The Jerk

Remember Steve Martin in “The Jerk”, working in the gas station when the phone book arrives? He flips to the page where he hopes his name will appear and, when it does, runs screaming for his gas station boss, “I am somebody! I am somebody!“.

I promise I won’t do that but I still feel like a jerk who is self promoting (but who else will, heh?).

It’s fun to be one of the few (actually, several thousand!) whose podcast is live on the Apple iTunes Music Store podcasting section. I’m in the Technology section and (if you have iTunes) you can go directly there and subscribe if you’d like…or just double-click on one of the podcasts in iTunes and it’ll stream.

When I was at the University of Minnesota, I headed over to Brown Institute (now Brown College) since *all* the local Minnesota broadcasters had attended there and I had a pent-up urge to get in to broadcasting. After discovering the tuition was three times the UofMN (and I was paying my own way) I never did it. I’ve had a nagging notion ever since that if I’d pursued it (or a journalism degree vs. business at the UofMN) I would’ve been closer to my passion. Blogging, and now podcasting, has gone a long way towards filling that passion.


1) Pulling together a podcast and getting it live is not easy yet. One has to have some semblance of good content, create and record a show, encode audio files to smaller mp3 or AAC files, upload them somewhere, and use a service like Feedburner to wrap RSS tags around the media files posted so you have a “feed” URL that you can then “publish” to the iTunes music store.

It takes Apple forever to make a new podcast “live” (six days in my case). I also tweaked my feed after it was live and roughly 24 hours passed before Apple re-sync’ed to my feed and the updates appeared (they probably have a cycle of repinging every podcasters feed). This is a problem if you have timely content.

The other thing is — if you click on the picture above or go to my podcast at the iTunes Music Store — you’ll note the language says “Arabic”. Other than having someone tease me about doing a “terrorist podcast” (which it is certainly NOT), it is frustrating to have notified Apple three times within 48 hours that it should be “English” and it’s not changed.

2) Then there is the “Who cares?” question. I’ve already gone through and listened to dozens of podcasts. Some audio levels are so low and the quality so crappy that I won’t listen. Will this happen to podcasters and those that try ’em out will never come back?

I wrestle with hitting a sweet spot of content that is compelling enough for people to listen yet will still remain within the hobbyist camp (I have no illusions of grandeur that I’ll be “discovered” and become a famous podcaster).

Several other podcasters with whom I’ve been interacting have been thinking up and expressing to me *many* ways that they could whore themselves to get attention. One guy on a message board was talking about his “outrageous podcast idea” which was to take the most offensive, debased stories he could locate and deliver them like a newscast. When I look at categories in iTunes right now and see people have already started naming their podcasts with “AAA” or “–“, numbers or other spurious characters so they’re first in the list in a category, I can already see the mad scramble that is ensuing to get attention…in any way they can.

All of that said, I find this whole category quite exciting. After the initial euphoria subsides, those with compelling content — matched with passion — will continue to invest their energy, effort and reputations and the cream will eventually rise to the top.

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  1. Randy Vescelius on July 16, 2005 at 1:52 pm

    It took me some time but I did finally find your podcast and am now subscribed. Very good. You’re a natural.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Connecting the Dots Podcast

Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.