Monday, April 11, 2011

What's This About Doing a Show?

When you’ve worked in the media or have made some appearances in the public space, you’re looked upon as some sort of expert in whatever you are discussing at large. Of course, you should be highly knowledgeable in something; whether it’s a specific subject or at least the discipline of conducting interviews & facilitating those discussions.

There is not an arena that this is more evident than in the sports world. Though there are similarities to how other interests are covered, what makes sports media as a whole, for the lack of a better term, “go” is that knowledge is constantly questioned, tested and challenged by the consumers. Yet, it seems that more often than not, there’s a lot of posturing, “shocking” and ego-flexing as opposed to engagement. No one is immune to at least one toe-dip in those waters, but the idea that this is the only way to speak publicly on sports tends to keep people away from actually learning more about and actually enjoying the games.

Well, as you can tell, I’m not all-knowing of anything. Tying “Clinkscales” without spell-check is an accomplishment in itself, let alone having some sort of debate about what we’re watching live on TV.

What I am, however, is someone who has spent the better part of the last eleven years connecting to people of different levels of sports interest whether they are die-hards or non-fans. It’s what drives my work and what will hopefully drive this long-conceived podcast/live internet show.

From the alma mater

As mentioned last Sunday, I will be launching this new show at the end of the month. Two weeks from now, to be precise as the yet-to-be-named show will launch Tuesday April 26th. While it could have been done much, much sooner – a year ago, the idea first came to fruition – I wanted to wait until now as we are entering the best time of year to be a sports fan. Think about what late April brings to us: NBA playoffs, Stanley Cup playoffs, baseball moving through its first month and the NFL Draft. And we’re just getting ready for what should be a great few weeks after that in May and June.

There are going to be a lot of conversations, a lot of debates and honestly, a lot of questions. Maybe this show will be your way to join in the fray, maybe it won’t. Yet, it won’t be boring thanks to some people in the background that are going to make this work. Over the next two weeks, you’ll be introduced to a couple of co-hosts that will help anchor the show from time to time as well as learn a bit about some of the people we’ll interview.

There will be several things that make this podcast/live show “go”, but I can provide three to you right now. For starters, even in this real-time era of texting and social media, it’s still quicker to speak than type. Often, writing becomes a struggle not because of an absence of words, but the greater desire to actually talk. Plenty of times, I wished I was still at my alma mater doing the old show or still volunteering to co-hosting shows on WHCR because something was just too good to not talk about. In this era, why wait when I could do it myself?

Another aspect of this new audio is that I consider myself more of a radio person at heart. There’s an addictiveness to radio that doesn’t exist elsewhere in the media landscape. Ideally, the best programs are about having hosts that are able to speak to listeners and actually listen to their fans to make for better connections. Considering that there’s no social currency on the planet like sports, think of the show as an exchange place.

Finally, what will also make this show work is that there are varied levels of fandom, but nothing that actually bring them all together. Though Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, I have been able to meet so many cool fans and media personalities – yes, I include bloggers – that are passionate, knowledgeable and far from shy about sharing their opinions. Yet, offline and in-person, there are more people who don’t have the same levels of engagement, but rather are curious about why these games matter in the first place. The better questions come from people who may see the Super Bowl or a Heat/Lakers game as some sort of pop culture event at first, but eventually move beyond culture vulturism – you can think of it like being a sports hipster – and into actually becoming a fan of the sport.

So mark it down, Tuesday April 26th at 9PM Eastern/8PM Central/7PM Mountain/6PM Pacific. One hour of something new, something that might be different, but more than anything else, something fun.

Details of the first show will come as we get closer.

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