Over the years I've called for changes to podcasting and have even helped make some of those changes a reality. Most recently -- within the last year or so -- I’ve been focused on ideas to make podcasting better, not just easier. I’ve called this by a variety of names, but am settling on the Advancing Podcasting Party as our official name.
Why am I choosing a name with overt political connotations? That’s on purpose. First, we American’s are in the throes of an election cycle once again (Honestly, though, are we ever not in an election cycle?) And the same holds true for many of the other countries around the globe with the highest podcast penetration. Second, I think this fight for change is, at least at some level, polarizing. Those of us in the Advancing Podcasting Party (you down with APP?) want to make see podcasting made better, not just easier. On the other side are those in what I call the Conventional Podcasting Party, a collective term for those who think podcasting is perfect the way it is right now. (Or perhaps more accurately stated, they feel it was made perfect sometime in 2005).
Chances are you've heard me talk about the ideas around the Advancing Podcasting Party, I’ve covered it more than once on this program, plenty of blog posts, even on stage at PodFest Orlando, on interviews, etc.
But now I actually want to do something about it.
And that means I need to start recruiting people with skills I do not possess. Already there are few friendly ears and brains on the project, all fellow podcasters who’ve been around the block. We're collectively defining the main tenets of the APP, which are as follows:
- We believe that technology should make podcasting better, not just easier.
- We believe that new models are required to bring the 78% of non- and infrequent listeners into the fold.
- We believe in and respect the inherent choices made by podcast listeners, podcast creators, and podcast enablers.
Those are great in print, but we need to put them into action. So I'm asking for help. Help in defining where and how those principles should be applied in the current podcasting world (I have a short-list of places to start). And then help putting those changes into action.
The skills I bring to bear on this are around connecting, communicating, collaborating, and the all-important job of securing funds as necessary.
But I’m no developer, regardless of what my degree says. The last time I did any meaningful development, the blink tag hadn't been deprecated. I’m also not a designer, and I rely on Canva for all things. Actually, I’m a better developer than I am a designer, and I suck as a developer.
And as much as the Advancing Podcasting Party needs quality developers and designers, we can’t just take any developer and designer. Anyone working on this project/movement must be first and foremost deeply interested in podcasting and the tenets of the Advancing Podcasting Party. Getting top-level dev/design talent isn’t hard. Finding people with those skillsets who deeply care about podcasting? That’s harder. And is why I’m asking for your help.
Before you get the wrong idea, let me quell a few rumblings I can already hear in the back:
- I am NOT trying to build a new podcast hosting company. We podcasters are blessed plenty of great podcast hosting companies out there. I'm not trying to rebuild any of that. Nor am I trying to build an app, directory, or yet another service to solve the “discoverability” problem.
- I am NOT trying to build a unicorn startup that disrupts podcasting as we know it. Podcasting works. I just want to plug a few holes to help make podcasting as we know it better than it is currently.
My current vision (such that it is) is to develop a series of lightweight tools that plugin nicely with what we already have today. To start, these lightweight tools will be of use to the most valuable audience: the working podcaster. Because if we can make a series that almost any podcaster can use regardless of their chosen hosting company, website platform, show format, or business model (if they have one at all), those tools will make their podcast better, which means it’s better at serving their audience.
I don’t underestimate the scale of this problem. But I do know that we can tackle pieces of it in an efficient and meaningful way. If, that is, the right people get involved.
If you’ve read this far and feel that you are deeply interested in podcasting and have a set of skills you can bring to bear for the Advancing Podcasting Party, let's talk.
I’m marking today, June 13th 2009, as the official beginning of the Advancing Podcasting Party.
Get in touch with me: firstname.lastname@example.org and say, “Hey, Evo! I want to join the Advancing Podcasting Party, and here’s how I can help!”. Or you can tweet that to me @evoterra on Twitter. Tell me who you are, what you can do, and what you bring to the table. We'll find a way to collaborate and get together and make something happen.
And if that’s not you but you know someone who’d be awesome on this and is a hardcore podcaster, send them a link to this post and ask them to get in touch with me.
I’d love nothing more than to come back on Monday and report on the great progress we have made over the weekend. Oh, I'm excited! Hooray for the Advancing Podcasting Party!
I'll be back on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications.