to come out but interesting
                    things that they are doing with "The Broken" (http://thebroken.org/).

                    - daa
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