I have had multiple conversations about the recent format change on the Gillmor Gang, most feedback being critical of the changes. I have been a regular listener for sometime now. When The Earthlink commercials started I gladly reviewed the services from earthlink. Then Godaddy.com joined the rotation and I reviewed their services and bought some domains using one of the Gang codes. I consider myself a loyal listener who has paid his respect in person, via iTunes subscription, via RSS subscription, via sponsor patronage and via recommendation.
The challenge is dealing with the repetitive nature of the commercials. I do at times skip past the commercials, if I can free myself from driving. The weird thing is I don’t really want to skip the commercials because I want to support the Gillmor Gang in a real way. If its just the same sponsors and same commercials over and over, I’m stuck until I need more domains.
I understand and support the fact that Steve Gillmor and the Gang deserve to reap benefit from their creativity and hard work. I also understand that there may be a limited number of sponsors available. I think the podcaster, sponsor, listener system needs a mechanism to create incentives for passive listeners to become active listeners(Something like this might already exist). These incentives could come in many forms here are just a few:
- If an active listener spends money with a sponsor they get a token from the sponsor that can be used to get an add free version of the podcast for some set period of time.
- The token could provide access to additional content like out takes or more in depth interviews.
- The token could provide early access to content for some period of time (used by slashdot).
- In place of a token the active listener would receive a web badge making visible their support of the podcast.
- Regular quality comments could lead to a guest spot on the podcast.
In the end all I know for sure is this; I enjoy the Gillmor Gang and other podcasts. The podcasts that create more unique incentives for me to become an active listener are going to get the most valuable pieces of my attention.
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