How would the average person in Sacramento get to be a paid social observer? One way is to become a radio talk show personality or host. Take the poll at the Qwanz website. The question is: would you give up your present career or job search to become a paid social observer (on the radio, at Internet podcast sites, or on TV)? If you were not employed or underemployed, would you work as a social observer, even if not paid, perhaps as a part-time hobby or post-retirement interest?
Another is to write a daily column as a social observer where you get paid either by selling advertising on your website or to work as an independent contractor for a web site that pays based on how many hits you get on your site or on how long people remain on your site reading material posted there (or both). For further information, browse some of my paperback books, How to Video Record Your Dog’s Life Story – iUniverse and 35 Video Podcasting Careers And Businesses to Start: Step-by-step.
Why and how do people become social observers? The field can be studied as a science under a variety of names, depending upon the specialty: ethnology, cultural anthropology, social sciences, sociology, history, area studies, comparative literature, professional writing, communications, or digital media studies. Or you can be a social observer simply by watching people, interviewing people, or recording excerpts from people’s life stories on video or audio and posting the podcasts to websites.
For example, being a social observer can range from writing plays to being a radio talk show host. If you can’t find a job on a radio station based on your recordings, there’s the web. You can post your podcasts daily, just like a real radio show to a wide number of podcasting sites that accept either audio or video (or both).
Why choose a career as a social observer? The answer is because freedom of speech is under assault. There are plenty of social observers on radio, from conservative to liberal. Take your pick.
Usually people become paid social observers when they want to extend their expertise on a special subject to the public. Sometimes these people are specialists, and other times generalists. It’s a mistake to think that radio talk show hosts as social observers are extremely extroverted. Since many make their living by talking on radio shows for hours daily, they don’t have the energy to talk to people after work. So they observe how people behave, or what people write or speak.
A paid social observer doesn’t always have to be feisty, combative or irreverent. If you want to make money as a social observer, you don’t necessarily have to be an activist or have a cause, mission, or goal. But you need a purpose. What you will or will not achieve are millions of listeners on the radio, or a few listeners on a website. But you’ll eventually get a following if people enjoy the subjects you talk about and how well you’ve researched the topics.
If you’re not a specialist in any area, you could have guests on your radio show or podcast who are experts. Generally the guests are not paid to speak. You find them usually, when they’ve written a book that’s just about to be published or has been published recently. Most of the time, these experts want publicity for their book and are willing to talk on your radio show or podcast about their expertise and mention their book.
Don’t charge authors money for publicity to get on your radio show or podcast. You shouldn’t pay them and they shouldn’t pay you. You have to find a way to make money from sponsors and advertisers, not from your expert guests. You can be the sole social observer on your radio show on a daily or weekly basis. Or you can interview guests on many topics of interest to your listeners.
Pick a theme–health, supplements, politics, ethnic issues, niche topics, hobbies, investments, retirement, parenting, teen talk, job searches, education advice, or any other topic you would want to talk about on a regular basis. It can be anything from food and health to dating and retirement. Or for niche audiences, gardening, genealogy, life story highlights, hunting, fishing, crafting, travel, or even airing radio plays written by writers specifically for your podcasts. You can pick history, religion, politics, or anything else usually covered by radio shows, or something different–such as interpreting dreams.
In Sacramento, have you listened to the Saturday evening radio show on dream interpretation? That’s also a good subject for a podcast. Your best bet is to find a topic that’s not already on the radio. If you speak another language, you can have podcasts or radio shows in that language, if it that same topic is not already on the radio in that language. Or you can pick a niche area of your expertise.
Radio is different than TV shows because you can’t show people on radio how to knit a sweater or remodel a home. You have to pick a topic that can be discussed on the radio. Dream interpretation doesn’t require you to show imagery. So it works as a radio show better than a topic such as scrapbooking, which is more suited for video. Radio also is great for a comeback of the radio drama that used to be popular in the 1940s.
What details should you know as a commentator on a podcast or radio show? You don’t want to say anything where you could be accused (or sued) for uttering words leading to possible violent acts. An example would be words sparking “intercommunity violence.”
You don’t want to broadcast incendiary statements or words banned by the FCC. Don’t get yourself tagged on an “enemies list.” Your podcasts can reflect freedom of speech without getting you vilified based on any words you say that stays online and gets around the web at the speed of communication.
On the other hand, you have to make up your mind if your radio show online or on the air is based on appeasing a niche community. Does it all boil down to politics even if that’s not what you talk about? Are you going to focus on topics ranging from foreign policy to collecting, to psychology and moral answers, or on parenting advice? You can’t run a cooking show on the radio because hands-on demonstration belongs on television/video.
What’s left is being a paid social observer. On the other hand, don’t let free speech become a casualty of ‘war’ between listeners with opposing views and interests. Your choice of words for a podcast can be general or specific. Radio programs on health are popular, especially when your guests change frequently and are physicians or scientists with credible, validated, reliable work histories.
If you choose to be a paid social observer in the media looking at culture with a magnifying glass, a podcast is the first step to getting your own radio talk show. What works well are topics that have a deep appeal in the culture, from UFOs, science, nutrition, medicine, alternative health, to interviewing professionals, attorneys, authors, or executives on what they are doing, writing, or changing, provides a fresh outlook on traditional topics of interest to most listeners.
Topics that work well include technology/computers, retirement strategies, healthcare, supplements, nutrition research, dream interpretation, parenting, and other topics that help solve problems with validated facts. You want to talk about subjects that have measurable results that people can follow, step-by-step to solve a problem.
Social observers can help people avoid getting blindsided early on in their careers by making bad decisions. So a radio show on how to make better decisions might work well, especially if you have guest speakers on with valuable information on coaching or hiring. The topics are open to the greatest needs of the listeners for answers, direction, and information within the grasp of most people.
If you get too technical, the listeners who are ‘beginners’ in the topic may be lost. That’s why being a paid social observer is a step-by-step how-to process. Practice first by being an unpaid social observer. It can start with people watching or observing words, body language, behavior, and gestures.
Or as a writer, you can focus on writing dialogue for a niche audience of playwrights. In the broadest sense, people don’t change so fast. Just read the early 1800s Jane Austen novels. Politeness, respect, and dignity go a long way to find listeners more interested in your topics than in your personality quirks. You can study the behavior of the most popular radio talk show hosts. But will that behavior work for you in a podcast with a niche audience?
Respect for listeners will work. If you have a guest speaker who’s a psychic, most listeners will be people interested in psychics. That’s why putting down the paranormal or telling your guest speaker you don’t ‘believe’ in anything psychics tell you, is not the way to gain more listeners.
Social observers will invite guest speakers that talk about topics that the social observer agrees with at least in part. The event should be smooth so the listeners can take notes if they want to or have a reason to remember the facts. If you have a guest author, don’t give the person’s book a ‘bad’ review.
Social observers get paid when people want to listen to them to feel good about themselves and to feel important. If you can say one uplifting word to help the self-esteem of the listener, it might be to lead the listener to validated research by experts that is not said to be flawed in another review.
If you want a career as a social observer, check out the websites of other popular social observers who are paid for their work. You have a choice in radio, Internet podcasts, satellite radio, or talk radio. The easiest to begin with is Internet podcasting.
Here’s a list of places to which you can upload your audio podcast and perhaps make your own radio show online without worrying about whether you’ll be hired or how to compete against those younger or older.
Start Podcasting Free
Podcast Directory List
PodcastAlley.com — The place to find Podcasts
Podcast – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Education World ® Technology in the Classroom: Sites to See …
evhead: Podcasting Site Roundup
podcastlinks.com – A free, categorized directory of the finest …
Podcast Web Sites50 Coolest Sites – Podcast – TIME