RonAmok!

The adventures of an analog engineer and digital storyteller who studies emerging networks and their impact on the great game of business.

About eight weeks ago, I announced on my podcast, Griddlecakes Radio, that I’d be discontinuing its regular programming schedule. I’d been producing the show since August of 2005, and was really having a hard time meeting the demands of producing a show every other week. Independent of why I decided to slow down production of the show, I learned an interesting lesson about New Media — something that you, the New Media Evangelist in your company needs to understand before you start producing content.

A long time ago, in the years BP (Before Podcasting circa 2004), the barrier to entry for delivering audio/video content to a large audience was prohibitively expensive. We’re talking millions. But in the years AP, the barrier to entry plummeted, opening up new opportunities for Rich Media Content Creators (RMCC).

Since that time, the ranks of the RMCC has exploded, from independents working in spare bedrooms, to kids recording video with their cell phones and uploading them to YouTube. Then a funny thing happened on the way to the office. A new “dynamic” was formed between RMCCs and audience members — something that I just experienced almost eight weeks ago — “fame.”

I was explaining the phenomenon to a friend of mine. I said, “Look, you know me, ‘Ron.’ But my listeners, those who hear my voice every other week, they know someone else — ‘The Ron,’ a voice that is piped into their headphones on a regular basis. The fact that they hear this voice periodically gives them a false sense of familiarity with me.”

Well, this perceived familiarity gives some listeners the freedom to say things that they normally wouldn’t to a complete stranger. Here’s an example from my own experience.

Take a couple thousand Griddlecakes Radio Listeners, who think they know me on a personal level and tell them that their constant stream of access to me is going to be interrupted.

Wanna see what happened? Checkout the comments from that show, Transitions. And this is only a snippet. Some of the emails that I got were brutal.

Technologies are a wonderful thing. And technologies that change the dynamics between humans are fascinating. We’re way too early in this change to fully understand the impact of it, however, we can be mindful of it.

The bad news is that your listener feels that they have the right to tell you anything. The good news is that your listener cares so much about what you have to say, that they are compelled to tell you.

Sure sounds like “Influence” to me.

Filed under: Social Media

Comments

Hmmmm… It’s a read/write web. Most of us read, some of us write and now there are “rights” involved too? I don’t know that MUCH has changed other than the immediacy, convenience and directness of the web. In the pre-internet age, if one was a fan of a TV show or cartoon strip, for example, one could write a letter expressing all sorts of opinions (praise-worthy or venomous) and it would be intercepted by some office bureaucracy perhaps which might return a form letter or photograph signed “Best Wishes.” Such “filters” are probably not afforded most podcasters so the praise or venom goes directly to the intended target much more easily. As far as I know there is nothing new about people feeling like they “know” someone based solely on the “content” they have produced (TV show, comic strip, or podcast.) What’s new (and perhaps scary to the content providers) is the lack of filtration between the content consumer and the fact that feedback is easier and more direct. As far as “rights” are concerned, there are, as you know, lots of legal things regarding content production, management and distribution, but when it comes to what people know or think they know, all bets are off. Does that make sense?

JTM
January 2, 2008

Hmmmm… It’s a read/write web. Most of us read, some of us write and now there are “rights” involved too? I don’t know that MUCH has changed other than the immediacy, convenience and directness of the web. In the pre-internet age, if one was a fan of a TV show or cartoon strip, for example, one could write a letter expressing all sorts of opinions (praise-worthy or venomous) and it would be intercepted by some office bureaucracy perhaps which might return a form letter or photograph signed “Best Wishes.” Such “filters” are probably not afforded most podcasters so the praise or venom goes directly to the intended target much more easily. As far as I know there is nothing new about people feeling like they “know” someone based solely on the “content” they have produced (TV show, comic strip, or podcast.) What’s new (and perhaps scary to the content providers) is the lack of filtration between the content consumer and the fact that feedback is easier and more direct. As far as “rights” are concerned, there are, as you know, lots of legal things regarding content production, management and distribution, but when it comes to what people know or think they know, all bets are off. Does that make sense?

JTM
January 2, 2008

I don’t know, hope this comes out right. Me no good with them words…
Since beginning of time (well, beginning of conciousness, that is), people have tried to gain insight into other peoples mind through communication. If I were to meet new people, I would try to talk to them to get to know them, such creating my own image of them in my mind (…thing…). The level of insight, however, is limited to what people risk to share with others. The “real me” inside me can and will be something completely different than the “he” others can see. I don’t know, where you can draw the line here between people, that you could call “only *think* to know you”, and your real friends. I guess, it is all about the amount of “personal things” you give to one fraction or to the other that defines them.
Yes, I think one could say that I know “a (behind the microphone) Ron”. How much “that” Ron differs from the “real” Ron that his friends know, I can absolutely not say, because I only have a limited amount of input and no way to know, what’s missing. You have shared some (as I think) very personal things in your podcast, of *course* that makes people think they know you 😉
BUT as far as those rights discussions…. I think, I have the right to express my thanks for the time and effort, you put into all the podcasts. I learned a lot about the world and your stories made my life better (especially the “life isn’t fair” episode was a huge help for me). I have not yet listened to the last few episodes because of other reasons, but I believe, they will be as entertaining as the previous ones.
But as I said, that gives *noone* the privilege to think, they have a *right* to force you into producing more episodes.
Ok, that whole paragraph just didn’t make sense, did it? But I just needed a complicated and very confuse way to say thank you and take care, whatever you do 🙂
But, whatever the outcome of the “Ron-vs-Idiots-Conflict” is, don’t let it stop you from exploring the new media further. And knowing you, you won’t let that happen anyway. Yes, that pun wasintended 😉

Somebody
January 3, 2008

I don’t know, hope this comes out right. Me no good with them words…
Since beginning of time (well, beginning of conciousness, that is), people have tried to gain insight into other peoples mind through communication. If I were to meet new people, I would try to talk to them to get to know them, such creating my own image of them in my mind (…thing…). The level of insight, however, is limited to what people risk to share with others. The “real me” inside me can and will be something completely different than the “he” others can see. I don’t know, where you can draw the line here between people, that you could call “only *think* to know you”, and your real friends. I guess, it is all about the amount of “personal things” you give to one fraction or to the other that defines them.
Yes, I think one could say that I know “a (behind the microphone) Ron”. How much “that” Ron differs from the “real” Ron that his friends know, I can absolutely not say, because I only have a limited amount of input and no way to know, what’s missing. You have shared some (as I think) very personal things in your podcast, of *course* that makes people think they know you 😉
BUT as far as those rights discussions…. I think, I have the right to express my thanks for the time and effort, you put into all the podcasts. I learned a lot about the world and your stories made my life better (especially the “life isn’t fair” episode was a huge help for me). I have not yet listened to the last few episodes because of other reasons, but I believe, they will be as entertaining as the previous ones.
But as I said, that gives *noone* the privilege to think, they have a *right* to force you into producing more episodes.
Ok, that whole paragraph just didn’t make sense, did it? But I just needed a complicated and very confuse way to say thank you and take care, whatever you do 🙂
But, whatever the outcome of the “Ron-vs-Idiots-Conflict” is, don’t let it stop you from exploring the new media further. And knowing you, you won’t let that happen anyway. Yes, that pun wasintended 😉

Somebody
January 2, 2008

Holy 10-4 Chopper One! I just re-read all the comments via the Griddlesode link. I guess like anything in life, if you produce something that people enjoy they’re going to be sad when its gone. A certain percentage are irate now, but they’ll breath a sigh of relief when they listen to reruns/archives I’m sure 😉

“This is KPB5312. We down, we clear.”

Corey
January 4, 2008

Holy 10-4 Chopper One! I just re-read all the comments via the Griddlesode link. I guess like anything in life, if you produce something that people enjoy they’re going to be sad when its gone. A certain percentage are irate now, but they’ll breath a sigh of relief when they listen to reruns/archives I’m sure 😉

“This is KPB5312. We down, we clear.”

Corey
January 3, 2008

To me, it’s “The Other Ron” I listen to (lol).

I too am amazed that a single person other than myself pays attention to what I have to say. I’m amazed that over people on Twitter want to get what I have to say.

Daniel Johnson, Jr.
January 8, 2008

To me, it’s “The Other Ron” I listen to (lol).

I too am amazed that a single person other than myself pays attention to what I have to say. I’m amazed that over people on Twitter want to get what I have to say.

Daniel Johnson, Jr.
January 8, 2008

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