Joseph Nathan Cohen

Department of Sociology, CUNY Queens College, New York, NY

Developing Content Creation Franchises

This livestream was produced as part of the QPL Learning Series project.

Original Video Description

This discussion explores some of the decisions facing those who wish to develop a new content creation franchise.

Transcription (Auto-Generated)

all right there we go hopefully uh we didn’t have me s swearing over a technical glitch at the beginning of this uh at the beginning of this uh presentation uh welcome everybody it’s uh great to uh have you here on zoom and on uh and online hold on i’m just going to make an amendment if you’ll just let me change the setting here all right all right jason i’m i’m going to make you co-host on this if i may just so that uh because i’m getting a lot of uh i’m getting a lot of uh notices to enter the room okay all right thank you very much right here let me co-host all right and let’s turn off the waiting room i guess and then maybe all right there we go now we can get started all right all right hold on let’s get this into gallery view welcome everybody it’s uh to uh here on zoom and a welcome to those of you who are joining us on youtube my name is joseph cohen i’m a professor in the sociology department here at queen’s college in the city university of new york and i’m joined by my colleague jason tuga in the english department hi jason i’m jason tua and like joe said i’m in the english department and our colleague anthony borrelli anthony always a pleasure sir thank you for having me i’m anthony i’m a queen’s podcast lab student intern and um here to help and we have some other uh members uh on the zoom uh uh jorge tracy oscar if you ever wanna chime in just just go ahead and interrupt me but i’m gonna get started on the presentation uh it’s great to see uh all of you again all right let me just make sure that i am uh all right so let’s get started with today’s presentation all right so today we are talking about developing content creation franchises and i’ll explain uh what i mean by that in a second but before i begin a few announcements um first off uh we have moved our email list to sub stack and if you would like to join us for the zooms and keep up to date on our programming uh uh our new uh content or anything else that we’re doing here at the queen’s podcast lab go visit queenspodcastslab.sub and join our mailing list we’d love to uh be able to uh keep you up to date on all that we do also uh join us next week next friday when we will have sit down for a conversation with our very own jason tuga on storytelling a lot of what we do uh in content creation is storytelling jason is a recognized expert on the topic and i’m hoping to talk about what goes into telling stories what differentiates a good storyteller from a bad one talk about your creative process as a pro jason um uh jason’s law has launched a new course here at queen’s college on writing for podcasts and some of what yeah i mean i gotta tell you jason the stuff that i’ve heard from your students is is really awesome like it’s really cool i’m amazed by what uh amazing well i’m amaze i shouldn’t say i’m a that’s not good storytelling um i am very thrilled to see what cool what cool stories they have come up with and and it’s non-fiction so the stories are all about the people and they’ve found amazing people doing amazing things and it’s really it’s really exciting to see that’s totally awesome and you know it’s it’s it’s one of the real pleasures of this project is coming into contact with humanities scholars like yourself and learning from all all you guys know uh so i’m looking forward to sit down if you’d like to if you’re not already on our mailing list uh you can join us uh by signing up or uh on our sub stack email list or you can rsvp to me joseph.cohan we have all sorts of programming coming up this fall after jason uh we’re going to have a short seminar on hosting podcasts you know orchestrating the recording session doing show preparation working with guests uh on october 27th we’re gonna have our project’s first academic presentation it’s a discussion of fame how do you get it how do people use it and uh how do people maintain it it’s part of some work that i’m doing with my colleague ryan sperry and then we’re bringing in a bunch of outside experts on different topics that might be of interest to you uh digital publishing in the writing business we’re bringing an expert on creativity the law uh producing video games and uh we’re planning more programming so uh stay tuned uh to what we’re up to now today what we’re going to talk about is developing a content creation franchise and i have two types of uh audiences in mind for this talk uh sometimes i meet people who they want to create they want to use new media platforms but they got no idea how to get started they just know that they want to try creating but like they’re just completely paralyzed by like with you know by not knowing all of the details that need to be tackled how to get going and so for some of you if that’s one of you this is uh a a a seminar that addresses that those interests and then once in a while i’ve consulted with people who they’ve they’ve started a content creation franchise and they’ve done one two three episodes and then they just run out they’re like i don’t know what else to do and often what happens is they’ve been thinking of that one youtube video or that one podcast that they’ve intended to make like when they imagine being a youtuber they thought about that one video over and over again and so their first crack is something really well worked out and they have a couple side ideas but in my experience um successful content creators develop a system they develop a work system almost like an organization even if it’s a one-person organization they make decisions and they set up work routines and we’re going to talk about those decisions in those work routines and creating a system of content creation where you’re able to uh understand that you have an audience and look to what your audience is interested in to give you ideas and develop a dialogue so that you’re not just speaking to who knows who on the one idea you had but you’re building a relationship with the community um i’ll explain more as we go on um just for some background where does this advice come from well uh what i’m going to present to you today is something that has been developed by a research project that i’m running it’s a mixed methods research project on content creation entrepreneurship and what we do is we run podcasts and we experiment with running them and training people and getting people to run podcasts for us that’s the field experiment component and we’ve interviewed successful podcasters what we’ve done is uh we go on the itunes sub genre charts and we sample randomly selected members and if they’ve had at least a hundred episodes and a hundred itunes ratings we feel that’s a a reasonably well developed enterprise and we we talked to them we asked them how did you do this how did you get here how do you do your work and then there’s been some consulting experiences which have more uh inform the problems that people run into so that’s where this advice is coming from and uh the advice for people or sort of the information that i find is most helpful to people who don’t know how to get started or people who are in a rut and don’t know how to get things going keep them going up i’m going to talk about sort of five things that you should think about on the way to developing your uh podcast or content a digital content creation franchise it could be a youtube channel could be an instagram account you know it could be a reddit handle it could be a tick-tock uh you know tick-tock account whatever you are looking for a lot of these general principles uh uh apply now the first thing i want to do is talk about what am i talking about when i’m talking about a content creation franchise just so we’re all on the same page so a content creation franchise starts with a branded entity at its center a content creation franchise might be most famously associated with a youtube account might be most famously associated with the podcast account but really what it is is there’s a core identity or a brand it can be a person it can be a show it can be a character it can be a you know a an organization and that organization creates digital content videos images audio or text and it transmits them over a media portfolio and those people plug in to the many lines of communication that the franchise that central identity puts out and they basically plug their informational diet their cultural diet into the franchise and the reason i call it a franchise is because there’s like a core concept or a core idea so in this graph uh this is the podcast our flagship podcast of the queen’s podcast lab the annex sociology podcast we have the franchise and it’s a show and it’s recognized as a podcast show but not all of our audience even listens to the show some of them interact with us on social media and they talk about the stuff we talk about some of them uh interact on our website and we’ll visit once in a while they don’t listen to us regularly but they like to visit us and mine us for resources and we’re trying to develop now an email list and so people will tap into an informational universe that you’re constructing and they might do it through your principal channel they might do it through one of your auxiliary channels or they might tap into multiple channels but the point is is that a content franchise sends out information through all sorts of channels and people plug into them and and grant you a piece of their attention a piece of their media diet and the more people who plug into one of your channels the larger your platform the larger the universe of people who are basically allowing you to help them construct their informational universe or their world view um so that’s what a content franchise is uh i just want to give you a couple examples of other content franchises anybody ever heard of mr beast this is a youtuber his shtick schtick is sort of like a yiddish word for like his standard routine that he uses to entertain or create content is that he gives away money he’s a rich guy who supposedly gives away money and he is known for his youtube videos but the guy has a podcast he has tons of social media feeds he goes uh on live stream and interacts with fans on twitch or youtube live he also has a huge merchandising operation where he sells clothing and gifts and novelties and even has a fast food delivery where i think he works with doordash and will co-brand a burger that the local diner sends you and they’ll put like a sticker on it or something like that and then he’s also a content creation advisor and he develops smaller accounts and i suppose he makes some type of financial gain so there’s a guy at the center mr beast and he’s putting out all sorts of content on all sorts of different channels he’s not really a youtuber he’s a franchise he exists on many corners of the internet i had a one of our we had a uh in our project we spoke with a uh a podcaster who was specializing in theme park news and information related to a particular theme park they had a podcast they had social media feeds they also had a book that helped tourists visit the theme park and they ran a travel agency so the podcast informed told people about the book and the book told people about the travel agency and the podcast told people about the travel agency when people would visit the travel agency they’d be like well look at our podcast to plan your vacation and they created an informational universe that people could jump into so it wasn’t just about the podcast they were doing all sorts of things they had a business portfolio um content franchises can be built around people organizations social movements and a lot else and you you might think it’s kind of schlocky to think of yourself as a content creation enterprise you’re like i’m just a person but like that’s how academics do their jobs that’s how people in marketing do their jobs like that’s how communications oriented enterprises run like like as an academic an academic has their brand it’s their personal name and they put out books and they do speaking engagements and they develop relationships with the press and they have consulting gigs and they do lectures and classes you know it’s the same thing it’s the same thing except you’re constructing you might be constructing an identity that is separate from your work status as a professor or as a student is there any questions or comments that anybody likes to talk about content franchises just what they are and what we’re talking about developing when we’re talking about developing a content franchise if there’s not then i’ll move on to the second item to think about and that is thinking about why you’re uh creating so before you even get started thinking about what type of youtube channel am i gonna have what type of podcast am i gonna run i think the it is important for you to stop and ask yourself why am i even getting into this um would i i mean we could take a uh why do people create in in your view would anybody like to opine on that or shall we just jump in uh personally i think people have a passion to create because they might have an idea and they with how we’ve sort of grown into this day and age where so many people have just posted their ideas be it like people posting art on twitter or just minor clips on tick tock it shows that everyone has a desire to sort of put out they put out something that you know put something that they express themselves through and they want to see how other people respond to it see if they’re there’s a shared opinion or shared thoughts likewise so it’s like a love of expression and a desire to reach out to other people yes and to see how other people react to i mean humans are expressive creatures you know very much though i love it tamar says to fill a gap tamar what do you mean do you want to expound on it either in the chat window or verbally absolutely um so you know our ever-changing world um there are new needs and so a new need might pop up that you see no one else is filling and then you’re wanting to fill it like a need for information or need to talk or hear talk about something or i need to learn or flesh out an issue i love it lay professor cohen thank you i agree i agree a thousand percent so i’ll say this when i got into the into researching uh uh a podcasting i had an assumption that there were two fundamental motives that people got into uh creation and that’s money and attention and i got into this project as a creator i had some modest success as a podcaster before i started uh researching this and that means that’s what i assumed of myself even you know like wasn’t i podcasting to help my career when we boiled down to it wasn’t i trying to do this to impress the cuny bigwigs or have something interesting when i wanted a promotion wasn’t i enjoying people listening to what i talk about and you know did i receive any you know satisfaction from that i mean i’d be lying if i said no but don’t overestimate the value of money or attention how easy it is to get either and how much you’ll value it once you get any of it and this is not just a personal experience but it’s something that has borne out when i’ve spoken to successful creators now on the money front my research suggests that even a pretty successful creator does not eke out a lot of money on the content itself i can tell you somebody who got a book royalty check that just about bought me a sandwich at yankee stadium the other week like creating it can result in a windfall if you’re like the lebron james of content creation right if you’re the tom hanks of blogging maybe but for even very good creators i find most of them have day jobs or they incorporate content creation into their jobs or they run businesses where the content creation sort of acts as a marketing arm of their job or they don’t care about money really and as far as attention when i talk to people who are reasonably successful my sense is that the reward of fame fades quite quickly and when i talk to research subjects about fame most of them are like graceful about it and they acknowledge that it’s flattering as long as it isn’t intrusive or threatening but it’s not like i don’t see my sense from my response isn’t that they’re like living for this attention it it almost becomes a mild sort of inconvenience when you dig down you find that people have a lot of reasons for creating [Music] one very important one is just a passion or a topic for what they’re creating about like i i’ll give you an example uh ryan and i interviewed a respondent who did a comic book related podcast and this guy had every bit of fanaticism about comics as like a regular professor does about their corner of math right or like sixth century greek literature like they’re just like us in a lot of ways they have a burning passion for something but it doesn’t neatly fit into sort of the institutionalized system of the academy but like when i’ve spoken to sports podcasters or comic podcasters they sound like professors they’re very well versed in their fields they’re very passionate they’re very knowledgeable you know and so a passion will sustain like that’s a great reason to do it some people they incorporate creation into their work and they create because it helps them do their job that happens very often some people run a business i said a lot of people though they create to establish status or connection in a community that they had an a priori attachment to what i mean is that like if i said to you if you said to me joe i want to make a popular podcast what would you recommend would make me popular i’d say well anti-vaxx would probably be a good way to get famous selling out you know like if i did an anti-semitic podcast as a jew i’m sure i could get a lot i mean right people would love that i could spread hate that always is an easy sale and but you’re like well that’s not what i mean and therein lies the point you don’t actually care about raw popularity that much right you don’t want to talk about bieber justin bieber all day even though that would probably get you the clicks right so no none of you even those of you think that you’re in for popularity you have limits and those limits show that it’s not actually about popularity studies show that a lot of creators what they are and a lot of people in general when they think about impressing people they often have a reference group like your general popularity is a vehicle for impressing your friends and your kids it’s a vehicle for impressing your colleagues it’s a vehicle for impressing the people at church who you care about whatever so often we create to impress a particular group and if that’s the case then create for that group just go wait for the jugular go rate to reach out to the people who you want to engage because they’re the ones you care about there are other uh other motives that i’ve seen you know people have they want to do community service that’s i that’s what i got from tamar there’s a need out there and they wanted to fulfill it uh oscar that just the pure uh pleasure of creativity expression and performance absolutely you know people who get into content creation are expressive types they like telling stories at parties you know they like telling anecdotes they like writing stuff and sharing it right like writing long funny letters that everybody reads on social media it’s a it’s it’s just a source of enjoyment in and of itself my recommendation here is that you think about why you’re doing this and keep your motives in mind when you’re developing your franchise why there’s a very important reason and it’s that understanding your motives helps guide you towards developing a content creation enterprise that is personally rewarding to you and it is my belief or it’s what i infer from my research is that ultimately buy-in from the creator is the determinant of whether an enterprise lives or dies what do i mean by that 30 years ago money would kill a magazine a magazine would die because it runs out of money you couldn’t print it right uh a uh a tv show would get cancelled and the money would run out you needed money to engage in mass communications and often what made a mass communications enterprise non-viable is that they didn’t have enough money to sustain that mass communications technology has changed to the point now where it’s virtually free to run a mass medium to run a mass communications enterprise and so a lot of successful people who i’ve interviewed they don’t even care about money some very well-known podcasts probably run operational losses but the the the entrepreneur doesn’t care because they love doing it for some reason the so one way to ensure that your enterprise will survive is to tap into what you want personally and try to find a way to create an enterprise a franchise that is giving you what you’re really seeking so that you want to invest in it so you want to keep up with it because that will keep you on board and keeping you on board to run your franchise is the factor that i believe you know separates is successful from an unsuccessful one i don’t think it matters if you don’t have any listeners as long as you’re rewarded by the experience of doing it in some way and you keep on doing it are there any comments or questions on this point why we podcast and thinking about your motives uh well i guess i would just make a comment about the annex because i think it’s a really good model for this um you know the annex is a podcast focused on uh major research in sociology it seems to me that it tends to focus on uh you tend to invite guests who are doing work who that has uh a relatively broad appeal because it’s about stuff that matters to people in the real world yeah right and so it becomes and these are people who’ve written books done research and the podcast uh plays a very particular role which is it translates that research into another medium um that creates a different kind of engagement and so you have you have like a ready audience for this sociology students sociology uh professionals right and um that i think a lot of people including me have ideas where the audience is not so well defined but i do think that starting with audience is important we’re going to get to that in a second audiences okay but i i will say like if you ask me why i really like doing it one is i get to meet people who do what i do and share my love of sociology so even like i just like meeting people and i get to see them at conferences and i almost feel like i made friends in my line of work so just on a very personal level apart from the fact that it’s related to my job you know it’s rewarding and i personally get excited to meet the people who wrote the stuff that i like reading and now they’ll talk to me so it’s almost a privilege for me and then the other cool thing is it’s just become part of my job i’ve just made it part of my job and i i like doing this you know so it’s like the main reason the annex has survived is just because i personally just get so much out of doing it and i mean it used to be a more popular podcast its audience collapsed for a variety of reasons which we’ll talk about at some point but like it didn’t even matter because i still enjoyed making it and then i was able to recover because i still like doing it well that’s another thing i think that’s important which is that you might be in a moment where your audience is not as big as it was but that doesn’t mean those episodes won’t get a huge audience in six months yeah because they’ll still be there you know yeah it’s a i have a model where it relies on organic searches people can look at stuff after the fact but let’s talk about that that point that you made jason about audience because that’s a i think that’s a really important one too let’s talk about that for a second so once you have a sense of what you’re looking for in creating a an enterprise the next step is to develop a show concept a show concept is like a a rich description of what your show is about like what it sounds like what it talks about who listens what makes it special in fact i think i made a list here i gave you an idea right it’s not that you answer all of these questions although it can help it’s that you know these things like you have a solid vision in your mind of how the show actually sounds and what types of things it’ll talk about and to do that my recommendation is that you think of four things your focal audience the building blocks at your disposal and your media portfolio and then you try to tie it all together in that descriptive final package the the polish concept i want to talk about each of these in turn but interrupt me if you have something to add jason or anybody the first thing to think about is who is my focal audience who am i making the show for in marketing parlance we talk about it as your target market right and people might think uh so the reason that you want to have your audience in mind is first it will help you develop a product that is sensitive to what that group wants and is interested in but more importantly for everybody who started three podcasts and petered out and ran out of show ideas when you know who you’re talking to it’s very easy to come up with ideas just see what they’re taught what they’re talking about online you know or when you’re reading a newspaper you’ll come across stories and you’ll be like oh this is an issue that the community i serve is routinely thinking about i will tell you all successful podcasters almost all successful podcasters that i’ve come into contact with uh uh uh that i’ve come into contact with they’ve all had a very strong sense of who they’re talking to they have to talk about the community my fans my audience it’s their focal audience tamara asks is it possible to share your notes with us after the live stream absolutely tamar you bet um my recommendation though often when we think of uh audiences we think of people’s geographic you know uh characteristics or their demographic characteristics or their group memberships are like oh i’m gonna do a podcast for 18 to 34 year old you know male consumers who like sports mean i don’t feel that is helpful to someone like me what i always ask people to contemplate is who’s interested in what you’re interested in this enterprise think of your audience in terms of shared interests right who likes what you like talking about who reads the books you like reading who wants to hear the questions that you want answered answered and the idea behind it is rather than changing yourself to fit what you feel the market would like which is a very old conception of media right that made sense when everybody was choosing from five different tv channels but now the content creation market is fragmented into a million little pieces and your best shot in my opinion is to find an audit it’s now possible for audiences who share your interest to find you so put out what you really care about what you’re really interested in and find the people who like what you like that’s my advice to you in addition and we’ll talk about this in a in a moment try to find an audience who would appreciate the strengths that you bring to the uh to the table in creation i’ll explain that in in a moment and then finally ask yourself do i care about this audience and try to speak to people who you care about because like if you move an audience that you care about then the experience of creation is meaningful the feedback you get is meaningful like if i said listen i could make you the number one podcaster among three to five-year-olds unless you’re interested in what three to five year olds think of you the experience won’t be meaningful right you want to create for people who you care about when you are able to identify who you’re interested in and it’s like it’s a sleuthing it’s a sleuthing exercise it’s a discovery exercise when you find out who you want to speak with well then you get all sorts of ideas obviously topics to discuss guests or collaborators to bring on but also things like format right i came to learn over the course of doing my podcast that people listened to us while uh they were commuting or while they were on the treadmill which makes a 30 minute show good we used to have hour and a half shows with multiple topics and eventually we tried to get it down to 30 45 minute shows with segments we’re not always successful keeping it that short but we move from a variety show to a show with thematic individual episodes because we realize that’s what our audience wants that makes sense given how our audience consumes us they look us up on youtube they look us up on google whatever it gives you an idea of product features what i mean is you know small creative decisions in your franchise it will give you an idea of how to appeal to them right like what type of music to have should i have sound effects should i have a peppy a uh you know fm morning radio or should i have like or should i have a chilled out npr vibe that’s really authentic you know there’s so many minor creative decisions that you can make and they’re easier to make when you know who you’re talking to joe yeah would it make sense to show something from the npr podcast startup guide or is that not definitely definitely so let me share screen for a second yeah you bet hold on let me make you co-host yeah i think i am all right cool um okay so here we go so first of all this oh it’s only sharing that one um hang on i want to open both uh do you see the cover right now yeah i see uh concentric circles that looks like an alcohol related enterprise okay so hang on so this is first of all do you see the cover now no now i don’t see anything okay this is the book this is uh glenn weldon from um from uh mpr’s show uh one of their shows it’s about pop culture um he wrote this book called npr’s podcast startup guide so i think annoyingly i have to stop sharing to show the other thing jason has been raving it’s a good book you say it’s a good book yes and he’s got this he’s got a couple of things that i think are really helpful in terms of thinking about this and one is this diagram where he asks you to think about your core audience and then more peripheral peripheral audiences so this one is like it’s about a craft beer podcast so he starts with like home brewers craft beer drinkers and pub crawlers then you can just see the audience gets more general as it goes out and i think it’s a helpful exercise to do i put it in the chat um the other thing there’s something in the book that i think is pretty pretty helpful which is that he’s got this exercise with it that he calls where does your audience hang out yeah and it’s a series of questions of like where do they live uh what websites do they read what social media do they use etc etc and just um but like what and what length are they going to want you know um being able to answer those questions i think will help a lot in crafting how you both at the topic itself and how you present it i like that too because he’s you see he’s zeroed in on a very specific group or like let’s say if you’re a craft brewer you don’t want to make a show for everybody right you want to talk to craft brewers and then there are groups that have a lot in common with craft brewers that might also be interested that are in the concentric circles and it’s great to key in on an audience you should know who you’re talking to and almost all of the successful podcasters that i’ve interviewed have an extremely clear idea and they’re very sensitive to who their audience is they even make sure to interact with their audience a lot of them in a regular basis just to keep that you know that link alive to to keep that familiarity going it’s very very important on web 2.0 media um yeah on the podcast ologies you know that podcast no i don’t know that one ali ward it’s a it’s a science podcast she interviews people she she calls them ologists so anybody she can like attach that to she interviews um so it could be anything from like dolphins to like racism right and anyway she um she makes money through a patreon account like a lot of podcasters but she asks uh she she really solicits feedback from the audience on patreon and then she reads a few of their comments on every episode so it makes the audience feel like they’re part of the enterprise you know and she’s also creating a powerful social reward for her financial supporters you know it strikes me we should definitely do a session on monetization uh we we’ve developed a whole scheme on what we’ve observed i’ll save it for another thing all right moving on that was awesome the uh so understanding who you’re talking to is important but there’s also the question of what do you bring to the table creators often lean on skills or resources that allow them to develop distinctive content like all of us have special abilities we’re good at something in business strategy they’d say what are your core competencies are you a good performer are you an expert in something are you funny do you have access to archival materials that no one else can use are you part of groups or do you have a you know do you have access to certain uh collaborators or guests you know famous people figure out where your special abilities lie and if you can find a way to take what you’re especially good at and make it a feature that distinguishes your content enterprise that can be very helpful to you and it can make it more rewarding because it’s people love to engage in operations that play to their strengths right we all love doing stuff we’re really good at it makes it more pleasurable and it gives us a better chance of making something high quality and that’s worth contemplating like so for example i am not very strong in physical aesthetic things i’m not a good dresser all my clothes are from costco i can’t really draw i can’t do graphic design and so like podcasting’s good i mean i don’t have much hair so podcasting is a good medium for me right i like conversation i feel confident about my voice you know i’m i feel like i’m i’m i’m quick on my feet and i like i like talking to people so it makes sense that i’d be a podcaster it would make sense that my podcast would be a conversation interview show because that’s what i’m good at that’s where i feel good you know if we were doing an instagram where i was going out in a swimsuit i don’t feel i would do very well in that and so i that’s not going to be my enterprise even if let’s say all the sociologists would love a swimsuit you know a swimsuit instagram feed like i’m not the one to deliver that because i don’t got it and so take stock of what you can do what resources you have that can make the content special and then what you try to do well hold on and then what you try to do is you try to find a medium where your target audience is and a medium that capitalizes on what you’re good at what you’re skilled at and you try to serve your audience there assuming that they’re on that medium and there’s a lot you have a lot of media at your disposal you have lots of choices for creating digital content first of all a web and blogging people dismiss the importance or the value of a website like i didn’t realize this like even my department’s website it gets like a couple hundred hits a day like a couple hundred people every day go and look at that website now imagine if we physically had 200 visitors walking into the department daily that’s a lot of people you know 20 years ago when uh i mean i i worked in a radio station in the 90s 20 years ago people didn’t scoff at an audience of 500 or a thousand people that was considered a good audience nowadays people are like oh only two hundred thousand two hundred thousand would be like a national broadcast in canada back in the day right so don’t dismiss uh you know don’t dismiss media like websites uh that can get you a couple hundred hits that’s a lot in reality it’s just people’s sense of what’s a lot is distorted joe can i interject something specifically for students i would recommend podcasts you listen to like big ones and ones that are making money and so i would i would mention 99 invisible is one the one allergies i mentioned before is another joe rogan uh fresh air even though it’s on the radio too pay close attention to the credits because those bigger podcasts have teams and with many roles and they’re different for each one but the obvious one is a producer but there are researchers there are sometimes designers there are people doing all kinds of different things if you’ve gained some experience with developing and producing content like in college or wherever else you are then you can be a candidate for those jobs and if you’re a person who’s like i’m not a host that’s just not me there’s a lot of other stuff you can do yeah that’s awesome advice actually that’s really awesome advice because it’s true not all of us uh not all of us get joy from being the performer but there’s still a joy in creating that can occur anywhere in the production process that’s so true like script writing i mean who would love to be a comedy writer even if he never showed up on a thing instead i’m at the university where i have a captive audience that’s forced to listen to my jokes on the path to getting credit yeah anyhow so pick him the point that i’m making here is pick a medium pick a medium that relies on your strengths if it’s visual if you have a strong aesthetic sense you know uh for images you know uh try pinterest if it’s a craft type of oriented thing you try instagram if it’s static images if you are a writer and you like writing short bits you know there’s a bunch of micro blogging like facebook is a good medium twitter is a good medium for short quips longer reads medium you know or a blog you get the idea though there’s a there’s a variety of platforms email lists ebooks short videos long form videos images short messaging long reads you know audio of all type and don’t just assume that you have to go on the same media that everybody’s talking about might be that all the kids on earth are on tick tock but if you’re not into making one-minute videos then tick-tock isn’t the place for you because tick talks about making one-minute videos you know but if you’re somebody who like loves videos and doesn’t want to do long stuff man tick tock might be just for you so the medium has to match not only the audience but also your competencies what you’re good at your building blocks your special building blocks and then what you want to do is you want to take a sense of what you’re good at who your audience is and what medium you want to work on and you develop that rich description of your show you know that elevator pitch that way that you can just describe it in like 30 seconds that just makes it vivid now that won’t be your final and that’s not that won’t forever describe your enterprise but it’s like it’s a working idea so you have something firm to imagine uh that you can use uh when you’re coming up with specific show ideas once you have an idea of the concept my recommendation to students and learners is just go out and start doing it just go out and start doing it don’t over plan don’t think forever about it just start making stuff and if you don’t know if it’s gonna be good don’t announce what you’re doing until you’ve had like four or five episodes until you’ve had 20 posts tell you like you don’t have to tell the world about it start it on the download make sure you like it and then once you feel good about it tell other people but once you get started you’re going to want to develop a structured production and promotion system and really what this means is explicitly laying out the job that you do all of the steps that are required to create a single episode that way uh once you make it concrete it’s easier to share it’s easier to find efficient ways to do it it’s easier to work on three episodes at once while you’re doing the same operation it’s easier to train other people there’s a lot of reasons and it’s easier to improve because you’re writing down what you’re doing you have a model this is a process at the annex that was developed over time every annex episode is the culmination of these six steps and over time i’ve learned to do each of these in a way like i’ve because these steps have been made explicit i’ve developed my own method that works for me to create the type of show like i can tell you how i do each of these steps and for example some of this i will talk about when we do hosting i’ll talk about how i do show preparation i’ll talk about how i come up with ideas for my show but that might not be useful to what you do right i found my own way but what is important is that you develop an explicit sense of your work process get make a to-do list right map it out um so what we what i do is i have methods for coming up with ideas right so i’ll start i’ll i’ll look on social media or i’ll read the journals or i’ll go on message boards and i’ll just look to see what people are talking about or i’ll just read sociology and be taken by a story and then i go out and i look for people who have expertise on what i want i’ll ask openly on twitter i’ll do a web search i’ll do a lit review show preparation we’ll talk about in a couple weeks doing research coming up with content in case you know conversation gets slow the recording session post production is editing the raw audio to make it sound good and then web and social media postings when you lay out what you do one you’re able to you have a firmer grasp of what you’re actually doing and that allows you to research each step develop new ideas for each step sharpen the saw if you don’t know what you’re doing if you’re doing anything chaotically it will feel like a bigger job it will be stressful but when you break a big job up into small pieces it becomes more doable people tend to stay engaged how do you eat an elephant one bite at a time and then finally truthfully you know i think when you talk to old media people they often talk as if there’s a right and wrong way to do everything and i think that that’s a byproduct of legacy how legacy media people think i believe in our new media environment where there’s a lot of micro outlets and small you know small audience enterprises that run just fine i think there aren’t as many set rules as there used to be and to figure out what is going to be good for you just got to start you got to start creating you got to start creating and make your organization run in a way that works for what you have in terms of ability and time and resources to create stuff that resonates with your audience and everybody’s got opinions i give you my opinions but they’re not going to work for everybody you know they might only work for me you got to make the leap but this is the point where people often stop a lot of people stop once it starts to get real and they realize that at some point they’re going to have to put their stuff out there often students will pull back they’ll be like oh whoa whoa whoa whoa what’s happening here so let me just end with some encouraging words number one what happens is people are afraid of negative feedback they’re afraid of getting criticized or mocked and it really can rob them of you know the opportunity to enjoy you know creating and what we do first know that this anxiety that you feel is normal and it will go away after you do it a couple times exposure to putting yourself out there makes it easier it’s almost like when you had to learn to ask people out on a date you know when i was 13 i thought i would die you know no i mean uh once i once i got a little older it wasn’t as scary i have found that when i have brought people to the point of putting stuff out participants are often surprised that their work is positively received and more importantly participants are often happy themselves like i find people get way more satisfaction out of looking at something they made saying that’s good i like it as opposed to having other people tell them that they like it there’s no greater satisfaction than liking what you you make and that’s doesn’t always happen yeah and and people will like it people will like it and i’ll tell you the students who we’ve worked with jason i think you’ll agree with me it’s great stuff it might not be good for a 45 year old you know suburban dad but like i could see the appeal if it appeals to you why not someone else um avoid magnifying negative feedback sometimes i think you’ve had we’ve all had this experience on social media where you say something and like 50 people are like yeah man you’re a good job and then one person makes this comment and you’re thinking about that guy the whole time right it’s basically 50 positives and one negative is like a 98 satisfaction rate but you’re thinking about that two percent right avoid that or i find for me personally i’ve learned to i’ve learned to enjoy creating more and i see a lot of other respondents they learn to appreciate the positive feedback sometimes we’re quick to dismiss positive things that are said about us because we’re like oh give me the truth somebody’s gotta tell me the truth that i’m terrible you know but no if someone gives you positive feedback that’s good i can i just add to that that yeah uh i’ve often had the experience with graduate students who are putting their work out into the world um and they get somebody saying you know wanting to pick a fight with them on social media yeah and my advice is always do not respond to that person like it’s very tempting they want to respond because they want to defend themselves it’s going it’s not going anywhere it’s not going anywhere good i mean if you’re the person who wants to make the podcast about like i’m an anti-semitic jew then yes you want to engage in that but if you’re not that person i would just steer clear she said i think your microphone something happened with your microphone oh it’s because my cat is roaming around on the nest ethan we get to you in a second but i want to say invader 145 on youtube has a really good question what if you’re your own critic and i’d say to that dude take it easy on yourself you know you don’t like chances are when you made it there was something redeeming like you don’t have to hate on yourself the world’s harsh enough negative critics are louder sometimes that’s totally true that’s totally true and anthony did you have something to say on this yeah um just make it whatever it is you know there’s always jokes especially about podcasts like oh just you’re just making a a podcast by you and your friends or like it’s just you and your friends talk because you guys think you have such great banter okay but like to make a podcast maybe it’s not the hardest thing in the world but you need the equipment you need the time and you need to actually know what you’re talking about if you’re going to talk about a subject so if you think that you and your friends uh or you and some colleagues some other students whoever you do this with even if it’s just yourself if you think you’re knowledgeable enough and it’s something you’re passionate about enough that you want to talk about it then just make it you don’t have to put it out at first you can just make a few episodes and practice or but as long as you’re making it you will get more comfortable i’ve had to record many things over the years and i used to hate how i sounded on audio but now i’m very indifferent to it especially when i have friends who tell me like oh you sounded great or you sounded so professional when we record things because i practice with them or we’ll do a little thing and they’re like no you sounded like the best out of all of us and i’m like well no i i hate my voice what are you talking about you have to realize that it doesn’t matter what you think of yourself when you’re doing it as long as you’re being actually because everybody has those negative voices as long as you’re actually critical like okay maybe i was saying uh too much that’s okay if you’re like oh no i hate it i hate what i sound like i hate this i hate that like that’s not productive you want positive feedback from yourself you want crea uh what’s it called constructive criticism and you need to be able to criticize yourself in a a healthy way i have that’s very true i agree with you a hundred percent i want to say we got mike manna here he says just start making stuff that’s pretty much my motto press record right that’s mike menna and then i agree with you anthony in fact you know this is what i would say on this is remember unconstructive negative feedback is often not about you right no matter who you are there’s a big group of people who don’t like whatever they think you’re part of you know they don’t like your profession they don’t like your taste they don’t like who you are that’s just life but like it’s not about the creation you can’t help that and i wouldn’t take it that being said you should always strive to improve by learning what you do wrong right take critical take constructive feedback as a favor because as you get better you’ll have the opportunity to reach more people and finally focus on communing with people who appreciate your interests and your work right the environment has changed we no longer create stuff to appeal to all of america we create for people with narrowly defined tastes and interests and the key is it finding a way to please everybody the key is to finding people who like what you like and they like what you’re about and you develop a relationship with them and you can find a lot of people like that on the internet now just because it’s a big world you know there’s just like there’s there’s 10 000 people for just about every interest or taste so you just got to find him it’s like somebody once told me about uh getting married and getting a job you just have to find like one person to sucker in and then you’re good it’s sort of like that with pot you just gotta find a few people who like what you like and they’re out there for sure so the five considerations before planning your podcast that’s what i had today and i uh is there jason do you have any sort of closing thoughts or comments uh no it just occurred to me uh based on what mike was saying like make something and then you can decide whether you want to share it with anybody or not right and uh and practice makes a huge difference i mean we saw we saw the evolution of mike’s show last week yeah right like huge evolution because as you go you learn things and you start to it basically what you want is for things that took conscious thought to become intuitive so that you’re doing them naturally but that’s a process that only happens over time with practice first of all mike you should be on these zooms we gotta we gotta we gotta hustle mike to come join us on all these he had a lot to say last week i really loved hearing from if you missed that uh session we’re gonna be putting it up on youtube we’re just sort of working the kinks out of our production system so it’ll all come up before we go before we adjourn and for those of you on the zoom uh we can stick around for a second after just a sort of a final word um these free educational resources are brought to you by the state and city of new york these are your tax dollars at work our work creates free public resources non-commercial scholarly media content and educational experiences for young new yorkers who aspire to careers in fields like marketing media communications entertainment and information and content to help community members who want to become creators themselves if you want to support the kind of work that we do please visit our website and click donate your tax deductible tax your tax deductible donation uh to our project we’ll go through the department of sociology at queen’s college in the city university of new york and not only does it help us create and create content and create learning opportunities and internship opportunities for students but it communicates to our superiors that people like and value this stuff so i’m going to end the live stream here thank you to all of you on youtube who have joined us and i hope to see you next week when we talk to jason tuga about the art of storytelling until then thanks and stay in touch oh