6 Questions with John Wall

By Mike Maddaloni on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 12:09 PM with 2 comments

6 Questions logo1 - Who are you, and what are you doing here?

My name is John Wall and I enjoy Technology, Learning and Marketing. During the day I work at AccuRev, the company with the best version control tool available at any price. In my spare time I've been experimenting with social media like blogs and podcasts.

You can find out all about me at RoninMarketeer.com.

2 - You have been podcasting since 2005. What good and bad have you seen evolve in the podcasting world over time?

The good is really simple - for anyone that considers radio dead, boring, or repetitive there's now a huge world of audio content out there beyond audiobooks. The bad is that tons of it is garbage that the average person can't bear to listen to. It's been fun to watch as the landscape and business models of media have been completely destroyed and are now being rebuilt.

photo of John Wall3 - How would you say the rebuilding of media business models is going?

If you are Apple, TiVo, Amazon or NPR, things are great. ClearChannel, Satellite Radio, or a store selling CDs, not so much.

I'm surprised that "Big Media" is coming around faster than I thought they would, but also surprised not to see any superstars or millionaires yet.

4 - Will there be a decline of superstars, and an increase of people being stars within niches?

Yes, absolutely. Media is fragmenting at an accelerating rate. Mass media is slowly falling apart. These are just figures off the top of my head, but the MASH finale was the most watched show on TV at something like 106 million, the biggest thing going now is the Super Bowl down around 97. Between TV, Web, Movies, Magazines, Podcasts, Newspaper, Radio and DVDs, consuming media has gone from a modest selection to more than one individual can comprehend.

5 - You host 2 podcasts, The M Show and Marketing Over Coffee. How do you stay on the edge with them and how do you see them evolving?

Marketing Over Coffee is content based on what I do for a living so I am gathering content for that program during every waking hour. The program has been growing at a stable rate for over a year, has sponsorship, and is a great platform for Christopher Penn and I to get our message out. It will continue to grow and expand.

The M Show is at the other end of the spectrum. It was built with old media in mind (I patterned it after Don Imus' radio program) and unfortunately even though tools that allow you to compete with big media are now available for all at next to nothing, the downside is that you have to compete against the entire world. Although the M Show is fun to do, it's proved not to be a viable business. Ultimately I'll leave the feed open for fun stuff, but Marketing Over Coffee will end up using all the resources that go to it (e.g. my time).

6 - What is one question I did not ask, and what is its answer?

Does any of this social media stuff provide business value? Can you make money doing it? The answer is yes and no. On it's own, social media is useless, it exists only to magnify and amplify what you already have to show or say. Think of it as the internet in 1996, if you have a well-crafted message, this is another venue to get it out to the world. If you've got nothing to say, you can say it louder, but that still doesn't mean that anyone is going to care.

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