Episode 90 - Daisy Whitney on the Many Uses of Online Video, Syndication and the 168 Hour Workweek
Meet Daisy Whitney, multimedia reporter with her own vidcast, the "New Media Minute." Suz and Daisy talk about using video to promote products online, the Jeff Jarvis video book on Amazon and how brands can utilize video.
Hear stories from Embarq, Adiago Teas and other brands who are generating revenue with online video content. Gain insight into tagging for SEO. And hear the pros and cons of video syndication.
Daisy says that Social Media will be one of the biggest drivers of traffic to news sites - find out why she thinks so.
And Daisy, a reporter who knows everyone in the TV and online video space features two special executives, one from Google, the other from NetFlix. Who does Daisy say are the two most amazing people in the Web 2.0 world? Listen in and find out who they are, what they do and why they're special.
Once again, that "business porn" book, 4-Hour Workweek creeps into the conversation. Get Daisy's take on why it's her favorite book to recommend and why it makes Suz howl.
Fast-paced and very informative - these two professional podcasters teach you tons and keep you entertained. Tune in for your double dose of "High IQ Blondies."
Susan Bratton: Welcome to Dishy Mix. I’m your host, Susan Bratton, and on today’s show you’re going to meet Daisy Whitney. I’ve known Daisy for quite a while; we worked together at Ad Tech, and she was a fantastic speaker for me for many years. And she is a multi media reporter, one of the first journalists whose launched her own online newscast. She covers the business of internet videos, so today’s show’s going to be a lot about video and a lot about Daisy. She’s also Television Week’s new media reporter, and she contributes on air reports to Tech Now, which is actually a program produced by NBC’s studios in San Francisco. She’s also the host of a webcast called New Media Minute. You can see it at daisywhitney.com and tvweek.com, and she’s actually promoted Dishy Mix on her show, and you’ve probably heard me promoting her show, New Media Minute, here. So I finally thought it was about time we stopped just doing cross promotions and we have Daisy on the show. So welcome Daisy.
Daisy Whitney: Well thank you for having me. I’m sure some of our, some of your listeners know us, obviously they know you and they know me and I hope vice versa for the New Media Minute as well, and this’ll be fun to talk to you in detail.
Susan Bratton: It is good, and we’re also doing it on location at the Pixel Corps headquarters in San Francisco. Alex Lindsey and you and I just did an episode of This Week in Media. Tell us about This Week in Media.
Daisy Whitney: Well that’s a show that Alex Lindsey launched. He heads up Pixel Corps, which is kind of a production shop here in San Francisco, and Alex runs a number of podcasts, and I have been hosting This Week in Media I think since last July, and Alex is on pretty much every week, and Susan is on probably once or twice a month. She is one of our regulars. She’s one of the few people that Alex even danes to consider a regular. Alex and I are on every week, and we like to have Susan on as much as possible obviously. As your listeners know, you bring great insight in terms of the business of online marketing and how to make money. And then she always basically, it’s a roundtable discussion of the hottest topics in the media business. I mean this weeks episode for instance we talked about e-books and Kindall and viewing of TV episodes online, the box office returns for the movie business. So we tend to cover just sort of a broad range of whatever is really interesting that week, and fortunately there’s always something to cover.
Susan Bratton: Well that’s what I actually like about doing This Week in Media with you is that the, you know, Friday before you send out 20 new stories, and I have the weekend to read them all, and they’re never things that I would have notice myself, but they’re really good business level trend stories that incorporate media and technology, which is of course my sweet spot too. And so, you elevate my mind, and then I get to come on and I get to hear your processing of the story and Alex’s processing and whoever else we have on and…So I feel like I benefit tremendously from getting out of my little personal hell hole of what is Personal Life Media and Dishy Mix and all the things we, I have to do on a daily basis, and you kind of, whoop, bring me up and out into a larger world that’s really fun. So I like doing the show. Thank you for having me on.
Daisy Whitney: Well I have to thank our listeners for the article selection because all, I certainly am picking one’s that I’m tracking, but because of how we tag articles anyone can come in and tag articles that they think we should consider, so I’m finding stories that I would never have discovered on my own as well from interesting maybe slightly under the radar screen blogs or whatever it is, just not the places I’m going to everyday for my job, so it, so it’s enjoyable for me as well to, I’m going, “Oh wow, I had no idea that was going on.” I mean we had a great story from Computer World…
Susan Bratton: That was a great story.
Daisy Whitney: on sort of the revolution that’s coming in reading and publishing, and that was a story that was tagged by a listener, and I never would’ve come across it on my own. So it’s a real treat to be able to find, to find those pieces and see what people are reading and thinking about.
Susan Bratton: Well I want to talk about the New Media Minute. You do This Week in Media with Alex and that’s an audio podcast, a weekly audio show. You also do a weekly video show and that’s the one you syndicate to the television network here in San Francisco and San Jose. New Media Minute, you’ve covered a lot of various content strategies, etcetera. You recently did an episode where we talked about, you talked about Jeff Jarvis, his new book and how he was marketing it on Amazon. Can you tell our listeners about that, ‘cause we really want to devote at least the first half of the show to the world of video, ‘cause that’s a big part of your domain of expertise. Tell us about that.
Daisy Whitney: Now, to be clear the New Media Minute is actually syndicated on tvweek.com and abcnews.com…
Susan Bratton: ABC News, thank you.
Daisy Whitney: And I produce separate on air reports that run on the KNTV station. But they’re also on digital media. So, and interestingly I shot an episode of the New Media Minute KNTV, so I’m all about cross-pollination wherever I can get it. So I think this is really interesting, Jeff Jarvis, obviously a very well known influential media blogger, just wrote the book What Would Google Do?, that kind of looks at, you know, this is obviously the fastest growing company, a hugely successful company, and for anyone, any entrepreneur, any business, the theory behind is you can, you know, sort of apply that axiom and be more innovative and successful and so on and so forth. Now Harper Collins is the publisher of that book, so in conjunction with the hardcover release of the book, Harper Collins produced a 23-minute book video. It’s the first video that the publisher has ever done, and it’s very simple, I mean very basic stuff. It’s kind of the cliff notes of the book, and it’s just Jeff himself talking against a white background. So nothing funky, I mean we’ve seen kind of some fictional book shows. I mean Robin Cook’s book Foreign Body this past summer, there was a prequel webseries made, so this is a different story, this is purely a non fiction kind of how-to type of book, and that’s available from Amazon as a digital download for $9.99. And I covered that in the New Media Minute, I’ve written about it, and there’ve been some interesting responses. I know that a lot of people feel like, well if you’re going to do this it should either be free or it should be produced at a higher quality. It shouldn’t just be the author talking. I applaud Harper Collins for trying something new, and yes, maybe publishers should be doing more and maybe they should’ve been doing this five years ago, but whatever, they didn’t. So right now, at least here is an example of a publisher that is trying to innovate and is recognizing that, you know, maybe not everybody wants to go out and spend $23 dollars on a hardcover, maybe they don’t want to spend the hours of time it would take to read the actual book, but they want to get the basic ideas and a little more than you could get just in a review, so the thinking is, and we’re becoming more of a video culture as well, so the thinking is you could, you know, just watch this and get the basic ideas behind the book.
Susan Bratton: I thought it was brilliant, especially because I read the reviews of Jeff’s book on Amazon and they weren’t good. So I looked at it and I thought normally, Jeff Jarvis, book about Google, that would be something that I would buy, and I didn’t buy it. And then I saw through New Media Minute that he had this v-book, this video book, which was essentially him doing a condensed version for $9.99, and I thought that is brilliant. I’m sure he also has some video book promotional trailers on YouTube and other video distribution services, so this is just one more piece in the larger promotional and monetizing possibility food chain for information, which is ultimately what that book is. I really thought it was a great idea. What are some other places that you’re seeing brands use video in intelligent ways?
Daisy Whitney: You know, I think this is going to be one of the big opportunities this year. eMarketer did a report last year that I’ve quoted many times over and will continue to quote because I think it really can be gospel for a lot of markets, but a point of just having strategies to leverage internet marketing in the recession. We all need to be aware of this, whatever field we’re in, and one of those was really using video effectively on the web. So if you’re a brand, and I’ll go into specific examples, but some of the broad advice was take your existing video assets, it could be customer testimonials, it could be sales videos, it could be how-to videos, and move them to the web. And in some cases that simply means putting those videos on your own website. In some cases that could mean putting it on YouTube. Depending on what type of company you are and if you have how-to information, it could be putting those videos on how-to, you know, how to light a room for a video production. You know, how to change a tire. You know, how to change the oil in your car, if you’re actually going to do that, which is something I’ve never done and hope to never do. But if you’re going to do that, and maybe you’re a Jiffy Lube. I mean, you want to put that video out there, or actually maybe you don’t if you’re Jiffy Lube, you just want people to come, to come there. But there’re a lot of different things that you could do, and so if it’s more of a how-to video, those could go on places like fivemen.com or Wonder How To or howcast.com or Expert Village, which are all kind of how-to video sites. But then there’re also examples of brands and marketers and companies that are recognizing they also need to have video on their own sites, and the benefit can be in some cases just engagement with your existing consumers. I mean, one of the things that I think is really interesting is San Diego Zoo is using Bricove and is putting videos on its website of its animals. I mean, that is the low hanging fruit. They’re adorable, they’re cute, there’s these great videos of polar bears, you know, sliding down a hill and of a giraffe baby and…Of course you should put that on your site. If somebody is thinking about going to the San Diego Zoo and they Google “San Diego Zoo” and they find your site and you have video front and center of these adorable animals, that’s going to make you more likely to take a trip there. Then you have the Rhode Island School of Design, which is putting student testimonials and it’s putting video from professors on its website as well as a part of a process to kind of digitize the admissions process for that university, and it’s a perfect fit for Rhode Island School of Design. It’s a visual school, those students are creative learners already, so that makes a lot of sense. And another example of brands producing their own video that I really like is Adagio Teas. You know, this is sort of a mail order online tea company. And Adagio Teas just started in January its own web show, and I don’t actually know, I’m sorry to say I don’t know the official name of the show, but it lives in the Adagio Teas website. It’s also distributed through iTunes and it’s hosted by Zack Luye, and they found Zack because he started a web show on his own, all, it’s called Bottles, Blends and Brews, and he does that show for Revision 3, which is an online television network and distribution service for online TV shows, and that’s all about interesting basically non alcoholic beverages. It’s kind of the equivalent of Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV, but more centered on, you know, tea and sodas and that sort of thing. So now he is doing a weekly show for Adagio Teas where he takes two or three of their blends that Adagio produces and review them each week and talks about them, and the goal is to make the Adagio site more interesting, more engaging and obviously to drive sales of the particular tea blends that the company is making. So I think that there are a lot of examples of companies that are really starting to get into their own video production this year and to keep viewers on their sites for longer, to drive sales, just to make you feel better about buying services from that company.
Susan Bratton: That was really good. Thank you for that. I want to talk about distribution as well. Once you’ve created your video, you can put it on your corporate site, but there are of course a lot of other places you can put it, YouTube and Google being some of the larger. You mentioned a lot of other vertical, kind of DIY sites that would be good places for video. How do you find out all the places you can put your video? Is it smart to put it everywhere you can? And I know you know and have some recommendations for distribution services that can help you manage getting your videos uploaded, all the sites and tracking them. So will you go through that story with us?
Daisy Whitney: Well I think the real key is obviously, it’s what works for you. I don’t distribute my videos everywhere and there’re a couple reasons for that. I, just it takes time. And every week we all have to make choices about what we’re going to spend time on. So the New Media Minute for instance is distributed on tvweek.com, it’s distributed on the NATPE Website, ‘cause NATPE’s actually my producing partner, they essentially, I license the New Media Minutes in NATPE. So it’s presented in partnership, and that’s the National Association of Television Programming Executives. So it’s on that site and also on ABCNews.com and a couple of likeminded blogs. James McQuivey from Forrester Research carries it on his blog, Jugular Advertising carries it on the Jugular Advertising blog as well. Now I made a decision not to use Tube Mogul, and I think Tube Mogul’s actually a terrific service. It’s a service that distributes to a number of places, you know, to MySpace and to Vimeo, to Vidler, to a lot of the other distribution hubs on the web, as well as YouTube. Just because it was one more step, and to be honest I just didn’t want to take that additional step, I’m writing the copy each week. I mean in addition to writing the script for the show and, you know, doing make-up and shooting it and approving it and all of that, you know, I write the copy each week that will live on those blog sites, and I just didn’t want to take the additional step. So it really depends on what your goals are. I am reaching a very targeted audience with the New Media Minute. I am trying to reach executives in the media business, so I want to go directly to them. They’re on TV Week, they’re on NATPE, you know, in some cases they’re on ABCNews.com. I mean, that is a distribution partner that makes sense because it’s a major player in the news space. But I want to go directly to them, so I have an email list as well. If you are doing a show that has a very broad base, you should be everywhere. If you’re doing a show about organic farming, you should distribute everywhere because you can pick up viewers wherever you are. You’re going to pick some people up on YouTube, you’re going to pick them up on Veoh, on those places like that. That wasn’t as important to me. So I think it really depends on the type of show that you’re doing. And then also, take a look at like Adagio Teas for instance. Now one of the reasons Adagio is doing the show is to try to drive sales, so it could make sense for that show to be distributed across the web, but ultimately Adagio’s preference is probably that you watch that show on a Adagio’s website, so you just one click over, boom, I’ll take that, you know, Apricot Green Tea mix, thank you very much and have it delivered to me tomorrow. So it depends. If you were kind of an e-commerce centric site, I don’t know if the incremental views that you’re going to get by doing some kind of uber distribution is necessarily going to drive your overall goals, because if you’re not an advertising supported show, if it’s a show that you’ve built to drive sales, you want to keep as many people as possible on your site. So it really depends on what you’re trying to do with it. If you’re doing how-to videos, you want to get as much distribution as possible. Now a great example, I think one of the best examples of how-to videos, is down by Embarq, and that’s a telecom company, e-m-b-a-r-q. And Embarq has produced really interesting and fun how-to videos on kind of setting up a DSL service and things like that, and those are distributed on YouTube and other how-to sites. And that I think is actually, some of the videos have been, have really decent view counts considering, you know, where it comes from, that it’s coming from a brand. That makes sense because its helped get this company’s name out to a broader consumer base, and if you just Google, you know, “How to install a blank, blank, a T1 line or a DSL line”, or whatever it is, there’s a good chance that you might come across those videos and then you know about this company and its services. So think about what works for you and your particular brand and what you’re aiming for.
Susan Bratton: I’m going to go to a break to thank our sponsors, and when we come back I want to talk to you at least about what you know so far with regard to SEO and video tagging and whatever wisdom you can impart because it’s such a new world, so many people are trying to get their videos, like the ones you just mentioned from Embarq, to end up in the organic search results. So I’d like to talk to you about what you’re hearing out in the market place about that, as well as some more things about Daisy Whitney. So we’ll go to a break, thank our sponsors and we’ll be right back. You’re with Daisy Whitney of New Media Minute.
Susan Bratton: We’re back, and you’re getting to know Daisy Whitney. She produces her weekly online video show called New Media Minute, and you can find it at daisywhitney.com, as well as a lot of other places. She’s imminently Googleable. And that’s what we wanted to talk about next was, tell me what you know about SEO and video.
Daisy Whitney: It’s funny that you say I’m imminently Googleable because I often forget to bring my business cards when I’m doing conferences, and I will say to people afterwards, like, “I don’t have my business card with me, but if you can’t find me then, I know you don’t really know how to use the internet…” I mean, but that’s the thing, when you’re a reporter you wind up, you wind up fairly, you know, you’re fairly easy to find, and that’s my job is to be easy to find. And how do you make videos easy to find, I think some, some creators can neglect the importance of tags. I mean, it’s like when you’re doing a blog entry, if you’re writing about a particular book or doing a book review, you want to make sure you’ve got as many tags in as possible, and you also want to make sure… I mean, that’s going to be the same for video, when you’re uploading to Blip for instance, because I host my New Media Minute on Blip, on my own site and on ABC News, I make sure that obviously the companies that I’m mentioning, that research studies, if I’m quoting a pew research study, that that’s mentioned, so if somebody is doing a search for, you know, pew Twitter usage, there’s a chance that my video will come up in those results. So I think it’s really, you want to approach your videos in the same way you would approach any kind of search engine optimization, I’m certainly not an expert on SEO, so I don’t want to give any specific advice, but you have to treat your videos the same way you treat your textual information so that you can get the highest results possible, and you really have to think about what people are going to be searching for, and, you know, sometimes in my case, it’s just going to be my name, so that’s relatively easy. But just really think and break down, you know, what is the information that you’re sharing here, and if I… Sometimes if I use a Patrick Dempsey clip in a video to talk about Grey’s Anatomy viewership online, you know, make sure to put Patrick Dempsey in the tag just in case. It helps bring it up a little bit higher in the results. One thing I would say is even though I don’t use all of the services, there, all of the distributions services, there is a lot of, there are a lot benefits to being, to making sure your videos are on YouTube, and I think one of the biggest benefits, even if you don’t get a ton of viewership, is that YouTube is becoming a search engine in a lot of ways. I mean, it makes sense, it’s owned by Google. But a lot of times when people search for a video, they will just go to YouTube first rather than going to Google or Yahoo or other places on the web to search for video. Rather than putting video into their search query on Google, they will just go straight to YouTube and say, “Okay, I want to find videos of Susan Bratton, I’m going to go straight to YouTube rather than a search engine.” So in that sense it’s important to be on YouTube so that, again, it goes back to your goals, but if you’re hoping to pick up some incremental viewership, if you want make sure when somebody does a search for the video or the content that you’re offering, it’s probably a good idea to also have a YouTube account, even if you get ten views or a hundred views there, even if you get an insignificant amount of views, it’s good just so that they’re part of what is kind of becoming a search repository and a first stop for a lot of consumers.
Susan Bratton: I think it’ll be interesting when we can move to videos and conversion tracking. So if you’re promoting your product you can tell that if you did this video, they came to New Media Minute and they viewed your show because they found this promotional trailer or they bought your book if you’re a Jeff Jarvis and you have a promotional video on YouTube about your new book. You know, I think getting to that level of conversion tracking on video will be fascinating. I wonder how well it will work as compared to email marketing and search marketing and online advertising. It’ll be really fun when we get there someday, ‘cause you know it’s inevitable.
Daisy Whitney: And I’ve heard from some content producers that because of Video AdSense, which is essentially the, you know, the video version about since pairing, pairing related ads with videos and on, you can do that on YouTube, that the CPM’s are going up for the content producers, that they’re getting better results, I’m actually going to be making some calls on that this week and talking to some folks who have contacted me to tell me that to get more details. But that’s, you know, that’s ‘cause Google has to figure out how to make money with this gigantic beast that it has in YouTube.
Susan Bratton: Exactly. Hey, I wanted to move on to another thing. You told me that you thought, I asked you about the evolution of social networking, and you thought that social networking was going to have a significant impact on the world of news. You know, you’re a reporter and you’re very highly tuned to news because it’s a lot of what you do when you do New Media Minute it’s news based, when you do This Week in Media it’s news based. So that’s always a good perspective and one I hadn’t heard. Tell me your thinking.
Daisy Whitney: Well I think if you actually did a study during the campaign and found that amongst the younger generation, I think it’s 18 to 24 or 18 to 34, at least one quarter of them have listed social networking as one of their primary sources of campaign information. And what I think that means is when you log into Face Book and you see the news feed and links that your friends have provided, that, you know, often times those are going to be links to New York Times articles or Washington Post or Wall Street Journal or an msnbc.com clip or whatever it is. So it’s not just, you know, people sharing random bits of information in their own thoughts, of course that is there as well, but people are posting links to relevant articles. And I also think that Twitter is becoming a terrific news tool. I mean, when something is happening; the US Airways crash, a lot of people, I think there’s that, that was one of the first place people heard about the earthquake in LA four or five months ago. I mean, people were talking about it over Twitter. I know that when the conventions were going on, I’m sorry, not the convention, I meant the debates, when the debates were going on in the Fall I didn’t always watch all of the debates, I would sometimes just go to Twitter to see what people were saying to determine if I wanted to tune in. You know, that I’m not saying take it as gospel and that everything you see on Twitter is true, but I wanted to kind of track what people were saying about it and decide if it was worth going. And then also I just find a lot of interesting stories that way. I mean the key to making Twitter useful, as we were talking about on This Week in Media, is make sure you’re following the people who have interesting things to say. So I know that Susan posts good links. I know that Alex Lindsey shares interesting stories. I know that Bryan Steltra at The New York Times has, you know, writes really fascinating stories. So I make sure I’m following those people so that I don’t miss those stories. So I really think that as these services become more, just become more ubiquitous and we’re using them all of the time, that’s going to become sort of like your Google news and your first stop for finding out what’s going on.
Susan Bratton: Like Digg will become less relevant as your news feed to your social network is the thing that’s sourcing your content for you.
Daisy Whitney: I think so. I’ve never been a big Digg user, and I like the specificity that I get from going through my Twitter feed because I know it’s going to be stories that are relevant to me and to my area of interest. I think the crowd sourcing is terrific and it might work if you just want to get general information and kind of, you know, funky stories and interesting videos and that’s fine. But if you really want stuff that’s tailored for your profession, that’s where Twitter really comes in handy. I’ll read your blog post, that way, you’ll probably find links to my stories, that way rather than just assuming, I’m not going to assume you’re just going to go to tvweek.com and find it that way.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, you have to assume I don’t go to TV Week…
Daisy Whitney: Exactly.
Susan Bratton: but I want to know what you write, and that’s why I love it when you email me your show every week. I really appreciate that. Also, if you want to follow Daisy, she’s at twitter.com/daisywhitney, and if you’re not following me I’d love for you to; I’m twitter.com/susanbratton. So I want to move on. One of the things that I asked you about was who you thought the most amazing people in the web 2.0 world, or the, whatever it might be, web 2.0, the internet world, the media world, and you had two people that you track and follow and you think are very innovative and interesting. Tell us about those two people.
Daisy Whitney: So I picked Mike Stibe is a director of Google TV Ads. And I met Mike probably about four years ago, and he just instantly impressed me and… You know, I’ve been a reporter for about 12 years at this point now, and I just remember thinking, wow, this is some, this is an every ten year person. This is somebody you meet every ten years where they just stand out so much and you know they’re going to be running a company. And he, I met him when he was at NBC Universal and he moved over to Google, and basically moved there to build the Google TV Ads business. And, look, I’m not privy to, you know, how, how that division is doing financially or anything, but he’s done some terrific deals with Hallmark Channel, with, with his previous employer, NBC Universal, with Echo Star, and is innovating with that product on a regular basis and really starting to offer refined information about a TV buy. Now it’s interesting to note that Google has recently pulled out of some of its other sort of more experimental services like radio ads and print ads. I don’t think that we’re going to see Google pull away from TV ads. In fact, I think we’re only going to see Google become more influential because it can really slice and dice by demographics. Now I got in and kind of played with the system to see what it would be like, you know, if okay, I have a hundred dollars to spend or if I have a thousand dollars to spend, what CPM can I get, and you can break it down in this terrific way, as you should ideally be able to do with television, but it’s really hard to do that effectively with control. I mean, you can place a buy and be told that you’re going to get 18 to 24 year old women on these networks, but the thing that I like about Google TV Ads is that you really are in control ‘cause you get in there with the software and you make those decisions, so I think that, you know, he is somebody whether, you know, whether he becomes, you know, more successful with Google or moves on to another company, that I think people should, should have an eye on. And then I also picked Reed Hastings at Netflix and that’s because I think Netflix is becoming a verb in the same way that Google and TiVo are verbs. I think to Netflix your business is going to become a verb. Netflix is a company that doesn’t even know there’s a recession going on. Profits are up 45 percent in the fourth quarter. The company added I think more than 700,000 new subscribers in the fourth quarter, which was more than double what it had expected to add and still on track for this year with similar growth and to meet its expectations and probably exceed them. And I think that what Netflix has done really well is move quickly into new businesses and respond quickly to how the consumers are changing. Netflix is on the Xbox now. Netflix has a deal where you can watch its movies on Rocoo, and you can also do the watch instantly for 12,000 of Netflix’s movies and TV shows where you watch instantly on your computer. So I think this is a company that is embracing the change in viewing habits away from traditional TV viewing to an online and streaming based, and I think that traditional media companies and marketers should look at what Netflix is doing and say, “How can I apply those same principles of innovation and being head of the consumer and meeting the consumer where they are to my business, whatever it is?”
Susan Bratton: You know, you remind me of a book that Seth Godin wrote called Meatball Sunday. It wasn’t his most recent book Tribe, but it was the book prior to that, and if you read that book, he gives a, he does a really good job of explaining how to run a business in web 2.0 world, which is very much what Reed does at Netflix. I saw Reed recently at the Ted Conference and he just is an unflappable positive mellow smart easy-going guy. He’s such a great leader, and I can, you know, his executive team has been with him since they founded the company. I mean, it’s just a solid place, and I think that’s one of the reasons that they can make a lot of ground is that they have a smart leader, they understand and embrace the changing technology landscape, and clearly have a solid team.
Daisy Whitney: And I think that’s really key is just be, be willing to change. I mean, just as, I think a lot about the environment that we’re operating in right now Susan, and I know you do as well, and, you know, as a reporter, look we’re in a tough business. I mean, journalism is a tough business right now, and there’s so much more competition than there ever was, and that’s why I tried to be a multi media reporter. But I really think that the key is you can’t, you can’t just fight against the change, you have to accept it and go with it. You have to say, “Okay, if we’re becoming a video medium, I have to somehow be a video reporter as well. I have to be able to do audio or I, I’m going to start experimenting with, I’m developing a white paper on fair use and I decide, okay, rather than try to sell this on a freelance basis to one of the publications I write for, I’m actually just going to do this on my own and see what happens if I sell it directly on my website. You know, I’ll Twitter it out, I’ll Face Book it out or whatever it is”, and I think it’s just everybody needs to think about… That’s how I Netflix, Netflixing my own business. I don’t know…
Susan Bratton: Netflixing Daisy Whitney.
Daisy Whitney: I don’t know if it’s going to be successful. I really don’t. I have no idea…
Susan Bratton: It will be.
Daisy Whitney: I could maybe get five people buying it, but I think this is what we all need to be doing is figuring out, okay, what can I do on my own and sell directly and see if that works and test things out. That’s what Netflix, that’s what Netflix did. It had some failures, but it kept testing until it found success.
Susan Bratton: When we were talking about books it reminded me that I hate your favorite book with a passion. I hate your favorite book, and I keep your favorite book on my desk. I swear to God if you sat in my chair, my desk right now, your favorite book Daisy would be up on my windowsill, right there, I look at it everyday and everyday I go, “GRRR”….
Daisy Whitney: ‘Cause you’re working too much.
Susan Bratton: and it pisses me off, and it makes me, it motivates me through my anger at that book.
Daisy Whitney: Four-Hour Work Week?
Susan Bratton: Yes. Four-Hour Work Week…
Daisy Whitney: Why do you hate it?
Susan Bratton: I hate you Tim Ferriss.
Daisy Whitney: Why do you hate it?
Susan Bratton: I hate it because I work 11-hour days. I work all through the weekends. I’m an entrepreneur, I have a two year old company. I see the progress, but it is gut wrenching work. And I believe in it and I believe in what I’m doing, and I love what I am doing, but I work so hard. The four-hour work week is so far away from possibility for me right now, although I’m moving in that direction with information products, etcetera, that it, I, it just motivates me.
Daisy Whitney: Well I think the key, one of the reasons I list that book as inspirational and life changing, I would really call it a life changing book for me, and I’m not working a four-hour work week, so I’m not taking it…
Susan Bratton: Literally.
Daisy Whitney: Yeah, because look, the only way to really do a four…
Susan Bratton: I am.
Daisy Whitney: Hey, I’d like to…
Susan Bratton: I’d love to.
Daisy Whitney: but we really can’t in our information business. But I think that the only way to really do a four-hour work week is to make widgets and, you know, outsource them to India and, you know, spin them. I mean, that’s all you can do. But I think that there are things that we can all do every single week to be more efficient, and that’s what that book taught me. I read it in the Summer, my husband gave it to me for my birthday when I was just feeling like I was working too much and I have, you know, I have two children and, you know, obviously I’m married, and I just felt as if I love my job and I love reporting and I’m so grateful to be able to make a living doing what I love, but I also just felt like well, this is my life and I want to enjoy it as well and I want to read more and play more and relax more. And I realized that for, as efficient as I was I still had a lot of inefficiencies, and so I’m going to share a couple key take-aways, ‘cause what I, what I was able to do, especially in the Fall, is I was able to get down to a four-day work week, which I was pretty happy about. I thought, and considering I’m also an entrepreneur, I work for myself, I was pretty happy about that, and I was able to get to the point where I would pretty much work maybe an hour on Friday mornings and I would just invoice, which actually I love invoicing ‘cause it means I have money coming in, so I don’t consider that work, I consider that the enjoyable part. So, so the key things that I did was, it was just being more efficient with email, was really shutting it down at certain periods during the day. Now as a reporter I need to be reachable by my editors, so this is how I made it work for me, this is, I don’t know that Tim Ferriss would recommend it, but he’s, he recommends, you know, making the tools work for you. So what I did was I would shut email down on my computer, but I would check my Black Berry every fifteen minutes in case it was an editor, in case it was something critical. And by just checking it on a Black Berry, it trained me to only respond to things that were critical and important. I didn’t write back to every message, but if it was an editor, I knew that I had to deal with something and, you know, either get back on my email and deal with, and then I could focus much more on the work. And the other, and probably the most important take-away for me was shortened deadlines. And, for instance, our deadline for TV Week, our stories are due at 2 PM on Thursday’s. I tell myself that they’re due at 5 on Wednesday’s. So I work towards that goal every single week, and what that essentially does is it frees up my Thursday to start planning for the next week to write other, you know, feature stories that are not on an immediate deadline basis or whatever it is. So my goal is to kind of have the bulk of that done by the end of the day on Thursday, and then I’m not working as much on Friday, and I can take, you know, take time off to relax, take time off to be with my kids or whatever it is. Or sometimes, you know, in this environment I’m spending Friday’s maybe focusing a little bit more on business development. I’m thinking, okay, what are some new areas that I can reach out to. Maybe on this Friday I’ll work on my white paper on fair use, and even though that’s work, I see that, I kind of have to look at it in a different category. It’s not, you know, immediate deadline stuff. So the shortened deadlines thing has really helped me out a lot. And also, I will write things in a row. If I have a, a certain column, a feature type of column that’s due every week, I will do three interviews in a row for the next three weeks, and then I will write those three, and then it’s done and it’s off of your plate. And it’s partly the not thinking about things that helps. So…
Susan Bratton: Well we will…
Daisy Whitney: Those are some take-aways.
Susan Bratton: have, appreciate those take-aways. I have one final question for you Daisy. You, every week in This Week, on the New Media Minute, every week on the New Media Minute, your video show, you wear a different tee shirt. Usually, and sometimes you’ll get dressed up and wear like a shirty shirt, but mostly you’re a tee shirt kind of gal. I asked you if anybody ever sends you tee shirts with their brand logos or anything on it, and you said no, that no one’s ever done that. So I think Dishy Mix listeners, we’re all brand people, we’re all media and marketing people, somebody’s, somebody wants to send you a tee shirt. What kind of tee shirts do you want, what size are you, so that if they send you something they have an opportunity to actually have you wear it on your show?
Daisy Whitney: Well I, you know, you’ll be able to see from watching my show the type of tee shirts that I like. I don’t…
Susan Bratton: Baby doll tees.
Daisy Whitney: Yeah, cute tee shirts basically…
Susan Bratton: Yeah.
Daisy Whitney: I mean look, I don’t want something that’s very revealing. I don’t want something that’s too tight. But, you know, I sort of like snug girl shirts. I don’t, I’m not going to wear beefy (unintelligible). I’ve gotten that. Some people send me beefy tee shirts like, okay, I will sleep in this, but I’m not going to wear it on my show. You look kind of shapeless when you wear it. And then I also got a, I also got a tee shirt from somebody and it was too sheer. I mean, you could completely see your bra through it, so I said I can’t, you know, I’m not going to wear this either. So I just, you know, I like cute tee shirts, I like fun tee shirts, and I’m, you know, I’m totally open to, I need to freshen up my tee shirt collection, so your best bet is email me, [email protected] and tell me what you have, and then I’ll give you an address to send it to, and I would love to have some new fun tee shirts to wear, I think it would be great.
Susan Bratton: That sounds really good. I hope we generate a few cute tee shirts for you Daisy.
Daisy Whitney: Me too.
Susan Bratton: It’s been a lot of fun to talk to you today. Thank you so much.
Daisy Whitney: Thank you for having me on Susan.
Susan Bratton: I really appreciate it. And I want to just thank Alex Lindsey at Pixel Corp for letting us use his studio to do our interview together today. That was really fun to be here in the room with you. It’s so much more fun that way.
Daisy Whitney: And you’ll be back on This Week in Media again soon.
Susan Bratton: I will. And thank you for listening to the show today. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Daisy as much as I got to know her even more, and I will see you next week. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. Have a great day. Bye.
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