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Podcast Secrets 2009 Reunion Details

Updated: Information about the reunion plus the schedule is at the Podcast Secrets Fan Page at Facebook.

It’s official, the Podcast Secrets 2009 Reunion will be held in Vegas on 10/14/2009 – the day before the Blogworld and New Media Expo. Lots of fun, lots of new content, a special guest or two, and a 1000+ square foot are all just part of the scheduled fun. Members of the NMIC get in for free (yes, that’s new this year!), Podcast Secrets Alumni get in at a greatly reduced rate, but others can attend as well. More details coming – I just wanted you to save the date.

Will I see you there?

The “New Media Expos” Merge – And My Thoughts On The Merger

Update: Finally spoke with Rick (my delay, not his). Results are here.

Update: Rick from BlogWorld called to “answer the questions” and we’ll be chatting soon. I expect nothing but great things to come from this conversation.

You may or may not have heard by now but Tim Bourquin’s New Media Expo and Blog World & New Media Expo have merged.

I am concerned. Previous to finding out about the merger, I had shared my feelings about the event with the leadership at BlogWorld Expo (before merger news broke) and they have told me they “hear” me. We’ll see, and I promise to report accordingly. In all honestly, they seem like a nice group of people but performance has been a serious issue in the past.

A decent Google search will tell you of Blog World Expo’s past public problems. From numerous missing speakers to payments (claimed) not made, these guys have a very serious public relations problem to deal with. My personal dealings with them have been the source of frustration for both past events to the point of where I simply had no desire to attend. Great people were there and some business was done but, … I just don’t have the stomach for these thing.

From a pure execution standpoint, take a look at last year’s schedule for the Podcasting track (obviously, I don’t think this link will remain up long), there were more empty slots than filled ones. I can’t guess how that happened.

And this YouTube Video demonstrates some of the problems the site is having … (click through to the Blog World Expo video if you don’t see the video embedded).

Now, I use the word concern – but I want to make things very clear.

A) I will be at next year’s event and recommend that you attend as well. It is the only event now and not only do I have no choice but this is a “if you can’t beat them, join them” kinda thing. This is now the event to attend, regardless of execution. The New Media makers (text, audio, video, etc.) need to meet face to face on a regular basis.

B) I understand execution problems and I’m sure someone some day will make a video of my Blog’s failings (there are plenty). I just thought the issues in the video were humorous. And when someone does such a video, make sure you include the Web Address in the YouTube Video Page so I too can enjoy the Web traffic that it will bring.

C) I would LOVE to fill this Blog with stories of how the event is getting better and what they’re doing differently this year. I’ll be in contact with all involved and hope to do just that.

D) Vegas in October is at least somewhat cooler than Vegas in August.

See you in Vegas everyone …

Devaluing Content Is A Bad Move Right Now

First of all, I have to start off by saying this is a killer deal. Anyone wearing a thinking cap will know that some of the sessions are worth more than others but the little “Vault Sale” over at Podcast Academy is a good deal (for you).

No, this isn’t an affiliate link

Now for TNC New Media and Gigavox, let’s talk strategy.

152 sessions (let’s say they’re an hour each) for $99.95 means each session is less than 66 cents a track.

Personally, my three (which I guess are all in the pack) are my finest three hours of content (not available in Podcast Secrets) and I’m a little biffed that they’re cheaper than an Americano at Starbucks but … that’s Tim’s choice.

But, bigger picture.

Some folk in our space are panicking.

Bad move.

We are in more control of our content than we’ve ever been.

“Big Media” is falling apart even quicker in the midst of this corporate chaos.

Keep the faith, own your stuff, don’t devalue what your doing and keep producing content of value.

I know the argument will be “hey, $99 ain’t chump changed and if Tim can get it, more power to him.

I’d agree but, … packaging it as a higher level product (I’d bet good money) marketed correctly would resulted in a bigger net, albeit with less sales.

But then I could at least say my content costs more than an a cup of coffee.

I realized something today that really hit my fancy. It’s kinda on topic – kinda not. Cornelius Fitchner is currently selling his PMPrepcast Product for $49.99 a pop. That’s a FORTY-NINE-THOUSAND-DOLLAR effective CPM.

What’s the CPM on this one?

Should this kinda thing be our goal?

Is “how cheap can we sell this?” really a good idea?

If you want the content, grab it, before Tim wises up.

At least, let’s hope he does.

Thoughts …?

New Media Expo 2008 Deconstructed Part 3 – The Decision

The Decision

This Blog post is a work in progress, my thoughts and thinking so far. I actually changed my mind about a lot of things after dinner the last night of New Media Expo – and figure I’ll do it many times over the next couple of months. I wouldn’t suggest this is the “definitive” piece on the subject, but something to continue the conversation. I covet your comments below.

If you haven’t already yet, please read part 1 and part 2 before reading this onel.

So, in short, New Media Expo was great for those attended and made the most of it. However, sadly, not enough people attended and not enough people made the most of it.

This should be filed away as obvious, but if next year ends up like 2008 … the show is dead.

So, a decision needs to be made.

Is this a show about media?

Is this a show about the technology of media?

It can’t be a show about both.

It tried for 4 years to be a show about both.

It’s never worked the way we’d hoped it would.

That has to change.

Mom once told me, “try to be everything to everyone and you’re nothing to nobody.”

Mom was right.

Formula for a Media Show

The numbers for Podcasting continue to rise. Not only are downloads going up but the list of media entities with some kind of Podcast offering continue to go up as well. This is going nowhere but up.

The ‘stars’ in this space continue to be more and more recognized. To make things even more fascinating, we are starting to see some cross-over elements (Felicia Day, Ninja, Grammar Girl, etc.). You’ll be seeing a lot more of this as well.

Now, if every media player was there, you know who would show up: “Traditional Media” Players, Press, Technology Companies, Media Buyers, Investors, etc. – basically everyone you want at a show like this. In a year or two of that, companies will start “launching” their Podcasts at this event because the press will be there to cover it.

At that point, the show has reached the tipping point – and Tim retires a very rich man.

You want a media show and the superstars need to be there. All of them. How do you get the superstars there? You need a SXSW kinda event. It ain’t gonna be cheap or easy.

All of Podcasting needs to come together to pull this off – the stars of every major player need to attend and their companies need to pay to make it happen. We’re talking 10x the budget for everyone.

I would suggest you’ll be looking at 100x the payout if we spend it.

Now, you bring everyone together like this and the sessions also have to change, the look and feel for the event needs to change. Actually the SXSW model is probably the one to model the closest. Comicon is the show to emulate after that. In short, anything that you might hear at a Podcamp needs to go away.

And your buyers/vendors are very different at a media show.

Is this where we want to go?

And, of course, should we be a “media” show or a “Podcast media” show?

Finally, this isn’t an issue of what Tim needs to do with the show, this has to do with Tim producing the kinda of show that makes this approach possible. If you think the bickering re Vegas being “more expensive” was loud – to pull this off, you need massive budget commitments.

Formula for a Technology Show

If the superstars in this space are too expensive/complicated to bring into the game, the option is to become, simply, a massive technology show. Forget the star power and go for the numbers. There is money in numbers – if the numbers are high enough.

There are a ton of companies who want a piece of the Podcasting (and New Media) “pie.” You bring them enough cool people and they’ll pay through the nose to get to those people. But, those people who need to come are not measured in thousands, but tens of thousands. You pull that off and you’ll see project launches at the show, you’ll see buyers at the show, you’ll see what you want at the show.

Of course, there is some serious competition in this space. Serious competition in this space. Did I mention serious content in this space. Does NME want to compete with NAB, etc.?

And, of course, a technology show attracts a very different audience than a media show will.

And technology is, no matter what we like to think, a commodity.

Do we want to be in the commodity business?

Decision Time

So, it’s decision time.

I ask the following questions and covet your comments:

Which show would you rather attend and why?

Which show do you think we should be next year and why?

What does Tim do next?

New Media Expo 2008 Deconstructed Part 2

Read this first post about “The Good” of New Media Expo 2008. I’ll follow this with “The Decision” in a few days.

Part 2 – The Bad

Funny enough, NME08’s definitive moment for me was a conversation with a “consultant” to Hollywood who had nothing about complaints about the event yet couldn’t spend the three hundred bucks to attend the sessions with meat. I realized during the conversation that he, and everyone else in this space, really only have three options:

  • Get in now, early, and get the perpetual early bird worm that we’re all looking for.
  • Wait for the bleeding edge types to take the first round of arrows in their backs.
  • Complain, whine, moan that things aren’t perfect yet.

Options #1 and #2 are valid. Option #3 results in little less than my wanting to scream.

In short, Tim Bourquin threw a first-class show (like always) that my business will benefit from (like always). But, things with the show weren’t perfect and we need to deconstruct them here to make next year’s event even better – if there is next year’s event.

Tim Bourquin posted this one – “5 Reasons Why I’m Thinking About Quitting The Tradeshow Business” and, well, I can’t find fault in his thinking. He is up against a lot.

Michael Geoghegan (the Jimmy Stewart of Podcasting) writes of the lack of exhibitor growth over the last few years. He’s right. His “fix” we’ll examine in the final part of this series but, he is right, the exhibitors didn’t show up. Tim explained why in his piece – is this Tim’s problem, the vendor’s problem, or the problem of the tradeshow space?

Several speakers didn’t show up or canceled at the very last minute. It amazes me how anyone in a space still fighting for legitimacy didn’t (even attempt to) “make up for that” with the level of class Tim invited them to the show. Craziness happens, but … you can do better.

Several speakers gave the same exact speech as the year (or years before). If our message is we’re growing in some exciting ways – the least you can do is offer a new story. Yes, such a tiny percentage have heard the story so far that “it’s new to most of you” but for those old timers who did show up – we’d love some new content. Being at the front of a revolution is worth a new slide deck now and then.

Tim is right, doing an event is just more complicated than it needs to be any more. We saw that reflected in companies who arrive with half the impact they did in previous years and, gosh darn it, we saw that reflected in the companies who didn’t arrive this year.

But truly frustrating to me we some of the “pioneers” in this space unwilling to cut through all this mess and actually do something. Those who showed up figured out how to play the game (I’m mean come on, Leo Laporte broadcasting live – how much did that cost Stickam?) and for that I say thanks. For those who didn’t show up I’d like to suggest that there is a thin line between strategy and laziness. Sometimes, in short, doing the right thing takes a little effort.

I heard a lot of chat about the “problem” with this event was that it tried so hard not to be the very thing it was, The Podcast Expo 2008. Funny thing is, before I got on the plane I would have disagreed strongly – but now that it’s all over, I’m beginning to agree. More on that in the next piece.

So, in short, Tim is right, it was harder to pull this thing off than it should have been but … I think maybe a few of us could have tried harder.

This little media revolution is worth it. In those options listed above, I wonder how many have picked option #3 while telling themselves over an over again that they’re embraced #1 or #2. And whereas Vegas (or any other convention town) is a pain in the butt, we have ourselves as much to blame as anyone or anything else.

Sometimes revolutions aren’t easy. Actually, I think that’s textbook definition.


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New Media Expo 2008 Deconstructed Part 1

Part 1 – The Good

I write this in the United Club at LAX on the way home to see my girls. I’m sure I won’t cover everything in this posting but I wanted to, at least, start the process of getting this out. It’s always a privilege to Blog because it lets me work out the thoughts and concepts swirling all around this giant head of mine.

As promised, my slides from my presentation are up. The audio is not for public consumption yet, but I’ll let you know when that is ready as well.

Today I want to talk of the great stuff that happened at New Media Expo 2008. My next post, I’ll chat the “bad” and we’ll end with a “what’s next” examination – at least from the cyberpen of this observer. It is always easier to tell everyone else what they need to than it is to figure these things out for yourself. Please subscribe to this Blog if you haven’t already, to get the rest.

The Tech. Who else noticed the ironic pairing of Gary Vaynerchuck’s encouragement to stop branding other video players with the new Wizzard video player offering? Am I the only one that saw the power of grouping shows together in Susan Bratton’s new widget? Will the TubeMogul integration with Libsyn help my constant theme of “publish your content via whatever channel will take it?” Whereas past tech launches of previous events were very exciting tech enhancements (I still wonder where we would be without Gigavox’s Levelator), what we saw this round were tools to make the makers more powerful players in this space. How could I not applaud?

The People. I usually start my presentations with a bit of an apologetic encouragement that it’s o.k. to see make money and make a business out of your Podcast. As I did the same this year, I could see in the eyes of the audience that they no longer needed this element. They were ready to take action re their own destinies. We have matured. Yes, there numbers were down but the quality was considerably up and … did anyone really think we’d see the (same) entire audience at the Ron Moore speech a few years back at Expo #4? It has very little to do with the Vegas location as much as it has to do with the people willing to give this the time and money this deserves. Forget the Podfaders and smile at those who remain.

Those who remain are doing some amazing things and encouraging a new generation to take us to the next level. I met so many people aware of what is in front of us with a strong willingness to do something about it (past waiting for Adam Curry to send them a paycheck for 20 downloads). It was the buzz of potential that was intoxicating – it wasn’t Vegas.

Microsoft, Sony, Panasonic. Not only are ‘we’ starting to take this seriously, but ‘they’ are as well.

Star Power. To have Leo Laporte in the back broadcasting live was a blast and a half. To have an event where (and yes, I will leave some off this list – for that I am sorry) Veronica Bellmont, Kent Nichols, Felicia Day, Gary Vaynerchuck, Zadi Diaz, Geoff Smith, Jonathan Coulton not only show up – but make themselves accessible – is just a kick in the pants. Always fun.

The Concert. The Coverville 500 was great to see and participate in. Watching talent like Dr. Floyd, JoCo, and Dan Klass live was as enjoyable as any “big name set.” Yet to feel like you could not only grab a CD but actually talk shop with all of them was what made this so different.

Yes, “numbers were down” but this year was marked by quality, not quantity. This reality was overshadowed by the very quantity, not quality groove that is Vegas – but those taking note, noticed.

My business will be better as a result of this event.

I have more tools and connections than ever as a result of NME08.

I’m more sure than ever that this industry is right for me – no matter what we call it.

I count many of you not just as business partners – but friends.

So much good to report from New Media Expo 2008.

Your thoughts?

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From Maker To Merchant – A Sneak Preview Of My New Media Expo Presentation

This Friday at 2pm, I hit the stage at the New Media Expo. Not only am I up against the wonders of Vegas but Rob Walch, Mark Alyn, Andrew Lock, John Havens and Shel Holtz have their presentations at the same time. Wow …

My goal for this posting is simple. Let me help you answer the question – “should I attend Paul’s presentation, or Rob’s/Mark’s/Andrew’s/John’sorShel’s presentation?

The “official” description for mine is as follows:

There is real money to be made in new media. Martyrs and mavens from the bleeding edge have paved paths worth deep examination for anyone looking to pay bills (and more) with their content. Join Paul Colligan in this session as he completes the third part of his three-year series on the very real business of podcasting and new media profits. Learn exactly how to build on the successful models others have already designed. Discover a simple 27-day plan for content monetization that can be followed by anyone with valuable content and a willingness to learn. Leave the session with an outline for what comes next for you! Paul is well-known for his time-tested approach to content monetization. If you want to leave the expo with a plan for making money with your media, don’t miss this exciting session!

7 reasons to attend:

  • Monetization of your content is your most important issue right now.
  • You desire to understand the business issues of New Media.
  • You want to examine the models of those who are financially successful in our “space.”
  • The concept of a 27-day plan intrigues you.
  • You have valuable content – or want to learn how to create it.
  • You know the right information can help you break through.
  • You are READY to move from Maker to Merchant (don’t worry, you can keep Making too).

7 reasons to attend another session:

  • Monetization doesn’t matter to you.
  • You’d rather get “Making” help than any other kind right now.
  • The idea of a 27-day plan terrifies you (it does some – you’d be surprised).
  • This “isn’t about” valuable content for you.
  • You have all the information you already need.
  • You don’t ever want to see revenue from your New Media projects.
  • The topic of any of the other presenters seems more important to you right now.

The trick now is to condense my 157 slides into a 60 minute presentation. Glad Vegas has lots of Starbucks.

I hope to see the people in my session who need my session. Will you be one of them?

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8 Tips For New Media Expo 2008

Update: Per request, I’ll be Twittering some highlights and events as they happen from the Expo. If you want to get updated accordingly, follow me on Twitter.

We are but a few short days away from New Media Expo 2008. I offer my 8 top tips here but would love you’re additional tips in the comments section.

1. Buy the Full Conference Pass but then be willing to miss anything. Remember that everyone who buys the pass gets all of the recordings within a week. The valuable education part of this you can experience by time shift. Attend the ones that make sense attending live (either for the speaker or the audience that might be in attendance), but be willing to miss the ones that don’t make sense for you during your short Vegas stay.

The real important feature of the pass is that it will separate you from the thousands on the floor. If you want a real discussion with a speaker, a power user, a large vendor, a “rock star” (see below), etc., the Conference track will get you the access you want.

2. Keep well hydrated. Vegas food is, well, Vegas food. Conference food is, well, conference food. Hotel food is, well, you get the idea. I won’t even go into the adult beverages that one might take in during the course of this trip. The key is to keep well hydrated.

Big tip – most hotel exercise rooms have a cold filtered water source.

3. Practice your USP. Your USP is your “unique selling proposition.” It is what separates you from all the rest. Know yours – and be able to give yours in 8 seconds or less. A “I do a really cool show about everything” is not a unique selling proposition. Let me give you a few USPs to model from:

I help people leverage New Media to get their message out to more people with less effort and for greater profits.

We enable Podcast personalization, secure delivery, tracking and the sales of RSS delivered media. Everyone doesn’t have to get the same Podcast.

TubeMogul is a free service that provides a single point for deploying uploads to the top video sharing sites, and powerful analytics on who, what, and how videos are being viewed.

Wizzard Media Advertising is about bringing together great brands with the best shows in podcasting. The combination of top media creators and Wizzards content verification software makes it safe and easy for advertisers to match their message with appropriate content.

Podcasting Kit for Sharepoint is an accelerator for social media, using Podcasting, and social networks to deliver the next generation knowledge management experience to Microsoft customers.

Yes, the first one was my own personal USP and the second one was the USP for You can guess the source of the others.

Post your USP below!

4. The first morning, make a quick loop around the floor before you do anything else. In short, you want to get a “big picture” of the event before you decide on your strategy for taking things on. You can tell a lot about a company by what their booth looks like, who is staffing it, what they’re giving away, etc. Once you’ve made your loop, sit down for a few minutes, drink some water, and plan your attack.

5. Realize the best moments for you aren’t on the schedule. This one is extremely important. The connections you make in the hallway, with a passer by, during a session, while talking at a booth, etc. – these are the ones that count. Look out for these opportunities and embrace them. Point #1 above is, honestly, all about buying access to a better chance at such opportunities.

6. If you want to approach a New Media “Rock Star” … do so intelligently. The “Rock Stars” in our space are very cool people and very approachable. They are attending this event because they want to meet their audience, etc.

However, there are times and moments when they will be surrounded by fans. There will be times when they really want nothing more than to escape to the bathroom or visit the speaker lounge. You can tell a lot by looking into their eyes and seeing if they look like now is a “good time.” Use a little common sense in approaching them and you’ll meet those that you want to meet.

7. Vegas doesn’t sleep – you must. This one should be pretty obvious, but we all need a reminder now and then. If you want those moments I’m describing above, you’ll need more than a catnap between the poker game the Profitable Podcasters Meetup.

8. Keep up with the New Media Expo Events Wiki. This little site is the default page for “everything else” going on at the event. It’s kinda silly there is no RSS feature but you can get updated by email and would do well bookmarking this page and checking on a semi-regular basis.

Those are my top 8 tips – post yours below!

Podcast Secrets Reunion – A Physical Meetup For A Virtual Class?

On the Wednesday right before the New Media Expo, we’re hosting our 2nd annual Podcast Secrets Reunion.

A physical reunion for a virtual event? You bet … and let me explain why (and what you might learn from the concept regardless of what you think of the class (or Expo).

The virtual, the timeshift, the online – it’s all good – and it lets us do some very powerful things but sometimes … you need the face to face.

Sometimes you need to shake a hand, or heck even hug someone to help put it all together.

So we get together with past students who want to put it all together and then head into the New Media Expo as friends, with a partner, with a little bit of preparation, etc. It’s a good idea on many levels. Truth be told, my favorite part of the reunion was when we taught the students how to handle the Expo, who to listen to, who to steer away from etc. I can’t help but laugh at the memory of one reunion attendee who went to a party the first night and said “Paul, did you know that Adam Curry, th old MTV VJ was into Podcasting too?” Good times …

And of course, to add to this seemingly doublespeak piece (physical reunion for virtual class), I have to point out that we’ve got a few attending the reunion who weren’t actually Podcast Secrets students. It’s an offer we make because some need the physical first before the virtual. We even have a an option (although limited at 9) to buy next year’s class at this year’s rate so you can get in to the reunion at the alumni rate.

Truth be told, only a small percentage of the students will attend – but this realization (and reminder) that there is a real, physical element to all of this is good for everyone involved.

Oh and yeah, the content, … we’ll be covering some great things this round that help fill out the picture of what is so very possible in this very exciting New Media space.

Would love to see as many of you as possible at the Reunion. But with the numbers this Blog has, I’m thrilled that so many of you can learn about a concept so rich in possibility.

FWIW, the 50 person limit on the event is not artificial. It is all the room holds and lets us make sure our events is as intimate as we want it to be. Vegas is a big town with a lot of people – our get together will be the exact opposite. I recommend you do the same if you ever do something like this yourself.

New Media Expo Profitable Podcaster Meetup

One of the highlights of the Podcast (Now New Media) Expo for me has always been the Profitable Podcaster Meetup.

Year 1 – we had but one other. Thanks Chris for not making me feel like an idiot.

Year 2 – a couple of dozen. Lobby of the Ontario Marriot.

Year 3 – i’d guess a hundred. We actually got a room at the Ontario Convention center.

Year 4 – we’re kicking up a notch and grabbing breakfast at the famous Vegas Peppermill Restaurant. Don’t worry, just a block from the convention center.

Saturday, August 16, 7am.

Please RSVP with so I know how many to RSVP for.

If you are a member of my New Media Inner Circle, breakfast is on me (but I need you to RSVP).

See you there I hope!