Podcasting started when portable personal audio players met the internet for the first time. It was clear from that point on that the hold radio had over the masses was going to slide. Now for the first time ordinary citizens did not have to risk arrest and pirate radio to get their messages across. Of course they still exist as they don’t all want to play royalties on music. But podcasting as a chat medium remains supreme. Despite the pressures from vodcasting and youtube, people on the move do not have the hardware to really take advantage of what in effect are bandwidth hungry large file sizes shown on small screen sizes. The Ipad (if you can afford one) may change that over time but at the price and the risk to your personal safety when using it in public – i.e. you could be robbed as you are not looking about when focused on that screen – then the simple and basic mp3 player or you fancy iphone can handle a simple audio podcast with ease.
Transgender people and the media
Transgenderzone.com possesses over 25 years of video and audio clips of transpeople from UK terrestrial television. We are very well placed to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of broadcasting content with transgender people. We will write a series of blogs in due course on this very subject so please subscribe to our feed here. For now we will just concentrate on video versus audio casting and why we are likely to use audio only with a video option in some cases.
The biggest change in any transgender person’s life is the point of transition. The moment a trans person switches gender roles or ‘comes out ‘as trans. At that moment the euphoria and adrenalin they experience can be intoxicating and often allow license to carry out some quite outrageous things and these include becoming very visual and ‘in your face’ or appearing on television programs. As time goes on many realise that these actions may have been a little premature. We more than once witnessed this and they then slowly become more and more worried about how much of themselves they have given to the world and then attempt to drag all that back in, eventually disappearing altogether, even from the gender clinics who treated them until their surgery – in the case of transsexuals.
Getting your message across safely?
It is clear there is a desire for individuals to tell their story, share ideas and get a message out. Maybe they want to promote their website in an AV way or promote their business to a transgender audience. But at the same time there needs to be an element of personal control and security. Many end up on youtube. This is a good medium for delivery of content but that’s all it is remember. It is a means to an end, it is not the end in itself. When you have many many transgender people broadcasting a similar message on youtube the message can be lost in a sea of voices. The audience are often not transgender people and are either judgemental or looking for a cheap thrill or looking to leave abusive comments that do very little for your self esteem. For the most part abuse based on how you look.
What is best to get your messaging across?
Well, first you need a target audience, people who actually want to listen to your message.
Next you need a sounding board for your message. A single person ranting away for ages quickly becomes boring, even the Queen’s Christmas message has a time limit! Party political broadcasts do too. However, a news or radio programme with 2 or 3 people talking can be tolerated for hours.
So it is clear you need more than one person to make a good show, preferably a few more people participating on a single show.
You need a topic, something interesting but not necessarily stereotypically trans, transgender people are people too and have other interests and issues to debate from the cost of living to perhaps the joys of voluntary work, criticising media to having a knees up in a club.
So, so far we are creating a list of issues and that transgender people need to maintain privacy, but at the same time get their message across to an audience who will appreciate it, they may want to hear it in a way that’s easy for them to access on the move (not video) and at the same time promote your website and get traffic from your appearance/contribution.
This is exactly what we plan on doing. But the stumbling block is we will need people to take an interest and join in, people who are happy to chat about issues on a regular basis. We would use Skype you would need a cheap headset (Logitech make some good cheap ones) and have a few people at a time if possible all joining in and play it by ear. Another key issue is editorial control over recordings. We would edit it to show people in the best most fun way. We are not interested in humiliating people in the same way ordinary Jerry Springeresque television tends to do.
Lastly, the podcasts would be creative commons licensed meaning we can make the recordings shareable (with some limitations) and have people who take part mention their products or websites during the recordings so they benefit from taking part in other ways that good will alone will not address. These are often the following, you sell products or have a site that earns commission selling them, you want more traffic, you are an internet entrepreneur or group/event organiser who needs to regularly plug your events, or may you simply want more people on your website.
If you would like to take part then we have started a thread in our forums (link) in the podcasting section and would ask that you join it and hopefully join in when we finally get around to it later in the year. If you are still unsure how this would work then watch an episode of twit live here.
This is the world’s most popular pod/vodcast. Remember all his videos recordings end up on audio on his site event though they may start out as video justifying the importance of audio in the long term. But the video shown on twit there does offer an insight into how we will do it without actually using video in the recordings. Just do not turn on your webcams J
We too will have a host with all the necessary recording equipment and they will take care of the editing and publishing. All you have to worry about is relaxing and chatting.
We would also be interested in recordings made if you are a regular party and event goer. And would happily host or include excerpts of your recordings in the larger audio file. With the appropriate credit given to you and your site for providing it.