Have a Take, Don't Suck

8:32:10 PM

The latest fad running through my aggregator is audio weblog posting.  Fine.  I like listening to other people talk, especially when they have something interesting to say. 

Take a look at the title of this post--"Have a Take, Don't Suck"

I listen to Jim Rome, a radio personality with a sports related talk show broadcast daily and syndicated across several radio stations in the United States.  He allows his listeners to call in and drop a comment or two which makes for some entertaining radio.  He's admonished his listeners for years now to "have a take and don't suck".  That means when he passes you the mike, don't waste everyone's time by yammering.  Have something to say (a "take") and don't BS your way through it.  He's the ulitmate editor, "running" someone off the mike if they "flameout".

The parallel?  Weblogs.

Jim's show is a three hour daily audio weblog in practice.  It's got a general theme, but wanders down streets and alleys of Jim's brain from time to time.  That's why he's so giving and brutal with time on the mike.  He believes everyone is entitled to get the opportunity to say something and use his time to do it.  But he insists that all of our time is worth something, so "have a take and don't suck".

If you are posting audio snippets or a daily source code, have a take and don't suck.  Have something to say, know what point you are trying to get across and put enough pride into the effort to be worth the listener's time.  Adam Curry is my current gold standard for an audio weblog poster.  He references links while he talks and reminds listeners to go to the website for more.  He produces his show in the best way he can and delivers it in a format we understand from conventional media:

  • Starting music
  • Show intro
  • Recite the rundown of topics
  • Intro each topic
  • Wrap up the show and thank the audience
  • Remind us where we can get detailed info
  • Outgoing music

Now, not everyone is Adam Curry with years of experience in the field.  Then again, not everyone should do an audio weblog post.  I haven't.  It's tempting because I like the challenge of doing something new.  I'm not a pro or even close.  But, most importantly, I don't have a good take for an audio post.  I keep my mouth shut and move on to my writing.  I've been writing for over 25 years and I know how to do that.  Audio weblogs are a lot like presentation in front of a group of people, a speech or a slide show.  If we are going to embrace a new medium, let's respect it by taking a look at prior art.

In summary:

"Have a Take, Don't Suck"