For Podcasters, Its Love, Not Money

    October 2, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

At the close of the Podcast and Portable Media Expo, the feeling is that you are among an elite group of Web 2.0 trailblazers. True, they’re all running businesses and promoting their brands, but they still carry with them the now traditional mantra “content is king” like a Coat of Arms.

For Podcasters, It's Love, Not Money
Podcasters Do It For Love, Not Money

The audience, they’re very aware, are not necessarily looking to be sold, they’re looking for a relationship.

Fostering that relationship was the overriding theme of the conference, as was finding a way to monetize it without eroding audience trust.

For this motley crew of podcasters and vidcasters, this is very, very special. Idealism is a gloss over their faces; excitement is a steady electrical current running through their skin and out from their eyes. Anyone, for any reason, can have now have their own show, and have it exactly as they want it.

This is just the second time they’ve gathered together in Ontario, California. The conference organizer Tim Bourquin says it has grown from last year, in attendance and in know-how.

The first year, he says, was as much a sending out into the frontier as it was a place to come and talk about their new passion and what they plan to do with it. This year, Tim says they’ve returned a bit more experienced, discussing what has worked for them and what hasn’t worked for them.

Finding a niche, they’ve all agreed, is the way to go. Burrow down into a topic you’re passionate about, live it, and tell it, and people will come to you. Once you have the people, you can worry then about how to make money from it.

Though promotion, marketing, and advertising, tips, tricks, and tech were all heavily attended sessions, there were a few where the presenters were nearly speaking to echoes in the conference room, beside themselves so few had come to hear what they had to say.

Podcast metrics and talk of investor relations, it seems, were not of particular interest to this crowd – perhaps because it’s hard to find heart in numbers, though they will one day be very necessary.

These podcasters, even the broadcast retirees pursuing a new interest, are just kids with a new toy after all is said and done. Hard math comes later in the school of podcasting. Besides, no one talking numbers at the conference could really agree on anything anyway.

Maybe it’s Leo Laporte‘s fault, when he set the tone for the conference in his keynote, reminding everyone that the numbers are not why he, or any of them, were here.

“My personal goal,” he said, “is to expand my reach in media. I want to promote my true love, which is podcasting.”

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