Friday, April 06, 2007

msb-0131 Podcast unconference

msb-0131 Podcast unconference

MsbPodcast presentation.

April 7th, 2007


Charles-A. Rovira


MSBPodcast is an evolving crack in an oliogopolistic and nationalistic wall.


Or more precisely, where not.

Being a podcast means a whole lot more not than any particular location.


First podcast February 02, 2006.

I'm now up to show 130.

Some of the shows were written by another MSer, and I'm about to start branching out in parallel with foreign fellow MSers.


The why has morphed with time.

This started out originally as a means reaching some people, software geeks, and get my views out on Objects,instances:Relationships,connections.

I learned about the existence of LibSyn, podcasting in the details, bought some books, read some web-zines, caught a lot of poscasts about, what else?, podcasting. And I started listening to the Daily Source Code.

I put together a pilot 'cast and got it out there.

Then I suddenly realied that I no longer cared about Objects,instances:Relationships,connections.

I sort of burned away my geekyness like flash paper because I had stumbled upon the multiple sclerosis podcast.

Epiphany #1

I listened and I liked it but it was not quite what I suddenly saw as a possibility. (An epiphany, I have quite a few of those. Don't knock it. It paid off the mortgage. :-)

In all my years since my original diagnosis in 1985, I had never seen anything about multiple sclerosis; absolutely no media coverage at all. (In fact searching IMDB finds is exactly one TV movie about MS. You'd think that, what with the millions and millions of hours of content out there there would be more than one, lousy, stinking show.)

The fact is that MS is not like a car crash where some part of your body might get snapped like a Q-Tip or chopped off. There's no great ouch! and there's no great aw...

Its a neurological disease wasting away the myelin (stay with me because we'll get right back into the language of MS) and MS comes in many, uh, flavors. MS is in my unqualified oppinion a syndrome, not a single disease.

I would make a 'cast which featured music, and my own jaundiced eye's view.

I'd leave the medecine, the grim diagnoses, the mumbo-jumbo, the heart-break stories to someone else. I'd stick to what I knew. (Strike that, I'd stick to music and MS.)

Back to the language.

How did you like myelin?

How about oligodendrosite?

How about a whole bunch of Greek or Latin fragments, all jammed together?

This fills the air with expensive, but very precise verbiage, giving you the feeling that the doctors might even know what they are talking about, maybe.

If only you, the patient, could figure it out without having to go through years of med school.

The language used in the detection and treatment of any damn disease is the enemy of understanding bugger all about the damn disease.

If you're a patient, you'll need plenty of patience, and a few dictionaries, and the Merk Manual to crack that knowledge niche.

Enter podcasting.

It could, has, does and will continue to provide a narrow focus.

This disease only hits one in twelve hundred. The entire population of MSers, .0833% of people currently alive, is six times less than the level of statistical noise for marketing to the general populace.

Forget about using the mass media.

The hysteria of the polio scare of the thirties onwards, leading to the founding and funding of the "March of Dimes", until polio is now almost entirely eradicated, will never happen again.

Polio affected fewer people than MS but they needed constant care after contracting the disease so they has a much higher profile in the mind of the general populace.

Once someone high and mighty, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, got afflicted, things started to happen. (MSers might get some 'halo effect' from the wife of senator and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney being afflicted ... but don't hold you breath.)

But the internet is everything that the mass media is not.

It doesn't respond to the same fiscal imperatives that our media oligarchy does. (Print, radio, television, is doesn't matter. They're all grabbing for the pile of cash generated by the next 'Playboy', or the next 'Howard Stern' or the next 'Friends' We've already seen just how much content IMDB dug up. Damn near fuck-all.)

But podcasting is one way to laser in on a demographic dog and turn the media out like the greedy, conniving, curs they are.

Podcasting is cheap (I can afford to do it.)

The production values may lead a lot to be desired, but I have MS.

And I'm a software project manager not a radio anybody or anything.

Give me a break.

I should not be hosting the show. But I am, because I have to, for now.

Its analogous to a radio show thqat you can pick up when you want and listen to when you choose to, featuring lots of music and the talk is about how one person, me, is coping with MS. (Some weeks I am lucky and actually have some feedback so you know that gets rolled into the show.)

Epiphany #2

I was taking a Bachelors in Business at MCNY.

I was listing to Adam Curry on the Daily Source Code.

He was trying to figure out a way to make money doing this podcasting thing.

Then Acura did a promo for their own podcast on

The more I mulled it over in my mind, the righter it seemed.

The delivery vehicle (the podcast,) for the delivery vehicle (the car) was perfectly suited to the task. It could be new content of repurposed ads for TV, Radio, Web pages, pamphlets, whatever.

When I was in the market for a car, I'd have loved to have a bunch of companies offering these kinds of 'casts so I could 'catch them whenever I wanted to.

Instead I ended up with a Toyota Yaris. Maybe I could have chosen something else... Comparison shopping over several square milesis tough when you schlep around with a cane.

When I wasn't in a market for a car, like when I'd already bought one, their ad was just noise, (And MS is the definition of noise. I could go into the effects of the disease but I don't want to bore myself.)

That was a really efficient way to keep the distraction to a minimum and yet deliver something substantial over the internet on consumer demand.

Epiphany #3

I had another epiphany concerning a web app which keeps stats and displays them on a map (Its from and I originally saw the map on the blog page of a fellow MSer from Alaska.)

I got a free version installed it and my eyes were opened and my jaw hung slack for a second afer the thing gathering page-hit stats for a couple of days.

I had hits coming from every continent. The country count now hovers at around 75.

Then I had yet another epiphany concerning the distribution of my audience.

They are all English. Well a-duh!? What did I expect?

But I speak two languages: French and English and I know a smattering of a few others.

How many people could be missing out on my message because they're not proficient enough in English?

So I have reached out and eventually found a couple of people of differing origins with MS, and got them a Samson C01 USB microphone, CastBlaster, given them the password to upload shows and show notes.

I am starting to host shows written by other people for other people and the only thing we have in common is ESL (English as a Second Language,) MS and things to play and thoughts to say which should take the mystery out of being an MSer.

Epiphany #4

It will eventually turn into a money maker (and maybe I'll start a Non Profit Organization to keep the podcast going after I'm no longer capable of doing it,) because even the most brain-dead producer/manufacturer/service provider will see that podcasting is self-selecting.

Every subscriber is 100% in your market.

Its totally efficient.

I have also evolved a method of delivering the ad content seperately from my show's content.

I just charge for "reminder mentions" in a segment in the middle of the show. (For a $30CPM. Since my audience is primarily other MSers, its really, really small.)

Since the ads are persistent and the shows are persistent, the advertiser doesn't need to have his ad blaring all the time, while the meter's running.

I only charge the advertiser for the actually delivered ads, (for $3.00 each) and since they were requested, we can assume that it was efficient and effective.

Furthermore, unlike spoofable 'click through' ads, I'm actually keeping track of where, and how often, any content was delivered to the same IP address.

Get inspired

Here, I'm going to go into how I do what I do.

I only play podsafe music on my podcasts because I don't want to have anything to do with the RIAA.

I really don't need to fsck with the enforcement arm, the visibility condom, of the dozen or so media companies, the huge pricks.

Ever notice that the RIAA never seem to put out a list of their clients?

Maybe its because the boycots would be immediate.

You can live off your old music for a couple of months and they'd be squirming in their seats. Two months of no money and they'd go nuts. (Oh, I might fantasize about it but I'm not really recommending it. They'd go nuts and force you to listen to elevator music. Myself, I stay the hell out of the malls, rarely watch TV, never listen to the radio. I drink my own Kool-Aid and actually listen to podcasts.)

But after a litle research I can tell you that its:

  • Arista
  • BMG
  • Capitol Records
  • Elektra
  • Fonovisa
  • Interscope
  • Lava
  • Loud
  • Maverick
  • MGM
  • Motown
  • Priority
  • Sony
  • UMG
  • Universal
  • Virgin
  • Warner

How many thousands and thousands of bands are there? There are 17 (that's seventeen) places for them to get their music played. Now THAT'S an oligopoly.

( I can't see working for the RIAA either. That's like saying you:

  • have fatal, unlawful carnal knowledge of puppies,
  • are tone-deaf,
  • have absolutely no sense of humor, and
  • that you are a complete and total Luddite.)

I haven't bought any new media from any the people who're hiding under the RIAA's kilt in years.

But I have played over a thousand songs from for my audience.

Rather than just play "the latest" whatever,

  • I pick a theme for the 'cast,
  • select the music,
  • write the script (and post it up on
  • write the show notes (which I post on ( is just a repeater) and include in the file as the lyrics tab in iTunes,
  • sit down in front or
    • a good mike, (I own several but my favorite is still a Samson C01 USB mike,)
    • a Mac, (I own several but my current favorite is my new MacBookPro,)
    • GarageBand
  • record, (which often requires several takes,)
  • mix,
  • export to iTunes with
    • chapters,
    • band pictures,
    • links to their web sites.

Later, that should/will also be pictures of, and links to, ads of products, treatments, therapies, goods and services hosted by

And this covers the boring technical bits.

Any questions?

Too bad.

I'm going to go home and rest up.

I have one hell of a commute to get through to earn enough dough to pay for this.

---- Update ----

If you want to you can read about the event in this article [ ].


Miss Chris said...

Regarding Epiphany #1: I couldn't agree more. Does anyone out there even know that March was National MS Month? I heard ONE thing about it on TV and it lasted all of 10 seconds.

Charles-A. Rovira said...

I knew.

I had featured it on my blog & show.

But I'd only found out about it from Allysin Reynold's blog.

Its really hard to promote things because of the relative scarceness of MSers.

Rob said...

To avoid problems with RIAA, royalty free music is your best solution. Here are two sites that have royalty free music that I have used. and

Charles-A. Rovira said...


I'll check them out, in addition to and

I tend to use because of the ease of providing feedback to the artists.