Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Chef Mark mentioned in MarketWatch article

I was mentioned in an article by Frank Bamako about the upcoming PodcampNYC "unconference", which will bring together podcasters from all around the country to The New School on April 6-7th. The article was rather unflattering about podcast metrics and growth rates, but considering that the methodology used to measure is the old Nielson journal based measurement, it can't possibly represent actual users, and besides, the value to the real listeners and their degree of interaction with podcasts is immeasurably greater than that of "old media". Here's the part where he mentions me:

Niches fill PodCamp schedule

An even 100 workshops are scheduled for the upcoming PodCamp podcasters' conference in New York in about three weeks. "We are very sorry (yet excited) to announce that we cannot accommodate any more sessions at this time," organizers said.

There are lots of sessions on learning the basics, promoting podcasts, finding sponsors, and improving production techniques. Two of the workshops really caught my eye, though, because they show the narrow niches podcasts can address to generate an audience.

Eric and Cat Susch have produced a dozen video podcasts, "LetsKnit2Gether." The shows are simple. Cat sits in a chair and shows techniques for knitting, projects she's completed, or takes viewers on a tour of knitters' shows. There are production elements like dissolves and graphics, and the segments do not look like home movies. They look good. Eric, Cat's husband, has been a video and film producer for more than 20 years. Cat is authoritative and clearly knows her craft. She also works in media and calls herself a "passionate" knitter. In the past six months, they have produced a dozen five- to eight-minute shows. They say the episodes have an audience of 3,500 viewers, and is growing 50% a month.

The other workshop that interests me is Mark Tafoya's, although in his submission for a session he was all over the map with ideas. But it's his niche that grabbed me. He's organized the Culinary Podcast Network, all-food podcasts all the time. Chefs and self-styled gourmands from coast to coast are producing shows about food, wine, cooking, restaurants, travel, and even nutrition. Several of the podcasters, like Tafoya, are chefs. The shows are excellent promotions for their skills. All the episodes I downloaded were audio, but give it time. Video will come. So will advertising. Tafoya's show is part of the roster on Adam Curry's Podshow Network, and so his episodes are carrying the network's promotions for GoDaddy services.

Yes indeed, more video will come. And let's not forget that we have counted Chef Ming Tsai as a member of CPN for awhile, and his show is a video podcast (he's been on hiatus for a few months and will have new episodes out soon).

It's funny that he mentions that my submission was "all over the map", as I think he's clearly dropping context. He was citing from a wiki on the site which listed the preliminary ideas for the session I will lead, and which I submitted more than a month ago, which listed all the areas I could possibly speak on. In the spirit of an "unconference", I was soliciting input from the community on what they'd prefer to hear me speak about, not simply choosing to speak on something that would just promote myself.

In any case, please do try to attend PodcampNYC if you have even a passing interest in the developments happening in the podcasting field. It promises to be an exciting weekend.

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