Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Retooling and redefining Secondcast

Over a year ago, myself, Johnny Ming, Cristiano Midnight, and Walker Spaight launched Secondcast, one of the first podcasts about Second Life. A few episodes later, we added on Torrid Midnight. The rest is podcast history. Thus far we've recorded over 60 episodes, and average tens thousands of downloads a week.

When we started, Second Life was much, much different. There were less than 50,000 active users of SL (compared to 1.75 million now), almost no podcasts about it, and only 2000 signups a day. The community was still small enough that not enough news was generated to make it a staple of every podcast. Corporations weren't really moving into SL, save for a few stragglers (Wells Fargo, for instance). We all had different jobs.

Today, 4 out of the 5 original hosts work either directly or indirectly for metaverse development companies. There are podcasts about SL everywhere, including daily news roundups. The 8500+ sims of SL simulate an area of land larger than metropolitan Orlando, Florida. There are over 250 blogs about SL that people can read.

If you're a longtime listener of Secondcast, you know that quality has been... let's say iffy at best lately. Missed deadlines, lowered frequency of episodes, the departure of Torrid (come back Torrid!), boring subject matter.

The fact of the matter is, we're kinda stuck in neutral. Most of us log into SL now to work, not to screw around. We're too busy to see what the community is really up to, minus corporate press releases and the occasional fluffy guest. Fluffy guests and press releases make for a stifingly boring podcast.

I won't lie; some of us are getting bored. I still love doing Secondcast, but getting everyone to agree to a time to do it is becoming difficult, doubly so because we never know what we're doing for the show. Secondcast has always been about fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants journalism/entertainment, but if we don't have a solid recording plan, things go south (unless we're very fortunate). If it's a show about some new corporation/project done by one of the metaverse development companies, I pretty much tune out. Yes, during recording. You know I'm bored of the subject matter if you don't hear me make any sort of joke or counter-argument for a while: chances are I'm surfing the 'net while everyone else asks the questions.

So what I'm asking is, what would you guys, the longtime listeners of Secondcast, like for us to become? Be as creative as you'd like; more guests, less hosts (firing some of us), new hosts (replacing some of us), new format (video, call-in, audience-based, blog based) ?

I still love Secondcast; it's generally one of the highlights of an otherwise very busy week. I want to continue doing it, but it doesn't mean much if nobody's around to listen to us ramble on about Radio Shacks and Chuckie Cheeses.

What should we do? We're listening.


Blogger dyerbrookME said...

If you can't shut it down completely, drop this gang of four or five approach, which is cumbersome, and school-girlish, you are all giggling at private jokes like a pack of parochial kids. Johnny Ming needs to host, and *ask more questions* and ot be a lump. Ditch Cristiano, Lordfly, etc. as "co-hosts" and only rotatate them in as hosts, if they can do anything besides snicker or whine. Have a much wider variety of guests who aren't part of the FIC circuit.

And...sorry but I have trouble buying the "tens of thousands of downloads" a week when Second Life's client itself barely gets that.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007 9:38:00 PM  

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