"YouTube no place to discuss ideas"

What do you get when you take a land claims dispute, a politician, an iconic Canadian doughnut shop and mix in a little social media? An innovative if somewhat hokey YouTube video.

Here’s one of a series of five videos released last week by Michael Bryant, Ontario’s minister for aboriginal affairs, to mark the two-year anniversary of the Six Nations dispute in Caledonia.

And here’s what NDP Leader Howard Hampton had to say about it:

YouTube is not the place to communicate either policy or to communicate government messages.

To me, Howard’s comments show a complete lack of appreciation for the social media and the cultural revolution behind it.

Joseph Brean, a fine reporter at the National Post, called me up to get my thoughts on the tactic and did to me what I did to hundreds of others in my years as a reporter — he boiled our ten minute talk into a dozen or so words.

Fortunately, I got the chance to expand on my views in the latest Inside PR podcast, which will be released tomorow. After 100 episodes, co-hosts David Jones and Terry Fallis have turned the show into a round-table format and invited me, Julie Rusciolelli and Martin Waxman to join them.

In episode 101 we discuss the thorny question of why PR people are somtimes seen as slimeballs and the Bryant YouTube video.

Why podcasts will take over the world

In February of 2005, I wrote a story in the Globe and Mail about how leading edge marketers were using a new technology to reach consumers — The podcast. One example: Warner Bros. was releasing a daily podcast from Paris Hilton to promote her new film House of Wax.

I called a bunch of smart people at various ad agencies and branded content companies. Most had no idea what a podcast was.

In a year-end piece at the end of 2005, I opined that podcasts were a waste of time for marketers that were jumping in. People wanted to listen to music, not words, on their iPods, I wrote.

I was wrong.

As the months go by, I am increasingly convinced of the power of podcasts. In the spring of 2006, I recorded twice daily podcasts from the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. I was still skeptical. I still hadn’t begun listening to podcasts myself. But I came home to tremendously positive feedback from ad agency folk who had visited the Rivera vicariously through my podcasts — some of which I recorded on the beach in Cannes, complete with ambient wave sounds.

Now I listen to five to ten podcasts a week dealing with marketing, public relations, social media, and, um, fantasy baseball.

Podcasts are growing like crazy — an estimated 29,114 per cent in 2007 according to one estimate. And that growth will continue. Cars of the future will automatically download your favourite podcasts and have them ready for you to listen to at your convenience. There will be high-quality on-demand programming, targeting each and every interest and hobby — and that will take a serious toll on traditional and satellite radio.

We’re big believers in the power of podcasts at com.motion. That’s why we’re proud to sponsor Podcamp Toronto on Feb. 23 and 24. It’s a free unconference dedicated to this exploding medium. You can find more information and register for the conference here.

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