Q&A Panel: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going

Liveblog of panel session with Casey McKinnon, Rudy Jahchan and Julien Smith

Casey and Rudy – have their own sit-com show Galacticast; consistently featured on iTunes under comedy/video blogs.

Julien – 2 1/2 years has been doing a show called In Over Your Head – based on hip hop but is more. On Sirius Satellite Radio every week. 24 minutes – all music, or talking about other things – highly diverse.

Things that Julien regrets: never tried to talk about his show, almost avoided it.

Casey and Rudy: they tried to be too ambitious at the beginning, wanted to have too many types of segments. You have to stumble around a bit at the beginning to figure out what you want to do, what you want to enjoy doing. You have to just get out to do it. It doesn’t matter the quality; just do it.

They didn’t clue into search engine optimization until later. Once they added that element in, they suddenly got a whole other audience via Google.

Make episodes beforehand. When you are starting, try to get 4 episodes made before you start because you will get busy and won’t be able to keep to the same schedule. Hold some back.

As podcasting becomes more professional, everyone has it, individuals become afraid to make mistakes and want a perfect podcast from the beginning. Don’t wait – put it out there, make those mistakes or you won’t get it out there. The big corporations can’t move as quickly as we can. They are spending a lot of money and aren’t necessarily doing the best work out there.

Even if you put something low quality out there, people are forgiving. The more authentic you are, the more forgiving they will be.

Julien’s connection with Sirius Satellite – he works with Podshow; working with an organization can make you less nimble but allows you the big media contracts. This is changing, so that the average person will soon get big media contracts more easily.

There are tools out there for people to donate and financially support your podcast. If people love what you do, they may be willing to help off-set some of your costs.

Podcasters are able to leap ahead in our careers because they reach people in a more intimate way. They sky is the limit as to what people in podcasting can do. He is amazed at how his “stupid little show” has led to opportunities to take him where he has gone. People doing it now are forging a path for people in the future.

This is not an opportunity ladder. The world is flat. We are all our own personal brands. People are becoming brands on their own, just by being themselves. This was not possible in the past.

They don’t like mass emails, being added en masse into networks. Send them personal messages.

They believe in the “long tail” concept. They are not targeting a mass audience; no Brittany Spears is going to come out of podcasting, unless it becomes part of the mainstream.

Julien just makes sure that Google finds him. He takes care of “his people” so they think of him as the go-to guy. He starts a dialogue with people whom he has exchanged business cards. Casey and Rudy respond to email, comments on the blog as much as possible. This is part of building relationships, networking.

It is all about people, helping people, reaching out to people. Web 2.0 is all about people. Even before Time magazine said so, it was “all about you”.

They have put themselves out there, they are on numerous social networks e.g. Twitter. There is going to be more of that out there, it is just going to get bigger and bigger. E.g. Zefrank is HUGE, and it is just going to get bigger. People like Zefrank and Amanda Congdon, there are going to be more of them.

Everyone will have their audience. Up and coming generations will care more about these things and more personalities will come out of it, even though older generations don’t think they have “made it” until they are in the traditional media.

Têtes à claques
is one of the top websites in Quebec, an ex-PR guy decided to do his own thing out of his basement. Word is spreading outside of Quebec.

Things are evolving – record executives are now talking about dropping DRM.  Bare Naked Ladies are just putting their things out there.   They are struggling, the audience is coming this way:   Sirius and XM are having to come together, merge to survive.

Battlestar Galactica – mostly being watched as downloads; even though they are not watching the advertisers on TV, they are paying to download it from iTunes so it has to continue.

Branding – they approach it just as real individual people, not branding Galacticast.  An actor is not just known for one movie (hopefully) but for many.