Will Paris’ Podcast Have Character?

    April 29, 2005

I’ve heard this already described as a ‘character blog’: Podcasting is hot. But it just got hotter. Paris Hilton invites you to join her on “The Paris Hilton Podcast — Countdown to House of Wax,” beginning on April 29.

The Paris Hilton Podcast — Countdown to House of Wax

Join Paris and friends as she shops, parties, poses and publicizes in the days leading up to the May 6 opening of House of Wax.

I suppose you could argue that it could be a ‘character blog’ in that the site (it’s not a blog) and the podcast center around the actor playing one of the main characters in this horror flick (R rated in the US, but only a 12 in The Netherlands – go figure) that opens in much of Europe towards the end of May.

Yet as the podcast’s protagonist is a real person, ie, Paris (according to the blurb on the site), it can’t be a character. But if the real person is playing the role of the character, maybe it could.

That’s actually a silly and pointless argument. I don’t believe it would be regarded as a ‘character blog’ at all (anyway its the podcast that’s the focus, not the website) as it clearly looks like its the actor and not the character who is the star of the audio show. And everyone will know that.

We’ll find out more about what the podcast’s like when the first MP3 is available sometime today via the RSS feed. (I say the ‘first MP3’ as I imagine this will be the first of others to come. They wouldn’t go to all this effort, and create all that expectation, just for one, surely.)

Whatever it turns out to be, I’m impressed with how Warner Bros is developing this promo vehicle for the film to embrace wide-ranging communication channels. There’s already quite a bit of reporting by mainstream media about the podcast. And lots of buzz in the blogosphere. Adam Curry had a paid commercial on Wednesday’s Daily Source Code (MP3, 15.6Mb), which he says is his first paid ad. He’s hoping to interview Paris tonight (US time) about the podcast.

Pretty good audience targeting, I’d say, especially via the Daily Source Code.

Not only all this, but there’s also the ‘House of Wax Podcatcher,’ a special edition of iPodder, in Windows and Mac flavours:

The House of Wax Podcatcher helps you find, subscribe to and download podcasts onto your portable media player. Using RSS technology, podcasts are audio distributed in the MP3 format and will play back on any portable media player. The House of Wax Podcatcher comes pre-loaded with “The Paris Hilton Podcast.”

Some imaginative integrated marketing and communication going on here. It certainly has character.

Incidentally, stay tuned to Adam Curry’s website in the coming days. He’s about to make some announcements re the Podshow offering that he’s been readying for kickoff. Plus he’s developing a new podcasting application called CastBlaster which has just entered a closed beta testing phase.

So what about ‘character blogs’? Well, in spite of the many posts defending them, I will stick to my guns: I believe character blogs are a waste of everyone’s time. Certainly every one I’ve seen so far is exceedingly lame. So I’ll stick with what I said last week: just because you could doesn’t mean you should (there’s a definition of character blogs in that post).

Neville Hobson is the author of the popular NevilleHobson.com blog which focuses on business communication and technology.

Neville is currentlly the VP of New Marketing at Crayon. Visit Neville Hobson’s blog: NevilleHobson.com.