A 21 day plan for creating your own Internet radio or TV show

Image via Wikipedia Wake up everybody. The age of plentiful bandwidth is here. This means a streaming radio show can sound like the host is sitting right next to you. Last summer I blogged about my learning from producing a couple of online radio shows.  I created this post as a follow roadmap to help you create your own show. My guess is that this is a new venture so I am a big advocate of testing new media programs in no-cost or low cost ways to prove the concept before “going big”. So how can we get from idea to fresh online radio show in an agile way? Here is my road map I used twice last summer and am currently employing as I produce a new show here at Novell. Strategy: Write a short creative brief – This should be no more than 3 pages. Remember that the show is the product not the document. Sell the idea to the most important stakeholders – You need buy-in but don’t try to sell everyone. The first show (ie “the pilot”) will be your best tool for convincing people to do more. Find an executive sponsor – This person can advise the team and protect the idea from the corporate T-cell types that challenge anything new or different. Your sponsor could also be a possibly be one of your first guests. Operational details Decide on a format – Will it be a panel? Will it be a one-on-one interview? Or a combination? Pick dates for your first three shows – Without a first show date, all you have is an idea. This creates a sense of urgency and catalyzes the team. Decide on frequency – My bias is towards weekly. Unless you have enough content, more than once a week is tough. On the other hand, less than once a week doesn’t give you the chance to develop a rhythm. Identify potential guests for your first three shows – The first shows won’t be perfect so you don’t need to call in all your markers to get  superstar guests. Save that for when you have worked out the kinks. Get all your technology straightened out. You don’t need much equipment these days to do radio but you do need someone who can plug it in and make sure it works seamlessly. TV/video has even more moving parts so plan accordingly. Figure out the streaming/hosting – Where will the show reside? There are a number of Internet radio stations to consider. You can also buy some bandwidth from a CDN and stay independent. Content Find a strong host – I...

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23 social media things for your next software marketing announcement

In no particular order: Blog it Tweet it Digg it Stumble it Post in  LinkedIn groups Add to email signature Tweet it again later today Post to Facebook group(s)/fan page(s) Update your LinkedIn status Share in customer forums Reddit Create a one minute podcast for iTunes Record a one minute Webcam video for YouTube Upload your PPT to Slideshare Create a Friendfeed Get your blog listed on Technorati Tweet it tomorrow Update/create your Wikipedia page Post to vertical communities like Toolbox.com Ask friends to retweet Ask friends to “like” on Facebook Beg your favorite bloggers to mention Post picture from announcement party to Flickr I’m sure I missed some.  Any other...

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Is social media doomed?

As I blog about new media, I am often struck by the irony of my social media “lifestyle”.  Many of my new “friends” have drunk the web 2.0 Kool-aid and spend most of their time on social media talking about social media.  From my conversations with them, you would think that these new media like Twitter and Facebook will change every aspect of our lives (heck, even Oprah is on Twitter now).  While I remain bullish about the potential of these channels, I have a bunch of concerns about long term adoption by pragmatists and laggards particularly in the B2B world.  Here is my logic: Advertising based business models are weak: Regular readers of the ‘slice know about the poor response rates of Facebook ads.  Without a strong ROI from this advertising, companies will eventually steer clear of this medium or prices will be driven down to a level reflecting its effectiveness. Where are the doctors, lawyers and other “regular” business people? I can see them wanting a presence in the social media world but until these media can improve service delivery, increase sales or cut costs, it will be a nice to have experiment for some guy in marketing. Customer conversations are great: Engaging them online is valuable but it is challenging to measure the impact.  We’ll see in the long run if customer satisfaction or retention rates improve from these online interactions. Someone’s gonna pay: In many cases, however, we just don’t know who that will be.  I love what people like TipJoy are doing in the micropayments space but we still don’t have strong revenue models for many of these sites. Call me old fashioned: One of the things that helped Web 1.0 explode was when business people realized they could sell more stuff by having an ecommerce site.  I’m still waiting to hear more of these B2B stories from the social media world. So what does this mean? We need to keep innovating and testing.  There is a great deal of option value in being a part of the conversations.  They are happening out there whether you like it or not.  Also,  I know this isn’t a very web 2.0 idea but repurposing and syndicating your content through these channels can have a positive impact on your search engine marketing and help you reach prospective customers. Just be don’t be an idiot, be relevant, and add value to the...

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Am I a social media laggard?

I frequently get a variant of this question from many of my B2B marketing colleagues and I usually answer it with a big, fat “it depends”.  Are your customers using social media?  Are important conversations happening online without you (that you should be a part of)? To be honest, I felt that way about two years ago when I was CMO of a fast growing software company.  It seemed like these new social media channels sprung up over night and everyone (except me) was an expert. Without knowing your particular B2B market, I am going to go out on a limb and take the bold position that there is still time to become an “expert” in social media and use it effectively to grow your business.  I know, I know, that is a broad generalization but don’t take my word for it.  Ask some of your customers what they are doing.  Search for your company’s name in Google blog search. Do a few Twitter searches. Check out Twellow to see if any of your competitors are on Twitter. My experience is that most of the action in the social media world is in the B2C realm.  That is not to say that the “enterprise” types are ignoring these new media, but they are no where near a point of oversaturation. Opportunities exist in many markets to become a thought leader.  It is up to you whether it is worth the investment in time and money to make it happen. I’ll give you three simple things to do dip your toes in the social media pool. Sign up for a handful of LinkedIn groups.  There are many of them.  Follow the conversations and drop in an occasional comment. Find three blogs in your space and start reading them. Check out what your competitors are doing with social media (ie blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Slideshare, etc) You will notice I didn’t say “go sign up for Twitter” or “start a blog”.  You need to figure out if these media make sense relative to your business goals and competitive environment. In the end, social media is just media.  You need to align them with your objectives and ruthlessly test them.   Only you can answer the question about how they fit and if you are a...

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Getting started with B2B social media

I spend so much time these days talking about social media that I sometimes forget that these are relatively new channels. The most common question I get these days is “how do I get started”?  Facebook? Twitter? Blogging?  I know it’s a cop out but the answer is a big “it depends”.  Without exactly answering the question, here are a few things to consider when thinking about a social media program for a business that primarily serves other businesses (is B2B). Your goals: What do you hope to achieve?  Is it about awareness building?  Maintaining relationships with existing customers?  Being a part of the general conversations about your brand?  Selling more product? Your audience: Are they using social media? How frequently?  How big is your audience? Level of engagement with your brand: How important is your product or service to your customers?  How interested are they in interacting with other customers? Where they congregate online today: Which sites?  What level of technology adoption/comfort? Internal drivers: Who will represent your company?  Who is using social media today? What is the commitment level from management/the organization? Content: Who will seed the conversations?  Do you have content to share/syndicate? Regulatory: Are there any compliance or regulatory issues to consider? Do you have an approval processes? Resources: How much budget?  How many people will be involved? Measurement: How will you know if you are successful? What are your KPIs? Like the game of poker, social media takes minutes to learn and a lifetime to master.  There are many options and strategies.  As I have advocated in the past, the best way to identify the right media is test many, kill off the losers and scale up the winners. Good luck and let me know if I missed any other things to...

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