At the crossroads of everything we think we know — science and philosophy, technology and ethics, sociology and the law, security and society — stands Scott M. Fulton, III, a 33-year veteran journalist and author whose technology experience pre-dates DOS.
From Scott's ceaseless mind and unmistakable voice comes What Now? It's a weekly podcast that dives deeper than ordinary tech media, and more powerfully than a blog, into the technical issues affecting you and your world. What Now? offers brighter insight, more thorough analysis, and stronger comprehension of the people, companies, and institutions driving positive change.
DIALOGUE. NOT CHATTER.
We can’t have a debate about the issues impacting our lives if we can’t see those issues from all sides.
- Can online media automate the dissemination of truth from fiction?
- Can wind and solar generate enough renewable power to fuel the cloud?
- Does the world still really want net neutrality?
- Could a national digital identity system change the texture of democracy?
- Could an algorithm tell you what a terrorist looks like?
- Should electronic surveillance be enabled by design?
- What can a smart grid learn from the cloud about security?
- Do you have a right to your own metadata?
- Can software help wean personal transportation from its dependence on petroleum?
- Is a single, nationwide fiber optic broadband network infeasible?
- Should perfect secrecy be considered impossible?
- Can a country claim sovereignty over the data in its clouds?
Each edition of What Now? will feature one main topic, with at least three guests who are directly, personally involved with that topic. Each guest will be interviewed individually, with relevant segments of the dialogue excerpted. These excerpts, along with clips from relevant recordings from industry sources and news sources, and pertinent commentary from Scott, will be strung together with a cohesive narrative.
The result is a story — an audio document that gives the listener more to think about, and opens her mind to possibilities rather than cajoling her into taking sides.
THE NEW STACK: CONTEXT
The prototype for What Now? is a podcast Scott co-produces with the software development publication The New Stack. Entitled Context, each program tells the story of a key element of developers lives and everyday work, in an intelligent, fun, and upbeat way, narrated in Scott's trademark style.
What Now? will apply the lessons learned from producing Context, in developing a razor-sharp format that entertains while it educates.
- Sharp, concise, insightful commentary gets straight to the point. What Now? is an edited, polished program, not a live microphone capturing verbatim whatever emanates from Scott’s mouth.
- Multiple sides of every issue give listeners the tools and the space to develop their own opinions, without browbeating the listener or carrying on a crusade.
- A single, clear, cohesive narrative for each program tells an intriguing story that’s easy to follow.
- Topics explored with unparalleled depth and breadth, asking questions and investigating angles not found on any media.
- Polished, seamless editing that makes the final product easy to listen to, with standout moments that listeners will want to share on social channels.
What Now? seeks to introduce listeners in the IT field to technologies and methodologies they never knew they’d have an interest in, in a new and innovative way.
Each edition will feature a showcase sponsor, who is featured in a two-minute center block at around the halfway point of the show. This Front & Center block will consist of an introduction from Scott, plus an extended excerpt of an in-depth interview with a key representative of the sponsor’s product or service. The topic of the center block is the sponsor’s choice. Preferably, it may have some direct, indirect, or even tangential bearing to the show’s main topic.
What Now? will experiment with 20-minute and 30-minute formats, to determine which is the most appropriate for the long term. In the 20-minute format, the Front & Center center block appears at the 9-minute mark, following the first 7-minute Page 1 of the main topic. Regular 30-second spots (which many podcasts would count as "pre-roll" appear at the 1-minute and 1:30 mark following the one-minute intro.
In the 30-minute format, the Front & Center block is moved to the 11-minute mark, not too far forward into the program. Space for two-more 30-second spots is allocated at 24:00 and 24:30, followed by a Page 3 segment that may update a previous edition of the program, answer listener questions, or feature a short essay.
Front & Center
At the end of the two-minute Front & Center block and again at the end of the program, the listener will be invited to hear the excerpted interview in its entirety, in a separate 10- or 15-minute Front & Center program that exclusively features the sponsor, also posted to SoundCloud. The portal to this exclusive program will include a sign-in form that acquires customer information, including contact data, to be delivered to the sponsor.
What Now? aims for a target audience commensurate with the readers and listeners Scott has addressed over the past three decades:
- Influential purchasing decision makers in their organizations, particularly with information technology
- Intellectually curious people who are conversationally literate and socially active, especially online
- A more gender-balanced sample that is more inclusive of women than the typical “man-cave” IT-based target audience
The Context format, although successful, presently targets a narrow audience segment: a specific class of software developer. Even then, it manages to garner around 1,000 listeners per program.
What Now? targets a much broader audience, presenting topics that will intrigue and engage both students and professors, IT professionals and IT users, tech-savvy and tech-skeptics.
PUBLISHING AND PUBLICITY
The podcast will be made available weekly (every other week for the first few editions) through iTunes and SoundCloud (which will maintain a regularly updated RSS feed). What Now? will also have its own Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as ongoing listener discussion hosted here on ScottFultonOnPoint.com.
As a globally recognized journalist and author whose connections with the IT field span four decades, and as no stranger to podcasting or broadcasting, Scott has already amassed a network of colleagues and followers who will help spread the word. Once production of What Now? has been regularized, Scott plans to approach public radio stations, networks, and distributors, to introduce the show to new channels and new media.
What Now? is a genuine effort to produce the caliber of audio product that broadcast media should already have produced, with the high production values of a public, national radio program, coupled with the higher level of technical insight of an online technology resource. Contact Scott Fulton via e-mail to learn more about how you can play a role in bringing What Now? to light.