Last week, the New Media Expo took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Expo brought together 2,000 attendees, including individual media makers, companies, schools, and organizations wanting to learn how to create audio and video content that will educate, inform, and inspire their audiences. The AIDS.gov team was there to learn, listen, and share our own stories.
On Thursday, Miguel Gomez, Director of AIDS.gov, and Fred Smith, Senior Technologist at the CDC, presented a session on creating podcasts within the Federal government system. They shared what it takes to get cooperation from various departments, how they plan their content, and how they use audio and video podcasts to disseminate information to the communities they serve.
But more important than what Miguel and Fred said was what they heard. Miguel asked Tim Bourquin , Founder and CEO of the New Media Expo, what message he would like to share with the HIV/AIDS community. He said, “I’d recommend just getting started. Interviews are the easiest way to get content up quickly, and they keep the host from having to carry an entire 15- or 20-minute show. Interview people within your organization but also reach out to the people you serve who have interesting stories to tell and interview them as well. Anything that helps you connect with your audience in a more ‘human’ way will be well received.”
Anything that helps you connect with your audience in a more “human” way will be well received.
We also asked Tim the lessons he learned from this year’s expo. He told us, “The big lesson from the 2008 New Media Expo is that individuals and organizations can still connect with their constituents directly by starting a blog, podcast, or online video series even if they don’t create media as their primary business. Although production quality matters, being genuine with your audience and putting a human face on any organization is what’s important. With the tools becoming less expensive each day, and editing software becoming easier to use, anyone really CAN do this.”
Fred told us his take-away message was that “we have proven that podcasts are an effective channel for delivering health messages, and we have learned a lot in the process of developing those podcasts. Now it’s time to take our podcasting to the next level by being strategic and creating more personalized podcasts.” Fred said the CDC is planning to allow users to personalize their experience with CDC podcasts—with options like subscribing by topic rather than by predefined series, receiving podcasts that are geographically relevant, and opting for supplemental material to be delivered through a subscription feed.
The Expo was an opportunity for us to meet new colleagues like Pete Alcorn, Manager of Podcasts at iTunes for Apple, Inc., and Michael Geoghegan . We went to several presentations and learned of many new resources, including:
- Edison Media Research/Arbitron has national-level data on podcast listeners and their demographics, trended since 2006.
- Rachal Salaman from Audio For the Web presented on writing for podcasts and has some case studies on her site.
The growth and evolution of new media is changing everything – even conference organizers’ thinking about the future of events like the New Media Expo. We encourage you to read Tim Bourquin’s and Chris Brogan’s blogs to learn more.
Our ability to network with leading podcasters at the Expo led to specific, positive outcomes for AIDS.gov. As a result of our participation at the Expo, AIDS.gov is now working on HIV/AIDS messaging with a college in California and a community health provider in Vermont. We would never have met our colleagues in those organizations without the Expo. As Chris Brogan said, “there’s a lot to learn, many connections to be made, and many new people coming into the social media space every day.”
Were you at the New Media Expo? Or have you attended a conference or workshop lately that you’d like to share with us? We welcome your feedback!