TWiT Flatlining And On Life Support?

Leo’s words, not mine …

According to his Blog, all the TWiTs decided to play hookey yesterday – resulting in no show. Leo’s out next week, so there will be no show then as well. Leo writes

I’ll decide what happens to TWiT, the show, when I come back, but at this point it looks like it’s on life support and the heart monitor is flatlining.

One of the top downloaded Podcasts in the world is on life support?

Expect Techmeme to light up like a Christmass tree on this one.

Say it ain’t so, Leo.

As you can imagine, the board over at TWiT lit up with comments. But this one, a response from Leo, is telling:

It’s not I who want to take a break. I’m here every week ready to record, edit, and post a show. I gladly put in more time on the show than all the other TWiTs put together, but if the other TWiTs decide not to show there’s not much I can do about it.

The talent ain’t happy. Leo ain’t happy with the talent.

First thought – lets be honest, last time we saw that talent thing happen, things turned out, actually better than before. It is hard to smash a good idea when podcasting eliminates the production barriers.

Second thought – TWiT’s model keeps moving. First donationware, then high level sponsors like Visa and Dell, then Podcasting is our flavor of the week advertisers (a television show about a serial killer???????), then “we might drop the advertising,” etc. I applaud Leo for trying all the options out (hey, the serial killer show was a lame insertion but at least they offered to sponsor the show – what has Apple or Microsoft done?) but I could see the TWiTers wondering “what kind of show are we this week?” There a delicate mix here and maybe, after 73 shows, the eggs have been too scrambled.

Third thought – If I was any participant in this show (Leo or anyone else), I’d be conflicted something fierce. Being heard by hundreds of thousands a week, yet getting nothing for it, is a tough pill to swallow when it is 80 degrees outside and you’ve had a hard week. Nobody likes to do a thankless job. The gazillion or show postings at the TWiT board will help with that one.

Fourth – What would I do? Doesn’t really matter. This is Leo’s show. The implications – an hour hole in the schedules of hundreds of thousands in the TWiT army this week (and next). Keep that hole open for too long and they’ll find something to fill it.

The show is too good to drop. The model needs to be fixed so that the talents stays happy enough to keep it going.

O.k., I do have an idea.  Maybe you go into a “fall break” and continue to collect goodwill from your audience (and the “Save TWiT” sites that are sure to pop up). Leverage that into a rate card (or other advertising model) that will keep the main players thrilled to boot up Skype on a Sunday afternoon. Once you’ve done that, the TWiT is back.

You’ll be missed for the next few weeks Leo. Do come back …

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