My podcast is featured in the Wall Street Journal for a piece about how businesses can use podcasts to be awesome. If anybody's got a picture of themselves reading it, send it to me!
Here's a pdf of the entire article! - Link
And a link to the WSJ site. - Link
MAKE MAGAZINE: BE USEFUL
Entertainment value helps a video succeed. But that isn't the only approach that works. Some small businesses have carved out a lucrative niche by giving viewers information they can use.
Consider Make magazine, a guide for do-it-yourselfers. Published by O'Reilly Media Inc. of Sebastopol, Calif., the magazine produces weekly how-to videos for a host of projects -- everything from making your own catapult to creating a cigar-box banjo.
The clips average about a million views a month on iTunes, Blip.tv21 and YouTube. (The most popular: a guide to screen-printing T-shirts.) The videos have also brought in lots of business. For instance, attendance has ballooned at an annual convention sponsored by Make, and the magazine sees dozens of new subscriptions every month. (See some examples.22)
"How-to videos are one of those things that lasts, that have a shelf life," says Phillip Torrone, senior editor at Make. "It's not like a YouTube video that's a 30-second funny thing. It might be something that they can watch over and over again."
Of course, entertainment value is still important, even if it isn't the main focus of the videos. For instance, Make realized it would need a charismatic host to make the clips lively. Mr. Torrone discovered Bre Pettis, an art teacher from Seattle who had been videoblogging about his students' art projects. Mr. Pettis, Mr. Torrone says, was like Mr. Rogers, Mr. Wizard and Bill Nye "The Science Guy" rolled into one.
Make's publisher, Dale Dougherty, agreed to bring Mr. Pettis on board in early 2006 -- after seeing a video of Mr. Pettis accidentally harpooning his cellphone. "There was a bad-boy kind of thing that I liked about it," Mr. Dougherty says. "It wasn't boring."
Mr. Pettis, jokes Mr. Torrone, "has been voiding the warranty of electronics ever since."
The 35-year-old Mr. Pettis, who now lives in New York, posts a video each Friday. In general, he spends one or two days on research and two days filming. He then takes a day or two to edit the video and write up a PDF with detailed instructions for viewers. "It's what I love to do," says Mr. Pettis. "It's my passion, making things and being creative and supporting others' creativity."