Can More People Be Like Doug Kaye, Please?

(mea maxima culpa for omitting the trailing “e” in Doug’s name in rev. 1 of this. Thanks to Steve for setting me straight.)

I want to know more about Doug Kaye. A quick search for “‘doug kay’+bio” brings back a paltry 23 results, only two of which relate to this Doug Kay.

I first heard about Doug Kaye at BloggerCon in November, 2004. At the same time, I heard about IT Conversations for the first time. The best summary I’ve found so far is from here:

One of the largest podcasters is Doug Kaye’s IT Conversations. Great, in-depth discussions with folks in the technology community (An awful lot of content of this nascent medium serves its geek constituency. But bloggers spent a lot of time talking about Open Source and the like before they got around to other stuff.)

Some of the most amazing content at IT Conversations is complete audio archives of important tech industry conferences: Web 2.0, PopTech, Bloggercon, Stanford’s Accelerating change and 20 others are there in their entirety, for free.

So, as best as I can tell, Doug has been helping to record, produce, and distribute this amazing body of content. And, with the exception of perhaps some help on the bandwidth side from a sponsor, he’s been doing it for the passion of what he’s doing.

Last month, he got reflective about this very fact. Kaye:

“The one question I’m asked about IT Conversations more than any other is, “What’s your business model?” After 18 months, nearly 300 programs and now with the New Year looming, the time has come to answer that question.”

Your stereotypical Silicon Valley type would start calling up VCs and bankers, and perhaps draw up a business plan for the “next generation, peer-to-peer, highly-distributed content distribution platform.”

Not Kaye. He looked left, looked right, set up a collaborative space to have a conversation, and asked his customers “what should I do?”

Kaye seeded the conversation with two broad categories:

  • Advertiser/Sponsor Revenues
  • Listener-Side Revenues

Then he let it go, and asked his customers “What do you think?

The response has been amazing. At the current time, nearly sixty responses have been given to that simple question, including a number of thoughtful replies from other folks like Ross Mayfield and Steve Gillmor both within the wiki and in the blog diaspora.

And I have a feeling as we venture not too very far into 2005, Mr. Kaye will have his answer. Cheers, Doug. Good on ya for letting the customers drive.

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