New podcast network Geekcast (owned by the Affiliate Summit) looks set to be a major player in the audio content game with the recent launch of two business-related podcasts.
A minor quibble I have about the Affiliate Summit is not being able to hear presentations by the event’s co-founders Missy Ward and Shawn Collins because they’re busy presenting awards or talking to folks during the 3-day event.
In launching and leading their own new podcasts on Geekcast, this should address the appetite to hear and benefit from their expertise.
BrandMouthing, a new solo podcast by Shawn Collins, gives his take on branding strategies and marketing techniques that affiliates and internet marketers can employ in their own business. Usually featuring a 5-10 minute duration (the longest has been about 22 minutes thus far), the short, punchy format (with a high signal-to-noise ratio) gives immediate tips.
I’ve enjoyed Shawn’s synopsis of the Cast of Geeks/GeekyBunch sessions when his Skype recording software failed to activate (resulting in a loss of about 1+ hour of content) and the BrandMouthing podcasts likewise provide a short burst of actionable information.
TheSpew, helmed by Missy Ward, is vaguely themed after popular women-themed talkshow “The View”, with an affiliate marketing slant. Featuring prominent affiliate marketing/internet marketing veterans like Lisa Picarille, Connie Berg, Karen White, Lisa Riolo, Kim Rowley and featuring guests like Brian Littleton, Scott Jangro and others, the sessions are chock full of useful content, involving issues like the California affiliate tax, Missy’s fundraising projects, insights into the affiliate industry.
Bundled together with this, you’ll also hear about how several marketers got their start, get some insights into what makes them successful. TheSpew bunch have also thoughfully included snippets into managing a healthy work-life balancing, addressing issues like dating other members of the affiliate fraternity, networking at events and balancing parental duties with running your own internet business.
Although the sessions clock in at more than an hour, the time will probably fly by and I’ll be saving the sessions to listen to again.
I’ve certainly got a healthy fill of content and will be looking forward to more episodes from Shawn and Missy.
Affiliate Summit co-founders Shawn Collins and Missy Ward made a joint appearance on the Friday Podcast, giving insights into behind-the-scenes actions at Affiliate Summit, together with updates on two ongoing projects, Geekcast and FeedFront.
During our conversation, we talked about:
The history and growth of the Geekcast podcast network and upcoming plans
The expansion and growth of content on Geekcast beyond just affiliate marketing
Incentives and admission criteria for would-be Geekcast podcasters
Details and the launch of Missy’s new podcast, “The Spew”, soon to debut on Geekcast in late March
The addition of video content on Geekcast
Shawn’s tips on getting started as a podcaster
How to organize and structure a winning podcast
The growth of FeedFront magazine
The upcoming inclusion of AffStat data in FeedFront
Missy’s new involvement with the affiliate program for DIYThemes (publisher of the Thesis WordPress theme)
Highlights and details of the upcoming Affiliate Summit East (Aug 9-11, New York City)
One of the keenest observations I’d heard from Sam Harrelson from an older episode of Geekcast is when he was in the process of adding Twitter to an affiliate network’s communication channels, some of the affiliate managers were happy that they had another channel to send out new offer information to.
If you’re an affiliate signed up to multiple networks, you’d receive a constant barrage of daily emails with subject lines like “network exclusives, promote now!”, “Highest payouts!” and “Hot new offers”.
Likewise, I’ve checked out a couple of affiliate marketing forums where networks have sponsored sections of the forums and populated these sections with “These offers are hot!” then proceed to list down payouts and offer caps.
I don’t know how you feel, but this is pretty much tantamount to email and social network spamming by overzealous affiliate managers.
A good affiliate manager should know when to promote offers and when to back off. And emailing/hounding me when I say I’m busy is one way to get on my really bad side.
Technically that title is erroneous as NIN fans will know that Trent is NIN, accompanied by Josh Freese, Robun Finck and Alessandro Cortini (according to the sleeve credits from The Slip).
When most think about information products or digital products, they think of the ebooks which used to hog eBay listings – but NIN’s The Slip album (together with the entire inventory of iTunes and other digital music marketplaces) are digital inventory too.
With their latest album, NIN have chosen to “give away” the album via a Creative Commons license (although a bunch of merchandise at their “merch” tab at NIN.com looks pretty tempting too…)
Taking a step away from Radiohead and NIN’s previous effort at selling their music online at a fraction of the printed CD package, or asking for a donation, you’re getting The Slip for free – in essence, content becomes free. (I would not be surprised if Trent’s production costs and time cost upwards of $100,000 or more for this).
Which is what online analysts have been saying about online platforms and applications for years. Eventually, a technology-based platform will become commoditized to the extent of being free and you’d pay only for applications that ride on it.
It’s already being practised with cell phone operators. Most time you either get a free cell phone handset or get it at a vastly discounted price, the operator makes up the difference through your monthly subscriptions via a contract of 1-2 years.
Progressive analysts have even said that eventually cell phone service will be free – you merely pay for the applications and data services you use (like the GPS and maps functions mentioned by Todd Crawford and Sam Harrelson in Geekcast 16.
But back to NIN for a moment.
They’ve broken new ground in my eyes for a couple of intiatives.
You’ve not only been given the right to play the tracks however you wish, you have NIN’s blessings to:
share it with your friends,
post it on your blog,
play it on your podcast,
give it to strangers,
Which will undoubtedly viralize the music.
I can still remember listening to NIN’s Pretty Hate Machine in the early 1990s, especially tracks like Head Like A Hole and Down In It. (A number of the tracks (which are pretty hypnotic) appear on the soundtrack of Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers – which features “Iron Man” Robert Downey Jr…)
How is NIN going to monetize their intellectual property (ie. the music)?
I think NIN fans are pretty hardcore, and the proceeds from merchandise and concert sales, and likely DVDs, interactive media will more than make up for it.
If NIN has bypassed or disintermediated themselves from the music studios, they’ll certainly have more room to access funds and stay in touch with their fans.
The other techie thing that NIN have done is to release it in a variety of audio formats – besides the ubiquitous MP3, you can also download a lossless FLAC version as well as a high quality 24/96 version.
Lastly, they’re distributing a number of these versions through the Bittorrent Peer-to-peer network, typically used to distribute pirated CD albums.
Could this signal a change in the winds for content distribution via the internet?
I’m listening to Geekcast ep 16 with guests Scott Jangro and Todd Crawford. Much funnier than the regular series (I think Lisa Picarille’s presence helps up the content quota on both Geekcast and Affiliate Thing). Perhaps it’s time to break the Geekcast into 2 separate sessions (1 content-driven with Lisa and/or a guest on) and a “frat boy” humor edition focused on Stadium Pal, Hand Teddys (sic?), Man-dles, being unable to pee in airplane toilets, etc. (language may be NSFW)
Sam talked about Todd’s new blog, be sure to check out Todd Talks. If you’re nice, you might even hear about his secret project…
This week also saw the launch of Sam’s new RedHatBlueHat political podcast. (and if you’re following the industry, political blogs are quite the money rakers…)
In other news, I’m getting blog consultants to work on the this blog and there’re a number of neat enhancements coming up. You’ll see the weird MySQL errors popping up when you post comments, but they do end up in the moderation queue. If you posted a comment and didn’t see it published, chances are you dropped a “nice post” or “come and look at my site -> [link to made for adsense or ebook opt-in page]. Your name makes it into the master blacklist of bloggers too…
This past weekend was a busy one, as I’ve been shifting one of my home offices around. My 10mbps DSL connection finally works over ethernet (I was struggling with poor signals over a 802.11g network previously). Every LAN point in my home should provide connectivity. So now I have wireless and wired Internet and LAN access from just about every bedroom, as well as the living room, dining room, kitchen and the toilets if the need arises…
While I was huffing and puffing on Sunday manhandling my heavy desk and moving the computer, monitors and bunches of cables around, I was listening to the huge backlog of MP3s I had downloaded over the past couple of weeks.
I probably listened to about 10 hours of audio over the weekend and was more active than usual in my twitter stream too.
I think it’s important to use your “downtime” well, especially if you’re working on your taxes, cleaning the desk, clearing your inbox (snail mail and email), or sorting out your baseball card collection (or samurai katana collection if that’s up your alley).
Here’s my list of favorite podcasts at the moment:
#1: Geekcast (the podcast, not the network…) -Â A collaboration between Shawn Collins, Sam Harrelson, Lisa Picarille and Jim Kukral, I’d classify it as a industry banter session. I can identify with Lisa’s sentiment that it seems unstructured at times, but I think it’s part of the fun, especially as the show hosts go off on each other.
There was some drama recently as Shawn and Sam had a spat with Jim, but all seems well now, and we should have the 4 musketeers back in the seat. The show is recorded every Tues and Sam usually has the podcast up within 24 hours.
Be sure to check out the “Sorry, Jangro” drinking game that accompanies the podcast.