Guests: John C. Dvorak, Lisa Bettany, Shira Lazar
Recorded: April 19, 2009
Published: April 20, 2009
TWiT 191 •Previous episode – Next episode
This transcript is provided by our friends at Pods in Print
Leo Laporte Bandwidth for this WEEK in TECH is provided by AOL Radio at aol.com/podcasting.
This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, episode 191 for April 20, 2009, Corked.
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This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, episode 191 in which we talk about all things, tech, social networking, the web2.0, 3.0. Joining us today in studio, John C. Dvorak of ChannelDvorak.
John C. Dvorak ChannelDvorak.com
Leo Laporte And…
John C. Dvorak And I can work the mic this too, because this is one of the –
Leo Laporte Would you please? This is one of those mics where you work it.
John C. Dvorak I can work it.
Leo Laporte Yeah. And it sounds really good when you do that. John was in Europe – boy you’ve been travelling around, you were in Washington State last week and you’re going to Amsterdam. What are you going to Amsterdam for?
John C. Dvorak Queen’s Day. I know, that’s what I said.
Leo Laporte Amsterdam has a Queen, is it Queen Beatrix?
John C. Dvorak I don’t know, I can never keep track. But yes, something like that. But they have this big party on the last day of April which is called Queen’s Day. And I have to go to Amsterdam to visit with a software company anyway.
Leo Laporte So, why not go on Queen’s Day?
John C. Dvorak So I said, let’s go on Queens Day, and all the Dutch said “Yeah, yeah! That’s when you should come!”
Leo Laporte Can I give you some chocolate to give Beatrix because she loves chocolate.
John C. Dvorak I don’t think I am going to meet her.
Leo Laporte You’re not? It’s her day. Does she – doesn’t she like ride amongst the populace on a horse?
John C. Dvorak If she does, I don’t know.
Leo Laporte I thought she was supposed to…
John C. Dvorak We’ll find out. But all I know is that apparently this is, like, one 24 hours of just people drinking in the streets and what’s interesting is that everybody puts everything up that they have for sale out on the street and everything, everybody sells...
Leo Laporte Oh, what fun!
John C. Dvorak ...all their household stuff.
Leo Laporte So, it’s kind of like spring cleaning.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, exactly.
Leo Laporte Yeah Spring Day. Also here from Vancouver, British Columbia, we’re really thrilled to have her back, Lisa Bettany, MostlyLisa.com.
Lisa Bettany Hello, everyone.
Leo Laporte Hi, Lisa, how are you?
Lisa Bettany It’s hot in the studio today.
Leo Laporte It is really a little toasty and I apologize, we’ve had some really hot days in this studio last summer. And I have air conditioning, but you know, it gets stuffy.
Lisa Bettany Yeah.
Leo Laporte So, you can aim the fan, at you.
Lisa Bettany I have aimed the fan.
Leo Laporte You know, it kind of looks, you have the model – she has the model look going.
John C. Dvorak You have the hair going.
Leo Laporte The hair’s blowing, did you plan that?
Lisa Bettany Maybe.
Leo Laporte Smile for the camera. Love the camera baby. Also here, we’re really pleased for the first time, Shira Lazar.
Shira Lazar Yay! I am so happy to be here.
Leo Laporte Shiralazar.com. Shira, how would I describe what you do?
Shira Lazar I’d describe it – hybrid journalist crossover personality. Some people call me a social media maven. I – literally everyone –
Leo Laporte You’re interesting, because when we talked about this a couple of TWiTs ago, where people are going to J-School of all a sudden. You studied broadcasting...
Shira Lazar Yeah.
Leo Laporte ...and you got out of school and broadcasting is completely differently from everything it was.
Shira Lazar Yeah, even a few years ago when I was like, do I want to either work at local news stations to pursue what I love, I’m like – no, I don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere, reporting about murders. That’s not what who I am.
Leo Laporte It’s what you have to do, you have to work your way up.
Shira Lazar Well, that was the old model. But then I was in Los Angeles and it happened that a lot of websites at the time were starting up. And I was like let me host your video content, let me translate your content into video. And also sites that already had video –
Leo Laporte You’re a new class of person and Justine – ijustine is one, Lisa’s another. You’re web personalities .
Shira Lazar Yes, but I also have, in the midst of continuing online – have been in traditional media and hosted shows on TV with NBC and DIRECTV.
Leo Laporte So, you’ve done real stuff?
Shira Lazar So I’ve done – well that’s the thing, I feel like…
Leo Laporte Oh boy, did I say that? Oh my god. I’m sorry Leo, you’re gonna…
Shira Lazar You see, that’s the thing. It’s like much as people –
John C. Dvorak Bad, bad Leo.
Shira Lazar As much as people say “TV is dead” and everything, there’s still credibility when people see you on NBC.
Leo Laporte No, it’s true, real media.
Shira Lazar And it’s like, oh, but you’re saying that’s all online but then...
Leo Laporte You’d think I’d know better than that.
Shira Lazar … bring back the buzz words of the TV.
John C. Dvorak Well, they say the same thing about the newspapers. And everybody will admit this, even though the newspapers are dying you can have a blog with two million readers on a daily basis and if something gets printed in the newspaper, then it has more impact on the city government.
Leo Laporte It’s genuine.
Shira Lazar So what do you say to people – it’s like, everyone’s like – it’s such hypocrisy in terms of saying that old or traditional media is dead but then there is credibility in it. I think we all need to, in the end, work together like, for me I say I am in the audience business. So –
Leo Laporte Oh well, that’s – wait a minute, let me get my head around that.
John C. Dvorak That’s a good one.
Leo Laporte I am in the audience business.
Shira Lazar I spoke about that at Foo Camp with someone and I go, I don’t – it’s not about like, being against TV or being against online, like although online is my love and that’s where I want to be.
Leo Laporte So you’re saying I don’t care where the audience – what distribution means, I create – see, I always say I’m in the content business.
Shira Lazar It’s where you can engage the most people.
Leo Laporte You say you’re in the audience business. That’s a very interesting distinction. Do you not think content is important?
Shira Lazar I do think content is important.
Leo Laporte But which comes first, do you say audience comes first?
Shira Lazar No, I don’t think so. But I think that – in terms of engagement, it’s about engaging people.
Leo Laporte Right, I understand, I’m actually….
Shira Lazar And so we find ways to make it work, not only just online, look I’m not about excluding the TV world and alienating them. I am about – if I have an online web series, I am going to find a way to engage the TV world as well. Maybe that’s my marketing side coming in. So, if I have a web show, I’ll find a way to be feature contributor on a TV network.
Leo Laporte All right. I actually caution a lot of…
Shira Lazar So it’s convergence.
Leo Laporte …young people, who say I’m in this so that I can get into mainstream media, to say don’t worry so much about mainstream media. I probably said that to you, Lisa, right?
Lisa Bettany [6:27] Yeah, I think it’s about finding your niche on the internet and I mean, like I’ve tried for years to make in mainstream as an actor, as a model and just being beaten down from that end and going into internet stuff. But I’ve always kept, sort of, some bit of myself in mainstream. Like with my – the work I’m doing for the Vancouver Province, like with the newspaper.
Leo Laporte You still write for a newspaper.
Lisa Bettany Yeah, and that…
Leo Laporte And I still do radio show, I mean, we’re all still doing some mainstream media.
Shira Lazar As much as – we’re, yes, pioneers of I’d say new media and we understand it and want to be there –
Leo Laporte But is that because this stuff is still hanging around or because we really genuinely need to be part of it.
John C. Dvorak Maybe it’s because there’s more money there.
Leo Laporte Oh the money part.
Shira Lazar Yeah, that’s the fact. I still paid more for being on TV than being online. But I think there’s something about – the conversation is different online. It’s so much more exciting.
Leo Laporte That’s what I think, I love the interactivity.
Shira Lazar Besides that, it’s like online has always been there for me. When you are off air, you continue your presence online. But that’s on air too; it’ that you’re continuing the life and your brand and your…
Leo Laporte Lisa do you do the newspaper stuff for – to make a living?
Lisa Bettany No, they have no money.
John C. Dvorak Well the Province never had.
Lisa Bettany They’re – it’s almost like they’re folding and they’re, sort of hiring more people like myself to come in and do these sort of little videos to pull people online.
Leo Laporte I sometimes feel sorry for people your age and Shira’s age because you’re coming into the tail end of this stuff.
Lisa Bettany Yes, but it’s an exciting time too. I mean –
Leo Laporte There’s opportunity as well.
Lisa Bettany Like with my photography it’s sort of – before, maybe I’d put my pictures up in a gallery and I’d have a hundred people see it. But I post it on Flickr and I get 20,000 people to see my work and get – and have this sort of online portfolio of my work and I think that’s really exciting.
Leo Laporte That’s the thing you and I have always talked about, John; the dirty little secret of mainstream media is the numbers are low. I mean 20,000 people watching you on Flickr is a lot even compared to mainstream.
Lisa Bettany Yeah.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, well the radio scene is definitely the case, especially local radio.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak We – in fact this broadcast, if you want to call it that, of yours here; this thing, TWiT as it were, it probably has 10 times the audience you would have if you were just...
Leo Laporte On a local station.
John C. Dvorak ... on KGO or something. Especially on a Sunday.
Leo Laporte The numbers on this show are the same as my national radio show which is in 61 markets and on XM and in Canada. So, that gives you some idea.
Shira Lazar Why are people – I feel like there’s credibility and legitimacy there, but why is there still kind of a bit of a...
Leo Laporte Stuff is just hanging out. Stuff’s just hanging, it’s the old, it just takes a while to die. It’s – people having gotten over that.
John C. Dvorak I think it’s more than that. I think it’s because it’s diluted.
Leo Laporte Web media is diluted.
Shira Lazar Yeah, there’s a lot out there.
John C. Dvorak There’s just too many schmucks that are just trying to do it; a lot of amateurs. It’s just a smokescreen.
Leo Laporte That’s probably hurt podcasting in the sense that most of the time when you listen to a podcast it’s really bad.
John C. Dvorak Yes.
Leo Laporte So the assumption is, “well a podcast, it’s going to be bad.”
John C. Dvorak There’s not that many slick podcasts or anything like that.
Leo Laporte But that’s what has happened is the democratisation of the media and I think we think that’s a good thing, right? Because it means anybody can have a voice and everybody gets a chance.
Shira Lazar Yes.
John C. Dvorak I don’t know, is that really a good thing, that everybody has a voice? I’m not so sure.
Shira Lazar Well, it’s going to make the people – it’s going to weed out – the people that are making money are the professionals and the people around them are the ones that will be saying – it’s like the commenters on blogs; but it happens that they video and then –
Leo Laporte We should get Andrew Keen because he is the guy who wrote the book The Cult of The Amateur and that’s exactly what Keen says. Although he’s changed his tune just a little bit.
John C. Dvorak Well, I am a little flexible on this thinking, and I was just thinking about, in fact, the comment thing that you just mentioned is interesting. Because if you look at today’s media, it’s actually dominated by the reader if it’s done right. There are more – for every column inch that you have written on a blog or anyplace else, you should have something like 20x as much commenting. I mean, in other words you write this much, and then the comments are down to China. And then the comments become part of the text that will –
Leo Laporte That’s right…
John C. Dvorak – because people look at the comments.
Leo Laporte That’s new media.
John C. Dvorak And that’s – so it’s actually – it’s been user created, which is the true citizen journalism in that regard. And it’s skewed everything because in the olden days if you had a newspaper and you ran a letter to the editor, first you’d have to fight to get your letter printed and then when it did get printed, there was only like six of them printed out of the thousands they’d probably get. Well of course, they probably don’t get that many because then nobody knows they’d ever get printed. As opposed to new media which has all the comments generally except for the few that you moderate out. And it skews the way people relate to the product but it also makes, I think it also cheapens the product in some way, because it’s not as focussed and slick. But I kind of prefer it myself.
Shira Lazar And I feel like modern day journalism or hosts or personalities, I look at it more as becoming a moderator of that, so you’re using –
Leo Laporte Moderate of the community, of the audience. So that’s why you say focus on the audience not content because the audience is the content.
Shira Lazar That’s what I am saying. That’s interesting – yes, like a lot times I say, yes I am host, that sounds rude, but I’m like, because a lot of things that I do…
Leo Laporte You host a community.
Shira Lazar I host a community.
Leo Laporte That’s interesting, I like that way of looking at it.
Lisa Bettany I think of it as definitely kind of opposite like; it’s about the content. You produce good content and then screw everything else.
Shira Lazar But the world continues, the conversation continues because there’s more than just your content. Like you’ve just say, oh sorry, “this is all it is” then you’re putting yourself in a box. But then you say the conversation continues beyond, then I feel like it leaves to infinite possibility.
Leo Laporte Why don’t you care about the conversation afterwards, Lisa?
Lisa Bettany Well I do, but it’s – the way I feel about my blog now is I spend all these creating this content that I believe in and I’m passionate about and then I get some jerk saying like, you suck!
Leo Laporte Right. You suck.
Shira Lazar But it’s about – you have one of those every once in a while.
Leo Laporte But we all do.
Lisa Bettany It’s