Subtitle: It’s All About Me
Something happened this past week that has been bothering me just a wee bit. I am a person that loves podcasts. I cannot be without my ipod for long and especially with the lack of NPR reception in my building and the pathetic quality of my laptop speakers, various podcasts are central to my various activities of daily living. I also cohost and produce a podcast, which many of you reading this know. Having now been on that side of things, as well as a listener, I am especially keen on the fun and hard work that go into podcasting. And that many podcasts out there, like ours, are entirely DIY. Done for fun with varying levels of equipment etc… And I love that aspect of it. Now, not all the shows I listen to are of the “home grown” sort, and that’s fine too. I am a member of my local public radio station (although that is very confusing to me as, bandwidth costs $$ and most podcasts are free whether the content is from a major source or my living room). Even so, in my mind, people who do podcasts in particular are a special breed – real cool cats.
So there is a show I’ve been listening to for a few months. I really enjoy it and look forward to it twice a week. Perhaps because I love it so, I’ve noticed, in passing, that a bit of the content has been linked to (duh) it’s commercial sponsor/home – although I didn’t really realize the link when I began listening to it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all. Just a couple of episodes, while still super enjoyable, as I was listening to them, I just remember thinking that it was a little over obviously a bit of a commercial for the parent company. No big deal. Earlier in the week there was a show with what struck me as quite the funny pun in it and I was sort of itching to write a fan letter. So when the next episode came out, I was trying to make myself pay attention to the podcast email address. Then the next show I heard went off on a semi-conspiratorial tangent that seemed to be getting a little off into the crazies to me. It’s not a subject I know a tremendous amount about, but I do know a little about it as there was a slight – very slight – link to some job experiences of mine. Again, really neither here nor there, I guess I just for some reason got a wild hare and the original love letter I planned to write turned into what I thought was a statement about loving the show and maybe the “product placement” aspect could be spaced out a little more, maybe just not so blatant, oh, and by the way, that last show was kind of irresponsible in that it seemed to be endorsing a mass government conspiracy and another thing….. Oh, and PS, there was a really funny moment on this one show. And I mailed it.
Now, let me say, in my own defense that:
- I had Trace read my letter and he didn’t think it was psycho mean or anything
- I hat giving any kind of negative or “constructive” feedback to podcasts. I mean, even if these dudes produce this as part of their job, nobody makes me listen and for a lot of podcasters it truly is a labor of love. Who am I too judge?
Let me also say that later THAT NIGHT I received this reply:
Thanks for the comments, Lisa. We do the best we can given the guidelines handed down to us by the people signing our paychecks.
Thanks for listening
Hi, My name is Lisa and I suck. Yeah, I feel about this big. I couldn’t somehow explain that I just was a little overwrought because I do enjoy the show so much and I was engaging in spirited debate. And that I really really really like their show. Poo.
But it gets better.
So today a new show comes out. Now, I am sure they prerecord the whole deal way ahead of time. The show begins with a brief introduction and an “offhand” remark about something about thanking the podcast listeners and something about how people like it and maybe would pay for it, thus appreciating it more,oh whoops, podcasts are free and then the guy who replied to my letter says, and I quote:
Yes, and think about that before you write in and tell us we’re idiots. We’ll give you your money back.
Coinkydink? I think not, but then I am completely paranoid. So, what do you do? If there is a show and something that you disagree with gets you going passionately, do you respond? Is it fair to call anybody on sponsorship issues – just in that its noticeable and maybe it could be spaced out a little bit more (there wasn’t a lot of it for a while, then a few together)? I wish I never sent the damn thing.