This particular post sets the stage for the Ask Adam League and where the intentions of the site and show come from. More details about specific decisions and steps will follow in other posts.
At the start of all of this Ask Adam stuff we started with the idea of recording our conversations and putting them up on the web. Some questions came about; Who would listen? What kind of show would it be? Would it be audio or video? How would we determine the topics that we’d talk about.
It came to me from the very beginning that we would do a question-and-answer show. This is because I would ask Adam questions from time-to-time about all manner of stuff and I thought how cool it would be to have Adam on the radio where people would call into the show and ask Adam any kind of question. We decided to try to find any other content producers that may have been producing something similar to what we were thinking of. The closest we got was The Jesus Christ Show. This is a fantastic radio show that both Adam and I love. People call in to the radio show to speak with Jesus and ask him all sorts of questions; things about life, relationships and God’s plan (it is a religious show after all). Adam and I not being Christians is irrelevant to our feelings about the show. The guy on the radio playing off to be Jesus is fantastic. He’s warm, friendly, and wise and best of all, he gives great advice and insight for the listeners. But would Adam be so kind on the show as Jesus Christ? Probably not. Adam is his own unique person and to try and mold him into something else would be a mistake.
There was a lot of discussion of what this show would cover and ultimately we decided it would be best to allow people to dictate the content of the show itself. People would ask questions and await answers. What those answers would be was a mystery for the listener to find out when the show was posted with the intent of creating more loyal listeners. Although there is nothing revolutionary about a two-way program as there have been call-in shows for decades, we felt that it would be unique to not go niche and allow people to ask questions of anything they wished. Therefore this meant that a target audience would be less targeted than other podcasts.
Down the rabbit-hole we went. More questions upon questions came. How would we deliver the show? What would our target audience be? How would listeners submit questions? How long would the show be? And what would we call the thing!?
It came without too much consideration of how the show would be delivered; using other big podcasts such as “TWiT” and Things “You Should Know” as an example we would definitely have a dedicated website for the show, allow listeners consume the content on the site and we would provide an RSS feed for subscriptions and feed readers (or pod catchers) such as iTunes and Zune.
Beyond that, without doing any research we decided that the target audience that we would be trying to reach would be a younger audience (those who wold be more apt to download podcasts and listen to two dudes with a website). Adam mentioned “stoner-like people” specifically; the types of people that would get high and start talking about deep conversations about politics, religion, theology, etc. Those who think about this kind of stuff like philosophy aren’t all stoners, but finding a demo is ALL about profiling, labeling and generalizing people. (We’ve found that our current audience aren’t really stoners but rather people who like to talk and hear about concepts and ideas.
Targeting our audience and learning about our demographic set the course for every decision that was made about the Ask Adam League. Everything from the name, to the length of the show, the creative and a myriad of other decisions follows who this logic. This concept is so fundamental to everything that we do and should be the foundation for any venture whether that venture be as involved as creating a social network, building a company or simply speaking to a single person. You must know who it is you are communicating with.