Thursday, August 31, 2006

Podcamp and Why Driving With Jay Moonah is Safer Than Flying

I'm heading down to Podcamp next weekend with the ever so popular Jay Moonah and his band, Uncle Seth. One day, I'll be able to say, "I shared a 10-hr car ride with that band."

We won't be the only Canadians down there as I found out by way of Mark Blevis' blog that he's heading down with Bob and Julien.

Podcamp is taking place in Boston the weekend of September 9th & 10th and I just can't wait to see the city. I've heard so much about it and I'm going to take the opportunity to do some sightseeing while I'm there.

Chris and Bryan, just 2 of the many who have organized Podcamp, have been so gracious with their time, helping me to prepare my presentations and just generally being so nice. It's no wonder they say that Bostonians are so much like Canadians because their geniality is quite similiar to our own. I'm looking forward to chatting about Battlestar Galactica with Chris and finally speaking in person with Bryan.

Now, why is Podcamp important? I explain it on Bryan's podcast, but just to sum up, you get the practical advice, tips from the trenches instead of a pie-in-the-sky theory. If you want to podcast, Podcamp will give you a Google-like view of how to get started, how to plan, how to publish and how to promote in just 2-days.

Plus, you'll get to talk to the very people who are doing podcasting themselves. You'll not only learn the how, but you'll also learn what to avoid. Oh yeah and admission is free. You just pay to get there, to stay there and drinks later on.

I'll be presenting on 2 topics - Limited Edition Podcasts & Planning a Killer Podcast. Actually, they'll be more like conversations as I enjoy interactivity rather than me droning on and on for 30-minutes.

I may will do a 5-minute lightning talk on why you can't use podPress with Wordpress if you're using multiple feeds. I know I'll be in a mood to geek-out.

At first, I was going to fly down to Boston. May actually work out to be cheaper than spending the money on gas. But then my sister reminded me that September 11th - the day I return - is the 5-year anniversary of that tragic day when so many lost their lives.

My sister reminded me that all 4 planes left Boston that fateful morning and it'd be just my luck that some wacko may choose the very plane that I'm on to pay homage to the 19 hijackers. She went on to chastise me for wanting to put her though such grief when everything in her life is going so well.

(**sigh**) Siblings... Can I send them back? Yes, both of them?

At the end of the day, my sister's emotional state won out. And because I'm having way too much fun with podcasting, I shall drive down to Boston instead and listen to Jay sing and talk the whole way.

I'll update the blog with pictures, tales and stories from Podcamp. If you can make it down, please do so as I'd love to meet you and share ideas on podcasting.

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Global Nature of Podcasting

I was listening to a podcast today and was amazed at how Toronto-centric it was. The subject of the podcast can apply to most professionals in the English speaking world, but references to Chinatown and the CN Tower are not known to a global audience.

I recently interviewed Steve Pratt, Director of CBC Radio 3. CBC Radio 3 is a podcast that features independent Canadian musical artists. He said that about 70% of those who listen to his podcast are outside of Canada.

When podcasting, remember that the majority of your listeners will come from outside your geographical area, whether its your city, your province/state, your country, even your hemisphere.

Here are some tips to help you to be more cognizant of your global audience:

  1. If you mention a landmark, explain what it is. It's not enough to say, "I couldn't see the CN Tower on my way downtown due to the smog," without adding, "The CN Tower is considered the world's tallest free standing structure that's in the heart of the downtown financial district and on a clear sunny day, you can see it from about 100 kilometres north of the city where I live."

  2. If you say an acronym, explain what it means. Unless you're speaking to your industry peers, avoid jargons and acronyms. If you do use them, explain 'em. Once, I used the acronym NBA in a podcast interview. I then explained that the NBA stands for the National Basketball Association and they're a professional league in North America. I distinctly remembered that I'm reaching out to an international audience and not everyone will be familiar with what NBA means.

  3. Release your podcast the same time each week and ignore time of day. Since you're releasing a podcast that will be listened to by a global audience, you will never be able to satisfy the different timezones that your listeners live in. Some will be fast asleep when you release your newest episode. Instead, aim to release your podcast on the same day each week, rather than killing yourself to get it out at a particular time each day every week. Less stress in my eyes.
Just 3 things I can think of really quickly. Can you add any more?

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Un-Geek Dinner in Toronto Last Night

Mitch Joel and Michael Seaton organized a Geek Dinner last night at the Houston Steak And Ribs House here in Toronto. I attended along with a few dozen other people.

I call it the Un-Geek Dinner because mostly everyone that attended is in the interactive space, but don't do any lick of coding in their day-to-day job.

If you don't know who Mitch is, he's like the Canadian version of Seth Godin, bald head and all. What shocked me about this guy is not only how humble he is, but his height. I very rarely meet anyone taller than me, so I was taken aback at how tall he is. Don't let his picture fool you (as it did me).

And Michael is just excellent at connecting people. If he understands what you do and if he likes you (that's 2 stars for me), he's got your back. Michael is also (finally) planning a podcast, so I'm sure he'll report more on his blog when it's ready to go. I believe his recent co-hosting duties on InsidePR has given him the jolt he needed.

I met quite a few people last night, but here's a smattering of the ones that stick out for some reason or another:

  • Ed Lee - I was familiar with who he is due to all the comments he leaves on the various blogs I visit. He has such a lovely English accent and there was a point where Mitch, myself and Terry Fallis encouraged him to start podcasting.

  • Sulemaan Ahmed - He's in charge of the interactive group over at Sears Travel. Quite an interesting and animated guy. We chatted at length about social media, branding and just taking over the world.

  • Luca del Rosso - He organizes The Power Within conferences and was just so passionate about what he does. He explained how he's able to get big names to come to Toronto and speak. More specifically, Luca is able to fill the room with senior executives because it's cheaper for these executives to attend the event than to bring in Bill Clinton on their own for $100,000.

  • Kathryn Lagden - She's the new General Manager over at AIMS Canada. This lady was taller than me and we giggled at how we purposely wear heels to networking events so we can tower over everyone else. She told me that she was hoping for a honeymoon over at AIMS, but has been running around getting a new website and blog launched.

  • Stuart MacDonald - I have never met Stuart in person, only conversed with him over email after he left a comment on my blog about my reaction to Mesh not podcasting. He's a jovial guy who seems larger than life in terms of his personality. If you need to juice up your party, call Stuart. He'll add the spark. He's very passionate about the online travel industry, simply because he was the one who helped grow to dominate the Canadian market. He's on the CIRA board and you can read more about his views on his blog.

  • Terry Fallis - Co-host of InsidePR, I met Terry at Podcasters Across Borders. At first, I didn't recognize him with the suit on, but that soon passed when I saw him smile. Of course, we talked about podcasting and he shared with me the equipment he's using to record his podcasts. Terry is just so engaging and I'll be seeing him again at the Podcast & Portable Media Expo in California.

  • Mark Evans - Was a no-show and I was hoping to catch up with him. I wanted to ask him why he stopped podcasting, but hey, they'll be other events.
This dinner reminded me about the importance of networking. If you don't show your face and let people know who you are, you lose out.

It was great to meet so many people in person that I've been reading about online. Nothing can take the place of human contact and I encourage all of you hiding behind your computers to attend your industry networking events, conferences and trade shows just to relax and have a gadget-free good time.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ron Moore at Podcast Expo

In 30-days, I'll be making my way down to southern California for the Podcast & Portable Media Expo. While I still have to book my flight and hotel room, I'm one of the featured speakers at this event so I will be there.

And now, I can brag to anyone who will listen that I will be sharing the same stage as Ron Moore. Well, not directly, but we'll be at the expo on the same day presenting information on podcasting to a hungry audience, albeit 6-hours apart.

Shall I scream for excitement now or when I meet him? Probably now so I don't act like a bumbling fool or turn to gel when I finally shake hands with the man that I consider a sci fi genius. I'll take pictures, I promise.

For those of you who don't know (which is probably the majority of you reading this), I love Battlestar Galactica (BG). Love it! I love the show so much that I named the corporate arm of my company after the fictional planet on the show (plus, it's a variation in spelling of my astrological sign - that's what I tell those not versed in all things BG).

Ron Moore is the genius who brought the BG franchise back to life. I've seen the series from the 1970s and 1980s, and in one word - BORING. However, under Ron's direction, the re-imagined series that debuted on The Sci Fi channel 2-years ago is by far a ratings and cult hit.

What Ron has done so well is use podcasting to answer fans' questions about where the series is going. He also takes the time to explain why he chose to take a certain direction with a character or why a storyline turned out the way it did. He totally "gets it" when it comes to using social media - in particular podcasting - to engage in a dialogue with the fans of BG.

If you're looking for a podcasting conference to attend where you can learn everything and anything about podcasting, I highly encourage you to make your way to the Podcast & Portable Media Expo. And look me up while you're down there.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

The Tragic World of Web 2.0

Here's just a small list of the weirdest things I heard over the past few days.

  • A man accidentally dropped his iPod in the toilet on an airplane. Due to his accident, the pilot announces an emergency, lands the plane, and both the canine unit and the bomb squad were called out. He's then carted off by Customs, grilled at length about his ties to any worldwide terrorist group, then was let go. He tells his story here. Guess he dropped a pod-load?

  • I was at a BBQ on Sunday and I bumped into an old friend who was wearing a tensor band around her hand. When I asked what happened, she said she wasn't sure, but it probably had to do with the excessive amount of instant messaging she did the previous week. She had just moved back into her parents home and was so excited about using a computer again that she strained a tendon in her hand while text messaging her friends.

    I dropped to my knees and howled in laughter while she stood and looked at me in shock. "What's so funny?" she asked me, wondering why I found her injury so jovial.

    "Extreme texting!" I cried out while in tears. "You sprained your hand due to extreme texting." I had to get this lady to hold me up with her good arm while I collapsed in hysterics under the weight of this tragic (yet absolutely hilarious) tale.

  • (I can't possibly make this one up) I was in a sales meeting telling the small team of marketing folks how blogging and podcasting can help them build loyalty with their customers. The head cheese, the VP of Marketing, said that she's not interested in blogging because it was launched 12-months ago and only young kids are interested in it.

    I almost choked on the coffee I was sipping on. Then, I sniffed it to double-check that no one spiked it. "Blogging?" I questioned. "Yes," said the head cheese, "Blogging is too new for us to explore. None of the executives we're targetting are even reading those things. Let's focus on podcasting instead."

    I stood there for a second wondering if I had time warped back about 5-years, then noticed that it couldn't be true because I saw the word podcasting on one of my slides. Plus, one of the guys on her team had this evil smirk on his face which told me that he thought his boss was an idiot. Instead of correcting her in the meeting, I sent her an email with some blogging stats (by way of my pal Andy Wibbels). Have mercy.
That's it for now. I should write a book. Web 2.0 As Told By Dummies.

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Promoting Your Podcast Released Today

My colleague, Jason Van Orden, has released a book today called Promoting Your Podcast. I can fully endorse this book for a number of reasons:

  • 1. I got an advanced copy and give it my thumbs up.

  • 2. Jason simplifies the process that gives you tips on how to promote your podcast to gain a slew of listeners.

  • 3. And he has a couple of podcasts so he really knows his stuff.
Not only do I encourage you to buy his book, but Jason has a few bonuses only available to the first 200 orders. He's offering a complimentary 1-hour consultation, a weekly promotional checklist and video tutorials that you will find invaluable.

Jason's book will become a must have for podcasters and podcasting enthusiasts. Grab your copy now.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Podcast Etiquette - How to Make Your Guest Look Like a Star

I train alot of entrepreneurs and small business owners over the phone on how to create their podcast strategy. On one of my recent teleclasses, one of the callers said that there needs to be some podcasting etiquette, rules on how to do an interview the right way.

So here's my list of do's and don'ts when it comes to podcast interviews, specifically focusing on how to make your guest look like a star (or thought leader).

If you're the podcast producer:

  1. Do research on the person you're going to interview. Prepare some questions, get their bio and write down all the things that make them great.

  2. Do get the spelling and pronounciation of your guest's name correct before you start recording (This happened to me once where the person kept calling me Lee-za instead of Lee-sa through the 30-minute podcast interview).

  3. On the scheduled day and time of the interview, don't leave your guest scrambling to figure out how to contact you. Since you arranged the interview, you call or skype your guest.

  4. Do send interview questions at least a week before the interview. The day before is no good.

  5. Do remind your guest that the interview is being recorded. This will put your guest at ease and help him or her to relax.

  6. Do let your guest do the talking. He or she is the expert, so let their expertise shine through. I was on a podcast interview once where it took the podcast host about 4-minutes to introduce me, his thoughts on the subject and how excited he was to have me on his podcast. Four minutes!

  7. Do edit all the verbal clutter your guest makes. This will cause you extra work, but doing so makes your guest sound polished and articulate.

  8. Do follow up with a thank you email and a link to the podcast interview that your guest appears in.

  9. Do provide instructions on how the person can access and download their interview (not everyone is well versed on how to listen to a podcast).

  10. Do provide listeners with a URL to your guest's website on your blog under a special section called Show Resources.

  11. Do provide a blurb that your guest can copy & paste and send off to their colleagues, network and/or mailing list. This helps you to grab more listeners and gain additional subscribers by using your guest's database to promote your podcast.

What else would you add?

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Seven of the Hottest Women in Podcasting

It was bound to happen. Podshow gleefully announced that seven of the hottest women in podcasting are on their portal. Canada's very own Podchick made the list.

Adam Curry says:

"These ladies have great talent, and all they've needed was the proper promotion and distribution. [T]hey are inventing new formats for interacting directly with their audiences, and I expect them to take their amazing skills to the next level."

To which I reply:
"I didn't make the list? Quelle horreur!

Then I remind myself that I'm not even listed in Podshow, so I can forgive the oversight.

In any case, Adam is a master at creating buzz and the creation of this hottest female podcasters list is no exception. One could argue that Adam is good for podcasting. Anytime there's lull in the podcasting space, count on Adam to splash podcasting back into the limelight.

In response, I have come up with my own hottest lists. Here are a few suggestions:

Hottest RSS Feeds in a Podcast
Hottest Male Video Podcasters
Hottest Male Voice in a Podcast
Hottest Interviewing Style
Hottest Editing & Mixing Technique
Hottest Podcasts in iTunes
Hottest Podcast Cover
Hottest Corporate Podcast

Can't think of anymore. Any ideas?

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Podcast to Best Selling Book Ideas

I can write and according to some, I write really well. However, I don't like to write. Unless it's a quick blog post, an article can take me eons to put together. The stars and moon need to be aligned "just so" before I can bang out a few articles.

It's the reason why I love podcasting so much. I just open my recording software and start talking into my mic. Match made in heaven.

And as long as I could remember, I've always wanted to write a book. I've looked at self-publishing, then at finding a literary agent (I'm still looking for one), then self-publishing again. While I haven't made up my mind as to how I'll get this book published, I do know that it's now time for me to start writing my first one.

So, my goal is to use a podcast, transcribe it, then polish up the transcription and turn them into pages of my new best selling book.

Here are some ideas that I have:

  1. Podcasting Analogies - Everytime I talk to my friend Jan Janzen, she always reminds me to stop talking like a geek and instead, explain podcasting using comparisons that people can relate to. I've built up a ton of analogies that I use to explain what podcasting is, so I'd put them all into a book to help those interested in podcasting really understand it in layman's terms.

  2. Transperancy Through Social Media - This one would be geared to senior executives with examples of their peers who are blogging or podcasting.

  3. Corporate Podcasting Case Studies - I think there are now enough corporations podcasting to write a book about it. It would have a global approach and would be a text book for other businesses who want ideas on how to use podcasting as a marketing tool.

  4. Online Stars: The Un-natural Development of Internet-based Celebrities - Something fun in which I profile 20 people who have become stars as a result of podcasting.

So, which one should I work on first?

Update: I thought of another one, however, I'll keep it in my back pocket for now. I think this one will be a winner and I'll let you know about it after I write up the proposal.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Get Known Now Using a Podcast

Just a quick reminder that I'm a guest on a no-fee teleclass on podcasting tonight at 8pm ET. The host is Suzanne Falter-Barns and she's interviewing yours truly and Tim "Gonzo" Gordon all about podcasting.

If you're interested in joining us, register here.

Update: Read Suzanne's summary of the meeting and access to the recording of the teleclass that you can download or listen at your convenience.

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MarketingSherpa's Practical Podcasting Guide for Marketers

Excellent report written by an excellent organization. Marketing Sherpa released a special report called MarketingSherpa's Practical Podcasting Guide for Marketers. The special report looks at whether or not companies should consider podcasting in their communications mix.

Of particular note is how easily the article counters the various stereotypes people have towards podcasting, namely:

  1. That the listening audience is broad.
  2. That you don't need an iPod to listen to a podcast.
  3. That it's not a sales pitch.
  4. That you can't just publish one episode "to test the market."
  5. That you can't just release your podcast and expect a slew of listeners.

While Paul says there's nothing too exciting with this report, it's nice to see Marketing Sherpa take a lead in educating marketers about podcasting.

Read it before September 1st. After that, you pay to access it.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Don't Give Away the Farm in Your Podcast

I stumbled upon this post, tooting the fact that corporations can use LiveOffice to turn conference calls into podcasts.

Okay, let me see if I can point out the errors of the ways.

  • While recording via a telephone conference line is the #1 way to capture an interview, to then put your recording out there as a podcast with no edits is like a plastic surgeon forgetting to remove the markings from his patient after the surgery. Editing the podcast is key since you can remove verbal clutter and even out sounds. In a previous post, I complained about recording over the phone due to many issues and unless you edit, these issues will become a huge problem to your listeners.

  • Another flaw with this approach is that there's no branding. Once you record, unless you download it and mix in some music, you'll leave people confused as to who you are and what action they should take.

  • Yet another flaw is that by offering the recording of the conference call for free, you lose out on generating an income stream for your business. Information is golden on the Internet, so why not package the recording in a CD or sell the transcriptions and keep some money in your corporation's pocket?

  • Something else - If a corporation advertised an upcoming conference call as a paid event, then released the recording of the call for free in a podcast, do you think I'd ever attend another one of their paid conference calls ever again? No way, Jose.
From a corporate podcasting angle, I don't agree with just releasing your recordings as a podcast. There has to be some careful consideration before doing this. I've mentioned a few above.

Update: Here's the link to the press release on Yahoo that sparked this post. Also, read Jon's take on this issue. Lastly, I corrected the LiveOffice URL above.

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Corporate Podcasting Summit

Just a reminder that the organizer of the Corporate Podcasting Summit is looking for presentation ideas. If you are a corporation and have used podcasting in your communications with some interesting results or if you develop podcasting solutions for corporations and would like to share your knowledge, send your information over to Anita Yaa (she's an absolute darling).

The dates for the Corporate Podcasting Summit have not been finalized, but it'll be in early 2007 and one will be held on the U.S. East Coast and the other in Europe (most likely England). The first was held in June 2006 in San Franscisco.

For more details, visit this site.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Beware of Podfakers

You know what gets my hair in knots? When I come across those who want to help people to podcast and they're not even ingrained in the industry themselves. I mean, just because you can record audio doesn't mean you can podcast. Geez!

I call these people podfakers. Definition?

"n: an inauthentic podcaster"
Jon would call these people and their products Snake Oil. He even has a nice category on his blog for these said folks.

If you want to learn how to podcast from someone else, make sure they meet all the criteria below:
  • Make sure the person has their own podcast and not just one or two episodes. I'm talking about 15 or more. Why? Because this person would've gone through all the mistakes and lessons learned so they can teach you what to avoid in your podcasting journey. I can't tell you how many mics I've gone through before I got the right one, or the strategies I used to combat podfading, or the various editing tools I went through before I found the one that really works for me. Here's a link to my podcast. And another.

  • Make sure they have a track record of some sort in the podcasting field. For example, do they have a ton of subscribers? Did they develop a technique that's helping them to make money off their podcast? Here my track record that will be featured in Paul Colligan's book.

  • Make sure others at least reference that this person is a podcasting expert. There are clues online. Google the person's name. Use Technorati and see if the person is being tagged and why they're being tagged. Social media is way more honest in its portrayal of individuals simply because unlike newspapers, very little is filtered. So, trust it as you gather information about your podcasting instructor. Here I am on Google and here's my blog on Technorati. Judge for yourself.
Anything else I missed?

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Leesa's Podcasting World

Here's some updates on some of the things I've blogged about (or haven't):

  • My Plantronics headset isn't out of commission. There's a mute button on the headset and it was turned on when I tried to record earlier in the week (d'oh!). Thankfully, the only reason I didn't go out and get a new one is because I couldn't find my receipt that included the extended warranty. So off I go to record more podcasts.

  • I did hear from Craig Davidson, author of the forthcoming book called The Fighter. He put me in touch with his publicist and I'm just waiting for Stephen to reply. Blogs do work, let me tell ya.

  • I've got a very busy September ahead of me. You can check out my calendar here. I really like Alex's, so I'm going to do an upgrade as soon as I move to Wordpress.

  • I'm experimenting with a few recording options. I downloaded Adobe Audition and I'm using their 30-day trial version. All I have to say is, "Wow!" Very steep learning curve, but it offers way better editing tools than Audacity. Thanks Kelly for the suggestion.

  • I added a few more people to my blogs/podcasts to the side menu. See if I added yours.

  • I'm really looking forward to PodCamp in Boston. I've chatted with Bryan Person and Chris Brogan (a fellow Battlestar Galactica fan), so this is going to be a hoot. I may be travelling down with Jay Moonah and anyone who knows him knows he loves to chat, so it'll make for an interesting trip.

  • I may be planning an event here in Toronto related to Web 2.0. It'll be different from Mesh, CaseCamp and DemoCamp, I promise. I'll tell you what it is as soon as I get the thumbs up from a resource. Stay tuned.

  • Jon Watson is back and he's posted some really interesting stuff on his blog. While I enjoyed taking over the reigns over at BizPodcasting while he was away on his honeymoon, I'm glad to see that he's back, putting the P-O (peeved off) back into podcasting (not really sure what that means).
And those are the interesting things that have been going on in my little podcasting world. What's up in yours?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Results from Do Your Podcast Now Day

Curious to know what happened (or what you missed)?

Because of the Do Your Podcast Now day, I finished a product called Plan A Killer Podcast. It's a downloadable workbook and audio series to help you, well....plan your podcast.

Still needs some tweaks and got some great feedback from Bryan Person, one of the organizers of Podcamp and whom I spent 3-hours over instant messaging with today, so I'll post the URL next week after I get some others to give my sales page a once over.

Linda Dessau, one of the callers who took part in this day, also accomplished something. Here's what she had to say:

"Thanks, Leesa, for the boost to work on my podcast today. I'm recording some episodes next week and I was able to finish writing my interview questions, send them to my guests, as well as get a head start on my Episode Guides which I published as 'draft' posts in my Typepad account. I feel so much more prepared (and psyched!) for the calls next week. Leesa, you truly are the Queen of Podcasting!"
Mosy on over to Linda's blog to check out her podcast.

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Snakes on a Plane Uses Social Media, Not Critics

I think this is a first for a movie. I was watching Global National yesterday evening when Kevin Newman reported that a new film called Snakes on a Plane used social media eg. blogs, podcasts, discussion forums, etc. to promote its release in theatres today. You can view the piece by downloading Global National's podcast (it's the last 5-minutes of their August 17th episode).

There were no advanced screenings for critics. Instead, one of the screenwriters decided to use his own blog to start a conversation with bloggers and podcasters about this film (I would link to his blog, but there's way too much cussing and taking the Lord's name in vain for my liking - use Google and find it yourself).

This is the first blockbuster film (that's what I call films produced by big movie hourses) to be user generated. Bloggers and podcasters told producers they wanted more gore, more violence, more blood and New Line Cinema, the distributor of this film, ordered 5 additional days of shooting to deliver on what fans were asking for.

The film was originally supposed to be called Pacific Air Flight 121, but bloggers and podcasters told them to change it.

Will I go see it? I'll wait for the DVD. However, I'm very interested to how much money this film will generate on its opening weekend. The film took $36-million to produce and if it takes in at least that amount over the weekend, I'd say that this is a wonderful case for word-of-mouth marketing.

Will the online hype prompt you to go see it? Why or why not?

Update: Snakes on a Plane was #1 at the boxoffice over the weekend, pulling in $15.25-million.

Another update: (**sigh**) Of course, the Toronto Sun just has a knack for these things. Is anyone reading this paper?

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Do Your Podcast Now Day, Gentle Reminder

Just a quick reminder that the Do Your Podcast Now Day is tomorrow. Bring your podcasting project that you've been sitting on and we'll use each other to get the job done.

We start at 10am ET and (unfortunately) our last call-in will be at 2pm ET (not 5pm ET). This will give you 4-hours to stop talking about your podcasting project and do something to finally make it a reality.

What will I be working on? If you want to know, you'll need to call-in at 10am ET with your own project to find out.

Sign up for the Do Your Podcast Now day by sending a blank email to:

If you want to understand how we'll spend the 4-hours together, read this post.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Moffitt: Top 20 Canadian Word of Mouth Blogs

Sean Moffitt, Canada's Word of Mouth Expert, put together a list of his Top 11 20 Canadian Word of Mouth Blogs.

My blog, Podonomics, made this esteemed list. What an honour. It means that my obsessive blogging has finally paid off. You can view the complete list of blogs here.

Any tips on how I can make this an even better blog so I can make it on more lists (and yes, I know I need to leave blogger)?

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New Blogger (Beta) Still Has a Way to Go

As you've read before, I am tired of blogger. Been using it since 1999 and it's now time for me to move on.

By way of Mark Evans, I found out that Blogger has a beta out with some additional features. It's the first upgrade since Google bought Pyra Labs back in 2001.

I checked it out only because I want to give Blogger a 10th chance and here's what I liked:

  • Labels. Finally, now I can categorize my posts.

  • In the archives, it shows the number of posts beside the month and you can expand it to see the title of the posts. Right now, if you're searching for an old post, you have to click on that month under the Archives tab, then scroll down to find what you're looking for.

  • An AJAX-y thing where you can drag and drop what you want to make visible in the template you're using for your blog. Right now, the only way to edit your blog template is to go right into the HTML.

  • I like the fact that I can use the same login for my Gmail account for my Blogger account. No need to remember yet-another-username.

  • Posts are uploaded really quick. Has something to do with some server side improvements, stuff I don't really care about, but someone reading (and who can explain it better than I) can probably comment on what was done. All I know is that posting to my blog is really quick.

  • I can make my blog (or certain posts) private. This can be useful for a CEO who wants only his direct reports to read the blog, or a blog that presents tips & tricks to people who paid for a service.

Here's what's still missing:
  • No way to make individual labels its own RSS feed. From a podcasting standpoint, this is important since iTunes gets a little fussy when your feed has a mix of text-based posts and audio-based posts.

  • Still no way to schedule posts to be published in the future. When I was updating Jon Watson's blog, I had scheduled 8 posts on the Wednesday before the long weekend so they would go live while I was at Sherkston Shores.

  • Still no way to install a non-branded podcast player in your blog. Wordpress has a nice plug-in called Podpress that I've been using for one of my clients. Blogger is missing this.

A little too late in my book as I've already started the motions to port my blog files over to Wordpress. will be live very soon using a brand-spanking new blog platform. Stay tuned.

View my Blogger Beta page.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Limited Edition Podcast to Promote Your Informational Product

I was reading an article in the Toronto Star about an author who's trying to find a new, interesting and unique way to promote his upcoming book. His name is Craig Davidson and his novel The Fighter will be published on September 30th.

Craig understands that advertising in a major newspaper or going on a book tour are just played out. This is what Craig says about advertising:

Adverts in The Globe & Mail - Penguin (his publisher) might as well flush the money down the toilet. People who might be interested in The Fighter are probably not reading The Globe. Or at least, not enough to merit the ad rate. So say I.
So, Craig gets it. He knows that he has to do something different to raise awareness about his book.

His publicist suggested a fight in a ring at a said place & time. Of which I said, "That's tacky."

I would suggest to this rookie Canadian novelist to try a podcast instead. Craig will reach more people around the world with a podcast as opposed to a ring fight in one city on one night.

I want to help Craig use a limited edition podcast to promote the upcoming release of his book. If we start now, we can get about 8 episodes out the door.

In fact, I extend this offer to Craig and 2 other people who are going to publish a book or another informational product (ebook, CD, special report, whitepaper, etc).

I'll do the following:
  • Help you plan the episodes.
  • Host the podcasts.
  • Create blogsite that your podcasts will be published on (if you don't already have one).
  • Update your blogsite with episode notes.
  • Enter your podcast into the 6 podcast directories that really matter.
  • Create a podcast cover to entice people to subscribe.
  • Advise you on the tools to use to record your podcast.
  • Listen to this audio file before contacting me (it'll tell you what podcasting is all about).
  • Promote your podcast using other marketing methods.
  • Write your own press release.
  • Find other blogs or podcasts to connect with about your the release of your product.
  • Be open to the suggestions I provide.
I'm looking for 3 people (including Craig). This service won't be free, however, it will be cheaper than spending the money on launching a full blown website or spending it on advertising.

Email me - leesa dot barnes at gmail dot com

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 Podcasting Service, Get Regular Hosting Instead

I use to host and serve my podcast files. They give alot of space for really cheap and in the the 8-months I've been with them, I've had no downtime.

So, it's no surprise that is now offering podcasting service at $5 a month.

What's the benefits of using GoDaddy?

  1. You get statistics
  2. You get an automatic RSS feed
  3. You get a ton of space and bandwidth
  4. You get to create a webpage to publish your podcast

There aren't many drawbacks, save one. Paul Colligan mentions it on his blog. Jon Watson also comments.

More or less, I pay $6.99 per month for a hosting plan that gives me 100 GB of space and 1000 GB of bandwidth. The drawback is that I still have to publish my own blog using blogger or Wordpress and I have to use Feedburner for my feeds.

The Quick Podcast plan give you 1 GB of disk space and 100 GB bandwidth for $4.99 per month. The benefit is that this package includes all the tools I need to publish my podcast. The big drawback is for just $2 more a month I get 10x the space and 100x the bandwidth.

My recommendation? Spend the extra couple of bucks on getting more bandwidth.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Podcast Interviews Over the Phone, Thumbs Down

I'm officially tired of doing podcast interviews over the phone. For every 10 interviews I record, one of them turns out to be awful. Snapping sounds, crackling noices, deafening pops, like I'm eating a bowl of Rice Krispies. How annoying.

I'm listening to an interview I did over the phone and while it was very engaging, there's static in the background. Although I used the Noise Removal feature in Audacity, it warps my audio after it removes the static. Not good.

Not only that, but one person always sounds louder than the other when the interview is conducted over the phone. Always. My editing time is increased because I have to then go through and amplify one person, trim the sound, increase the gain, but only in certain spots. And when you interview over the phone, you only get one channel - mono.


I tried Skype, but Hot Recorder doesn't work on my OS (I'm on Windows 2000 SP 2; yeah I know, ancient). Plus, not everyone uses Skype.

So, any suggestions on what I can use to record interviews over the phone without stepping into a studio and without breaking the bank (I'm not interested in spending $5000 for a system)? Tell me what you're using.

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Barbara Bradbury Launches Podcast

Another one of my students from the 90-Day Podcast course has just launched Episode 2 of her podcast. In her podcast, Barbara Bradbury focuses on helping business people form quality relationships at work and at home.

In Episode 2, Barbara interviews her 2 sons. They sound so cute with their English accents. They comment on their summer holidays and what it's like to stay at home. Barbara then interviews one of her clients to find out how she's coping with the summer holidays with her own children.

I invite you to take a listen. Show your support by subscribing to her podcast and listen as it evolves over time. If you love English accents, you'll certainly enjoy listening to Barbara.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

928 Canadian Friends, I'm Flattered

I was over at Amber's blog where she wrote up about the results of the Canadian Podcasting Survey that I co-authored.

Some chap said that while I was presenting at CaseCamp, I said that I had my friends fill out the survey.

To which I replied:

"Then I must have alot of friends. Just under 1000 of them. All across Canada. Wonder if I'm related to them all as well?"
My friends? They number in the ones, by golly, not in the hundreds. I asked people with blogs, large mailing lists, huge discussion boards and the like to help spread the word about filling out this survey. From there, word of mouth took over.

This is clearly explained in the methodology section of the report. I certainly didn't write that part of my methodology was to ask my "legion of friends" to fill it out.

Gimme a break, dude.

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Plantronics Headset Just Clunked Out

I have a ton of recording to do. I have to do a few bumpers for my clients (details next week) and I have to get my podcasts out the door.

So, I plunked down at my computer to start recording. I launched Audacity, hit the record button and nothing.

Nothing, I say.


I fiddled around with the settings, closed down Skype, double checked that the thing was plugged in, rebooted my box and yet Audacity wasn't picking up my voice.

Then I plugged in another microphone and guess what? It worked. Which means my Plantronics headset is toast. Now, I'm scrambling to find the bill and the extended warranty that I bought because I'm sure that it's been almost a year since I bought this thing. And knowing my luck, my extended warranty has already ran out.

If you decide to buy a headset, especially if it's Plantronics, always buy the extended warranty. It'll cost you a few extra bucks, but Plantronics isn't known for its longevity, so it'll save you a ton in the longrun.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Do Your Podcast Now Day, Aug 18th

I got this idea from Andy Wibbels. He held a Shut Up & Write day, so I'm going to do a Do Your Podcast Now day. I was going to call it Shut Up & Podcast, but that's a misnomer. How can one shut up and podcast when you need your voice to podcast?

So, Do Your Podcast Now day is aimed at helping you stop talking about what you're going to do and instead, just get it done. We'll all be accountable to each other, so that should help you achieve miniature tasks.

On August 18th, here's what we'll do:

  1. Call the conference bridge number on August 18th @ 10am ET
  2. I'll introduce you to the call.
  3. In 15-seconds, introduce who you are, the project you'll be working and what you'll have completed by the next hour.
  4. Hang up and get it done.
  5. Call the same conference bridge number at the top of every hour and report on your progress.
  6. Repeat 1 to 5 above until 5pm ET.
Sign up for the Do Your Podcast Now day by sending a blank email to:

This isn't a session where you call to pick my brain about podcasting tips and tricks. I have many paid services for that. This isn't a call where you come to sell your wares. Go to The Shopping Channel or QVC for that.

Instead, use this day to complete something regarding podcasting that you've been aiming to finish, but just haven't gotten about to doing it.

Here are a few ideas:
  • You can work on a plan for your podcast.
  • You can subscribe & listen to a few.
  • You can plan future episodes.
  • You can start recording segments for your podcast.
  • You can work on an outline for your podcasting book.
  • You can start researching for podcasting information.
  • Or, whatever it is you've been saying that you want to do, but you keep putting it off.
Whether you're a seasoned podcaster, or one who's just starting out, join me on this accountability day by registering your spot. Send a blank email to to get the call-in details.

Will you join me?

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Instant Podcast Services: Great for Hobbyists, Thumbs Down for Businesses

Over the long weekend, I reviewed six all-in-one podcasting services on Jon Watson's blog, BizPodcasting (he's back in 2-days).

Take a look at my thoughts:

Instant Podcast Services, Are They Good for Business?

Gabcast: Instant Podcast Service Review #1

Podooch: Instant Podcast Service Review #2

Podomatic: Instant Podcast Service Review #3

Audio Acrobat: Instant Podcast Service Review #4

WildVoice: Instant Podcast Service Review #5

ClickCaster: Instant Podcast Service Review #6

Instant Podcast Services: Great for Hobbyists, Thumbs Down for Businesses

If you have an all-in-oner that you'd like me to review, please add it to the comments section below. I'm going to continue plugging away at these services and put them into a nice little document that you can download.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Social Brew with Amber MacArthur

That's me and Amber at Social Brew last night. She was showing me her webcam on her brand spanking new 13" MacBook when she took this snapshot of the 2 of us gawking at her wares (the laptop, I mean). I was so enamoured by the Mac (yes, I'm still talking about the laptop) I almost missed out on mingling with the group that had gathered that night.

The event? Social Brew was holding a panel discussion called Women in IT: Challenges and Opportunities. I was on the panel along with 3 other women and Amber was the MC.

Of course, I chatted too much. Panels are miserable for me because I tend to dominate the conversation. I always have something to say (that's why I podcast, silly) and it gets to the point where the moderator has to ask me to hold my thoughts to let the others speak.

Thankfully, that didn't happen last night as we only had a short time to have Q&A. Mama would've been proud :)

Do women need these types of events? Heck ya. They're wonderful to have simply because women need to see who else in her gender is actually working in IT.

However, these types of sessions shouldn't become a bitch sessions. To my delight, most of the women who attended last night were in up beat moods, desiring to focus on solutions rather than problems.

There's always going to be problems for women who work in male dominated industries. We'll always face barriers. However, I'm not interested in lamenting about them at length. I just don't find value in that.

Amber made a great point by saying it doesn't just stop at these events. Women in IT should be exchanging cards and sending business to each other. That's where the empowerment begins.

Hear hear! And now I've got to pull out those business cards.

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BizPodcasting thoughts for August 3rd

Here's what I posted over at Jon Watson's blog for August 3rd.

Tech is the New Bling for the Ladies

Errors in iTunes Costing Listeners

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

BizPodcasting thoughts for August 2nd

Here's what I posted about on Jon Watson's BizPodcasting blog on August 2nd.

Podcasts Make Your Platform Big

Podcast Awards: 110 Podcasts To Listen To & Vote On

MagneticTime: Sound Like a 3006 Robot

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All-In-One Podcasting Services Reviews Start Tomorrow

Some of you may (or may not) know that I'm updating Jon Watson's BizPodcasting blog while he's on the West coast getting married and honeymooning with his new bride. Hence the reason postings have been skimpy around here.

On Friday, I start a series over on Jon's blog reviewing 6 of the many all-in-one, instant podcasting services that are out there. Two reviews will appear each day with a summary Monday evening.

I'll be looking at each service with my business hat on. My goal is to figure out whether or not businesses should associate their brands with these type of services.

Look for the introductory post Friday morning where I list the 6 services I'll be reviewing.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Canadian Podcasting Survey, lessons learned

I posted my lesson learned to a listserv, but wanted to post them here as well. As the feedback comes in regarding the Canadian Podcasting Survey, I see some larger issues emerging.


  1. Collaborations are awesome if those involved compliment each other. Sequentia is an expert in communications, my company is an expert in podcasting. We complimented each other's expertise which made working on this survey that much easier.

  2. Word-of-mouth through social media works. We got just under 1000 respondents and we only paid $50 for 1 ad. Anyone want to calculate the ROI here? Word-of-mouth helped us get a good sample size and it's helping us disseminate the results. Even Robert Scoble commented on how powerful word-of-mouth is in the online world.

  3. Focus on a niche issue if you run a survey. We focused on a niche technology (podcasting) and a niche country (Canada). While we may alienate those not interested in Canadian issues or podcasting, we'd like to be seen as an authority in the Canadian podcasting space.
There may be other lessons learned, but these are my top 3.


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BizPodcasting thoughts for August 1st

Here's what I posted over on Jon Watson's blog yesterday.

Citizen Podcasters, who protects them?

All-In-One Podcasting Services

Marketing Sherpa : Podcasts & Blogs Very Effective

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Where's the privacy in our conversations?

Some of the best products come from our frustration with something. In similar fashion, some of my best blog posts come out of a frustrating experience.

I don't claim that this is one of my best blog posts, but I have noticed something very frustrating that I do need to share.

I emailed someone about some information and revealed "a secret" in it. Minutes later, I saw part of "my secret" on that person's blog. I was flabbergasted. Even after repeated inquiries asking that it be removed, the blogger hasn't done so.

Amanda, formerly of Rocketboom, chose to copy and paste all her email correspondences between herself and Andrew that detailed the coming of the demise of their relationship.

When did email - a private correspondence between 2 or more parties - become subject to public display? Why do people think it's okay to publish private, intimate information that's shared in an email and throw it on a blog, discussion forum or other public online venue?

What then is considered private in the online world?

I guess I have to spell things out everytime I email someone, huh? Put a disclaimer somewhere in my email that says:

"the contents herewith are for the recipient's eyes only and are not intended to be republished or reproduced in any resource, whether moving or inanimate, digital or not, without the express written consent of the person who originated the content."
A journalist did this to me the other day. He emailed me to respond to one of my blog posts. He revealed "the truth," something that went on behind the scenes that resulted in his article being written the way it was. While the information was juicy, I didn't publish it to my blog because he started his email with a "don't publish this, but..." warning at the top.

It's sad that our emails and instant messages intended for only a few eyes person can appear in a public forum such as a blog, discussion board or other venue where dozens of eyes are gazing at your private information.

Where's the privacy in our conversations?

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BizPodcasting thoughts for July 31st

Here's what I blogged about over on Jon Watson's blog on Monday July 31st.

John C. Havens on Podcasting Misconceptions
I read an excellent article by Havens on why it's a no-brainer for businesses to podcast.

Corporate Logos Web Two Point Oh-ized
I comment on how you can make your logo look like a Web 2.0 company based on some clever designs by someone over on Flickr.

ProfCast Category Converter
A tool you can use to update your feed so it matches up with the new iTunes categories. Useful for non-Feedburner feeds.

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