Here’s a 4 1/2-minute video interview I did with Martina Butler after her appearance on a panel at the Teens in Tech conference in San Francisco this past spring. (Now that my schedule is clear, you’re going to see a truckload of interviews from past weeks.)
Martina has been host of the Emo Girl Talk podcast for the past four years — since she was 14. That’s 183 episodes. What’s most interesting is that this has blossomed from a hobby into a popular young person’s lifestyle podcast with several corporate sponsors — enough to help Martina pay for her college tuition.
On the show she talks about her life, her favorite bands (mostly indie-rock) and TV shows, and she and co-host Peter Jacobsen also offer tips on topics such as how to live a green lifestyle. About half of each show is devoted to answering audio comments from listeners who call and leave a message asking for advice or telling about their day.
Martina is not particularly tech savvy and has some help putting her podcast together, but says that other young people should feel daunted by the technology. It’s not that hard to do, and if you podcast about a topic that you love and that you find interesting, you’ll build an audience. “Even if you don’t get a lot of response right away, don’t give up, keep going,” she says.
A month ago, my friend Effie from SI started asking me about some comments she has been getting on her blogs. She wondered if they were, in fact, spam comments or just ESL comments by folks who wanted to say howdy and thanks but didn’t have much to say.
They look almost human but here are a couple ways to discern: They don’t specifically address the content of your post or write anything that adds value to your post or any preceeding comments. Also, check out the link they drop. Here’s an example of what to look out for:
Most of the time, folks who comment on your site are a lot like you — if they drop an affilliate site link or a commerce site link into the Author info, then it is not a real human, probably either a new generation of auto content generation robotic script, written to sneak past Akismet (on WordPress blogs), or it is a very poorly-paid “meat bot” who is being paid close to nothing to churn through piles of blogs, filling out Captcha forms and dropping in these “hand-written” comments.
Let me know if you have any questions and please keep your eyes out. I will drop more in as I find them. Don’t be fooled! I will make a point of adding as many as I come upon.
This is complete speculation so bear with me. Very recently, Twitter changed its email alert messages from pithy text-only notices of new followers or direct messages to branded, graphical emails.
Well, Twitter has always been in a conundrum: If they monetize the sparse web interface, they’ll alienate their very touchy early adopters and send people away in disgusted droves; however, if they place banners, contextual ads or sponsored links into alert emails, then no harm, no foul.