Bum rush the charts!

Want to kick Big Media’s ass? Here’s your chance!

Via http://bumrushthecharts.blogspot.com/:

“On March 22nd, we are going to take an indie podsafe music artist to number one on the iTunes singles charts as a demonstration of our reach to Main Street and our purchasing power to Wall Street. The track we’ve chosen is “Mine Again” by the band Black Lab. A band that was dropped from not just one, but two major record labels (Geffen and Sony/Epic) and in the process forced them to fight to get their own music back. We picked them because making them number one, even for just one day, will remind the RIAA record labels of what they turned their backs on – and who they ignore at their peril.

What’s more, we’re going to take it a step beyond that. We’ve signed up as an affiliate of the iTunes Music Store, and every commission made on the sale of “Mine Again” will be donated to college scholarships, partly because it’s a worthy cause, but also partly because college students are among the most misunderstood and underestimated groups of people by big media. Black Lab has taken it up another notch – 50% of their earnings are going to be donated to the scholarship fund as well.

If you believe in the power of new media, on March 22nd, 2007, take 99 cents and 2 minutes of your time to join the revolution and make iTunes “Mine Again”. If you’re a content producer (blogger, podcaster, etc.), we’re asking you to join up with us and help spread the word to your audience. Nothing would prove the power of new media more than showing corporate media that not only can we exceed their reach and match their purchasing power, but that we can also do it AND make a positive difference in the world. If we can succeed with this small example, then there’s no telling what can do next.”

Gillmor vs. Curry – Round 1

Steve Gillmor is angry that the Gillmor Gang is no longer playing on Sirius 102:

“To be blunt, the Gang on Sirius is one of the best shows on that network. Forget about how I feel about it; what it says about my partners in the Gang is just fucking unforgivable. Doc Searls is one of the most important voices of our time, and reducing even for a minute the reach of that sound is just plain dumb.”

Adam Curry picks up the glove:

“As you know the Daily shows were removed from the lineup long ago due to lack of timely delivery, if at all. Unfortunately, the Gillmor Gang fell prey to the exact same problem. Repeats are unacceptable and unnecessary.

It is your sole responsibility to produce and deliver your programming, as is the content of the programming.
[…]
If organization of the talent for each show is a barrier, then you should consider compensating your Gang members.

The production budget for your programming is considerably larger than that of a daily 4 hour satellite radio program, I suggest you allocate a portion of it towards ‘talent booking’ or production assistance.”

First, about this discussion: Yes, there seem to have been problems with delivery (“Gillmor Daily” could have been renamed “Gillmor Monthly”…), but a show that features highly successful people who have a day job (pun intended) may sometimes run into scheduling difficulties. Also, I’d say this explanation by Adam obviously was not given before the show was taken off of Sirius, instead these blog posts appear – a serious communication issue.

I am a HUGE fan of the gang, but the last few months have been a stretch. While the addition of Mike Arrington and Jason Calacanis rocks, Steve Gillmor has obviously been selling out. He has often been hinting at money issues, which seems to have been a reason – the show has certainly suffered: I have written extensively about this, and the recent method of splitting up the gang into three 25 minute episodes with 7 minutes ads each really is a downer. In the good old Gillmor Gang days at IT Conversations I enjoyed listening to the one hour show each friday, now I have to collect the episodes over days and fast forward through the ads.

Steve, if money is the issue, please consider offering subscriptions for the Gang. I’d happily pay a buck each week for a full gang, but this Podshow nonsense will kill a good show if you don’t take care.

PodShow+ is open for business

You can register at http://www.podshow.com/.

It’s supposed to be a listener interface as well, combined with a community effort and a podcast directory.

It looks quite nice, and at least the directory stuff and integration with the Podsafe Music Network is cool. Unfortunately, I can’t get the listener interface working for me. The concept in itself looks pretty twisted, and the operations just don’t work for me. I have no idea how it is supposed to work with iTunes/iPod, and I can’t get *any* podcast to play from the site. This may be a problem with Firefox and/or popups, but I’m not willing to switch browsers to use the site.

I’ll be keeping an eye on it, though – this may have potential; I’m sure it’s just birthing pains.

Advertising on the Gillmor Gang

Steve Gillmor talks about advertising in his podcasts:

“The complaints about the advertising on Gillmor Gang and Daily continue in the comments. I thought I’d post here to consolidate and try and explain why I’m doing it this way. First, I believe in the power of repetition, as I discuss with Adam Curry on the two part Gillmor Daily we recorded yesterday. The length of the endorsement is basically what I feel it should be, not any specific requirement on the part of Podshow or the sponsor. I try and produce something that I feel accurately represents my views, and in particular, how grateful I am for these fine companies, Podshow in particular and each sponsor as they join the show, that they have decided to support the show and the great talent that appears with me.”

Steve, let me say it again: advertising is ok, really. But let’s take one of last weeks episodes as an example: Don’t you think talking about how great these people are for about 7 minutes of a 30 minute podcast is a bit of a stretch?

Can’t you just take the example of Adam Curry and play the odd add now and then, and mention other sponsors quickly during the show? I now always start the Gillmor Gang by pushing the fast forward button until I can make out the start melody of the gang.

Please.

Dear Steve Gillmor,…

let me restate that I’m completely ok with advertising in podcasting. I am also a huge fan of the Gillmor Gang, but I’m getting more and more annoyed about the cheap attempts of Steve to justify the ads in his shows.

Steve, we do get it. It’s ok – really! Just play the ad somewhere and the show, and it’ll be fine. But PLEASE stop explaining how ads are supposed to work, and let the ad producers speak for themselves. On the show of march 29, you spent more than 6 minutes (!) talking about Earthlink and GoDaddy – that’s just putting everybody off. It’s quite likely that a similar rule as in eCommerce applies, where they say that every additional click decreases the probability of a transaction by 50 percent.
We’re all fine listening to the ads, so please don’t overdo it.

Ok…?

That stupid Earthlink commercial

OK; I’ve had it. That’s a post I’ve had on my list for quite a while now.

After we established my credibility as a podcasting listener, I think I can speak with some authority on the topic ;)

You see, I’m completely OK with ads in podcasts. Podcasts are high quality content which improve my daily life, so it’s only fair that the people creating them do get a fair return on their investment.

Having said that, Podshow’s Earthlink commercial, featured prominently on the Daily Source Code, the Gillmor Gang and others are just too crappy to listen to. In fact, they’re about the *only* podcasting content I *always* skip over.

Why’s that? You mean, apart from the gullible voice? Here’s what it says:

“Do you believe anything is possible? We do. We’re Earthlink. We believe in an internet that is safe from viruses and scammers. We’re Earthlink. We believe your personal information should be just that — personal. And we believe your internet should be a friend not a foe. We’re Earthlink. Make the smart choice. Visit earthlink.net and discover what our internet experts can do for you. Earthlink – we revolve around you.”

So you believe in an internet that’s safe from viruses and scammers? You’re not Earthlink, you’re naive!

The worst thing: I have no clue what they’re talking about – whatTF are they trying to sell me??? One podcasters mashup of that commercial mentions antivirus and anti-spam software that you get bundled – so what? Last time I checked Earthlink wasn’t mentioned as the superior provider of that kind of software in any review. GMails filters will do nicely for me, thank you very much.

It gets even worse in Steve Gillmor’s podcasts – he spends about a minute at the beginning of each episode explaining how great Earthlink is and what their comitment to the podosphere is. CRAP!

You see, that’s just not working. Especially for the fact that Steve Gillmor doesn’t sound credible at all when he talks about this. I just don’t buy it. That happened before when he was trying to push Logitech and couldn’t even get the packaging open – it just doesn’t sound convincing, it’s more like “crap, I need to plug that damn advertiser again…”.

Now Adam Curry says this is all great, Earthlink accepts the criticism, and now it’s the listeners turn to come up with a better ad.

I DON’T THINK SO.

If you want to get the advertiser money, *you* better come up with something we can believe!
It’s not that this is so hard – it worked with Adam’s burping which makes me think ‘Senseo!’ (ok, usually I do have a cup of that in my car at the time that I’m listening, anyway) despite all the de-programming efforts, and even when he pushed the Logitech stuff it came across credible.

I guess the heart of the matter is: if you can talk about an advertisers product as a user who loves the product and truly and honestly uses it every day, this will work with the listener, too. If not – forget it, i.e. just play the bloody commercial and get it over with.

And it seems I’m not alone with that opinion.

But stop talking about it. Please.