This week, I’ve officially launched Podcast Parties, a full-service virtual event production service for podcasters. We create online events so podcasters can bring their audience members together in real time. These events include networking mixers, interactive workshops, virtual cocktail hours, and more. They create new revenue opportunities for podcasters through ticket sales, sponsorships, and rewards for financial supporters.
Let’s begin with the obvious: The name “Podcast Parties” doesn’t sound like something that carries the weight of a profound societal mission. The logo — a microphone dressed in a silly pink hat — invokes the frivolous spirit of a drunken after-hours celebration. It’s a sharp contrast to the serious events that make up the background of our everyday lives right now. So you’d be forgiven if you didn’t give it much thought.
But don’t be fooled.
I have been a radio broadcaster for 25 years, a digital strategist for twelve, and a podcaster for ten. During that period, the media landscape has changed drastically.
Once upon a time, creating media that could be consumed by the masses was very difficult and very expensive. You needed specialized equipment like printing presses, radio towers, or television studios. Only a handful of companies could do it, and those companies offered a narrow range of voices.
Then the internet was born. With it, the price of publishing tools dropped. Everyday people gained access to hardware and software that enabled them to send blogs, podcasts, and videos around the world.
This change had a positive effect: New voices can now be heard — from people of different genders, ethnicities, sexualities, religions, and cultures. Media has diversified.
But it’s not all good news: When it became easier to create media, it also became easier to weaponize media. As more and more content creators competed for audiences’ attention, some have chosen to do so by angering, alienating, or attacking others in pursuit of profit. The results have been corrosive and exhausting.
However, there is light on the horizon. While the last three decades have been driven by increased access to digital publishing tools, a new class of digital tools has become popular during the pandemic. These new tools — such as Zoom, Slack, Discord, and Facebook Groups — are not one-way, one-to-many broadcasting tools. Instead, they are interactive communication tools; they enable people to communicate with each other in real time. They foster collaboration, not just consumption.
New technology demands a new strategy. While the old mission was to create content in the hopes of attracting an audience, the new strategy is to create a space where a community can gather. Audience members don’t talk to each other, but community members do.
This gives me hope. I believe that the future of media — and especially podcasts — lies not in pitting audiences against each other by creating content that divides, but in creating spaces where community members can build a future together.
So yes, the logo is a microphone in a silly pink hat. But what it represents is so much more, and that’s why I am launching Podcast Parties.
Want to see what it’s all about?
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