Today is Rosh Hashana, Jewish new year. Happy New Year to all our listeners of the Jewish faith. Today is also International podcast day.
Today is a great time to celebrate the podcast medium, which is really quite new. Think about it. The entire genre was invented by Apple with the advent of the iPodThose large clunky music players that had a tiny 1” spinning hard disc in order to get the storage density. I still have one of those ipods and it holds my entire music library. You had to plug it into a computer via USB cable in order to download your music or your podcasts. Today it streams wirelessly onto my phone, computer or tablet.
Some of the first podcasts I listened to back in the day were the Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Series, live recordings of lectures co-produced by the business and engineering schools at Stanford University.
Producing a daily show is a massive commitment. But it’s one that I take seriously. This weekend I was speaking at an event in Dallas hosted by the Real Estate Guys Radio Show. There were about 300 people in the audience and at the end of the talk I received a strong round of applause that lasted about 15 seconds. When you have the opportunity to speak in front of a live audience and they laugh at your jokes and they’re nodding in agreement with what you’re saying is a wonderful experience. As a speaker you get to know that your words were having an impact.
With a podcast, there are no applause. There is much less in the way of interaction. I will get a half dozen emails a week from listeners who let me know that a particular episode had a real impact on them. I’m truly grateful to receive these messages.
I’m also mindful to visualize the audience out there in cyber space. I see you all seated in a large auditorium of a few thousand seats, five or ten times the size the room that I spoke in on Friday in Dallas. I visualize every seat is taken and even a few people are standing in the back. The room is full. When the room is empty, there is an echo off the back wall. But when every seat is taken, the room absorbs the sound and there is no echo. I visualize people in the first few rows nodding in agreement as I’m speaking.
Just like in the large room, I recognize that not every episode will penetrate and connect with ever member of the audience. If your interest is self storage and on a particular day I’m talking about senior housing, I recognize that that particular episode may not be perfect for you. That’s OK. The purpose of each episode is to enter into a conversation. A conversation that stimulates thought. In each episode there ideally is something that is simultaneously both specific and universal. You may not connect with the specific example, but perhaps you will connect with the concept. Perhaps the idea has a parallel application in your domain.
The podcast medium is changing. There are more shows than ever before, and professional media companies have expanded their investments in podcasting. Celebrities from TV are also getting into the podcast game. Some of the most widely followed podcasts offer very little in the way of education. Some are purely entertainment. They may be story telling, mystery, comedy, drama, a love story, or perhaps something a little more racy.
If you’re listening to this show, you probably are interested in business, entrepreneurship, personal development, social psychology, and of course real estate.
The average new show fizzles after only 8 episodes. When I do speak at live events, I get to connect with many of you in person. It’s through that personal connection that it becomes a two way conversation. It’s through the AMA episodes, that we have a two way conversation. When a listener asks a question, I can guarantee that others have the same question too.