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They used to say that all roads led to Rome, but in the ancient world, you only knew how far you’d gone down the Appian Way out of Rome by checking the milestones - and venturing very far into hostile, uncivilised or unexplored territory was for madmen and exiles only...
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Everyone is now in the media business. Every business is now by default a content creator and every business also has an audience - clients, customers, suppliers, international partners and their competitors. The content you serve them can be specific, targeted and relevant (and it should be, to make an impact) and doesn’t need to be mainstream.
Imagine leaving your doctor after receiving the dreaded news that you have cancer. The sinking feeling, the anxiety, the loneliness of that moment. If it hasn’t happened to you, then chances are that it has happened to someone you know and love. Some people don’t have to imagine. It’s gut-wrenching, terrifying, too much to bear. But you don’t have to go through this alone.
Nobody has time. Everyone you speak to is so busy - they’re busy at work, being parents, building their brand, changing the world and taking pictures of their food. The pressure is relentless. Most of us acknowledge that we have to eat right, do some exercise and keep up with the news, but how much time do you have to improve your mind?
An ex-radio DJ once said disparagingly to someone I know that "everyone and their dog has a podcast". I don’t think it was meant as a positive comment but that is what is so exciting about podcasting. Like social media, podcasting has opened up opportunities to interact and engage directly with friends, family and consumers.
In a world of constant and unrelenting media bombardment, our brains have to become really adept at prioritising, ranking and recognising the most important messaging. Every day, as close to you as your mobile screen, you’re faced with a stream of never-ending social media, pictures, video, branding, advertising, marketing, noise, updates, friend requests, WhatsApp messages, calendar invitations, podcasts, financial information, news, opinions, outrage and pressure to take it all in. It’s impossible. If you try to do all of this, all the time you’ll stress yourself out, develop a tumour, withdraw or give up completely.
South Africa is starting to catch up! I read just yesterday that Jacaranda FM (and their parent company, Kagiso Media) have launched a podcast resource called Jacpod, and Primedia recently announced a collaboration with Triton Media, showing that the two biggest independent media companies see the rise of podcasting as an inevitable and exciting development in audio media. Having been at it for four years, we welcome them to the wonderful world of podcasts.
Social justice, for most people, is about equality, freedom, opportunity and fairness. That’s what they tell you, anyway. Most of us wouldn’t object to those things, except that equality usually means equal misery; freedom means mine not yours; opportunity means mine at your expense and fairness is so subjective that it’s personal. Other than that, they’re great ideals. What if social justice were a bit more practical?
I interviewed Dr Jordan B. Peterson last week. He’s a former professor at Harvard and professor of evolutionary psychology at Toronto University. He has become an internet celebrity because of the way he reasons away politically correct nonsense and espouses personal responsibility and self-worth, especially popular with disenchanted young men. Often an interview is interesting - just good conversation - but every now and then it becomes instructive and useful...