Saturday, December 03, 2005

So, what's been happening? #2

I last posted a detailed review of what's been happening here in 'tartanpodcastland' back in September. It's time for an update.

The answer to 'so, what's been happening?' is a simple 'a lot'. Clearly, flying to southern California for 3 days is a big deal to most people outside the US, so it's safe to say that the Portable Media Expo & Podcast Conference has been both a highlight and a watershed for me. Fantasing back in May about attending to actually being there seems like a lifetime, and sitting here 3 weeks after the event (and having weird Expo flashbacks) it seems like a further lifetime. Needless to say it was tiring and a bit stressful - both for me, but mostly for Gail and the children - but a landmark for me as a podcaster.

My intention back in May was to attend the Expo and market the tartanpodcast. Well, the reality, as it panned out, was a little different. I attended the Expo, but did little marketing. There are a number of reasons for this. One of the biggest ones is jetlag. I really wasn't myself until, well, the last day. So I wasn't on my game, and there's this whole thing about being away from all that's familiar (i.e. home) that tends to sap one's confidence. Just between us I'd hoped that my attendance would create more a 'stir' than it in fact did. I mean, I'd flown all the way over from Scotland! (Ewan Spence was there too, although he'd bundled it in with a business trip.) The upshot was that Ewan was mistaken for me, according to him, dozens of times. I was identified as me, probably twice.

If I'd had my confident head on I'd have got myself, and the tartanpodcast, noticed more. And that takes me to one of the other reasons I did very little marketing; it's just not me. I've turned down a TV interview and national press coverage in the past. I really don't like being in the limelight. The upshot is I don't like having to push myself forward.

A few highlights from the Expo;

  • meeting all the people I'd hoped to meet, bar one or two

  • hanging out at the pool with the music gang recording a show

  • Saturday night in the bar at the hotel - lots of fun and laughter and plans being made

  • Lance Anderson and his partner Marisols' unbelievable kindness to someone who was, in essence, a stranger to them; me. They took me on a great whistle-stop tour of LA, which included me seeing the actual location of a piece of art we have hangong on our livingroom wall
  • Visiting Dan Klass at his home and seeing exactly where he records the Bitterest Pill (this was a question he'd been asked as the live show he'd done on the Friday night at the Marriot - "what are you looking at when you record?" - a weird fascination many of us have of where our favourite podcasters podcast from)
  • Special thanks go to Marilyn Madsen for her generousity for part sponsoring my trip, CC and Laura Chapman for a great breakfast in the Pulp Fiction diner (thanks from Gail and Cameron for the maple syrup, too), John from the M Show for the In and Out burger and shake (the best shake I've ever had), Canis Lupis for being such a stalwart and true podcast brother and for saying I own a country and Chance for greeting me warmly in the lobby of the Marriot.

    If you're looking for a more indepth coverage of the Expo, simply search this site for 'expo'.

    When I returned home a few things developed quite rapidly. Firstly I got an email from a listener to say that the tartanpodcast was on the front page of iTunes. Well, they were sort of right. iTunes front page contained a section dedicated to music podcasts, and if you clicked through to page 3 of the list then you'd see the great little tartanpodcast iTunes logo, created by Andrew Pallister. So, yeah, sort of on the front page...No surge in subscribers resulted...

    Within in 20 minutes or so of returning home from the Expo I got a call from a neighbour who works for Caledonian University in Glasgow to say that they'd been listening to the tartanpodcast in work and that they wanted to meet me.

    Long story short, I met twice with some people at the University and they've appointed me as an associate of the Spoken Word department. Through time it's hoped I can consult with them on producing podcasts in the University. I've also had some encouraging correspondance with the Vice Principal of the University who was enthusiastic about some podcasting ideas I this space. Perhaps the pipe dream of starting Tartan Media Productions may become a reality. We'll wait and see...

    This brings me on to the subject of 'monetisation'; a term people seem to loathe. Perhaps because it's not really a proper word. Anyway, within a week or so of the Expo 5 of the 7 music podcast signed to Podshow received sponsorship/ads. We knew this was going to happen because we'd been told that the whole of Podshow was receiving sponsorship. Well, it didn't quite pan out that way. Neither the tartanpodcast, In Over Your Head nor Extra Super Action Show received sponsorship. Explanation as to why we were overlooked, ignored, passed over, whatever wasn't forthcoming, at least for me, until a couple of days ago. It seems the sponsors were advertising American specific products. I could point out that 60% of you guys are in North America, but what's the point, right?

    Anyway, this opens up another topic; will I run American ads? I've listened to the music podcasts that have been given this sponsorship and to be honest, the ads are terrible. What if I'm offered sponsorship that means running ads that jar or sit out of kilter with the whole vibe of the tartanpodcast? Obviously it'd be great if I could turn my nose up at them. So, we'll see what happens.

    I've been told on good authority that UK companies are brokering deals. Perhaps I'll be offered UK sponsorship? Again, we'll see what happens.

    Looking to the future I'd really like to keep the tartanpodcast advertisment free. The tartanpodcast is advertisment free at the moment and there are two way that will allow me to keep it that way;
    me being able to earn some sort of living via podcasting outwith the tartanpodcast (see above), or via listener voluntary subscriptions (see the right-hand side of this page). Again, we'll see what happens.

    When I was in California I got an email from a producer at BBC Radio Scotland asking if I'd like to take part in a radio quiz. Of course I was happy too - more details will follow, also see previous post.. Then a week after arriving home I was contacted by another BBC producer wanting some input on podcasting. Now, as a podcaster I've no interest in being a radio DJ, never have done. But by the same token when an establishment such as the BBC knows your name, so to speak, and contacts you to be on a quiz show or wants your input on podcasting and where the medium is going, etc, it's sorta nice and validating. Perhaps that comment has revealed me as being a shallow charlatan...but, hey, I grew up with BBC radio. Anyway, I put my 'brass neck' on and asked one of said producers why it's me they contact about podcasting. Her reply was that I'm the person whose name comes up.

    On the subject of BBC Radio, Tom Morton of the Tom Morton show on BBC Radio Scotland, himself a champion of new Scottish music, gave me a great quote that you can find on the top right-hand side of this page. It came about because he'd misunderstood my request for a quote for a press release some of us are putting together; he thought the press release was about the tartanpodcast, when in reality it's about something completely different. Details will follow...

    Finally, a busy month is coming up; on the 15th I'm running a podcast workshop (free of charge) - more details as they come - and on the 17th we're off on holiday for a week. Normal service will continue as best as I can.

    Thanks for staying subscribed, for voting at Podcast Alley (new month..), for your feedback and emails, for supporting the Scottish indie music scene and for your loyality. It means a lot.


    Anonymous Alain said...

    I so much look forward to your Sleepy Sunday show. I think I wrote once before that it echoes listening to Children's Choice in Wales in late 60's/early 70's while my Edinburgh dad made porridge --- not the music but the Sunday morning ritual. Today my son Cameron, daughter Rhiannon, wife Sheilagh and I listen while making/eating porridge in Portland, Oregon.
    Do I sense some existential weariness? Has the Tartanpodcast become too big to be small, and too small to be big yet? I understand that you have a business, a family, and a hobby /passion that are vying for your time and energy.
    I have been exposed to so much new and interesting music. I have turned on a few people to your podcast. I have purchased one CD from a band so far. I have been motivated to learn how to download a podcast, which in turn has connected me to other sources of news and music. I benefit and appreciate your labors - selfishly. I tell myself that when I am financially better off I look forward to supporting: US public broadcasting, liberal US politics, the Tartanpodcast, a college fund for my kids... The list goes on. I think that if you wait for me to "feel comfortable" and send money it will be a long wait. My self-knowledge doesn't make me feel great but just realistic.
    So this takes us back to advertising... I don't like the idea but I do see how it might provide financial support without relying on the generosity of your listeners. Believe me, if you could spend "goodwill" you would be a richman, but you and I know that goodwill doesn't pay the bills.
    The quality of the music and the experience you offer would keep me coming back.. However, bear in m ind I live in the U.S. and most of my media experiences are heaqvily loaded with commercials. Perhaps not the same for UK listeners, or others around the world.
    This is a long winded, and perhaps not well worded, missive to essentially say:
    Mark, thank you for sharing your love and labor. As much as I would love to enjoy the show advertising free I will continue to listen even with advertising. If I find the advertising to become a serious hurdle I will certainly let you know.

    Cheers ,
    Portland, Oregon

    December 04, 2005 8:10 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This article works very well with my child, hope you find it useful too.

    moclobemide adhd
    moclobemide adhd

    Children with ADHD

    There is a perplexing state of affairs in today's society, there lies a strong correlation between the affluence of a society and the amount of disease that is present. There is also another correlation that troubles many a people and that is with affluence comes disease at an Earlier age.

    Working with children and the parents of these children I often get asked the question, 'Why are Children with ADHD on the increase?'

    The answer as you shall find is one that is both interesting and challenging.

    Children of today are really no more different from the children of yesterday in terms of genetic makeup. However, if you examine the issue more closely you will tend to find that many children today have been given labels. For example, 'Oh, those are children with ADHD' or 'Those are the children who can't sit still.' Or 'That is the kid that always gets into trouble.'

    These labels are not only destructive but also become a self fulfilling prophecy as it is repeated adnauseum.

    So as a 21st century parent or a parent with a child with ADHD or a parent with children with ADHD, what knowledge framework do you need to equip yourself with to ensure your children live out their true potential?

    Here is a quick reference list for thinking about ADHD
    � ADHD is a source of great frustration because it is misunderstood
    � ADHD medications are a great short term time buying device and should be avoided long term
    � The above point goes for any sort of drug consumption. Think about it for a minute. Unless you have a biochemical deficiency in your body like Type 1 diabetes where your body fails to produce enough insulin or any at all, why would you take an external drug? A body that is in balance is totally healthy. It is only when the body is out of balance that dis-ease symptoms start to creep up.
    � ADHD is a biochemical imbalance of the mind and body.
    � The Head of Psychiatry in Harvard states that drugs for ADHD simply mask the effects of ADHD. It does not cure ADHD. This is an important point because a cure implies never to have to take the medication. This means that once you start on medication you will have to be on it for the rest of your life i.e. you have medically acquired a dependency for a biochemical imbalance. That is like stuffing all your rubbish (problematic behaviors) into a closet (medication) where no one can see it. But if you continue to stuff more rubbish into that closet, one day you will not have enough space and need to do one of two things. You either empty the rubbish (the natural conclusion) or you get a bigger closet (i.e. change to stronger medication to control the symptoms). The choice is obvious but sometimes when you don't have the necessary tools to deal with ADHD you tend to think the bigger closet is the only option.
    � ADHD children are super sensitive to the emotions around them. Often they pick up emotional cues from their parents without realizing. Many parents come home frustrated or annoyed from work, the child with ADHD picks this up and starts to 'cause trouble' by becoming restless. Parents frustration increase because they just want some peace and quiet. They get angry which in turn is picked up by the child who then intensifies their activity. Things get way out of hand and some sort of punishment is handed down to the child who has no idea what just happened. The cycle repeats itself every so often.
    � Our brains are wired emotionally. Positive praise is interpreted as an analytical/thinking exercise. Negative criticism including scolding, name calling, physical punishment all go directly to the emotional brain of children with ADHD. This means in order to ensure you get your message across in the most optimal way, you need to learn how to communicate with your ADHD children the way they like to be communicated with.
    � Every negative comment requires 16 positive comments to neutralize the emotion. Save yourself the frustration and agitation by practicing positive communication.

    The list is by no means complete. In dealing with children with ADHD there are a certain set of behavioural principles to follow. I will detail these steps in the coming weeks. I'll also build on the list as you continue to learn about what appears to be a mystical disorder known as 'Children with ADHD'

    March 03, 2006 12:00 AM  

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