And now for a word from our sponsors …

Having worked in technology for as many years as I have, insomnia has become an “occupational hazard”.  From time to time, I still find myself running full tilt in the middle of the night, unable to slow down or relax enough to sleep until sunrise.  In the past, I used to rely on late-night television to help me shift gears … wind down.

You know the drill:  you’re flipping through the channels and come across a movie you’ve seen before, yet still like.  So, you hunker down to watch (the visual equivalent of reading a book, except you’re not really interested in retaining anything) … and, just as you’re getting “into the groove”, both with the program and your circadian rhythm …

… and it’s time for a commercial …

… actually, it’s time for a crapload of commercials.  Worse yet, these are (more than likely) the same commercials you just saw during the last break, which was only 5-10 minutes ago.  Maybe the first or second time, you tolerate it … but then, you get pissed … really pissed.  How many people are going to remember in the morning that they should go out and check out the local auto dealership, because they saw some local shmuck’s face a hundred times in a 2-hour span the night before?  Heck, even the infomercials these days suck.  I remember the “good old days” of infomercials … the dude with the whacky sweaters and amazing discoveries … like spray-can hair (yes, spray-can hair, not hairspray) … those were good commercials.  The sad thing is, it doesn’t put me to sleep, it just pisses me off … here’s an example of what our society has become:  they won’t air something someone hasn’t paid for, meaning that some company has actually paid to have their product power-plastered into the minds of insomniacs.  I just bugs me … but it doesn’t stop with TV …

… it’s now begun to spread into podcasting (yes, this goes back to my rant the other night about monetization).  With Apple’s latest iTunes release, more people are able to easily (well, that’s a relative thing … depends on who you ask) subscribe to podcasts … meaning more people are podcasting.  Let me rephrase that:  more entities are podcasting … people, couples, organizations … corporations … and radio stations.  Yep, we’ve got radio stations repackaging their programs and making them available as podcasts … and in many cases commercials included.

Food is one of my passions, so I tend to watch “food things”:  websites, blogs, podcasts, etc.  I can handle (to a point) the ads that websites splatter across their pages to help offset cost … but I just finished listening to several podcasts of food programs that I thought would be interesting … but were really no different than what’s available on-air:  segments of content limited in scope because they have to play so many ads within a given period of time.  And, we’re talking ads that mean absolutely nothing to me:  stores advertising products or events in cities I don’t live in or near, other radio programs on stations I can’t listen to, you name it.

Why?  Because a large chunk of those exploding onto the podcasting scene have no clue what podcasting really is … to them, it’s merely another way of distributing content, gaining “ears” so they can sell more ads.

Ads aren’t content.  Content is content.  Somehow, we need to remember that.

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