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New Media Expo 2008

NME_Pass.jpgI am off the New Media Expo this week. I have been asked to present: “Corporate Podcasting the Disneyland Way: Case Study from the Place Where Dreams Come True.” (Thursday 8/14/08 2:00 – 3:00PM) I am preparing a presentation that will blow the doors off how we have produced the Official Disneyland Resort Podcast over the last 3+ years. I’ll cover how it started, how it has evolved and where we are today. For Disney fans, podcast producers, consultants and people charged with corporate podcast initiatives I’ll present the information you need to know and the tips, tricks and techniques to ensure a successful podcast production. This is an opportunity to get a behind the scenes peak at how the longest running Fortune 100 company produced podcast is done.

As past attendees know, I have a habit of giving the audience the straight scoop. (This year will be no different.) Last year, I created a bit of controversy with my infamous “Podcasting is Dead” presentation. Given the events of the past year – big surprise: I was proven right! While it frustrates me that many people read that title and did not bother to listen to the substance of my argument regarding the business New Media producers are really in, I understand how things work and have accepted the predictable flack. As for my statements last year, I now have another year’s worth of “proof” points and some new predictions for the year to come but it has been suggested I hold them for a few days until the Expo starts – the reasons given make sense, so I will.

One thing to clear up is that I am bullish on podcasting – always have been. Heck, I authored two books on the subject. My critical statements often get misconstrued and misquoted by well meaning commentators but that is the bane of the eternal optomist. (If you don’t want to get continuously misquoted, don’t become a podcasting pundit.) I had hoped that podcasting would open up opportunities for everyone, that it would develop into a true industry. That never happened. That is not to say that there is no money in podcasting, there is, but it is not something the average person can count on. I have made a nice living as a Podcast Consultant over the last few years, but it is not a business the average person can enter and survive in like real estate or insurance etc. Podcasting is not an Industry, it is a niche and recognized expertise is required.

Meanwhile, I am contemplating a Smith & Wollensky’s or Nobu dinner in Vegas for Thursday evening. Interested? Shoot me an email or Twitter.

Auction Napa Valley 2008

ANVlogo_200px.jpgWhile one of our partners was off in New York accepting our James Beard Award, the rest of the GrapeRadio crew attended Auction Napa Valley 2008. This is the wine event of the year in Napa and GrapeRadio is pleased to be able to cover it for the 3rd year in a row.

This event is put on by the Napa Valley Vintners and as their website states: 700 Guests, 500 winery owners and winemakers, 250 auction lots, dozens of parties, all to be enjoyed within 68 hours. Once again, it was an amazing event!

As far as working conditions go – this is about as good as it gets! Non-stop parties and some of the best food and wine in the world. We worked hard gathering tons of interviews and the highlight, as always, was the gala auction event on Saturday evening. Jay Leno served as host again this year and it included a moving tribute to Robert Mondavi who passed last May.

We made sure to get interviews with all the movers and shakers attending including even Oprah. I’d like to thank everyone who welcomed us but the list is long, between the group we probably attended over 20 separate events hosted by countless wineries. That said, special thanks goes to Departures Magazine and American Express who allowed us unprecedented access as well as the Tudal Family Winery who graciously hosted us at their enormous vineyard home. (We lived like kings, this place is incredible!)

I’m convinced I’ll be sweating pure Cabernet Sauvignon all week during my workouts. Best of all, $10.3 Million was raised for local Napa charities! Thanks again to all. Can’t wait for next year!

The Latest Podcasting Report


Mark Ramsey points to the newest Edison Research report from Tom Webster on Podcasting which was presented at PodCamp NY last month. Once again, some good info for the Poderati to pay attention to. Mark, a well known radio consultant, points out that radio stations need to be producing their content as podcasts. I have been harping on this for years! As my friend Eric Rice once said, “13 year olds are doing this in their basements – what’s your excuse?” I could write a long post but I’m a talker, it’s why I like podcasting. Instead, here is a roughly 50 minute presentation I gave to a private group of radio and television executives in Minneapolis back in August, 2006 discussing the need to “jump in.” (Click the image below.)

Podcasting In Plain English

I have often referred people to the Common Craft video explaining Twitter. Now they have published an episode for podcasting:

ADM Releases Standards – Where’s The Rest?


After much anticipation the ADM (Association for Downloadable Media) has released two proposed guidelines and standards: Advertisement Unit Standards and Downloadable Measurement Guidelines. Both documents (available here) weigh in at just 3 pages and are open for public comment. If the new media advertising space is important to you I suggest you pay attention, the ADM presumes to speak for you. That said, I have to tell you, I read them both and wondered where was the rest – the important part? Looking at the “Downloadable Measurement Guidelines” I can sum it up in three words “use Apache logs.” We’ve always know that, what a let down.

What the ADM completely avoided (and it appears this is intentional) is the huge elephant standing in the corner of the room: what counts as a listen/view? Does 33% file delivery count for delivery of a pre-roll? 60% for a mid-roll? Is 100% file delivery required to count as a “complete” view/listen? How are automated downloads counted, i.e. what discount metric is used for iTunes subscriptions to determine a consumption metric over delivery? How are multiple requests from a single IP address counted? All of that, the important part, is left up to the company or producer you are dealing with. Put simply, we are exactly in the same spot as before: use your Apache logs.

When I see “standard” and “guidelines” I expect just that but these documents completely miss the mark. I don’t know if they expect the producer community to provide the important part via the comment period or if they will just completely avoid it.

This is a simple leadership issue. There are some smart folks at the helm of the ADM, but I was surprised that they allowed these documents to be released as their first “official” step into the arena. The ADM has been terrific at PR, but that is not their core responsibility, this stuff is. Bottom line, the ADM needs to take a stand, put up with the flack and develop a complete standard. It won’t be friendly, people will have cross words and it might upset some of the “Board of Advisors” and “Committee Chairs” who have proprietary approaches but that is the real work that needs to be done. When it comes time for the heavy lifting – the ADM can’t drop the ball like this.

Now granted, I’m not a member and I didn’t run for the board. When asked, I chose not to, only so many projects I can do at one time. I take this stuff seriously and only agree to participate when I know that I can give something the attention it deserves. Believe me, this stuff is important. I know in some sense I’m being critical when I could have contributed. But to be plain, these documents are open for public comment – I hope they’ll consider mine.

Off to NAB 2008


I’ll be at the Podcasting Summit this weekend. If you are there stop by for one of my sessions:

I plan to drop by both the Disney & the Content Creator parties on Sunday night and I’ll be on the show floor Monday. Look me up or follow on Twitter. American Wine Blog Award Winner

image001.jpgIt has certainly been a busy week for award related announcements at GrapeRadio. This morning it was revealed that GrapeRadio is a recipient of the 2008 American Wine Blog Award in the best podcast or videoblog category.

Just as with last week’s announcement of nomination for the James Beard Foundation Award, my congratulations once again go out to my hard working partners at GrapeRadio. Great work guys! – James Beard Award Finalist v2.0

08jamesbeard.jpg For the second year in a row has been named as a finalist for the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award. To put it in perspective, this is kind of like finding out the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences likes your “little” movie. We have been selected this year in the category of Video and Webcasting for our short documentary: Stewards of the Land.

The credit for recognition such as this belongs to my partners in the enterprise: Brian, Jay and Eric who do the day to day heavy lifting that makes GrapeRadio what it is.

Podcasting – It’s a Community Not an Industry


Or: How To Get In On Garage Sales While They’re Hot!

Before I start, so as to avoid any confusion or misrepresentation, I feel it incumbent upon myself to once again clarify: I am bullish on podcasting. I’ve published two books on the subject [1,2], run paid live training events, presented as a speaker countless times, become a “go-to” podcasting pundit for major media, built and sold podcasting technology, run the oldest podcasting network in existence and made my entire living from podcasting since early 2005. I am among podcasting’s biggest proponents. The opportunities in podcasting are alive and well. That said, I also don’t wear rose colored glasses. I call things as I see them.

Podcasters, it is time you face the facts. If you are waiting for a podcast advertising service to ride in on a white horse and rescue you from your monetary woes, let me help you: start looking elsewhere.

This all started because of a conversation I had a few weeks back where I had the unique opportunity to have podcasting explained to me. The fellow who was running through the monetization options made advertising through ad sales networks sound like a guaranteed no brainer – an easy way to monetize. The whole time I sat there, knowing what I know, thinking this is like telling people to cash in now on garage sales while the gold rush is on.

Read more…

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Michael W. Geoghegan is founder and CEO of GigaVox Media, a production, consulting and technology company focused on audio/video new media.

As a pioneer of podcasting, Michael created some of the first corporate podcasts, including efforts by Disney. Michael is also creator of the 2008 James Beard Award winning "GrapeRadio" and "Reel Reviews: Films Worth Watching". He is editor-in-chief of the Podcast Academy™ book series and co-author of Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Podcasting.

Michael speaks frequently on podcasting's impact on new media and its corporate applications and is often quoted by the media including in The New York Times, USA Today, CNN and Wired Magazine.