I’ve finally started my own podcast, "Dan Bricklin’s Software Licensing Podcast". It will be a series of interviews and perhaps other material that should be of interest to people who care about the legal and managerial aspects of software licensing in general, Open Source licenses in particular, and who knows what else.
As I’m doing more frequently these days, I find and listen to new podcasts as part of learning what others are doing and how they’re doing it. I listened to Dan’s second podcast, a phone conversation with Joel Spolsky, author, blogger, Windows developer and co-founder of Fog Creek Software, recorded last Thursday.
Pretty niche subject matter: keeping track of where software code comes from, differences between Windows and Unix, etc. Not the type of subject matter I’d naturally seek out (as perhaps the topics Shel and I discuss in our show might not be what Dan would naturally seek out).
What it illustrates, though, is the beauty of ‘niche podcasting’ – if you have a topic you want to talk about, you can just go ahead, create your podcast – include interviews like Dan’s if you want – and make your recordings available via your blog or website and in an RSS feed. People will discover it. If they like it, they’ll come back for more. And it doesn’t really matter if you have 10 listeners or 1,000 – the barriers to entry are so low that it’s feasible to do no matter how many or how few listeners you have.
I wrote a lengthy-ish post a few weeks ago about the value such a communication channel could present to almost any business as part of overall communication and developing more effective relationships with stakeholders of all types.
Dan has some of the most succinct and sound reasons for doing a podcast that I’ve seen:
So here I have what I hope is a good business model for podcasting:
- Getting awareness in an area in which I wasn’t that well known among potential purchasers of a product.
- A vehicle for "sponsorship" advertising ("…brought to you by Software Garden, producer of the training video…").
- I get to build up my credibility and stature in a target market, create awareness of a product, and do good for the listeners, all at once. This is similar to the "business model" of blogging for many of us "experts".
- And the costs, even going pretty much almost first-class (as you’ll see I did), are much less than advertising and much, much less than direct sales. We’ll see how it works.
It’s not a bad business model.