Podcasting Boom or Bust Part 2


In my last post I said I would provide information on where Mansfield University is at with podcasting and what effect the medium has had on recruiting and promotion.I’ve been surprised with some of my findings.  First, while I had been the studying national and international stats,  I was surprised to find that we have a large local audience on campus.  I didn’t realize it until my student producer, Eden, (who has her own show in addition to being one of the students I’ve interviewed regularly since their freshman year) casually said something about students relaying information about her. 

“You mean Mansfield students?”

“Oh, yeah, I have people coming up to me all the time and relating something about my life that they heard on the podcast.  A lot of times I forgot I said it and wonder how they knew that about me.  I get it all the time.”

Does that help recruiting?  Probably not. 

Is it good internal PR?  Absolutely.

Does it help personalize a campus to an international audience?

Yes.

The second surprise is something I knew but see it reinforced everyday:  there is no chronological time on the web.  “The New Testament Chronicles,” posted in February 2006, still occasionally shows up in the Top 10 downloads.  “The Summer That Changed Her Life,” continues to be downloaded nearly a year later.  The latter show has prompted me to do two things.  The first is to create compelling headlines.  The second is to start a series of shows interviewing students with compelling stories.

I’ve talked in previous posts about the importance of storytelling and the importance of dealing with emotions.  I’m putting my money where my advice is.

These shows will still be playing long after I’m gone because most (by design) are timeless.  There will always be a scared freshman.  There will always be a person whose life was changed by a chance event or another person.  There will always be surprises, twists and turns, humor and hope.

  These things never age.

An average week produces 3,000-3,500 unique views or downloads.  It’s remained fairly steady and I would say we’re hitting a plateau, but I’m not sure.  “On Making Movies”  and “Filming America’s Most Wanted,” both of which are nearly a year old, are still being downloaded.  That tells me we’re continuing to attract new listeners. 

People find us by searches, by accident and by word-of-mouth.

I don’t like long blogs, so I’ll save the third and biggest surprise for the next post.

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