The NBT Music Columns : The CyberPR Blog (Ariel Publicity)10

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Man Behind The Monitor:  Zack Daggy of MothPod Today we’re interviewing the creator of The Mothpod Podcast to learn a little about his show and ‘the New Media Water Cooler’ 

Trevor:  What got you into podcasting and how did The Mothpod get it’s start? 

Zack:  Well, I’ve been listening/watching podcasts since 2005, but I actually became involved with it in 2006. You see, I was interviewing for a scholarship at the journalism department of my university and the topic of how their online paper could be improved came up. The first thing that popped in my head was podcasting. So long story short, I left there being put in charge of putting together their first podcast, The only trouble was I didn’t know the first thing about RSS! So during the summer of 06 I had a crash course in podcasting that finally ended with me starting my own test podcast called The Mothpod. Funny thing is that this little “test” podcast started gaining an audience. Now 70+ episodes later I’m proud to say that The Mothpod has a solid fan base that it’s still growing.

 T:  What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a podcaster? 

Z:  Time. To be a podcaster, you have to be willing to dedicate quite a bit of time. A typical episode of The Mothpod takes a full week to create. 5 days of pre-production (selecting music, collecting audio bits, etc) 1 day to write the show notes/credits, and 1 day to actually record the show. For special episodes like my Rocktober episode, some times the pre-production work can take as long as a month.

 T:  You seem to be very active on Twitter, what got you into it? 

Z:  I first heard about Twitter on Geek Brief TV with Cali Lewis. It was introduced as “micro blogging,” and it seemed like something worth checking out. Of course, Twitter isn’t much like a blog, but more like a passive chat room. This I found incredibly addictive.

 T:  Why is Twitter important for a Podcaster, Internet Radio Station, etc.? 

Z:  I like to refer to Twitter as “The New Media Water Cooler.” Almost everyone in new media uses Twitter to talk about what is going in there lives, or whatever gossip they my have overheard. It’s just a really great way of staying connected with your peers.

 T:  Has it impacted your listenership for the Podcast? 

Z:  In a six degrees of separation sort of way, I suppose it has. Through twitter I’ve been able to more easily collaborate with other podcasters, and thus produce a better show. Anytime you can improve your podcast, you’re bound to pick up more listeners. Of course, the increased Web presence of being on any social network helps too.

 T:  Are there any other social media/networking sites your very involved with that isn’t widely known yet? 

Z:  The latest one I’ve been playing around with has been Utterz. If Twitter is micro blogging, then Utterz is micro podcasting. You can post text, images, or audio in each post. Plus it will forward your posts to your Twitter page. It’s pretty cool.

 T:  What’s next for MothPod? 

Z:  Next for The Mothpod is project Mothpod New Year. It’s an extended New Year’s special that will feature 15+ tracks not yet available on The Podsafe Music Network. I contacted a bunch of bands and artists I worked with in 2007, and they were kind enough to supply some exclusive tracks to bring in 2008. So I’m really excited about it.

 

Check out Mothpod New Year, and all the other episodes at http://www.mothpod.podshow.com/

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The NBT Music Columns : The CyberPR Blog (Ariel Publicity)6

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This week Trevor Dye interviews Yours Truly. It is an honour J

 Let It SpreadA Conversation with Martin Smit, the multi-platform guru behind Next Big Thing. 

When asked about the purpose of Next Big Thing, Martin Smit approaches it as a mission of broadening our horizons, “I guess my hope is to force the listener to overcome his or her prejudices… to make a country and western fan swoon over a perfectly formed hip-hop song and a metal-head become hopelessly devoted to a beautifully composed techno track.”  While these are lofty ambitions, they’re fueled by a very genuine motive, as Smit merely wants listeners to “fall in love with music all over again.”  The site started with a webspace – more a quirky web application than a website – and has evolved to thriving web 2.0 entity, complete with a blog, podcast, flickr site, and all the trimmings.

 NBT covers all genres of music, perfect for the most adventurous of listeners.  But there are obvious hurdles in promoting emerging bands, as Martin describes the power of the mainstream, “Their sole purpose is to get the guy out there in cyberspace to buy their product and only their product.”  In mass media culture, being a curious, adventurous listener seems like a counterintuitive thing.  “(Mainstream labels) know a lot of customers want what is only a few mouse clicks away and they also know that a lot of customers want, in fact NEED to be told what to buy and what is cool.”  This observation paints a bleak landscape for any music broadcaster focusing on the obscure or emerging.  This may not necessarily be the full story, however, as Smit became overjoyed when I inquired about, from his experience, how intelligent the average listener actually is when it comes to discovering new music?  He replied, “Thankfully Way WAY more intelligent than the majors give them credit for.  Sure there are a thousand slackers who will go buy a single by the Fray just because they are always on the front page of MySpace, But more and more, there are kids and parents and grannies and truck drivers who want to discover for themselves what or who will be the next superstar band or performer.”

 Even though listeners are willing to deviate from the mainstream conveyer belt, some bands are still going unheard and at their own fault.  “A Lot of bands are good at making great music but basically are AWFUL at promoting themselves. They don’t seem to get that creating the tune, the art, is only a tiny part of the process…the hardest part is getting that music heard and that it’s time consuming and difficult work.”  In Smit’s mind, a few bands have distinguished themselves, mainly through persistence.  “Bands like Rotten Cheri from New York and Colour Cold in South Africa are good examples of acts that go that extra mile, they send music to website after website, they make music available for play and they don’t stop, they keep promoting and working and playing.” (Check out their URLs in the blog roll opposite),  He continues, “What is amazing is I get SO many bands like this.” In 2008, expect NBT to continue its expansion, as Smit wants “to simply provide as many platforms as possible for all that brilliant music.”   Check out more from Next Big Thing:

Podcast: The NBT Podcast

Blog:  http://www.nbtmusic.wordpress.com

MySpace:  http://www.myspace.com/martinnextbigthing

Homepage: http://www.nextbigthing.co.za

Visual Page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nbtvisual

Thursday Night US Show:  http://www.luver.com/nextbigthing.html