Cheers

Cheers

Summary: The complaints about the advertising on Gillmor Gang and Daily continue in the comments. I thought I'd post here to consolidate and try and explain why I'm doing it this way.

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TOPICS: Mobility
9

The complaints about the advertising on Gillmor Gang and Daily continue in the comments. I thought I'd post here to consolidate and try and explain why I'm doing it this way. First, I believe in the power of repetition, as I discuss with Adam Curry on the two part Gillmor Daily we recorded yesterday. The length of the endorsement is basically what I feel it should be, not any specific requirement on the part of Podshow or the sponsor. I try and produce something that I feel accurately represents my views, and in particular, how grateful I am for these fine companies, Podshow in particular and each sponsor as they join the show, that they have decided to support the show and the great talent that appears with me.

Indeed, many of these criticisms are counterweighted with great respect for the show's creative values, particularly the broad and powerful themes and gathering of minds that make the shows unique. To be sure, the complaints sometimes extend to the audio "quality," to my confrontational style, and so on; all legitimate complaints for which I have varying degrees of concern. The shows may sound unedited, but they're not: they are sometimes tediously balanced to bring out the essential lack of "quality" in the variations between phone, cell, VoIP, and Skype inputs. But hearing us think is the fundamental production value of the show, and like sausage-making, it's a messy business.

I appreciate these complaints as much as the praise, not because I enjoy being called clueless, or as Richard in my previous post does, a complete asshole, because these folks are listening. I am willing to be seen as insincere, argumentative, unhappy, a shill, etc., if in return the listener pays attention to the whole package. This at its heart is just as much a business as it is an art, and we all have the right to respect or reject the contract that is implied in the act of listening.

But for my part of the contract, I promise you that whatever I do, whether it appears or even is thoughtless, angry, or lazy, on some level I have made a decision to let it stand, to let it represent me and my credibility or lack of it. Sometimes (maybe too often) I have no clear idea of why I'm letting these things stand. Sometimes I make small cuts to make myself sound better (cutting uhs and y'knows). Sometimes I even cut phrases or sentences or even whole sections, mostly for my own benefit, rarely of others. Long ago, I recorded a conversation with Ray Ozzie and took care to clean it up not just for me but for Ray, to the point where he called me up to thank me for making him sound better. All I had done was to apply the same "rules" to his voice that I apply to my own.

I don't pretend to be immune to the slings and arrows, however. When they become too shrill or insistent, I find myself retreating from the fray. The conference scene has become that for me, a cruel compromise of ego-stroking and callous-building. This is one of the reasons that the current wave of examination around the so-called attention economy rings so false for me. The notion that attention is the coin of the realm, that the end game is about getting more attention, grates like nails on the chalkboard. I do crave the attention of those I love, but not of those who would attack or feel attacked by what I say to get attention. Valleywag walks along this line, but so far I haven't felt it malignant like others might. Perhaps it's Nick's youth, his comical gears so transparently working to find a gear and thank god failing enough of the time to make it feel a little less than dangerous.

But I'm not handling it well. This forum has become a last refuge before silence for me, and for that I am deeply grateful for Dan Farber's forbearance. Like Mike Arrington, I look forward to the Gang recording on Friday, and sometimes the flow and a place in the conversation. But as Dave Winer said recently about Bloggercon, sometimes it's good to change your mind when something's not working. So I'm going to drink a toast to Scoble and Furrier and Arrington and Om and all the success stories of Web 2.0 and beyond. We need stars, and they are emerging. Life is good.

Topic: Mobility

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9 comments
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  • ads on gang

    Geez, it's your show, put whatever you want in it. I'm amazed I get it for free in the first place. Listening to the promo enables that. Fine by me.
    jeffbart
  • Life IS Good

    As mentioned in a recent show, often the smart will no longer tolerate such nonsense and walk away. I would add, a star will find a way to turn this to their advantage. Life IS good. Rise up.

    - scott -
    scottgjerdingen
  • Steve Gilmour

    Hey Steve relax go hugs those daughters of yours and come on back. I'm commuting 100 miles a day and I really look forward to listening to your show in the car, I feel like I'm a chauffeur eavesdropping on some very personal and insightful conversations .on the folks in back

    I?m not in tech but I live in this world and the things you discuss make my life richer. It?s obvious the others on the show wish you well, as do I.

    Ps. If you want to help a brother out, announce the date of the show early in the podcast so I can find what I looking for at eighty miles an hour.
    wmjcollins
    • THE ADVERTISEMENTS.....

      It's your show. You can do with it as you see fit. But, please don't fail to read the "mail".

      The growing barrier of your growing obsequious advertisements on the front end will utlimately convince your listners , incliuding me, that we simply don't have the time to put up with this. The advertisements are even more content free that those on TV!

      You of all people, Mr. Attention, should understand this!

      John H. Taylor
      taylorjh1@...
  • Love the Gilmore Gang

    I have been listening for a couple of months now and love it. I think the ads are compelling but definately need some freshing up from time to time. Maybe alternate recorded with your "live" endorsements. I'd be happy to furnish some (shorter) ads for free. Let me know and you'll have them in time for your next recording. Keep up the great work! surf@pocketspots.com
    billysurf
  • just what is the problem exactly?

    These podcasts, with their long promotional preludes, are recorded. This means they can be fast-forwarded. I have listened to the advertisements at the beginning of the Gillmor Gang a few times. Now I skip them. I got the message Steve wanted to convey. Seemed like a reasonable message. Seems reasonable that I wouldn't want to hear it three times a week.

    Great podcast by the way.
    walky
  • Tempest in a teapot?

    The flap over the pre-show advertising on The Gillmor Gang and
    Gillmor Daily is a minor issue, but it is instructive of the growing
    pains podcasters face in supporting their shows.

    Early on I tried to constructively (and privately) criticize Steve for
    his lack of concern about meeting even rudimentary broadcast
    standards for audio production. He claimed that the quality of
    the technical insight from his all-star cast of observers,
    seasoned by his provocateur questioning style and unpredictable
    emotional presence more than made it worthwhile to listen
    through the poor audio and lack of editing.

    He had a point. Over time I gradually became more tolerant of
    the roughness of the presentation, while Steve quietly set about
    making his shows sound better, to the point that he now needles
    his contributors if their audio connections are misbehaving.
    Sweet.

    With the arrival of sponsors courtesy of the Podshow sales
    department, Steve, possibly without being aware of it, is
    reproducing the history of commercial and non-commercial
    advertising practice. First, informal endorsements voiced by the
    host; the intention was for the sponsor to benefit from the host's
    ratification of the product. Next, scripted spots written by the
    advertiser or their agency and voiced with as much false
    conviction as the host could muster. Finally (arguably) slick
    jingles produced by professionals under the direction of an ad
    agency; this is typical of national ad campaigns. All this
    happened in a few weeks when Earthlink signed on.

    Unfortunately, the first Earthlink spot was a nauseating
    Disneyesque confection that even the most ardent spin by Steve
    could not redeem. After weeks of increasing torture
    accompanied by longer and longer disclaimers -- mitigated only
    by the ability to skip ahead to the actual show -- Earthlink
    finally came up with a new, arguably less nauseating spot.

    Again unfortunately, the new spot was accompanied by lengthy
    exhortations by Steve to give respect to his sponsor, and by a
    second more or less ad-libbed promotion for the Go Daddy
    domain registration service and Steve's commission mechanism,
    wrapped in a feel good appeal to help send his daughters to
    college.

    Frankly, I skipped all of this after the first time until I heard
    Jason Calacanis deliver an unsolicited testimonial to Go Daddy
    on one of the shows. This -- not more exhortations from Steve
    -- made me want to check them out, as the service they deliver
    appears to be superior to the domain registrar I currently use.

    As a result of all this, the total length of the Gillmor Gang/
    Gillmor Daily advertising preroll has been as long as 7 minutes
    and 30 seconds! This, in a show that has been cut down to
    26:20 to fit a satellite programming slot.

    Lessons:

    1. Commercial jingles that trade on cuteness and pander to the
    audience age instantly.

    2. Repetition may work for uncritical idiots; it just annoys
    intelligent audiences, who need a distinct and appropriate
    campaign.

    3. More is not better. If you have to repeat, copy edit to be as
    concise (and entertaining) as possible.

    4. Guilt-tripping us repeatedly to respect the advertiser does not
    redeem offensive ad presentation or content. Downloads give us
    the power to skip your message entirely, so don't disrespect our
    time or our intelligence.


    <em>Despite</em> all of the above, the Gillmor Gang remains
    the best place I've found to gain some real perspective on the
    big issues in the fast moving IT ecology due to the insight
    routinely delivered by Steve and his guests.
    Stephen Hill
    • Here's what it should have looked like

      The ZDNet comment engine inexplicably sucked all the line
      breaks our of my post. I'll try again, using the -pre- tag:

      <pre> The flap over the pre-show advertising on The Gillmor
      Gang and Gillmor Daily is clearly a minor issue, but it is
      instructive of the growing pains podcasters face in supporting
      their shows.

      Early on I tried to constructively (and privately) criticize Steve for
      his lack of concern about meeting even rudimentary broadcast
      standards for audio production. He claimed that the quality of
      the technical insight from his all-star cast of observers,
      seasoned by his provocateur questioning style and unpredictable
      emotional presence more than made it worthwhile to listen
      through the poor audio and lack of editing.

      He had a point. Over time I gradually became more tolerant of
      the roughness of the presentation, while Steve quietly set about
      making his shows sound better, to the point that he now needles
      his contributors if their audio connections are misbehaving.
      Sweet.

      With the arrival of sponsors courtesy of the Podshow sales
      department, Steve, possibly without being aware of it, is
      reproducing the history of commercial and non-commercial
      advertising practice. First, informal endorsements voiced by the
      host; the intention was for the sponsor to benefit from the host's
      ratification of the product. Next, scripted spots written by the
      advertiser or their agency and voiced with as much false
      conviction as the host could muster. Finally (arguably) slick
      jingles produced by professionals under the direction of an ad
      agency; this is typical of national ad campaigns. All this
      happened in a few weeks when Earthlink signed on.

      Unfortunately, the first Earthlink spot was a nauseating
      Disneyesque confection that even the most ardent spin by Steve
      could not redeem. After weeks of increasing torture
      accompanied by longer and longer disclaimers -- mitigated only
      by the ability to skip ahead to the actual show -- Earthlink
      finally came up with a new (arguably less nauseating) spot.

      Again unfortunately, the new spot was accompanied both by
      increasingly lengthy exhortations by Steve to give respect to his
      sponsor, and by a second more or less ad-libbed promotion for
      the Go Daddy domain registration service and Steve's
      commission mechanism, wrapped in a feel good appeal to help
      send his daughters to college.

      Frankly, I skipped all of this until I heard Jason Calacanis deliver
      an unsolicited testimonial to Go Daddy on one of the shows.
      This -- not more exhortations from Steve -- made me want to
      check them out, as the service they deliver appears to be
      superior to the domain registrar I currently use.

      As a result of all this, the total length of the Gillmor Gang/
      Gillmor Daily advertising preroll has been as long as 7 minutes
      and 30 seconds! This, in a show that has been cut down to
      26:20 to fit into a satellite programming slot.

      Lessons:

      1. Commercial jingles that trade on cuteness and pander to the
      audience age instantly.

      2. Repetition may work for uncritical idiots; it just annoys
      intelligent audiences, who need a distinct and appropriate
      campaign.

      3. More is not better. If you have to repeat, copy edit to be as
      concise (and entertaining) as possible.

      4. Guilt-tripping us repeatedly to respect the advertiser does not
      redeem offensive ad presentation or content. Downloads give us
      the power to skip your message entirely, so don't disrespect our
      time or our intelligence.


      <i>Despite </i>all of the above, the Gillmor Gang remains the
      best place I've found to gain some real perspective on the big
      issues in the fast moving IT ecology due to the insight routinely
      delivered by Steve and his guests.
      </pre>
      Stephen Hill
      • Sorry, that didn't work either

        I'm giving up for now.
        Stephen Hill