Friday, December 26, 2008 Offers Tech Realted Podcast Fun

Note: This post is a reproduction of the original post on the new site for Communication & Cognition: After more than three years on Blogger, it is time to move to a self-hosted site. I hope you'll keep reading there.


Through the wonderful world of Twitter, I recently stumbled across I'm not a podcast guy, but something about the link caught my attention.

Once I arrived at the site, there was Geek Brief #481 (released Dec. 20, 2008). In this 4 minute, 50 second podcast, Cali Lewis (on Twitter) demonstrates a large green laser from Wicked Lasers called the Spider II GX (which costs just $1,699.99). According the Lewis (via the Guinness records folks), it's the most powerful hand held laser available.

This particular episode must be the Geek Brief version of Mythbusters, as Lewis puts the laser up to several tests:

  • After a long time, the laser eventually pops a balloon (presumably by superheating the air inside);

  • It ignites a wooden match;

  • It fails to light a candle, producing only smoke;

  • Illuminates steam over boiling water;

  • and makes a leather jacket smoke without leaving a hole.

After a brief introduction by Lewis, the podcast features an up-tempo professionally produced introduction. Lewis has a fun upbeat screen presence, and the podcast was lively and fun.

Mostly the podcast was interesting and self-contained, so one can watch without a serious time commitment.

And although I cannot tell you exactly why it was fun to watch, I am not alone. Lewis is a full-time podcaster with more than 25,000 followers on Twitter. I saw one estimate that each show receives between 200,000 and 300,000 views.

The laser was enough to bring me back, and I'm glad it did.

Briefs #482 (December 23, 2008), featured above, and #483 (December 25, 2008) tell the story of's origin.
In July 2005, [husband and co-producer] Neal [Campbell] heard Adam Curry being interviewed on NPR. Adam was talking about podcasting. I didn’t have a TV in my house growing up so I didn’t know Adam Curry from MTV and when Neal started telling me Adam said this and Adam said that, I thought he had joined a cult. Then Neal played an episode of The Dawn and Drew Show for me and I fell in love with the concept of podcasting. Dawn and Drew, a young couple who live in a farm house in rural Wisconsin were doing a show from their house and building a worldwide audience. Adam Curry was doing a show from his house and building the business of podcasting. We wanted in and when Dawn and Drew announced Drew was quitting his day job so they could do the show full time, we decided that’s what we wanted to do.

The first podcast was launched on Dec. 23, 2005, just a couple of months after I started this blog over on Blogger. Needless to say, they've done a much better job monetizing their idea than me.

As an advertising professor, this was a great new media story. These two podcasts should be required viewing for our Electronic Media majors.

The rest of the two briefs tell the story of their rather meteoric success. The first brief aired on Dec. 23, 2005, and they worked out a deal with what is now known as Mevio on May 23, 2006, to podcast full-time. That's an impressive five-month turnaround.

From their inspiration by Adam Curry to their adoption of a green screen and a teleprompter, their success story is briefly outlined.

It's a great story and the kind of thing the fuels the American Dream. Hard work led to opportunity -- the way that we hope that it always will.

Mevio's Web site claims to be the "Home of Personality-Driven Entertainment," and it's Lewis' personality that drives this show.

Her Twitter bio calls her a "shiny, happy geek girl," and the description is perfect.

She has on-camera skills without coming across as a stilted professional anchor. It's just the right mix of talent and whimsy. Lewis' look might be best described as "geek chic," and it's perfect for the podcast. Lewis has bloggers calling her "beautiful" while still looking as if she actually knows about technology.

And success has led to other Web ventures, as the main site also links to related sites, Dear Cali,, and

Whether you're interested in technology or a new media success story, I highly recommend!

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Alex Bony said...

great! Spider II GX is really a great laser. It's really a wonderful post, and i am one of your honest reader.

3:54 AM  
Anonymous Johney Yong said...

Spider II GX is looking pretty powerful, thank you for sharing such great laser.

10:49 PM  
Blogger berthanicholas said...

I am very admiring the wonderful design of Spider II GX. The laser pointer beam is looking pretty awesome.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous laser pointer said...

I am quite enjoyed the super power of Spider II GX. It is pretty awesome.

4:09 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

All great analysis starts out with a sound introduction. But we do know, don't we, what a no-brainer an excellent introduction can be occasionally. Other individuals, while order term paper get caught at the methodology phase. Then there are these that operate into problems although compiling outcomes and writing outcomes.

8:57 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home