Podcasts and New Media Advertising

*This post is edited from the original, which was featured on Socialnomics.

I can personally say the way I consume media has drastically changed. I watch TV on Netflix or Hulu and don’t have cable. I enjoy original shows, clips, and programs on YouTube, listen to music on Spotify or Songza as well as one of the most unique new forms of entertainment; podcasts.

The podcasts I enjoy are simply digital copies of audio/radio broadcasts and interviews. My constant favorite for the past few years is the Nerdist Podcast which is great for entertainment purposes as well as stuff like the Smart People Podcast, Reply All, or Nerdette, which all have some great thought provoking content. What I think is the distinguishing feature of podcasts is how I am able to consume them. I can download them onto my smartphone, listen to them in the car or on the go with headphones while I work out for example. It’s awesome, original content coming out all year that is experiencing a boom recently, which in turn is a great opportunity for advertisers to create a unique relationship with their audience.

According to recent findings, at least 29% of Americans listen to audio podcasts (clumping in video bumps this number up), which is a sizable chunk consuming podcasts of all varieties on an array of topics. This means that consumers are getting on demand entertainment, news, and discussion on what they want most, creating a unique experience for them every time they listen. I know with the Nerdist Podcast, I feel like I’m catching up with friends when I listen to the podcast so whenever they talk about something, I follow up and heed their opinions. Check out these recent metrics that back up that sentiment:

  • 67% of podcast listeners don’t mind sponsorship messages and occasionally find them useful, compared to only 6% positive sentiment expressed for the advertising approaches of television or commercial radio.
  • Nearly 80% of podcast consumers (responding to the survey), agreed that “when price and quality is equal,” they “prefer to buy products from companies that advertise on or sponsor” the podcasts they regularly enjoy.
  • Ninety percent of these respondents indicated that they had taken some kind of action as a result of podcast advertising or sponsorship, and over 40% reported purchasing behaviors, which indicates that they are receptive to the right message, in the right context. (For the rest of the findings, click here)
Although I’m mostly highlighting podcasts here, it is clear that with this being a huge "new media" format, other mediums like music streaming sites and video streaming sites cater to the same sensibilities. We don’t want to be fed phony ads any longer. If I’m looking to buy a camera, I’m going to ask my friend who knows about cameras or reference customer reviews at the very least. Consuming is social and the advent of on-demand entertainment is linked with that. Advertisers should take notice and start to take advantage of this new possibility to create a more authentic, genuine connection with their customers.

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Organic VS Promoted Content: Which Reigns Supreme?

* This post is edited from the original, which was featured on Socialnomics.

So I am personally all about all-natural, organic, and sustainable stuff. Whether it is the toothpaste I use, the food I eat, or how I buy pretty much anything in my life, having something feel real and not artificial is important to me. This combines with my respect for authenticity and transparency in relationships. My overall preference for the "real deal" even comes into social media with the curious question I’ve stumbled upon when it comes to social media marketing; should one pay to promote or not?

Within the past year, both Facebook and Twitter launched the capacity for users to pay to promote their posts and tweets respectively. Facebook already had their “Ads” that would show up on the side of users’ timelines, but these two new functions put your promoted content right in the personal feeds of your customers. It comes, understandably, from the need to monetize these popular sites, but the real question comes in as to what is the best use of an organization’s money when it comes to engaging your audience; are you really getting what you pay for? Obviously, ideally your content will make it’s way out into the world on it’s own but usually, customers aren’t just following you, they’re following all sorts of different pages, even your competitors for business.

So it seems logical, you want the edge so you pay for promotion and you squash out the competition. Right? Well, the jury is still out on that. Not to say that promoted posts are not useful, but they also aren’t shown to be the way to go for every business and for every post. Social media is about engagement, and using paid promotion for posts can come across as spammy and inauthentic. Facebook paid promotions can be useful to get the word out about a new offer you have for your business or for an upcoming event since they only go out to those who “like” your page, as opposed to Facebook ads that go out to anyone and everyone. The same goes for Twitter. Think about what you’re posting and what is worth it to pay to get out to everyone and sort of muscle your way into their feed.

Another consideration to make is where you are putting this content. Are your customers even on Facebook or are they on Pinterest? Does your content make sense for the social media site you are promoting on? Facebook is different from Twitter which is different from LinkedIn which is different from Instagram (which also now supports ads). It is important to be intentional about the core what, where, when and why of posts in order to get the greatest results. From my perspective, the general logic here should focus on a few points: moderation (as with all things), organic engagement & paid promotion, and lastly, cater to the medium. For this last bit, whether that means you cover your basis on every social networking site or hone in on one, you can save a lot of money and time by knowing where your audience is and creating content for that particular venue. Doing all this will create an authentic aura that avoids the negative connotations of spam ads and allows for you to get the word out on all the great things your organization is up to.

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What I'm Geeking Out About This Week - 07/31/15



Here's what was going on in my world this week:

I rented this movie from Redbox the other day and it was certainly worth it. I had heard a lot of good buzz from its initial release but just never got around to watching. Once I saw it available to rent, I put it on my list. It is a haunting, intriguing, original, disturbing, and entertaining sci-fi thriller that confronts the realities of artificial intelligence and human hubris. I really enjoyed the movie and it is definitely worth checking out for any sci-fi fans out there. It is easily the Snowpiercer of this year for me.

  • Twitter

There has been some interesting news lately about Twitter, it's revenues, possible changes, and overall the future of the site in the social media landscape. They have already made changes that make it feel more like Facebook, and it only seems to be wanting to go more in that direction if all goes according to the recent rumors. I love Twitter, and I don't think it needs to alter the core of the site too much. It has been my more preferred social media site for the past couple of years, and I hope it continues to be that way.

I happened upon this cool lifestyle company recently and ordered a few goodies from it. They have shirts, stickers, hats, and pint glasses with cool Maine logos on them. As someone who was born here, it always will have a soft spot in my heart, and getting stuff from local companies like this to represent my home state makes me happy. Buy local, people!

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What I'm Geeking Out About This Week - 04/24/15


Hey there! Good to see you!

Here's what is going on in my world this week:

I moderated this past week's daytime chat about designing your environment to support productivity and student success. I hadn't moderated a daytime chat in some time, and it is always a lot of fun seeing all the professionals engage on a topic and facilitating the conversation. I moderate the chats every once in a while but it is usually an odd evening chat, which isn't as lively (yet). While there was an interesting (and fair) discussion surrounding a post about the value of the chats and their lack of "discussion", I still think it is one of the best ways for student affairs folks to interact and learn from each other.

  • Adulting Update

So I went to try to register my new car the other day and it was a frustrating bureaucratic nightmare. I ended up not being able to that day and needing to get more paperwork. It was not this hard to do the same thing in my home state of Delaware (obviously different beasts) but my main point is that this is one of the few things (so far) that I haven't enjoyed about my early adventures in adulthood. I wish things like this could be easier (and not as expensive) but alas, such is existing as a adult and doing the things you need to do.

  • Travel

I booked my next travel trip recently; I'm going to fly out to Illinois to visit a good friend of mine from graduate school that I haven't seen since about the same time last year. I'll be going in late June for the weekend to see him, his campus, and Chicago (which I've never been to before). I'm excited that each month this year has had a different trip and stay, even if it is just for a weekend. I've been able to explore new areas, see old friends, and spend quality time with my partner. It's great and big change from my earlier years where I did no travel whatsoever. I'm grateful for the opportunity now to travel and I hope it continues to be the trend.

Thanks for stopping by!

My Writing Process: From Stray Thought to Full Out Geekery


"I hope people can have fun with what I write but also learn something useful for their lives."


I recently go a shout out from the marvelous Marci Walton to write about my writing. It's meta and I dig it so I figured I'd jump on here and leave some thoughts from my work here for the past year and a half of writing.

I have only been writing weekly since January of this year with my geek out posts and movie reviews, with other stuff sprinkled in between, but 2014 has been a good year for me to get in a regular habit of writing. I've written around 160 posts for this blog, covering all sorts of geeky topics that matter to me. I hope the framework of stuff below helps others get into a flow of writing however they wish about whatever they want.

On My Writing Process 

What are you working on? 

I'm currently working on a few different blog posts about stuff that has been popping up in my head recently just as stray thoughts or from reading books, articles, and keeping up with the news. I'm also working on reading more books to review and keeping my regular schedule of movie reviews from Netflix and geeking out about new, cool stuff. Keep an eye out for some awesome posts coming soon!

How does your work differ from others of its genre? 

I feel my work is pretty unique since I always try to find connections to student affairs in geeky topics, such as Star Wars, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Spider-Man, and Green Lantern. I don't see a lot of that out there in the blogging world and I enjoy being something original and unique. I think we should all seek to do our own thing and not just create an echo chamber for the usual zeitgeist.

Why do you write what you do?

I write what I do because it is what interests me and it is how my brain works a lot of the time. I always joke that I take my entertainment seriously. I look into their subtexts or symbolism to see what they have to say about society or greater topics like choice, love, friendship, family, or any number of other things. I hope people can have fun with what I write but also learn something useful for their lives. I seek to provide value and happiness to my readers!

How does your writing process work? 

I usually just let my mind wander and allow for ideas to pop in. Whether that is something about one particular show or movie or is about a general topic, I usually make sure to draft up a blog post for it so I don't lose the idea. A lot of the time I'll be watching or reading something and find something relevant in it, like with Green Lantern. For something like Star Wars, I was surprised I hadn't blogged about it specifically already. I also just think a lot about topics like positivity, social media, sustainability, or nerdy stuff in general so ideas will come to me all the time. I typically will bounce ideas off my partner to see if they make sense or not instead of always just having them rattle around in my head all the time. I don't have a formal, structured, or detailed process for getting the content together. I just let the writing flow out and then I'll proof myself afterwards. This works well for me but I know it might not work well for everyone! I'm also a very brief writer so I don't feel the need to prepare too much for posts since they're just quick bits and thoughts I want to share.


Thanks again to Marci for sharing her process and for the shout out! I nominate Tom Krieglstein & Jennifer Keegin. Why do you write what you do?!

Thanks for stopping by!