The Production Room was founded in 1995 as one of the first full time digital commercial recording facilties on the central coast of California. We started with 4 stereo tracks, 16 mb of ram and a 250 mb hard drive. A lot has happened since then. Today we're focusing on ways to serve clients who are creating web based media content. This includes strategic planning to integrate the benefits of traditional media, web design and IT solutions into new programs produced especially for on-line consumers. Join in the conversation. Throw rocks at glass houses. Share your vision of the future. This is the most progressive time in the media arts since Johannes Gutenburg invented movable type!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Merry Christmas Baby...

Southern California is generally nice this time of year. Think early autumn in more northern climes. You might get a front moving in from the north to dump a bit of rain. It might 5,000 feet or so. But not at the beach. You're just as likely to see French exchange students in university sweat pants and tank tops and tanned, overfed executives in Hawaiian shirts and sports cars in December as in July in the Golden State.

But we've left the comforts of Santa Barbara to the refugees from Wisconsin, Nebraska and Indiana. We've returned to Prince Edward Island in the Canadian Maritimes to enjoy an old fashioned Christmas down home on the farm.

So what has this season brought so far? A long flight from Los Angeles to Toronto. A hop to Montreal and a final leg to Charlottetown, PEI. Friends met us at the the airport to let us know that our dauntless old Dodge Caravan had died in the barn during their attempt to deliver it to the airport for us. We drove home in the van they rented for us.

I found a new alternator but couldn't get the belt pulley off the old one. In stepped a neighbor, a lobster fisherman, with a barnload of tools and years off self sufficiency to solve the problem. I put in the new part and started the car. The belt slipped off. I was forced to call a tow truck. The truck came through the flurrying snow in half an hour and picked up the car. "How much is the tow?" I asked. "Fifty bucks" he deliver the car 20 miles away. "Do you take triple A" I asked. "Sure buddy" he said. "Let me get the car up there and I'll call 'er in for ya."

I set up my recently repaired laptop in the shop this afternoon to get the remote studio working. It died. So tomorrow, I'm getting a new computer.

As much as I'd like to be stressed about all the problems the last couple of days have brought, I just can't. There seems to be a Christmas elf ready to step in and help me at just the right time. Funny thing is, these elves seem to have a maritime accent.

It may be sunny in California this Christmas. There may be Pacific breezes wafting through the palm fronds at the beach. But in some ways, it's always warmer in PEI.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Dunn Creek Farm, Prince Edward Island, Canada!

Monday, December 4, 2006

Podcast Length? It's all about Content vs Value

If your instinct is to escort the women and children into a cultural lifeboat whenever American Idol comes on, you've missed something! The new media world isn't about the content you like or don't like. It isn't about content at all. It's about CHOICE. Choices can be taken or dismissed in an instant. And unlike the life boats on the Titanic, there's always another one just microseconds away.

You can bet your Aunt Gertrude's high button shoes that the on-line realm represents choice of content in a bewildering variety of manifestations. Furthermore, the nature of choice isn't limited to what you choose to read or hear or see, it has expanded to include anything you or anyone else wants to say or portray or ejacualte into space.

So what? Well, so begins our true entrance into the marketplace of ideas.

The coin of this realm is not content. It is value. And the tricky part is that the marketplace, not the author, determines the value of your ideas. If the market doesn't want what you're selling, you'll go home empty. So think of your on-line project as a hit song. It needs a hook and some production value to give it life.

My survey of podcasts leads me to conclude that most are poorly produced and too long to support the value they contain. Or as we used to say in radio, "It's a five minute song with a two minute idea." The market is currently determining the proper length of an on-line program. My guess is that you can go on forever if you're absolutley fascinating. If not, you'd better aim lower. Three to Five minutes is a long time in any broadcast medium. That's why hit songs have genrerally fallen into that time frame for over 100 years.

We've created a podcast series called, "The Five Minute Media Manager". We hope to explain (in five minutes or less) our strategies for (rss) publishing. We'll explain ways in which you can quickly engage and satisfy the needs of the open market. Our strategy is to create on-line programs that subscribers choose because they are easy to consume and have above average value to them. If this sounds like a good idea to you, contact us today.