August 13, 2009

Cali Lewis on what goes into a successful podcast

Cali Lewis of from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

The host of GeekBrief.TV also offers 7 secrets to podcasting success

JD LasicaIf you travel in technology circles, chances are you’ve heard of Cali Lewis, the extraordinarily gifted, personaable and successful Web show pioneer who hosts and co-produces GeekBrief.TV. She’s about to top 50,000 followers on Twitter at @calilewis.

Geek Brief, launched on Dec. 23, 2005, now boasts more than 600 episodes (I’ve watched most of them), done on location or at Cali and her husband Neal Campbell’s studio in Dallas. I don’t know how they keep up the pace, given the show’s high production values. Over the years in my talks on new media, I’ve often held up Cali and Geek Brief as a spot-on example of how to “break” into new media — and of how the next generation of Web video shows will look: fast-paced, interesting, fun, personality-driven, passionate and polished.

In this interview, conducted at WordCamp SF shortly before her talk, Cali discusses the genesis of Geek Brief (after 5 months, “we were done with our day jobs and began doing the show full time” — living the dream), podcasting’s place in the mediasphere (“What podcasting offers is that anybody can do it. They don’t have to be told by ABC or NBC or any radio station that they have the talent to do this. The audience is picking and choosing who is successful.”), and how she chooses which tech news to feature (new technologies that excite her and her viewers).

Social media’s role

We spent most of the interview discussing social media and how to engage an audience. The most important rule of audience participation is “you participating back,” she said. Putting questions to the users is a good technique, through Twitter, blog comments and directly on the show itself. She’s on a campaign to coax people to communicate via Twitter rather than email (“You can have a great conversation in 140 characters.”) She’s also particularly adept at using live video streaming during some of her episodes, calling it “a great way to interact.”

Her advice to those just starting out: “Think about what you want, and then just go for it!” I often echo her advice to not get tripped up by the technology. GeekBrief.TV offers some training materials on its Podcasting Tips page.

The lighting on this 9-minute video was subpar because it was bright outside and my LP-Micro fill light wasn’t up to the task.

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July 30, 2009

18-year-old finds the podcasting formula

The Emo Girl Talk podcast from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaHere’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.

MartinaOn 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.

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October 19, 2006

Using the new online video editing sites

I spent a couple of hours today experimenting with the new breed of online video editing websites. I figured this would be a good way for me to post the video clips I’ve been taking with my Nokia N-90 smart phone.

Alas, the experience wasn’t what I had hoped for. (Disclaimer: I know — and like — the people who run all three of these sites.)

My first stop was at VideoEgg. Their partnership with TypePad — the home of all three of my blogs — makes them a perfect candidate. Unfortunately, my video interview clocked in at 6 minutes 30 seconds, and VideoEgg still imposes a 5-minute maximum for all videos. I would have been happy to cut it down to 5 minutes, but couldn’t upload the video in the first place to do so.

Next, I returned to a site I like a lot: Eyespot. This week they released version 2.2 of the online software, with great options such as stats, comments, tags, ratings, embedded codes, hi-res downloads, contextual browsing and the like.

I uploaded my video successfully. I wanted to trim a few seconds just from the beginning and the end, but didn’t at first glance see the option for trimming a clip. (It’s there, but I missed it.) Instead, I opted for beginning and ending transitions and hit mix. The average time for others today was 23 seconds. Mine was a longer video, but after 15 minutes, I just gave up.

On to Jumpcut. Yahoo! bought them a few months ago, and I could see why. Nice, simple interface (as with the other two), and commands (like Slice and Delete) that were plain and simple. I successfully trimmed the video, but couldn’t figure out how to add a title to the beginning of the clip (my original attempt overlaid the title over the entire clip, blackening it out).

I published the final work, and a few seconds later, voila! There’s my interview with Jonna Anderson. (See above.) I intensely dislike the fact that the site gives the media creator no option to let users download the video instead of just stream it. It’s the YouTube phenomenon.

I’ll probably return and use all three sites at various times. But not for my everyday videoblogging. I’ll continue to use Ourmedia to host my videos.

July 31, 2006

Photos and video from BlogHer

Arianna Huffington & JD Lasica

Halley Suitt

Here are some final photos of BlogHer in a Flickr photo set. That’s a bad photo of me with Arianna Huffington at top; Halley Suitt in a smaller image.

As for videos, here are three, with more coming in mid- to late August:




From top:

• Jory des Jardins,  co-founder of  BlogHer, talked about the conference as it was ending Saturday — including plans for next year’s BlogHer in Chicago in July —  in this 4-minute video interview.    (Ourmedia page | watch video)

•  Elisa Camahort,  co-founder of  BlogHer, talked about the conference as it was winding down Saturday evening  in this 5-minute video interview.    (Ourmedia page | watch video)

•  Adrianna Montague-Gray, a PR professional for a nonprofit in New York, assessed BlogHer from an attendee’s perspective in this 3-minute video interview.    (Ourmedia page | watch video)

Cross-posted to the Real People Network

October 3, 2005

All about the Eat Feed podcast

Mia Littlejohn

Here’s another video interview I conducted last week at Duke University’s Symposium on Podcasting. Mia Littlejohn talks about a great new podcast I just discovered: Eat Feed. Host Kelly Amienne started it in January and it’s now up to 6,000 subscriptions. Very high quality stuff.

The video with Mia is 6 1/2 minutes long; 23.8 MB in MPEG-4. (Ourmedia page | watch video)

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