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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April 2, 2007

A question for the presidential candidates


This is videoblogging week. Pretty simple concept: Post a video each day and tag your video videobloggingweek2007. You can see what others have done at MeFeedia.

Here’s my first video of the week. Jeff Jarvis invited people to make videos of questions we should put to the presidential candidates, so I took Jeff up on it. (He asks people to tag it prezconference.)

In this 50-second video I made with Lisa Padilla of road | productions, I ask the candidates what sacrifices they plan to ask of the American people. (Watch MPEG-4 on Internet Archive, or watch grainier YouTube version.

Irina Slutsky has this nice little entry: Yet Another Lonely Girl.

I’m a little bummed because I spent several hours this morning doing a remix of the Stephen Colbert-Gwen Ifill spoof interview for the Colbert Report, but my new MacBook Pro couldn’t handle the 100 video snippets resulting from edits to the 4-minute footage. Kept freezing, so I won’t be able to finish it.

October 16, 2005

Daniel Meadows on the power of storytelling

Daniel Meadows

I cornered Daniel Meadows, one of the icons of the digital storytelling movement, a week ago at the Digital Storytelling Festival at KQED in San Francisco. Daniel talks about his personal journey from journalism ("doing media to others") to storytelling ("enabling people to tell their own stories").

If you’re wondering what digital storytelling is all about, you can do no better than checking out Daniel’s homemade stories at his personal site and at the BBC’s Capture Wales site.

Here’s the 9-minute video (30 MB in MPEG-4 — sorry for the size but I hate crappy quality). (Ourmedia page | watch video)

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