Blogcasting Death by PowerPoint


My sidekick Chris seems to have his feathers ruffled by Technet providing more information in the form of podcasts. Let me share a little meeting my head had with a brick wall when I did what Technet is attempting to fail at: I was asked to convert some of Amy Babinchak's ISA webcasts into a podcast. These shows were over two hours in length and basically had a PowerPoint presentation with ISA demonstrations embedded in them. There is nothing in podcasting to help the "What we are clearly able to see on this console is…" Here is the problem — when do you listen to podcasts? While driving, in the gym, before bed, while walking to work.. believe me, I've heard them all. Without exception, you are doing something else, something where a 100% of your attention cannot be assigned to the podcast at hand. The only way podcasts work in technical fields is when they are approached in terms of a conversation. Let's get together and have a geek lunch, talk about technology. Works great, even if its a head above what everyone else is doing. Try doing that with a 200-300 level webcast – technical or sales – and you will lose people. Recently we had a TS2 conference call where people were asked "What would make this podcast/webcast #1" after admitting that webcasts are little more than a background noise. The answer was, at best, sketchy. Media can only capture audiences if it is entertaining and insightful. A very high level course gets muted when a phone call comes in. A very entertaining dribble gets ALT+F4'ed by anybody seriously at work. Doubt that? Look at the next webcast you are in, check out the seating chart. I bet you they reach less than 30. SBS Show and Inside SBS reach thousands, weekly. We collectively beat an average Microsoft webcast attendance by at least a factor of 1,000 (that means multiply by 1,000) — I hope TechNet takes a note of what makes these podcasts successful before they start massive dumps of incoherent LiveMeeting death-by-powerpoint and instead allocate resources where they can actually help. For example, give Mark more money for Inside SBS. The notion that you will be able to reach more people that already do not care about your webcasts by trying to overlap their R&R time will likely lead to Level 300 webcasts getting cut off by lip-syncing talents of Ashlee Simpson on your audiences iPod.

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