In the entertainment edition of the Podcast the guys start off the show with some more arguing before getting into topics such as Wesley Snipes getting out of prison and paying taxes in general. After that the guys celebrate Ron Jeremy’s return to work (porn). Finally the guys come up with another service for singles.
I’ll be honest, I was insanely jealous when Alison Rosen’s podcast first came out and she instantly was on the top of the itunes podcast charts with the luxury of being part of Adam Carolla’s digital network. Not everyone has the benefit of Mr. Carolla’s huge audience to help them with the debut of a new podcast, but at the same time Alison earned her spot as the news girl and excellent contributor to the King of Podcast’s flagship program. Before her podcast debuted I had already checked out many of the archived episodes of her popular Ustream show, which had the same name as her podcast, and enjoyed her laid back, down to earth style which is also the case with her podcast. The main difference between the two shows is structure and sound quality, plus a great lineup of guests.
Alison has a great rapport with her fans and often starts the show with fan feedback from her itunes reviews, which is a great way to encourage fans to review a show, and by actually calling her listeners and having extended conversations with them. If regular bits or segments are something you enjoy on a podcast then this show is for you, because Alison has many set bits and segments that almost always involve more fan feedback and participation. The real meat of the show is the interview portion. Unlike Adam’s show, where Adam rarely has in depth conversations or interviews with his guests, Alison has extremely in depth and frank discussions with the guests she gets on her show. Once again benefiting from being on Adam’s network, she gets a great lineup of guests which includes some top notch up and coming comedians as well as the assorted actor and a fantastic episode with Dr. Drew as well. The best part of the guest portion of the show is that they don’t play out like a typical interview. Instead, Alison and her guests have frank discussions in a conversational manner which is some of the best parts of podcasting, which benefits from the overall lack of structure and time restraints. While some of the more amateur podcasts suffer because of this lack of structure and very often go off the rails, ARIYNBF manages to stay on track and the guests become very comfortable and reveal lots of intimate details of their lives. The conversations on the show are very easy to relate to for the listener. Subjects like childhood, the road to success, failure, sex and relationships are all discussed and give us a look into the inner workings of the guests that we would not ordinarily be exposed to through their time on stage or other projects that we may know them from. Clearly Alison has a knack for making her guests feel very comfortable, even getting a seasoned media veteran like Dr. Drew to reveal things about himself that he rarely talks about on other shows.
Overall I would say that Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend is a must listen, not only if you are an Adam Carolla fan, but if you are a fan of great conversational style podcasts with great guests. After only a few minutes of listening you will feel connected to Alison and you really will feel like she is your new best friend. Alison has released nearly eighty episodes since the show premiered last year and has had tons of fantastic guests, but here are a few of the essential episodes if you are new to the show.
Adam’s sound effect guy joins Alison for a very good conversation about life that is a must listen for any Adam Carolla fan.
This bonus episode was one of the more fascinating episodes I have heard so far because Lynette gives us some insight to what it is like to live with Adam and we hear about a side of Adam that most of us big Adam fans might not know about.
Rarely do we actually get to hear about Drew’s life on the many shows and podcasts he is on, but Alison gets the Dr. to really open up about himself on this one.
Check them all out on her itunes page.
If you have ever done anything online you probably are increasingly annoyed by the barrage of commercials. Whether it’s the forced commercials before the videos on Youtube or some other site or the annoying embedded ads that took the place of popups, I can say that we have had enough. The thing about advertising in general is that I don’t see how the majority of ads are even remotely effective. I personally close my eyes, plug my ears and sing when the stupid “your video will start in 30 seconds” commercials come on. If the rest of the human population is anything like me then commercials rarely get watched. Sure there are some clever commercials that I enjoy when I’m forced to watch them during live sporting events, but for the most part commercials are horrible and I’m positive I have never bought anything because a commercial told me to. Well, there was that one time I bought a new flavor of Hot Pockets but that was a rare exception and I was hungry that day.
Companies must waste billions of dollars on commercials and ads every year, but how much of that money spent is actually successfully spent on creating new customers? I’m especially dumbfounded by the money spent by the more established companies like McDonald’s, Coke or Pepsi. Who sees one of McDonald’s commercials and says “Wow, what is this burger joint with the double stacked burger and secret sauce? Maybe I’ll give that place a try!” We all know what McDonald’s is and depending on the person have been eating at or avoiding the restaurant for years. Same goes for Pepsi and Coke. It’s not like a loyal Coke drinker spits out his Cherry Coke and rushes to the store for a 2-Liter of Pepsi after he saw Beyonce on the latest Pepsi commercial. With the exception of new flavors or products, ads for these big companies amount to nothing but wasted money.
These days companies are starting to catch on and are trying to choose the targets of their ad money wisely. With the internet ads can be targeted to people based on their user data. This is why you see ads on Facebook and other places that are vaguely familiar. That’s why if you post stuff about your cat all day you will see ads for cat food or if you complain about how lonely you are you will see ads for sex lines and dating sites. Theoretically these ads are at least a little more effective than broadly targeted ads on television or radio. You can guess who is watching or listening by looking at the demographics of a given show, but we are finding out that the rating systems are not very accurate, especially in a time of delayed viewership with the popularity of DVRs and online streaming. So now we have companies trying to find out as much information about us as possible so they can target ads to our specific interests while we simultaneously try to avoid this invasion of privacy and any and all ads that come our way. This is how the battle will go for the next few years. Advertisers will try to find new and innovative ways to beam their company information into our brains and we will try to block them out or if possible avoid them all together. Sure we can add plugins to our internet browsers and fast forward through commercials, but advertisers will still find ways to get there information to the potential consumers. I personally will keep tuning them out because I’m never up for a good brain washing and enjoy the little free will I still have.
After almost three years of hosting a podcast one of the most frustrating things I have encountered is the fact that a large majority of people are not even aware that podcasts exist. I’ve encountered my fair share of puzzled looks and questions when I mention I have a podcast. “Is that on the internet?” many of the people will ask when I tell them about the show. I can’t believe that almost ten years after the format was invented that most people are oblivious to the podcast world. This is even after the success of many high profile podcasts. It just goes to show you how little of pop culture the average person is aware of. I mean, I’m not volunteering at the local senior center and telling the folks about my show while we catch a breather after doing the fox trot. I’m telling young and what I assume to be connected people who seem to be into being entertained. People are so involved in their own internet lives that they are seemingly oblivious to the things that are not directly connected to them. Sure a person could be tweeting 350 tweets a day, but that doesn’t mean they will listen to your podcast or even give it a second thought. It is one of the biggest obstacles when promoting a show.
Trying to get the attention of your target audience is increasingly difficult with the thousands of podcasts out there, not to mention the other million things people spend their time with like music, movies, TV, gossip and porn. This is especially difficult if you are a general topic comedy podcast like we are. We don’t really fit into any individual topic so it’s hard to convince strangers that we are worth listening to. The other obstacle that I have seen when telling people about the show is that people are not really sure how they can listen. Even with the majority of people constantly staring at their smartphones, they don’t seem to know that there is a world of entertainment at their fingertips. I have had to give people detailed instructions on how to setup a podcatcher with our RSS feed, subscribe to itunes or even download the stitcher app. There is not enough hours in the day to show everyone I meet how to find our RSS feed and then explain to them what an RSS feed is after that.
After a while I learned it is not even worth it to tell most people about the show. As my co-host Mark mentions on our show this week, there are lots of people who don’t even know who Adam Carolla is and he is arguably the most successful of us all. In fact that same person Mark was talking to didn’t even know who Jimmy Kimmel is and he is on a network show, not to mention the fact that he hosted the Emmys last year. Our best bet is to tell as many people about the our podcasts but don’t expect too much. Maybe every once in a while someone will actually figure out how to listen or actually become a regular listener. Instead we need to focus on people who actually listen to podcasts. We are probably still a few years away from the word Podcast and the most popular shows being something that is in the national lexicon and who knows if it will ever be something that young people are attracted to. The attention span of the average high school student or person in their early twenties is considerably shorter than us in the the generation or two before. I’ve seen statistics that said that most podcast listeners are in their late twenties to early thirties so we should probably market our shows accordingly. Unfortunately, if this demographic trend does keep up we may have to visit the senior center to promote the show afterall.
The internet is now littered with videos of various idiots doing their own rendition of the newest internet sensation, The Harlem Shake, which features a bunch of people dancing to what is one of the worst songs ever recorded. No one in their right mind would listen to that song in any other context other than watching morons who think they are doing something clever repeat the same joke over and over. I might give a little credit to whoever was the first one to put one of these videos out, but at this point that person should only get credit for wasting countless hours of our collective lives seeing or hearing the videos which every group, including some of our beloved sports teams, putting out their very own version. What is it about people that makes them so uncreative that they need to take some lame idea and then repeat it until every sane person wants to strangle the next person who even mentions the words Harlem or Shake? Sharing the videos like every other internet meme and laughing hysterically as they watch all of their equally dumb friends comment and like the posts. The worst part of this whole pop culture debacle is the fact that the song hit the top of the Billboard charts, but not because lots of people bought the song, instead because it received millions of YouTube plays. For the first time ever Billboard decided that it was time to count internet plays in calculating what the number one song in the country is. For the second time in the last year an annoying internet sensation has made it to the top of the charts. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the next few years because we are sure to see a whole lot more of these type of hits now that YouTube views count towards how Billboard charts songs. Who knows, in the next couple years we will be wishing there were songs like the Harlem Shake around while we are stuck listening to a squirrel sing a cover of Dancing Queen by ABBA and happened to get 20o million plays on YouTube. The future of top 40 could be very bleak in the years to come.