Sunday, October 28, 2007

Podcamp Boston

I'm not a podcaster, though I am an old radio guy. So that gave me an interesting perspective on some of the things I heard at Podcamp Boston this weekend.

Regardless, John Federico gave a good talk toward the end of day 1 on podcast measurement in which he basically calls for some standardization to help the industry earn some credibility. Essentially what he's asking for is a way to anonymously track listenership, including playback data. That is, how much of a given podcast did someone hear?

He's asking for something that the broadcast industry has been dying to have for as long as there has been measurement. Though, he rightfully pointed out that new media, such as podcasts, have a tougher hill to climb, since they are unproven. TV, for example, can exist with woefully inadequate measurement because it's always been done that way and the advertising industry has learned to accept it.

Isabel Hilborn over at MarketHum did a pair of very good sessions, probably the best that I attended. The first focused on defining social media and contained an excellent case study on how her company created a group blog for one of their clients. Without going into to much detail, MarketHum essentially took the custom publishing model and applied it to blogging, resulting in some great SEO value as well as marketing value. They did this by taking bloggers who were already writing on a given topic and then hiring them to write on a topic blog, while also giving them complete editorial freedom.

Isabel's second session looked at marketing mistakes and how Web 2.0 tools enhance those mistakes. For example, how companies with lousy customer service are often called on that by bloggers who point it out. But what made the discussion interesting was the fact that the crowed became very interested in picking some of these apart and discussing where these were true mistakes or just perceived mistakes because the voices of the offended were so loud.

In any case, a good event and one worth attending. I got to meet some interesting people and hear some interesting thoughts.

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