The Paul F. Tompkins 300

Paul F. ThompkinsFriend and coworker @akmayhem pointed me to a blog post by comedian Paul F. Tompkins that bears some repeating.

In it, Tompkins talks about how — via Twitter and Facebook — he may have found a way around the dismal comedy club circuit and made direct connections with fans. He stumbled into it, and it’s not a formal business plan by any means, but he’s basically setting up paying gigs around North America using fans to power the choice of cities and ensuring that his tickets will sell even before he starts any promotion.

The premise: You gather 300 people that will commit to buying tickets and attending the show in your town. I will show up and entertain.

That’s connecting. That’s context. And it’s participatory.

The fans promise support. The artist promises a good show. Everyone gets together. The fans get a far better show because they know, definitively, they share something in common with each other and the artist.  And the artist knows that the fans are really there to see him — they aren’t random ticket winners or other marginally-interested folks — they had to do something tangible to get there (even if it’s something small). It makes for a more intimate event and everyone gets more from the experience than they would via any other means.

I had this kind of experience in my home this past summer, when I hosted a Tweetup and House Concert. It was a fabulous experience.

So what, in public media land, are you doing to connect people, either to you or to each other? What are you doing to make your media palpable, interactive, participatory and “real” for your community?

Advice: Develop a digital media offense, not defense

Great interview with Ken Auletta on topics covered in his forthcoming book.

“More than a few traditional media executives fervently believe Google aims to conquer the world. By obsessing about Google’s ‘evil’ intentions they spend too much time playing defense and not enough time figuring out their own digital offense.”

Hat tip to @matthewfelling for the find.

Big Webcast on Tuesday (11/03)

UPDATE: The webcast video and audio is now posted.

For those that may not yet have seen a promo for this webcast, here you go — this is a good one:

From Broadcast to Broadband: Redesigning Public Media for the 21st Century

  • Ellen Goodman, Rutgers University School of Law
  • Jake Shapiro, Executive Director, Public Radio Exchange (PRX)
  • Presented by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society
  • Tue, Nov 3, 2009
  • LIVE webcast: 12:30 p.m. Eastern / 9:30 a.m. Pacific
  • Archived webcast to be posted later

Get the full description here

Watch the live webcast here

See the archived copy of the webcast here (later)

PublicMediaCamp session notes posted – What Next?

by Elephants on Bicycles (Flickr)
by Elephants on Bicycles (Flickr)

It took longer than expected, but I finally posted notes from my PublicMediaCamp session “Creating an Online Unconference to the PubCamp wiki.

It’s packed with details from the session and links out to relevant materials. Not to mention two funny / instructive videos from recent Intel commercials.

From here, though, the real work begins.

I have a ton of handwritten notes I took while flying home from DC. And I’ve been thinking about this for two weeks. I plan to convert my additional notes next, fleshing out the ideas that emerged in the session in much greater detail. However, I’m concerned the project would become too wrapped up in my own thoughts of what should or shouldn’t happen with this site. I need more input.

For example, I had a good e-mail exchange recently with Kristin Calhoun at PBS. She gave me more ideas on what we could do with this new site / online service. And I’m sure she’s not the only one.

So here’s what I propose:

  • You and I reach out to anyone we think might be interested in participating in the leadership of this new online community. We make them aware of what we’re talking about — point to the wiki entry — and see if they’d be interested in not only hearing more, but in shaping the future of this service from the beginning.
  • Ask that everyone take this survey about the formation of the community
  • We exchange e-mails, building a list of interested parties and probably moving that list to a Google Group or similar system
  • We set a date for a live phone conference with everyone that’s interested in materially participating
  • Meanwhile, I write up my additional notes on the community idea and post them either to the wiki or this blog, then share them with everyone
  • Finally, if you’ve got ideas for the community, you take a few notes, too!

I’m excited! I think we’ve got something here. The new/digital/social media community inside public media has needed something like this for a long time — the conference that never ends, a support group and a resource for ideas and new technologies.

Let’s do it!