The Evolution Of Podcasts And Videoblogs?
An interview with his sponsor and a post in which he guided me to a third party videoblog would not seem to have much in common, but together these two recent Scoble posts have got me thinking.
The sponsor's motivation that derives from his interest "in reaching (the younger, more tech hip generation) who will watch Internet video" is entirely logical and yet, isn't this the generation that's notorious for that attention deficit that also afflicted me when I started to watch the second videoblog? I'm sure there was interesting content therein, but the lack of structure and focus infuriated me (as with so many videoblogging and podcast experiences before) and I quit within thirty seconds.
Now, none of this is (nor should be seen as) an attack on any individual involved or any specific videoblog or podcast - this is an evolving medium and people are feeling their way. But I believe a degree of marketing insight might prove helpful. In classical marketing terms, I wonder if there is a confusion as to what the product is here? A lot of emphasis is rightly placed upon the accessibility of videoblogging and podcasts but for me this is very much the P of place (distribution) rather than the P of product, albeit a factor which yields a great potential advantage to the producers of these programmes.
The real product should be seen as the content because it is that which uses up the viewing/listening resource of the time-poor consumer and there is, as many have said, a need for editing here. But, in my mind, that editing should be occurring pre rather than post production. The real difference between web 2.0 interviews and those on radio and TV interview shows is that the former seem like rambling chats or musings while the latter are better structured due to greater pre-production preparation.
The focus moving forward should not be on improving technical quality for reproduction on HDTV screens or wherever, but on improving the content quality (Geek Marketing 101 pt 4: "Think what, not how"). As YouTube shows so strongly, the "folksiness" that comes with technical deficiencies and limitations is an attraction not a problem. It engages. But boring or rambling content disengages - as YouTube also shows us.
Narrowcasting is not an excuse for lesser quality. If you think that way, the significant number of viewers or listeners that you may currently have will quickly experience diminishing returns to their minutes of engagement and your potential untapped audience will remain immune to your messages. The future of videoblogging and podcasting lies in sharply-defined, bite-sized nuggets that are incisive and insightful but avoid the slickness of spin. Discuss?