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Socialcasting with Calliflower

On the SquawkBox this morning we’ll be talking about social networks, blogs and the coming intersection of these media.  This conversation is inspired by a piece last week from Om Malik titled Why Blogs Need to be Social, and a subsequent follow up from Mathew Ingram titled Let a Hundred Facebook’s Bloom.  However, there’s more to the discussion than the confluence of social networks, and blogs in my opinion.

For some months now we’ve been experimenting with a concept I initially described as “concasts” — a multi-person podcast built around a conference calling system – in this case iotum’s Calliflower.  That’s what the SquawkBox daily show is.  Steve Gillmor’s NewsGang Live is also similar and recorded on Calliflower.

Over the last few months, people have told me repeatedly that what we’re doing is something new, social and exciting. It’s more than just a conference call.  Using Newsgang Live and the SquawkBox as examples:

  1. The shows live in social media — Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feed’s are used to promote and manage these events.
  2. Each has a hard core of participants.  It’s much like the core of participants that hang out on any online forum, contributing to the discussion, except that in our case, the participants are in a voice medium.
  3. During the live event, discussion happens on the bridge, but also in a text based comment stream, much like a blog.  Steve hosts his in a UStream chatroom, because he simultaneously videocasts his show.  I host mine on the Calliflower chat wall.
  4. Each show has a long tail audience reached by rereleasing the content as a podcast.  Both are available on iTunes or directly from our respective websites.

The initial idea of a “concast” doesn’t really do the medium justice — at least not as it has evolved today. These shows are examples of an emerging category that I’m calling social podcasts, or socialcasts.  They combine elements of blogs, podcasts, and life streaming services in order to create a unique new medium. Both Steve and I have rolled our own using Calliflower and the WordPress/Podpress combination. There are also platforms being built for this kind of medium, like TalkShoe and BlogTalkRadio.

Most importantly, any discussion of the intersection of blogs and social networks should fold in the social uses of video, and audio as these evolve as well.

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