I'm starting to feel the call and it's something I want to write about - which will turn out to be quite ironic here in a minute.
I got home today and sat in front of the computer for a minute to catch up no various stories of the day. It could not have been more than an hour before I felt the need to grab the microphone, record something, and put it online. It's insanely easy to do that, by the way. I had some thoughts, I wanted to talk, and I wanted to shout it from on top of a digital mountain.
Now I knew that this exercise would be mostly pointless yet I still felt compelled. I could put a half hour podcast out there and some few people would actually listen to it and that would be just dandy. Except it would be me forcing myself to say something that frankly needs more time to ferment. In essence, I was feeling what I'm sure many journalists have for years - deadline pressure.
Except now there is no deadline and there is every deadline. The digital age means you don't have to get your story in so it can make it to print, you just have to get it in so people will read your shit more than someone else's. It's not hard to project this on to today's 24-hour news cycle. Indeed, it's this deadline pressure that seems to produce one embarrassing shit-show after another.
It is this line of reasoning that is adding itself to a growing body of evidence that a new form of news or at least education entertainment is taking over - the long-form podcast. The news organizations are still slow to pick up on this as they have podcasts but rarely do they last longer than 30 minutes - probably due to some antiquated view of millennials and younger people in general as having short attention spans. Nothing could be further from the truth as the largest followings in the Kingdom of the Podcast involve an average run-time of over 90 minutes. It is a rare day indeed when Joe Rogan (I believe the undisputed King) has a podcast under two HOURS. People are flocking to these sources of information as they seem to be a much better source of education and information in an age where you have so much access to so much.
And I suppose this post is as much about Joe Rogan's show as it is the "call of the blog." Rogan has put out a ton of material and rarely are there any turds to speak of. And when you consider that a lot of these clock in close to three hours, that's saying something. If you're not listening, I strongly encourage you to give it a try. And if a certain type of guest isn't your thing (I'm not really into MMA so I really tend to skip to the super heady guests like Sam Harris), you can browse his now-over-1000 shows catalog for someone or a topic you find interesting. Joe has psychologists, physicists, neurologists, biologists, political scientists, etc. on and what is probably more surprising is this stand-up / MMA fighter easily holds his own in these conversations. I'm not saying Joe Rogan is a PhD candidate, but he's also not lost when two people steeped in academia are having a next-level conversation. Its part of what makes it work. He doesn't just play dumb host and get out of the way. He's involved and he's not an idiot.
And this makes things interesting when I'm writing about this whole thesis. Joe has commercials for the podcasts that are put on iTunes, but the same shows are video-taped and put on YouTube for free (I believe he's been demonetized along with Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin, among others). This at least partially removes one variable for the "call of the blog" pressure that I believe bloggers feel more strongly than 24-hour news networks - the need to get clicks and get advertising revenue.
I stated when I was shifting my podcast between formats that I believed this to be the medium of the future and crowd-sourcing to be the method to achieve that future and I still believe that. In fact, while watching ESPN I am convinced that as more amazing broadcast people retire and are replaced by absolute dolts, I'm more and more convinced that the digital revolution will see many sports' revenue streams change and diminish. The NFL and Major League Baseball have been utterly crap at adapting to the times possibly due in no small part to younger, more talented people running from traditional television media for the opportunity to work for themselves, devoid of advertisers or contracts or producers.
Which is a great way to announce that the Wandering Group website is no more. I know, I know. You're devastated. The two sites were coming up on renewal and the traffic was frankly paltry (as I should have suspected). No, I'll continue to house things here on the ole' Pioneer pages despite - as my friend Kevin points out - having a website that has almost nothing whatsoever to do with the outdoors. Meh.
So anyway, I'm looking forward to more blogs and podcasts when I have enough material to record something lengthy and worthwhile. Until then, enjoy the silence.