To Blog Or to Podcast? That Is the Question

Should Dutch New York be a launchpad for podcasts, or a rich blog with embedded media? Are they mutually exclusive?

Next week, I will be going to PodCamp Philly for the two days. Unlike PodCamp NYC, I will come armed with an actual project, DutchNewYork.com (see previous post), for which I have a fairly overarching question. I suppose it would be good to get my quality-if-not-quantity readership on the case as well.

The plan would be to provide the most reliability through the blog, which would serve as the backbone property, delivering a post at least once a day, maybe with regular weekday features, such as Links Wednesday. I feel adept in all Internet media that can be embedded in a WordPress blog, and hope to use them all. The subject matter will dictate the choice of medium. If I’m concentrating on an artisan with examples of her work, it gets a Flickr slideshow. If it’s an event with much activity and people doing stuff, nothing but a short video will do. A meaty interview with a guy in a necktie sitting in an office calls for an audio recording, and a little play-control widget embedded in the post. Whatever makes sense between two blog paragraphs that bolsters a point being made right then and there, that’s what dictates the embedded media. I think.

The thing is, after a number of such recordings — say, five interviews — there will be the argument that I should post them and syndicate them into a podcast. Or even that I should plan on doing that from the start.

There are some good arguments in favor. There will be those who discover the podcast first, maybe never get to the blog or use it for show notes, and care not to go beyond that. Producing with them in mind is good for overall audience count, which will be valuable come monetizing time. (Sorry I used that word.)  To postpone this is to leave money on the table.

To me, there are even stronger arguments against the idea. A podcast is, for good or ill, an unwritten commitment to consistency, usually one episode every week or two. This means that my attentions to punctuality are split three ways: the blog, an audio podcast and a video podcast. What if one week there are two things that happen that would be best on audio, but neither are suitable for video? To satisfy the subscription demand, I’ll put onto video something that doesn’t belong there. (This is assuming I can find the time!) Also, each snippet will now have to be packaged like a free-standing show, not only with an opening and closing, but with cross-network pimping. While I subscribe to and like Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation podcast, the first ten minutes are wasted on me, because he’s going on about every other Web stronghold for which he wants to up the odometer. I don’t want to do that. I would rather drive traffic expressly to the blog, where they’ll discover at their own pace the connections to all the other places and media I’ll have up, but mostly get enthralled by the content.

What would you do in my case? Can audio and video start out as just enhancements and illustrations on the blog and later convert to podcasts? Should they ever? Should the podcasts be established right out of the box? Remember, this is a nights-and-weekends project at first. I have a staff of one (me), and no money to pay anyone else.

What are your thoughts?

P.S.: I made sure to get the .com, .net and .org of the domain DutchNewYork. Which I bought from GoDaddy for about $24. Does that make me the Peter Minuit of the blogosphere?

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2 responses to “To Blog Or to Podcast? That Is the Question

  1. I appreciate your comment Rick, but what about new listeners? People who don’t know what the protocol is? Or people who are just getting used to Podcasting?

    It’s like when a radio show “comes back from the break” – they don’t assume that people have been there the whole time and re-introduce the topic “for those just tuning in”.

    I think it’s important to remember and reiterate where and how people can connect.

    It works for me, but I understand how it can be time wasted for those who are dedicated (that’s why I love Podcasting – you can just use the fast forward button on your iPod 😉

  2. Mr. Joel! Welcome. Come on in! *blush* Imagine you visiting my humble blog. I guess I have no business being surprised, what with my spelling your name right and providing a link and all.

    And of course, since I used your name and your podcast’s full name in proximity, it was easy for you to find. Thus proving you right, I guess!

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