Podcasts, retrograde, and hot gadgets.
Greetings from North Brooklyn, where it may be hot but gadgets are hotter! We’re taking cues from this Monica Lewinsky cover of Yahoo Internet life by popping our collars and trying to find the secrets of the portable Web...
Here at LHCHQ things continue as per usual as we do our best to survive the heatwave, Mercury in retrograde, and snapped cello strings. Meantime, as some of our team members work from Russia and the UK this month, we’re considering how best to scale globally.
On to the #content:
Let’s talk about podcasts. Podcasts have been the hot new media trend for the past few years as series like Serial and Invisibilia conquered the popular consciousness. People love their podcasts, and like with any new media trend, brands are doing their best to jump on the bandwagon. Podcasts have the added advantage of seeming really easy to do: just record yourself talking about some salient topic, upload it to Apple Podcasts, and voila - your brand has created the next S-Town.
Turns out perhaps it’s not that easy. As a recent NYT story makes clear, the fact that everyone can create a podcast doesn’t mean everyone should. The Times leads with the cautionary tale of a would-be influencer, Morgan Mandriota, who launched something called “The Advice Podcast”, which was basically just her and a friend talking about the weather. Shockingly, it failed to go viral.
We see examples of this all the time, in all types of content -- podcasts just happen to be the latest culprit. When creating anything, there has to be a reason behind it -- a strong story, a lesson you want to teach, a question you’re exploring with your audience -- an answer to "Why do people care what you (or your brand) have to say?" There’s too damn much stuff out there for brands to produce content just for content’s sake, whether it’s a podcast, an Instagram post, or webinar. If you’re not briging the audience something they’ll value, and you’re not doing so with thoughtfulness, craft, and storytelling ability, it might be worth thinking twice before you hit publish.
Things are happening
Peak mercury in retrograde was the recent “subway snafu” where the fix was (wait for it) turning the computer off and turning it back on again.
We’re also at Peak Newsletter but it’s not a bad thing. Good newsletters “cut through the noise of social media and establish this consistent, pretty intimate connection.” If you were looking for a sign to unsubscribe, this is not it.
It might be time to start flipping tables if your company insists on being shady. At LHCHQ, our most divisive, table flipping issue is seltzer flavors.
Social media platforms profit from the spread of “horrific content.” Would fining them hold them accountable?
The castle in Central Park just got a $12 million makeover but Europeans are still unimpressed. Buckingham or bust!
We’re considering buying a pair of these newspaper-themed sneakers for the office.
Our next company offsite is to Area 51. (The Air Force is not amused.)
What We're Listening To
We’ve found it: the most bizarrely compelling album of all time. “The Dog and The Future” by Agar Agar, combines all the things we love – surreal disco-electronic music, strange abstract lyricism, and, of course, dogs. Highlights include lyrics about losing your dog at the thrift store and accidentally dropping eggs on the carpet. The french female duo are playful, irreverent, and exactly the refreshing sound we’ve been craving to set as the soundtrack to this record hot summer. The album is constantly in flux, each track nothing like the last, but it remains surprisingly delightful. Check it out here.