Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sounding Like a Gillmor Fanboy...oh gawd..

Reading Todd Cochrane's post earlier today about how he 'used to listen to the Gillmor Gang', got me to pondering why I'm still listening to it - and perhaps with more earnest than ever.

I won't pretend to defend Steve's decision to chop it into bite-sized portions. But, he seems to have met me halfway by doing two things: skillfully ending the ad block at 4 minutes on the dot - rather consistently over the last few series of shows, and releasing all the pieces at one time (or at least nearly that way). Is it exactly the format I want? No. Should it be? No. It's his show.

I'm sure Steve would be the first to say 'if you don't like it, then don't subscribe to it' although I'm sure he'd do it with more colour and fewer words. The blogosphere makes it so easy to demand exactly what we want from absolutely everybody. But is that really the way you expect everything to work?

He can slice and dice it six ways from Sunday if he wants. If he loses listeners (and we make the rather large assumption that he really cares about that) then it's his loss. I'm not paying for the show. He's *giving* it to me.

So why then am I still listening - even split across 5 files? There are a few key reasons, none of which are tremendously clever:

1. He has smart people on the show who (at least lately) are willing to really speak their minds. It's often served dripping with sarcasm, or as an off-handed remark, but that makes it even more honest. If I preferred stodgy industry analysis I'd have tuned out long ago, or shot myself. You hear honest opinions rarely heard anywhere else.

2. The group dynamic he has going there sometimes generates a serious chuckle from me. And that ain't as easy as you'd think. Lately it's Calacanis that got me spitting coffee on my steering wheel. More specifically, it was a tremendously bad, but tremendously funny imitation of Adam Curry. And Jason's imitation of Steve: "Ok..we've been on the call for 37 seconds...let's rate the show" was absolutely priceless and shows you what I mean by point 1. No one...especially Steve, is safe. While I think they all respect each other, he's giving them pretty much free reign. That takes a substantial set of cojones.

3. By letting his own gang members disparage his editing choices (and not editing it out), you have no doubt he's heard every possible complaint about the show. And yet he continues on undaunted. I'll almost be disappointed if he does stop chopping it up... almost. ;)

4. I don't know what the hell he's going to do next. I don't even know if there will be another show - after all, every show's the 'last show'. How's that for suspense?

5. I've come to the realization that while many of Steve's views are contrary to mine, they're also contrary to that of many of his gang members. His willingness to consistently invite and argue these contrary opinions makes the pill substantially less bitter. It doesn't hurt to have 3 of 5 smart guys agreeing with you. ;)

6. Doc's still hangin' in there. So there must be something good going on. ;)

[Note: While Steve's shout-out to me a few shows back was much appreciated (Thanks Steve), I won't hesitate to unsubscribe if the show becomes uninteresting to me. But of course he knows that. Whether he cares is another matter entirely! ;) ]