Since I received my iPod Nano for Christmas, it has been with me daily. It’s been a source of entertainment and education through Podcasts — audio files containing what used to be called radio programming when radio was the only way to listen to audio programs.
Back in the day, you needed a multi-million megawatt transmitter and multi-million dollar studio to have your voice heard by the masses.
Today, through the advent of inexpensive computers and mobile listening technology, today anyone can create their own ‘radio’ program, and many do! But should they?
In the latter part of the last century, the same advent of inexpensive computers made the concept of Desktop Publishing a reality for many people who needed a voice.
‘Now’, they thought, Ëœwe can be read and people will listen to use because we can produce a fanzine, a newsletter, or even a real magazine, all from the comfort of our home office.’ They didn’t need permission of a newspaper editor, or magazine publisher, their thoughts were important and we needed to read them. Oh Really?
If history is a teacher then we should learn the lessons of desktop publishers; just because you can work through the laborious process to make a newsletter, doesn’t mean that the resulting dead tree edition will be worthy of reading. If we can’t understand the message, then the effort is wasted.
Many home businesses were created around the concept of desktop publishing (and many have since migrated to web development). These ‘publishers’ created many newsletters, pamphlets and public documents for many other small businesses. And many were pure crap.
Grab the lesson and fast-forward to this century.
Today’s technology enables you to do many things with the written word, with voice, and video. And many of these productions are also pure crap. Sturgeon’s law in action.
My thinking? The time invested learning to use the gear to produce the message should really be doubled — with much of it spent learning the basics of communication first, and then learn the medium of communication. The tech is the easy part…communicating the message, that’s the hard part. Do that and you will be heard, and understood.