April 25, 2005

Narrow Casting via Pod Casting?

With the ability for RSS 2.0 and, I guess eventually other syndication tools, to grab mp3s enclosed in a post and deliver them to the device of our choice, "broadcasting" may not be the only -- or the most compelling -- model for audio and business.

Narrowcasting - me to you through audio content - maybe hold even more possibilities.

I'm working on a statement of work right now for an existing client who needs a flash script. Can I tell you how much I hate statements of work? But they put necessary structure around the client/vendor relationship. They serve a purpose. Among other things, they are a textual handshake around specific parameters of a project.

For most companies, there is a whole process around getting to that handshake. And beyond the handshake, of course, client/provider communications exist across the entire specrum of the client relationship.

So with podcasting on my brain, I'm thinking, I wish I didn't have to WRITE all of this and confine it to a template that only tells part of the story. (Mind you, I'm a writer, so if I'm bucking the textual system around content, then the sky's the limit.)

And I'm thinking, what if I could narrowcast communications via this same technology to individual clients.

So instead of organizing the Statement of Work by deliverable, I can literally talk to the client about the project and deliver the audio drafts of the SOW to some extranet/intranet spot where we BOTH talk back and forth about expectations and deliverables. With With Podscope and audio search technologies, the structure of audio content is even searchable.

"Tim, you said you wanted us to handle the art direction too--it's in the signed SOW." [Signed SOW hyperlinks to the spot in the audio SOW discussion where Tim The Client says, "I want you guys to handle the art direction."]

Hard to argue with that, eh?

What about delivering a proposal this way. What about proposals and RFP responses that are STORIES, not boring copycat documents of everything that came before them.

What if we interview our happy existing clients, for whom we've done similar work, and include their audio stories in our narrow-podcast mp3 deliverables. What would it mean if I interviewed David Weinberger on the importance of creating content a conversation with your customers, and I include that interview as a podcasted attachment to a written RFP; i.e., demonstrating the power of voice through voice.

I don't know. I'm mixing and melding existing client relationships with prospective ones here, but either way, the ability to seamlessly deliver audio from my desktop to the preferred devices of my clients/prospects has me excited.

I can see the use for narrowcasting in terms of letting prospects know WHO I AM AND WHAT I'M ABOUT before I spend much physical time with them, and in terms of carrying relationships of multi-dimensional communications forward (in-person, copy/text, recorded audio) with existing clients.

Just some thoughts to get my brain going this morning.