November 26, 2007
Wanna turn your friend, neighbor, or fellow society member into a deer in the headlights in 10 seconds or less? If so, simply tell them that you enjoy listening to the Genealogy Gems Podcast and suggest they give it a try. Yep, that’s all it takes to create the glazed over eyes, and cause the mouth to drop open ever so slightly. Then when you gently shake their shoulder and call out their name, they will come to and quietly murmur, “Uh, what’s a podcast?”
Ah yes, it’s a scenario I’ve seen many times before. So many times, in fact, that I’m beginning to wonder if I’m the silly one for using the term “podcast.”
Which leads me to some very important questions that I want to ask you:
1) Do you think I should continue calling the podcast “The Genealogy Gems Podcast”, or change the name to “The Genealogy Gems Show”?
2) Do you think the term “Podcast” puts people off from trying it out?
I’m afraid that for most folks the term “podcast” is very foreign, and may cause them to shy away (as well as launch many long conversations about whether or not you have to have an iPod to listen to the show. Answer: No)
The podcasting community at large seems to be steering a little away from the term, and using other terms such as “New Media” to describe what they do. I can understand this as I have published genealogy related video podcasts myself, and certainly see that increasing in the future. But frankly, I don’t think “New Media” is any clearer than “podcast”. Which leads us right back to the deer in the headlights!
As I sat and pondered this question after eating WAY too much Thanksgiving pumpkin pie this last week, I suddenly realized that I have an entire group of experts to ask…YOU, the Genealogy Gems Podcast listening audience. You would know better than anyone. Have you mentioned the podcast to your friends? Do you find that they resist the idea of trying it out? Or have you spent a lot of time trying to explain what a podcast is to a non-techie?
As I look toward next year and think about attending conferences and getting out there and meeting folks, I want to describe what I do in a way that is easy to understand as well as appealing. I’d love your input on this question. Please click the little envelope icon at the end of this column to post your comments and suggestions. And be sure and take the poll in the upper right corner of this page.