Saturday, July 08, 2006

CaseCamp with Andrew Barron of Rocketboom

Last night, I attended CaseCamp. Very cool event organized by Eli Singer. It was a packed room and I had a chance to share a case study on a Podcast Gone Bad.

The last speaker of the evening was Andrew Baron of Rocketboom. I first met him at the iSummit conference back in March.

I tell you, Andrew doesn't have an evil bone in him. He has this child-like innocence that makes you just want to hug him for days. He reminds me of a teddy bear, only way less plump and not at all fuzzy.

Of course, he summed up what happened between him and Amanda. I think it was a therapy session, to be honest. He didn't paint her in a bad light, on the contrary, he took responsibility for what happened and said it was like a marriage that had gone downhill.

At the end of the day, Andrew has taken the high road in all this. He never once painted Amanda in a bad light, never posted email communications on his blog, nor did he use Rocketboom as an opportunity to make the other party look bad.

His only regret is that he didn't speak up sooner. He said that blogosphere is painting him as the evil business guy who cut costs by cutting his host. He said that Rocketboom was prepared to move the production team to Los Angeles, but that their newly acquired business partner advised them that due to costs, they should stay put in New York.

Some suggestions from the audience on what Rocketboom should do on Monday morning:

  • Andrew become the host
  • Bring in a celebrity
  • Do "The Best of Amanda"
  • Poke fun at themselves by dressing Andrew up as the "evil business guy"
  • Interview several hosts over the next few weeks and get the viewers to vote on their favourite

Andrew did say that he's working on an angle, but the best thing he can do is not share it. That made the audience laugh in hysterics.

At this point, his main concern is not selling ad space for Monday's show so he can make a ton of cash (this is what one audience member suggested he do). Instead, Andrew's only goal at this point is to address the feelings of the Rocketboom fans. And if anything, that's one thing that Andrew knows really, really well.

Update: I was a bit miffed that someone had posted the video of Andrew's entire speech on You Tube. It has been pulled and rightly so. Eli, the organizer of CaseCamp, assured me that no one was recording our speeches. I was nervous about that because I didn't want to embarass the company whose podcasting strategy I "called out" during my presentation. Andrew bared his soul last night and even joked that those in the room were getting an "exclusive" since it was the first time he was speaking out. To provide a scoop is one thing, but to provide a scoop when the organizer promised that no one was going to record is inappropriate.

Update #2 - By way of Matthew Ingram I found out that the video is back up. Through an email interaction with Eli, he said to me that he and Andrew spoke about it and it was after that conversation that Andrew gave the thumbs up to the chap to re-post the video. If both Eli and Andrew are okay with it, then so am I. (**sigh**) I feel a post coming on about the responsibility of citizen journalists when it comes to breaking a story.

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