I sat in front of about 60 teens on Saturday and made a fool of myself. Or, I made a geek out of myself. We talked about the Internet component of their coming teen presence in the paper, basically because they asked me what it would be like.
I told them it would be whatever they wanted. It could be blog-like. It could be stories. The design would be theirs. Then I asked who was interested in designing it. One hand went up.
Then I mentioned some of the other things they could do. I mentioned two things I was sure they’d heard of: podcasting and video blogging. I got blank stares. I asked if anyone blogged. “What’s that?” was the response. When someone asked if that was something like LiveJournal, I said that’s exactly it. There was a little more understanding.
I mentioned a couple of other things and was shocked to see the response. I mentioned MTV. Blank stares.
I mentioned IM-ing. I did get a large show of hands and lots of smiles and chitchat.
Then I asked what they wanted to see at their Web site besides their stories.
One girl later said that a message board would be a critical component.
I think the one interested teen and I are going to have our hands full. So, as far as the Web presence is concerned, I’m going with KISS (keep it simple, stupid) until there’s some more consensus about what to do. If you’ve got suggestions, send them here.
Back to podcasting.
It’s interesting to me that teens aren’t that into the technologies that are exploding. They like their fan sites. They’ll do a little shopping. E-mail and IM-ing and text messaging are the rage.
So I’ve got to understand that my audience and target market to discuss podcasting at ConvergeSouth is not going to be the teen market. It’s going to be the 24 to 40 market. There may be a smattering of 50-ish folks into the technology.
I’m not going to go into all the technical aspects of podcasting. Just the possibilities. For insight into what could be, one starting place is thePodshow Strategy ‘cast 2.0. (For an fun take on just how easy podcasting can be, check out this picture.)
Podcast 411 provides some great insight into the people who are behind mics with interviews of some of the most prominent podcasters.
There are more than 40 aggregating sites out there. Podcast Alley is one of the bigger names in ranking podcasts. iPodder has a list of more than 5,000 categorized podcasts. Both sites provide info about subscribing, including links to podcatching clients for all flavors of operating systems.
I’ve got 18 podcast subscriptions in my podcatching client right now. I’m still catching up, but that’s the beauty of it. Just like blog posts, you can always go back and check out what you’ve missed, unlike radio because when it’s gone from the airwaves, it’s gone.
When do I have time to listen?
- When I commute to school.
- When I walk in the mornings.
- When I’m doing work at my home computer.
- When I’m driving home to visit my parents or going on vacation and I don’t want to listen to what the kids are listening to.
You now have at your fingertips your music and your talk radio.
Other news has sent shockwaves throughout the podcasting world, too. Apple has deemed its next version of iTunes podcasting friendly. And there are rumors that Microsoft might be announcing something this week in relation to something they may not be calling “podcasting.”
I’m really looking forward to evangelizing this new medium. If you’ve got questions, shoot me an e-mail and I’ll post what I know as we move closer to October.