It was almost one year ago exactly that I first found out about podcasting. I was leaving on a family vacation across the country and I was anxious to load up my digital media player with music and some episodes of one of my favorite NPR programs, On the Media. By accident, I discovered the premiere of another podcast entitled This Week in Media. The two shows differ in that On the Media discusses the media business and how events are covered (or not covered) whereas This Week in Media talks more about trends and issues affecting content creators, consumers and enthusiasts. Time is devoted to talking about cameras, recording devices, online content creation, media news, trends, etc.
The point of this is that as I listened to the four man panel discussion in the first episode of This Week in Media last year, my reaction was "These guys are speaking directly to ME!" My mouth was hanging open during the entire hour of the podcast because I couldn’t believe that they could do something so highly targeted that was free from filler, sponsors, breaks, filters or anything. It was just raw unadulterated content about a topic that was completely fascinating to me. And here’s the kicker- if I wanted to follow up DIRECTLY with them, I could (and did).
The application of this technology in the political arena is something that people are just now waking up to. Newspapers are in decline (much to my unending sadness. There are few things more satisfying in life than reading a newspaper), and television is becoming less effective as a campaign tool. If you want to connect with voters, advocates, volunteers or students, you need to adapt these tools. The people who figure this out will emerge ahead. Those that don’t will continue to hemorrhage money doing things the old way.
James Boyce sums it up nicely in this post:
Finally, I saw more numbers from the 2008 Campaigns. The lesson of the
campaign will be a dramatic shift on how people raise money and run
campaigns. Television and newspaper advertising and direct mail will
not be effective in the 2008 campaign like they used to be. The tens of
millions of dollars raised will go, essentially, for naught.
Someone will spend $75 million plus and not sniff the nomination.
It’s Caveat Donor right now, but the major donors don’t see the writing
on the wall yet.
A major city newspaper will fail or fold in the next twelve months.
The price will rise for good content – no matter where it’s from.
The 2008 candidate who invests in talent and new media not television, wins.