Geeksquad in the Making?

A Tech Podcasters group – perhaps something like a tech version of the Podsquad- is in the making.

I needed a break during a longer-than-desirable Audacity session yesterday (yes, it will eventually crash on you, save often). Triggered by some comments in an In The Trenches podcast, I remembered this callout by Todd of GeekNewsCentral. He was looking for tech podcasters for a mysterious “endeavour”, and I fired off an email accordingly. Well, the endeavour is now public. The audio announcement is here and the email with plans – which indicates is fine to publish – is shown below.

I’ve boldfaced a few highlights and wrapped some links around some of the terms. The text is unchanged.

All of Thanks for being Patient!

All below is a open letter to each one of you, you are free to repost this and to report on it. The Site that is referenced you will find has a plain jane page with a solitary link in it to subscribe to the new mailing list. You all have been sent a invite to join that mailing list. This is where over the next week or so we will develop and enact a plan for that website, This is of course if you so choose to put your weight behind the project. OK here are the details.

Dear Tech Podcasters

First of all I want to thank all of you that have responded to my inquiry. I have spent some time on the Phone with Doug Kaye of IT Conversations, Robert Scoble and several other influential bloggers/podcasters. I want to thank Steve Holden ([email protected]) for getting my brain spinning at about a million miles per hour. He and I have hatched this plan and wanted to get all of the tech podcasters involved. I want to run down with you some ideas we have floating around.

This effort will be for the entire community and will be setup as either a coop or a non-profit with the intention to return any profits to the coop based on some formula that needs to be come up with.

I am not even sure this will make any money but here is my idea. It is but a idea and the infrastructure and site has to be built. But a domain has been reserved .org .biz .info .net

1. A site that features only tech podcasts 2. A site that pulls in your metadata from your podcast post and re-post it on the site 3. A area that resembles the NBC of Podcast a. Programming Lineup with schedule of Tech Podcast Releases b. Listings of TechPodcast in one XML c. A way for users to build their own show lineups 4. Real Reviews of each Show and a un-biased Rating system 5. Add you idea here!

We all must realize that their is a race on to monetize podcasting. I want to be sure that our interest are best served by ourselves. We all must realize that only a few shows will have the capability to reach the number of individual listeners by themselves.

Several things I want to get clear. First, joining the coop is voluntary, hosting of your own podcast will need to continue until we figure out a way to centralize the podcast.

Second we do not want to have anything to do with your creative process. The only thing we may ask in the future is that the podcasters in the coop carry a audio advertisement which you will get compensated for. (Details to be figured out at a later date)

The entry into the coop will not be free. We only want those that are serious about moving this movement forward. I am not sure what the price should be so that is open to discussion.

My thoughts are that the initial goal is build the Tech Podcasters Listenership to 100,000 listeners this in turn will attract real advertisers with real money that can be distributed to the coop (need to come up with formula for payouts in the charter) a sort of royalty system maybe.

Things that will help us get a initial boost to the site to make this happen

Robert Scoble has indicated he would be willing to host the podcast interviews for his upcoming book with in turn we pay for the bandwidth. He gave me a good analogy. When you build a mall you need a Macy's and a Sears on either end to draw traffic so that the little stores in the middle will benefit.

Roberts book on blogging will direct a lot of traffic to the site if we decide to host the data as he and others will refer to the site. This could be an anchor point for us. The price of admission though will be that we will have to take care of the bandwidth.

Within the next month or 6 weeks I will have a major announcement that if we are up and running would provide another anchor point. Several of you are in the know but are sworn to secrecy and will confirm what I am not announcing.

I am sure some of you are in this for the fun. But as a long time geek who started out on a 300 baud modem podcasting has some major steam behind it. I feel we are already 6-8 weeks behind as I think others are already headed down this path. If I could bank-roll this whole thing I would but I don't think it's fair. As a group I think the calculated risk of not doing it is to high. This project is to be for the benefit of all I want this to be a community effort.

Hell it doesn't even have to be non-profit we can indicate we want to be profit from the get go.

Join the newsgroup and fire me your thoughts, Second get this onto the airways and on your Blogs!

Todd & Steve Todd ([email protected]) Steve ([email protected])