Category: Small talk

06 Feb 2019
podcasts2_blog

Dr. Techlove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Podcasts

I don’t care who you are, podcasts are pretty dope… and they’ll suck you in faster than an episode of Botched on a sickday. Try it; trust me, you’ll never look back. [Sidebar: the editors/producers at the E! and Bravo networks are some of the best in the game… fight me.]

Podcasts, if executed properly, can be just as addicting and binge-able as some of the most well written — and some would say “poorly written, yet somehow successful” — television series out there today. There’s a certain familiarity with listening to podcasts and listening to traditional radio in that you’re consuming the program via audial avenues; however, podcasts offer something a bit more than their heard counterpart: near-complete content control.

podcastingThe universal definition of a podcast, as provided by Wikipedia and endorsed by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), is an “episodic series of digital audio files, which a user can download and listen to.” This concept of downloading “episodes” and easily digestible programs that fall within niche and nuanced interests allow for each user to individually curate their own library or playlist of content specifically targeted to their own preferences.

If you didn’t catch on right away, allow me to point out that the term “podcast” is a direct variant of the widely understood concept of “broadcast,” in which content is blasted out into the airwaves and received by those who tune in via compatible devices. We participate in broadcasting nearly every day through our televisions and radios, but broadcasts have to be just that…broad. There’s not really an efficiently feasible way to target specific users in a television or radio setting, so the content must be malleable, flexible, and not too distinct. Conversely, the etymology of “podcast” likely stems from the advent of the Apple iPod in the Early Aughts as it was hitting the tech scene and becoming adopted by more and more people. Thus, a new means of targeted content distribution swept the nation, and a cute pun was born.

If you asked me two or three years ago how I felt about podcasts, I probably wouldn’t have been as favorable. I tend to project some sort of undeserved stigma toward new-wave media technology—especially the ones that challenge my routine or require me to purchase specific hardware. Technically, podcasts don’t require much more hardware than your typical smartphone and a pair of earbuds, but still, I was reluctant to adopt them as a regular means of content consumption.

…that is, until I heard about Serial.

Sarah Koenig from the "Serial" podcast
Sarah Koenig from the “Serial” podcast — produced by This American Life

De gustibus non est disputandum: This is a Latin maxim meaning “in matters of taste, there can be no disputes.” I cannot account for your particular taste in what you find interesting; however, the inaugural “season” of the Serial podcast is what hooked me on the format. If you’re not into “true crime” or investigative murder-mysteries, then it may not be your cup of tea. But if you are looking to venture into the world of podcasts for the first time, then I would absolutely recommend Serial as an engaging starting point.

The Serial podcast is structured like many podcast series: long-form, episodic documentary. During the initial run of the show, an episode with a runtime of about an hour is released onto a podcasting platform (like Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, etc.) each week. This amounts to usually 10-15 episodes that cover one story. The art of the “tease” is thoroughly and systematically employed, keeping the listener engrossed in the narrative and eager for each new episode. This style of programming reminds me of how Netflix was able to capture the streaming attention of its users by organizing and logistically serving what is perceived to be seamless content. For this reason, you may find yourself binging hours of podcast episodes during your daily commute. Likewise, the aspect of flexibility also proves to be a huge advantage in the medium. Listeners can pause and return to an episode at any time, which gives more control to the user. The emergence of this capability had a similar revolutionary effect that the DVR system had on the television industry.

There are other formats and structures to podcast programming, such as the talk show (sports comedy, etc.), narrative fiction, and informational/educational. While the gritty and suspenseful chronicling of Serial is what originally hooked me on podcasts, my passion for learning ultimately inspired me to look at other shows. That’s when I found Stuff You Should Know, which is an informational program that spends one episode (anywhere from 20-90 minutes) on one topic.

Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark from "Stuff You Should Know"
Charles W. “Chuck” Bryant and Josh Clark from “Stuff You Should Know” on HowStuffWorks.com

SYSK (as it’s known to those familiar) is a true podcasting treasure that challenges your perspective and general knowledge of subjects ranging from “How Royalty Works” to “How Decapitation Works,” or even “How Frostbite Works.” These are just examples of the diverse, yet interesting topics you might not know a lot about. And likely for this reason, SYSK has proven to be one of the most downloaded podcasting programs of all time with over a thousand episodes available.

Podcasts are free to download and subscribe to. So how do they monetize and sustain their content/business model? Advertising… duh. Just like any piece of media that appears to be delivered at no cost to the user, podcasts take advantage of advertising as a means to sustain a quality product. There are also other methods of monetization, such as a “giving” format through the use of donation services like Patreon. However, short one-minute commercial breaks are the most widely utilized form of “advenue” — get it? Like “ad revenue.” I digress.

Regardless of what you’re into, there is likely a podcast out there that satiates your listening appetite. This increased niche-ness allows for a wide variety of outreach opportunity. Advertisers can tap into this diversity and build tailored media plans that target specific shows that align with what their ideal consumer profile would listen to. This concept is routinely executed in radio and television; however, the arrival of podcasts as a formidable competitor to the status quo built by the foundations of radio and television has provided advertisers a different, yet effective avenue to reach their customers.

So instead of queuing up “Crank That” by Soulja Boy on your way home from work today or tuning your radio dial to that smooth jazz channel as you sit in the Wendy’s drive-thru, maybe try browsing the catalog of over 600,000 shows in the vast realm of podcasts. You may find something you really like… and take back the control of your content.

 


About the Author

andy-edwards-headshot

Andy Edwards is the Director of Digital Services at bloomfield knoble. He possesses the hybrid skills of a strategic business executive and a creative, problem-solving designer; someone who is a catalyst for transformation and the agent of cultural change.

 


Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

15 Jan 2019
being-heard-on-twitter_tom-blog_google

Just How Loud Do You Have to Scream to Be Heard on Twitter?

I’ve decided that I hate social media. I’ve joined neither Facebook nor Snap. I am on Instagram, but only to share vacation pictures with my family because I’m too lazy to sort and share photos with them after my trips. I gave up on LinkedIn because I find the timeline poorly designed and I’m not looking for a job anyway. I also stopped reading (and generally writing) blogs because I don’t care and don’t think other people do either. So, if someone besides the Director of Communication for bloomfield knoble is reading this, you have my permission to bail out now.

Well, if you’re actually still reading, then I have to admit that I used to really be into Twitter. I mean really into Twitter. I would post all day — use hashtags, join conversations, try to influence conversations (for or against depending on the topic) and more often than not, complain about some injustice against me (real or perceived). At one point I had nearly 100,000 followers.

And then a funny thing happened. I got bored. I’ve already shared with you that I’m quite lazy, so it didn’t take long for the novelty of Twitter to subside. I went from Tweeting a lot to now-and-then and then that became infrequently until it was pretty much never. I lost nearly all of my subscribers but honestly didn’t care. Most of my friends had given up on Twitter too – either also moving away from social networks in general or moving to a different platform. As such, I simply let it fade from memory and forgot about it.

Until recently, when I got really mad at my pest control company for a real (not perceived) injustice. I was so mad that I hopped on Twitter just to vent my frustration and (in my imaginary world) start a movement among the masses that had also been wronged by said company. Together our voices would force change as our postings became a trending topic which would go viral and then spread across different media and social networks. Satisfaction would be rendered. Justice would be mine!

Except, of course, none of that happened. No one joined the conversation – not one like or reply or retweet – not even from the brand itself as I’m not sure they even monitored their unverified account anyway.

I wasn’t surprised that my Tweets got no traction – I have few followers now – many of whom I suspect are inactive as well – and although I structured the posts properly (tagging the brand, using a hashtag) it’s just background noise in today’s world of political topic-driven social media. However, as a Behavioral Economist, I was interested in just what I would have to do to be heard on Twitter.

As an advertising agency, we at bloomfield knoble have been chasing the dream of going viral forever, but no amount of math or predictive analytics can really account for the irrationality of humans. Nevertheless, I was curious about how to measure – beyond the analytics Twitter provides – how one could analyze impact on a social network. A bit of research and some investigating later, I came across an excellent paper in the Journal of Physics by Natya Taniarza, Adiwijaya and Warih Maharani at the School of Computing, Telkom University, Bandung, Indonesia. Their paper, Social network analysis using k-Path centrality method, gave me some great insight into why my Tweets (in particular) don’t matter.

Here’s the abstract to their paper:

“k-Path centrality is deemed as one of the effective methods to be applied in centrality measurement in which the influential node is estimated as the node that is being passed by information path frequently. Regarding this, k-Path centrality has been employed in the analysis of this paper specifically by adapting random-algorithm approach in order to: (1) determine the influential user’s ranking in social media Twitter; and (2) ascertain the influence of parameter ain the numeration of k-Path centrality. According to the analysis, the findings showed that the method of k-Path centrality with random-algorithm approach can be used to determine user’s ranking which influences in the dissemination of information in Twitter. Furthermore, the findings also showed that parameter influenced the duration and the ranking results: the less the avalue, the longer the duration, yet the ranking results were more stable.”

The paper is worth reading and I’m not going to do justice to their research, but here’s the bottom-line – specifically as it impacts me. Basically, a person needs a lot of followers (which I don’t have anymore) or needs to wield influence in a group (node) of people who are likely to participate in the conversation – or are also connected in different groups where they wield influence.

It’s like the gossip game. If I have a small group of friends, but they have no friends, then even though I shared – our little circle is as far as it goes. However, if one of my friends is in another circle of friends – and that person tells that circle – and someone in that circle tells another circle – pretty soon a lot of people have heard. This is actually common-sense in a way. Anyone that has ever been on social media gets how this works. It’s not the process that can be hard to understand – it’s the measurement.

The big buzzword for the past couple of years has been “influencer marketing.” Brands know they need to have an influencer but understanding who – and how much to spend – and what the return-on-investment could be – is a vital part of marketing. Understanding that influence doesn’t move in a straight-line and utilizing the learning in Taniarza’s paper may be an important factor in projecting success.

Anyway, all the math showed me was that no one cared that I was whining about my pest control company, so I gave up on my dream of Twitter vengeance and decided to vent my frustration against their company by firing them – convinced that the $29 per month they were losing would cripple their business economy. Yeah, that’ll show ‘em! Who’s with me?

#Vivalarevolucion

Sources:

Taniarza N., Maharani A., Maharani W. Social network analysis using k-Path centrality method. IOP Publishing: International Conference on Data and Information Science. IOP Conf. Series: Journal of Physics: Conf. Series 971 (2018) 012015. dos: 10.1088/1742-6596/971/1/012015. (Natya Taniarza et al 2018 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser 971 012015)

 


About the Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect with Thomas Thompson
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Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

30 Aug 2014

And the second one

A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table – Samsa was a travelling salesman – and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.

Untitled-2

One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.

 

Introduction

One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. “What’s happened to me?” he thought. It wasn’t a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.

 

30 Jun 2014

Just over the rainbow

One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. “What’s happened to me?” he thought. It wasn’t a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.

A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table – Samsa was a travelling salesman – and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.

Photo by Unsplash

 

Introduction

One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. “What’s happened to me?” he thought. It wasn’t a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.

A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table – Samsa was a travelling salesman – and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.

The Plot

A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table – Samsa was a travelling salesman – and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright.

A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table – Samsa was a travelling salesman and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame.By Some Thinker

One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. “What’s happened to me?” he thought. It wasn’t a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.