As a fledgling industry, Podcasting initially had its own annual Expo.
Both inspirational and uplifting, it was great to be part of the community as the podcasting pioneers gathered each year to learn, teach and party, There was such optimism as the medium matured and barriers were broken down.
The democratisation of broadcasting. Transmitters? We didn’t need no stinking transmitters…
The final year of the Podcast and New Media Expo, (or whatever it was called at the fourth name change), saw the Expo transplanted to Las Vegas and many agreed, it had lost its way a bit.
We didn’t know it then, but that was to be the final separate Podcast Expo.
Following that final year, the Podcast and New Media Expo was bought out by BlogWorld.
Since the take over by BlogWorld, there has been a lot of disquiet and discontent in the Podcasting world.
The BlogWorld organisers have tried their best to integrate the Podcasting community into BlogWorld, but even they would agree, have never quite pulled it off. Despite the best of intentions, it’s always seemed that the Podcasters played second fiddle to the Bloggers. Unintentional I know, but that’s just how its always come across.
Whether it’s due to the prominence of the name ‘BlogWorld’, or the fact that the Podcast tracks have never really been visible, or that the Podcast tracks have always been the last sessions to be publicised, BlogWorld has never really jelled with the Podcast community. Heck, we even called Podcasting “Digital Broadcasting” one year, no wonder it was invisible to Podcasters (and I take the blame for that!).
Despite many initiatives, some of which I’ve been personally involved with, the BlogWorld experience has never matched the previous experience Podcasters had with their own Expo.
However, I think this is all about to change.
Take a listen to the new Podcast Report linked below which gives a good indication of a sea change at BlogWorld. There are some significant and potentially ground breaking changes happening over the next few months leading up to a major announcement at BlogWorld NYC in June.
Firstly, Cliff Ravenscraft has grasped the mantle of pulling the Podcast track together for the next event in New York. Cliff is a passionate Podcaster with his own clear views on Podcasting and many contacts in the industry. After observing from a distance the effort Cliff was putting into the event, I tweeted some Kudos to Cliff and his efforts. Cliff reached out and we had a long Skype discussion on Podcast history, some of the mistakes of the past and what needs to happen moving forward.
It was obvious from our discussions, Cliff has a handle on what is needed and he’s making it happen.
Following on from our discussion, I took a listen to the Podcast Report where Cliff is in discussion with Rick Calvert, CEO & Co-Founder of BlogWorld & New Media Expo. In the podcast Rick pre-announces a hugely significant change – BlogWorld is re-branding and giving equal importance to Bloggers, Podcasters and Web TV producers.
BlogWorld will no longer be BlogWorld after the next event.
We don’t know what the name will be, but it is being renamed and the new name will be announced at the New York event in June. It will reflect the new focus on serving the Blogger, Podcaster and Web TV producer communities, all in equal measure and with equal importance.
This is huge, and not just because of the change in name.
It’s something I’ve advocated for years but never thought would come to fruition due to the huge brand awareness that BlogWorld has gathered in the years it has been in operation. If they are taking the important (and some would say somewhat risky) step of changing the name, I feel confident that we’ll see them follow through with the change in focus of the event.
In some respects, they have to make the change. The scene has changed considerably since BlogWorld was formed, and in reality, they probably should have made the change much sooner. Regardless of past history, they are now making the change and seem committed to restructuring the event and supporting infrastructure.
I really would recommend taking a listen to the new Podcast Report podcast below:
I’m excited to see what Cliff can do with the Podcast track and what Rick and the team have in store moving forward.
Looks like they might just turn it around.