Ruminations On The Audience

Whenever I watch or participate in a live stream, I’m always curious about who is watching or listening, specifically the numbers. I tuned in for some of Spencer’s new gig the other day and I saw that he had about thousand people listening. When I was on with Josh Neal we had about one hundred people. Spencer is obviously a bigger name and surely draws lots of of enemies to anything he does, in addition to supporters. Still, these are small numbers, compared to what we think happens with television and radio.

Now, in fairness, local radio often has just a few thousand people listening at any one time and some small TV channels have such small audiences they round to zero. There’s also the fact that live streams are a new and different medium. It’s like watching the rehearsal, rather than the finished product, but you can interact with the performers. That and you can watch it anytime, because live streams are recorded. If you look at the views of these things, 90% of the audience is for the recorded version, not the live feed.

The newness of live streams can be seen in the radio programs that have started putting their content on-line. Lots of talk radio people have set up cameras in their studio to simulcast their shows over Facebook or YouTube. They also provide a feed to services like iHeart and TuneIn. I listen to the legendary Howie Carr off YouTube, as he is in Boston and I’m in Lagos. I’ve never seen the viewer count on his YouTube feed exceed a hundred. Most of the time, it is below 50, yet he is the #14 talk radio guy in America.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the new audience for the new media. One thing I’ve learned after a year of doing a podcast is there is little overlap between my writing and my spoken word material. In fact, I have been approached by people at secret handshake meetings who only listen and have never bothered to read my blog. Lots of readers have told me they have no interest in the podcast, but they would read a transcript. John Derbyshire has been doing transcripts for years now, because most prefer it.

My guess is the audience for live streams is a completely different animal than the audience for writing and podcasting. There is a sense of urgency to the live stream, in that watching one from a year ago feels like reading an old newspaper. Most live streams are about current topics. Podcasts are often topical, but necessarily so. The people doing history and philosophy can expect an audience long after they have published their shows. That does not seem to be the case with the live stream.

A few weeks ago I was made aware of the fact a very famous person reads this blog on occasion. They don’t read regularly because they think I’m too wordy. That person wanted to know where I was on social media, because that person prefers Twitter over longer written material. This was a bit of a revelation, but it made perfect sense. While there is overlap between the audience for longer material and the audience for social media, there are many who do one but not the other. Live stream is the social media of video.

A few years ago I predicted Twitter’s problems. A large scale public platform is either open to everyone or it allows for self-segregation. Any attempt to moderate an open platform fails and this was known long before Twitter of Facebook. UseNet and message boards were the first social media and they learned that you either have segregation or you have the Wild West. Any effort to tone police or regulate blasphemy ends in disaster. The reason is the cost of regulation eventually outweighs the benefit.

What’s happening in social media is segregation, as people retreat to their own kind. The dissidents are the first to start building their own, but it will spread everywhere. Your social media platform will be your tribe. That or platforms like Facebook will simply acquiesce to reality. This has happened to some extent as there are private Facebook groups populated by alt-right people. Something similar will have to happen with Twitter or it will collapse under the weight of its own stupidity.

This brings me back to live streams and video is general. The live stream is a response to YouTube censorship. The hosts make sure to stay within the rules and they have the option to not post the recorded show if it could cause problems. The thing is though, even the most berserk member of the volunteer morality police is not sitting through three hours of Spencer talking about himself to find some blasphemy. The use of guarded language and the format allow for some self-segregation within the YouTube platform.

One final thought on all this. I mentioned that I’m not a very good live stream guest. Some people with small brow ridges will accuse me of false modesty, but I think there is a skill at being a host and a guest. This has always been true. A good host features the guest and keeps the guest from getting lost in the sound of his own voice. On the other hand, good guests have answers like a woman’s bathing suit. They are big enough to cover the material, but small enough to keep it interesting. They keep the show moving.

With these new formats, developing new skills to exploit the format is something we see all over now. The cut and paste bloggers, for example, have mostly faded away, as that has been displaced by social media. Those pithy comments are easily done on Facebook and Twitter. Content driven bloggers like J’Onquarious and Heartiste are the future of the format. The group blog is the new magazine and the solo blog is the new pamphleteer. Similar skills, but more interactive and responsive.

On the video side, that’s where things will be more interesting, as the format has no analog to the analog age. Live streams are not like TV. YouTube channels are not like a cable channel. PewDiePie is not Howard Stern. As Paul Ramsey talked about in his chat with Millennial Woes the other day, the internet video format continues to evolve as people try to figure out how to use it. Look at old videos of a guy like Molyneux and they are nothing like what he is doing today, because he evolved with the format.

That also means the audience will change too. Fifty years ago, movie stars never did television, other than chat shows to promote themselves. That may be how things unfold with video, at least initially. The live stream guys will be a special skill, while the recorded people, with high production values, will appeal to a different audience. Bloggers and writers that can be good guests will use appearances to promote their work. Otherwise, like the difference between book readers and TV watchers, there will be little overlap.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Dale Peterson
Guest
Dale Peterson

Sorry, but I do not think Jared Kushner reads this blog.

Guest
Guest
Guest

My guess is James Woods

Babe Ruthless
Guest
Babe Ruthless

Dalai Lama.

BTP
Guest
BTP

I heard it was Mel Gibson.

Bruno the Arrogant
Guest
Bruno the Arrogant

President Trump?

Tax Slave
Guest

Well, we know where he stands on the JQ.

Insolent Commenter
Guest
Insolent Commenter

My guess is Tucker Carlson or Anne Coulter.

Guest
Guest
Guest

You are definitely in the group of content-drive bloggers, which is precisely why your blog is worth reading every day. As a busy professional, I rarely have an open hour to dedicate to listening to a podcast during the day. However, as a modest insomniac I frequently listen to your podcasts in the middle of the night. Your host during the show spent way, way too much time pontificating on his own experiences, analysis, and opinion. He really should spend more time listening to experienced, skilled interview show hosts. Terry Gross is an absolutely insufferable liberal snob, but she’s an… Read more »

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

Blogs for mental breaks in my office, home or city. Podcasts for planes, gym, doing household stuff that requires nothing but lizard brain to do.

Babe Ruthless
Guest
Babe Ruthless

I suppose that the “rawness” of dissident/alt right productions may be a secret part of the appeal. The “mainstream” media is just so dishonest, slimy, doublespeaking, and gaslighting, that when you see just one smart, likable guy like RamZPaul turn on his camera and speak plain truths in plain language–with humor to boot–it’s exceptionally refreshing. We’re just so sick of media lying. And YET, I think our guys would still benefit enormously from basic production values. I don’t mean the ridiculous space-station sets of globohomo outfits like CNN, the BBC, and NBC (which are a visual symbol of their undeserved… Read more »

Greg
Guest
Greg

Oddly enough, this made me wonder about the size of your brow ridge, ZMan. Large or small? Rumor has it the trend is toward small.

Member

I don’t listen to podcasts at all. I read while listening to music. I used to listen to Derb’s podcasts years ago until he started producing (or I discovered) the transcripts.

Mike@Mike.Mike
Guest
Mike@Mike.Mike

It’s ok to tell them now Zman – I’m the famous guy you’re talking about.

Unwashed Mass
Guest
Unwashed Mass

From my own preferences, I prefer the written word, not only for blogs but in online news(when checking out the clickbait) and magazines. Same with product reviews.
Reason: it’s easier on data rates and bandwidth first and foremost, and renders way faster on my devices. Second is that video, when concerned with MSM, is near useless information-wise.

Member

Unwashed Mass: I’m with you in my preference for the written word. Video and podcasts are just too slow and linear, and, therefore, restrictive. Plus, the poor signal-to-noise ratio of video and podcasts results in wasted time: too much time spent with introductions, setting the background, explaining context, etc., and then, there’s the inefficiency of speech; the “uhs” and “umms” and “you knows,” and chatter. When reading, I can skim through all the noise, and in a non-linear fashion.

Lance_E
Member

> My guess is the audience for live streams is a completely different animal than the audience for writing and podcasting. Definitely. I would guess that many readers are like myself: pretty busy most of the time with maybe 15-30 minutes, a couple of times a day, to catch up on the latest content from as many as 5-10 different sources. We’re not ADD, but just don’t have time for an hour-long podcast, let alone a 3-hour livestream, and we know we can get the exact same information in 5 minutes of reading. People who watch and comment on live… Read more »

sirlancelot
Guest
sirlancelot

Never cared for the podcast either until having to make some long trips driving out of town and then it is a good way to pass the time..

Plus voice has a lot to do with it too. I like Scott Adams ,enjoy the comic strip and his political leanings, but that voice ! ugh

Maus
Guest
Maus

The problem with Scott Adams is that he uses a lot of rhetorical tricks, including repetition, to give his Periscope audience an opportunity to respond. He is a big-time re-Tweeter, a format I abhor and shun. It makes Adams very reactive to his audience and thus long-winded. This is likely due to his persuasion shtick. I’ve taken to reviewing his notes in the YT archive of the livecast. If there isn’t a sufficient hook, I take a pass on it.

WowJustWow
Guest
WowJustWow

I often wonder whether the timbre of his voice was altered after he recovered from the (physical? psychological?) disorder that left him mute for several years.

Spud Boy
Guest
Spud Boy

If anyone cares, this is what I consume in the way of media: YouTube videos of Joe Rogan and Dave Rubin when they have worthwhile guests; anything Jordan Peterson puts out; some Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter on YouTube audio; Scott Adams’ Periscopes; favorite blogs are Heartiste, Steve Sailer and Z-man. I also like cars, so I read a few auto blogs and watch some YouTube car reviews. And NHL hockey. That’s about it.

Member

Buried the needle on my normycon meter.

Member

Yup, Hate to be stuck in an elevator with the Spud.
It’d end up mashed,

Member

Glenn Beck? Oy!

Chaotic Neutral
Guest
Chaotic Neutral

Hey what is the book going to be about? My mom asks for transcripts too. Some people are not good at listening. It’s actually a skill that needs developing. I can remember many years ago when I started audiobooks, I found it uncomfortable and difficult. Now sometimes I can’t recall whether I read a particular thing or heard the lecture or audiobook! It’s funneled Into some kind of final common pathway. Podcasts: 1. Radioderb and zman: will listens as soon as they appear, sometimes more than once and in car 2. Radio renaissance: before sleep but reliably serviceable 3. Countercurrents:… Read more »

Member

See Black Pigeon on Youtube. Great stuff, though he occasionally pulls his punches just when it gets interesting.

Moran ya Simba
Guest
Moran ya Simba

Well, I try to neither be all negative or all a$$-kissing but simply say whatever thoughts posts and podcasts here produce in me. But, I genuinely enjoy this blog and it actually stays interesting. I couldnt do a quarter as good a job and Im not gonna sit here and say ‘you really should be a better guest and such and such’ coz Id probably be an eternally talking mess on such a show. And that’s all the sugar I have to hand out today lol

Chaotic Neutral
Guest
Chaotic Neutral

Yeah, FZ wants to hear bad guests, go on the national review podcast. Some of those people are incoherent a motor that Rambo, they don’t complete thoughts. Sometimes I have to just turn it off. And we’re talking to your professors and people are supposed to brains.

Burger Pattie Joe
Guest
Burger Pattie Joe

For this kind of online content? 10,000 listeners is a respectable number. Blogs aren’t as influential as they were pre Twatter, but I think they are the best format for ideas and content delivery like this. Who wants to sit through an hour? Who has the time? A reader can break up a long read into parts, bookmarks. How many prople are at this level of understanding, without follow up learning? Few. I agree with Tyler Cowen’s recommendation; more accessibility when it comes to delivering complexity. Race realism and the JQ are still hard for townie Cons to swallow. They… Read more »

Roe vs. Godzilla
Guest
Roe vs. Godzilla

Back to basics. There’s so much foundational theory about image, presentation, concept vs. perception you guys would do well to understand. Here’s a beginner’s reading list… Jerzy Grotowski, “Towards a Poor Theater”. Primal, do not miss. Gordon Craig, “On the Art of the Theatre” Antonin Artaud, “The Theater and Its Double” (a far better translation would be “The Theater and Its Evil Twin”) Bert Brecht, “Little Exercise for the Theater/Short Organon for the Theater” (or more generally, Brecht’s theoretical writings as a whole, often compiled in books called things like “Brecht on Theater” and suchlike). Note that after his electrifying… Read more »

Member

I don’t think I have ever watched a livestream for more than a few minutes, but I have watched plenty after the fact. Often they seem to be scheduled when I have other things going on but I can watch the replay later. They also tend to run on forever. Who wants to listen to Spencer for three hours? As for Gab, I just sent in my pro payment via billpay so they get a paper check. I hope Torba gets this figured out, he has gone further than anyone else I am aware of in circumventing the system so… Read more »

Maus
Guest
Maus

Well, you may deprecate your video stream skills as you are your own best judge; but I am telling you that your vocal modulation, quick wit and mastery of historical and philosophical elements in the cultural expression of politics is superb. As a trial attorney, you are exactly the sort of expert witness I want to “edutain” the jury with deeper insights about something they probably think they already know. And too long? Please. Your writing is an easily digested essay whose flavor lingers long after the meal has ended. Your podcast is an ideal length. I know in advance… Read more »

Maus
Guest
Maus

Another thing you mention is the future belonging to the likes of Audacious Epigone. While I read his blog and enjoy the cold, hard facts angle his statistical analysis provides; I am surprised that Unz lets him have a marquee presence while remaining anonymous. I can’t think of another blogger or author who posts there using a pseudonym. If AE has opened a new door, then certainly Ron should be extending an invite to you without delay. And speaking of Ron, he can’t be your important reader because talk about long blog posts. My God, his take the prize for… Read more »

Member
Felix_Krull

I can’t think of another blogger or author who posts there using a pseudonym.

The Saker.

Probably something to do with his prolixity.

Mike@Mike.Mike
Guest
Mike@Mike.Mike

and Paul Kersey.

Sleepy
Member
Sleepy

At a general level, I think audience preference correlates with age. I’m a few years older than Z (a late Boomer) and online magazines and blogs were “new technology” to me. I tried social media, but it never made sense to me. I like podcasts now (my initial interest was via “Radio Derb” and I liked it best when he released the audio and the transcript at that same time so I could “read along” — how Boomerish!), and I listen to them during long walks, drives in the car, chores around the house, before bedtime, etc. (VERY Boomerish!) I… Read more »

AldoP
Member
AldoP

I write as I sit in the airport leaving for the Deep South and a bit of warmth. Listened to the “Roman History” podcast for the 3rd time driving in. Like our Host, I’m self employed in the Management business but in the rather friendly confines of NWPA, far from Lagos. As the Attorney said earlier, the hour length is about perfect for me and easy listening to the max. Read the blog daily along w/ AE and some Unz, not much else. One thing I can say, most of the upper level men I work with- technical managers, supervisors,… Read more »

Lorenzo
Guest
Lorenzo

I hope those who do real work get red pilled. People had better hope that there are enough honkeys left to keep the lights on and food on the store shelves when d’Shizzle, Pedro and the cat ladies try to run the country.

Member
Felix_Krull

Can’t hear podcasts at work. People would notice the headphones.

Wan Wei Lin
Guest
Wan Wei Lin

I read your blog everyday and download your podcasts. I’m a listener not a watcher so i rip the interviews to mp3.

TomA
Guest
TomA

For most of our evolutionary history, our ancestors communicated in first-person only. And as such, a big part of the communication involved reading and interpreting facial expressions and body language (which frequently enabled the detection of danger and kept you alive). Today, we possess innate biases and self-defense mechanisms derived from these visual stimuli. In modern life, much communication occurs solely via aural or written means, and therefore defeats the application of these protective biases and proclivities. In short, video often works better because it re-enables the usefulness of these traits. Handshaking and hugging adds in a tactile stimuli which… Read more »

Joachim
Guest
Joachim

I think what you say is true, but I am also very wary of the smooth talking con-man. I want things laid-out in text, and to have the time to think matters over, to evaluate, without distractions. Also, difficult material will require the individual study and ponder at whatever pace is necessary for him, proceeding step by step.

You don’t want to end up with a closet full of plungers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usm7uLCfxdo

Tax Slave
Guest

Zman, I read you regularly and I really look forward to your weekly podcast. The wordier the better as far as I’m concerned!

Jay
Guest
Jay

“secret handshake meetings”
Where does one find this, what is the group identity(Murica?), and how do you know it’s not a Fed meetup looking for retarded false flagging patsies?

Trey
Guest
Trey

I’ve only been there for a few years, but it looks like /pol/ has gone through the same migration, from Ron Paul to what is is now – whatever you call it – white, national, fascists, hodgepodge, whatever…

I don’t like admitting it, but I’m a late boomer (born in 1964) too. I’ve been libertarian/anarchist for a long time, now trying to update my bearings.

bob sykes
Guest
bob sykes

While I visit your blog daily, I never listen to podcasts by you or anyone else. I find the format is too rigid. I am required to process information in the sequence specified by the podcast. As an older person, I prefer the random access ability of printed work, and I tend to read print nonlinearly, sometimes back to front.

Glenfilthie
Guest
Glenfilthie

I listened to about half that one you did with that kid. I quit because I had chores to do and a life, but if I had time I would have sat through it all. Every Friday my wife rolls her eyes because it’s time for the Power Hour podcast. Your opinions set her off from time to time and I have to pause the cast so she can ream me out for your dissident opinions and wrong-think. Your stuff spawns squabbles and debates between us and we spread them to our friends when we meet for coffees and social… Read more »

Member

A couple of observations. The primary function of all the recording media is time shifting. It’s been a long time since live performance was the only source of news and entertainment and people haven’t organized their lives around fireside chats for 80 years. The spoken word is a remarkably inefficient method of data transmission. About 100-125 words per minute against 4-500+ via reading. I do most of my listening when driving when, I gather, reading is frowned upon. At his heyday, Lush Rimblows live radio audience was massively inflated by captive listeners: production workers in small to middle sized businesses… Read more »