You can do anything you want, but lay off of my Blog Talk Radio Shoes

There is nothing I enjoy more than a healthy, spirited debate between individuals who share a passion for what they do, and posses the experience and knowledge to represent their respective positions intelligently and respectfully.

In answering the question “anyone had experience with Voice of America?” in the Talk Show Host Group on LinkedIn, I found myself engaged it what can only be described as an enthusiastic exchange which at the end of the day led to the discovery that all parties involved shared a common ground in terms of Internet Radio.

I am of course more than happy to share the following transcript from the discussion/debate with you, and would both encourage and welcome your two cents . . . after all, this is about “talk” radio.

Joni E. Johnston, Psy.D.

Anyone had experience with Voice of America

I finished a three year stint (as host and producer) doing an interview-format television talk show called State of Mind (about psychology) and would like to move to radio. Anyone had any experience with Voice of America or have advice about how to start? (I was also a mental health journalist for an ABC affiliate in Dallas; while I’ve done radio talk shows as a guest, I haven’t been a radio host). Any and all advice appreciated.

Jon W. Hansen (Host, PI Window on Business Show)

While I have not had direct dealings with Voice of America, I can recommend Blog Talk Radio;

In the meantime, here is the link to my new book “Your Show Will Go Live in 5 Seconds (Confessions of a Blog Talk Radio Host) that has been highly used and rated by hosts regardless of the platform through which they choose to broadcast;

I have had as guests leading political figures, bestselling authors and TV personalities such as Dr. Gaby Cora, Libby Gill, Dr. John Tantillo and Dr. Larina Kase as guests. I also have had guest hosts on my show for individuals who wanted to test the virtual airwaves waters so to speak in which I serve as producer.

Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Jon Missall (Channel Director – Green Talk Network at VoiceAmerica Talk Radio – WTR, LLC)

Voice of America is the old government radio station. VoiceAmerica is the World’s Leading Live Internet Radio Broadcasting company. Such hosts as Dr. John Gray, Pat Summerall, Jack LaLanne along with some of the biggest firms in the country with such notable guests throughout their various channels like Rita Cosby, Ron Paul, Lucy Arnaz coming March 31, Olivia Newton John and countless other leaders in politics, sports, show business and health. Every network has it’s niche, however as Michael Harrison from Talkers Magazine quoted on air “the only real internet talk radio network, not a chat or blog room” – Feel free to contact and hope this helps.

Jon W. Hansen (Host, PI Window on Business Show)

I would beg to differ Jon.

While there are certainly chat rooms and blogs, Blog Talk Radio is also a true radio network.

For example, President Obama was interviewed on Blog Talk Radio. I myself, just recently celebrating my 100th broadcast ( ), have had the opportunity to interview Canada’s Trade Minister regarding the Buy American policy and Maine’s gubernatorial candidate. I have had leading authorities appear on the show discussing everything from the need for Founders Visa’s in the US and proposed legislation relating to the pharmaceutical and natural health products industries.

I have also had on the show Jack Stack, whose book The Great Game of Business is rated as one of the top 100 business books of all time, and 5 time New York Times bestselling author Larry Winget to talk about his latest book “Your Kids Are Your Own Fault.

In fact, this upcoming Thursday I will be interviewing Larry O’Donnell the first Undercover Boss from the new hit CBS TV series of the same name. Airing right after the Superbowl, more than 39 million people tuned in to watch the President and CEO of Waste Management go undercover at his $13 billion corporation.

Suffice to say Blog Talk Radio is symbolic of the emergence of citizen journalism through the power of social media.

Conversely, longtime media industry veteran J. William Grimes predicted that all daily newspapers would be gone within 5 years. This is based on data surrounding the medium’s declining share of advertising revenue and rapidly falling readership. Similar situations are arising with local television stations which are closing down at an alarming rate, as well as other forms of what you refer to as the “real” mediums.

With all due respect to Michael Harris, whose comment demonstrates the elitist attitudes that have undermined traditional medium’s ability to truly connect with its audience, it is not the medium that is the message but the quality of the message being shared.

In short, content is as always king, and quality content is not limited the oligarchical channels of a single venue traditional or otherwise.

Here is a link to a guest panel discussion which was aired this past November titled “Public Workshops and Roundtables: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?” that you should find interesting:

Jon Missall (Channel Director – Green Talk Network at VoiceAmerica Talk Radio – WTR, LLC)

In the spirit of good conversation-You are 100% correct in that it is all about content and presentation in a country where free speech is king and what we are about and hopefully more nations following.

In my reference to Michael Harrison, it was intended since he has no vested interest in either (his magazine is for the industry of all radio and is a trade publication only), to show the difference between what a “johnny with his ipod in his garage” vs a network with live engineers, audio and graphics departments, etc and the differences. Every type venue has their own niche in the world and with more and more listeners coming to the internet (8% increase of at work listeners in the last year alone over traditional radio) there will always be a place for everyone, it’s a matter of who you reach.

I certainly understand the importance of guests, myself alone have had Zig and Tom Ziglar, Michael Norton, and countless other guests of this stature on business shows. However, I do beg to differ with you about the medium, you can have all the quality content in the world but if you don’t have the right points of presence and able to continue to pull a following then you are just talking with your friends. And just for reference Waste Management was a sponsor of a show for quite a while. Try Capital Thinking on “Thursdays at 9am PT” all the info comes directly from the Hill, live and up to date each week. Sincerely enjoy the discussion, we have similar ideas on several different fronts.

Jon W. Hansen (Host, PI Window on Business Show)

Interesting thoughts Jon because you are getting to the heart of social media’s power and reach relative “points of presence.”

David Cushman, a social network guru and author from the UK, who was also a member of the November guest panel I had referenced in my previous response, made the observation that traditional media is based upon many eyes looking at a single stage.

Conversely, in the world of social networking, the scenario is based upon a one-to-one “me looking at you – you looking at me interaction.” Establishing the points of presence to which you had referred is therefore based on what I call the cross-pollination effect.

In an excerpt from my latest book (The Unsociable Business of Social Networking And Why The So Act Social Network Will Change The World), I explain the mechanics behind cross-pollination as follows:

“There are of course other factors that need to be considered beyond the issue of retention, including the impact of what I refer to as the hive and cross-pollination effect.

The hive/cross pollination concept or theory is based on the observation that individuals will likely choose at most one or two primary networks as their preferred platforms. That is, they will spend the majority of their social networking time interacting within these main “hives.”

While they may venture out into the vast social media world visiting countless other networks, similar to the honey bee these forays are ultimately geared towards gathering information and insights to bring back to the hive to share with their established community of contacts. This of course is the cross-pollination aspect of the hive effect.”

While some in the industry have referred to it as going viral, this cross-pollination has the equivalent impact of compound interest.

This of course is where the Harrison comment regarding VoiceAmerica actually contradicts your reference to the “points of presence and able to continue to pull a following.”

I will elaborate further through another excerpt from an article I just released through a third-party publication.

“As indicated in my new seminar “Leveraging Internet Radio and Podcasting to Establish a Sustainable Brand,” the rather pedestrian elements associated with the information repository framework of a web site will do little to gain and keep market attention. Web site traffic, which has long been considered the measurement of a site or blog’s presence and influence, is largely irrelevant in this non-personal, unilateral engagement with the visitor.

This is why Alexa ratings mean very little in terms of true market reach.

In June 2009, I launched the PI Window on Business Blog primarily as an adjunct support venue or medium for the PI Window on Business Show on Blog Talk Radio.

In that first month, there was a grand total of 217 visitors to the site.

In December 2009, the total number of site visitors grew to 6,144. This past month (January 2010), we fell just short of the 10,000 monthly mark with 9,894 visitors.

Based on research, this trend in terms of percentage growth will likely continue throughout 2010.

Using traditional methods of measurement (e.g., Alexa) one might consider this to be a compelling indication of an emerging, sustainable brand. While it certainly does demonstrate increasing awareness, it is the behind the scenes story that is most significant.

I am of course talking about the high level of cross-pollination that occurs with the PI Social Media Network’s other brands including the PI Window on Business show on Blog Talk Radio and the Procurement Insights Blog.

This cross-pollination also extends to a growing number of external venues including social networks, on-line resource sites and internet-based media outlets.

Collectively, these interconnecting venues facilitate a dynamic, real-time interaction through a conversational technology platform that engages and responds to the individual first.”

Jon W. Hansen (Host, PI Window on Business Show)

I apologize for having to break this down into two parts Jon as I ran out of space in the previous comment.

By referring to VoiceAmerica as “the only real internet talk radio network, not a chat or blog room,” Harrison has made the error of assuming that the many eyes (re the public or following) continues or prefers to look towards a single stage (VoiceAmerica) as the primary source of information within the talk radio genre. This of course ignores the key principles associated with Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.

Harrison fails to recognize the true power of the interconnect-ability that is facilitated and streamlined through the social media and social networking worlds.

While in a somewhat dismissive fashion he may give a condescending compliment that there will always be a place for everyone, his underlying belief is quite clear; VoiceAmerica alone is the real deal . . . a single and omnipotent force within the realms of talk radio.

Now he may attempt to explain the confining arrogance of making such a statement by pointing to a “johnny with his ipod in his garage” vs a network with live engineers, audio and graphics departments, etc and the differences.” But this again illustrates his inability to grasp the foundational elements of social media and social networking.

I am reminded of a comment made by Jenk Uygur of The Young Turks, whose Internet TV Show receives 13 million hits each month on YouTube. Uygur was also part of the previously referenced guest panel, and when asked about the difference between traditional journalists and citizen journalists he said it all comes down to having a fact checker. Simple yes, but nonetheless effective in that accessibility to leading edge Internet tools and resources means that a relatively small enterprise does not require a host of engineers, audio and graphics departments etc. to produce and air a show of comparable or even better quality. In conjunction with the “little things meaning a lot” axiom that illustrates the true impact of cross-pollination, the little guy has a distinct and long-term advantage.

The playing field in this regard has been leveled, so the comment referring to “johnny with his ipod in his garage” is just another indication of someone who Colin Powell referred to in his famous presentation as being an expert who has hit his or her peak.

All this being said, whatever numbers VoiceAmerica enjoys in terms of listeners at this moment, if they make the mistake of believing their own press via Harrison’s comments they will likely end up like the dailies to which Grimes had referred.

What is the old saying about pride coming before the fall?

Great discussion by the way. Thank you.

Jon Missall (Channel Director – Green Talk Network at VoiceAmerica Talk Radio – WTR, LLC)

Perhaps and with all due respect intended here, you are missing the point of what I was trying to originally make: which was the difference between the various players that call themselves networks or radio stations and what that implies to the public. In no way is VA concerned about sitting on it’s laurels or staying put in a marketplace that they are substantially planted above over the last ten years.

The point really is the quality, accessibility and reach that someone growing a brand or that has a brand that they want to expand and can be helped to get that message out as efficiently and to the right audience as possible. Same reason some hire PR or Marketing consultants. Harrison’s comments were more on the lines of what people can get, what they expect and easy accessibility to it. With a network schedule and easy accessibility to shows, many are lacking or competing for the same audience at the same time. No with the beauty of 24/7 access some of that is taken from the equation. For every single referenced comment by either of us, I’m sure we each have three other references that refute the others ideas. I’m say people should look at an entire package before the jump into something which is what I believe the original title of this thread was looking for so as to make an honest evaluation. Sorry but I have a hard time with other networks who several times a year call or email (yes in an email blast) other Networks hosts telling them how special they are and how personally they can do so much for them. That’s why there is and should always be a selection/approval process for perspective hosts. Not saying you should censor their content, just that they have quality content. Obviously others don’t take their work or shows as passionately as you do which is extremely applauded. Take care

Jon W. Hansen (Host, PI Window on Business Show)

So we can say that it is safe to conclude that in many ways we are saying the same things, just differently.

The other day I received in my Blog Talk Radio message box an e-mail from a station in Phoenix telling me how they can do such wonderful things for me and then providing links to their air time and advertising rates.

In essence what they were saying is that if you pay them so much in terms of dollars, you too can be a successful host by accessing their large audience base. It doesn’t quite work that way, simply because the Phoenix station has muted their filtering process relative to host qualification and selection to one of whoever has the money can have a show.

At the end of the day, a passion for what you do and a dedication to doing it well is the defining factor regardless of whether you are on a VoiceAmerica or Blog Talk Radio.


Jon Missall (Channel Director – Green Talk Network at VoiceAmerica Talk Radio – WTR, LLC)

My guess is with most terrestrial stations they are always looking for syndication with a broker radio deal to split advertising revenue.It’s not always about the money but if you are spending it what kind of bang are you getting for your buck. The unfortunate thing is most people that get into that scenario don’t understand that everything just doesn’t come to them, it’s a platform for their quality content with all of the other perks a springboard to what can happen if they do it correctly.

Their are high end shoe stores right next to bargain shoe stores, depends on what kind of shoe your looking for and where your wearing it as to how you want to succeed.

And yes I do agree that at the end of the day it is all about the passion, dedication and thought factor that an individual has that makes talk radio a springboard for so many other things regardless of which of the twelve main internet players you use in the market. Great having this discussion with you, will listen to your show when I get a moment. Take care

Jon W. Hansen (Host, PI Window on Business Show)

Thank you, Jon. I will of course tune in to your show as well.

The big question of course is whether or not Joni found this information useful?

Back to you Joni!

Joni E. Johnston, Psy.D.

Wow. I appreciate all the information – and especially the diversity of opinions. So next question to you experts – how do you become a radio host at either of these stations? My ventures into previous TV work was through unusual sources (I was sponsored by a mental health organization on one and was recruited for the other) so I have no idea how to go about doing it.

Jon W. Hansen (Host, PI Window on Business Show)

To become a host on Blog Talk Radio “BTR” is pretty straight forward. That said I would be more than happy to have you as a guest host on my show (PI Window on Business) in which I will look after all aspects of production including pre and post show promotion (all BTR shows are recorded and made available on an on-demand basis), topic research and show outline including a list of suggested questions to ask your guest.

All you have to do is select and invite the guest.

During the actual show I manage both the switchboard as well as the live Chat Room as well.

There is no charge for this service by the way. The reason I do it is that it provides you with an opportunity to get your feet wet so to speak to help you to better determine if you like the platform, as well as gain an idea as to what is involved in terms of putting on a show.

Here is the link to my 100th show program including the on-demand player ( ). Besides providing you with excerpts from previous guest hosted segments, it will also provide you with an overview of both the show format and Blog Talk Radio. In the latter instance, you will find the excerpt from my interview with BTR Founder and CEO Alan Levy quite interesting.

Finally, and yes perhaps this is a shameless plug, here is a link to my author profile page for my book “Your Show Will Go Live in 5 Seconds” that has become a de facto A to Z manual for many BTR hosts both new and experienced;

It is available in eBook or paperback version through both or Lulu.

Simply click on the book cover to obtain your copy.

Jon Missall (Channel Director – Green Talk Network at VoiceAmerica Talk Radio – WTR, LLC)

I’m certainly glad that you got something from our discussion. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you would like more information and I will be happy to walk you through the process as we can set up a time to talk. I do not have my own show, however I do have twelve on the air that I produce and work with the host’s on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis. Look forward to speaking with you. Take care

As I had indicated at the beginning of this post, my exchange with Jon was both interesting and insightful with both of us retiring to our respective corners (Jon at VoiceAmerica and myself at Blog Talk Radio).

The only question that remains, where will Joni end-up . . . stay tuned!


2 Responses to “You can do anything you want, but lay off of my Blog Talk Radio Shoes”
  1. alan Levy says:

    What a terrific debate!!. The dueling Jon’s, have represented their respective networks in the best light. Jon Hansen, than you for expressing your passion for BTR so eloquently.

    I started BTR in 9/2006 after creating a blog for my dying father. We came up with the idea of using the phone network as a broadcast medium. One can’t argue the progress we have made in a short time. Consider these facts, we have broadcast over 500,000 episodes. We host more than 1,200 broadcasts a day. In January, our shows were listened to more than 7.5 million times. Last Wednesday, our shows were listened to 750,000 times.

    We have more than 12,000 active hosts using this platform on monthly basis to communicate their messages.
    We are a top 1,000 website in the US and our Comscore extended web ranking for January is 4m uniques. Our content is everywhere including Facebook, iTunes, twitter, etc.

    Finally, I respect Michael Harrison, and we have shared lunch together. BTR is a community first and a radio network second and we welcome those that want a place to express themselves and have an opportunity to build an audience.


    • Thank you for adding your perspective and insight to the discussion Alan, and of course the data.

      The future is indeed bright for Blog Talk Radio and Internet Radio in general.

  • Books Written by Jon Hansen

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