Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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12/22/2005
07:18 PM
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Motel 6's Jump Into Podcasting: The Light May Be On, But The Download Is Still Hard To Find

One of the numerous attributes of podcasting is its accessibility. It's the rare example of a technology that everybody can understand--The News Show's hilarious report Wednesday about how few people on the street can tell you what podcasting is notwithstanding. That's one of the big reasons it's growing so fast. The media (InformationWeek being a clear example) has picked up on how easy it is to do, and how simple it is for users to make use of. And increasingly, non-media companies are testing

One of the numerous attributes of podcasting is its accessibility. It's the rare example of a technology that everybody can understand--The News Show's hilarious report Wednesday about how few people on the street can tell you what podcasting is notwithstanding. That's one of the big reasons it's growing so fast. The media (InformationWeek being a clear example) has picked up on how easy it is to do, and how simple it is for users to make use of. And increasingly, non-media companies are testing the waters, too, discovering a low-cost creative channel that just might help them tighten their bonds with customers. Case in point: Motel 6's recently unveiled first foray into podcasting.Of course, Motel 6's decision to move into podcasting was made much easier by the fact that it has something most consumer companies haven't been smart enough to establish for themselves, namely a recognizable voice. Anyone who's seen or heard a Motel 6 commercial in the last 13 years--and who hasn't?--can't think of the giant motel chain without conjuring up the iconic sound of Tom Bodette's homey "We'll leave the light on for ya." Naturally, Bodette's voice was the ideal basis for the company's maiden podcasting voyage.

The result is a charmingly funny 100 seconds in which Bodette humors us with six reasons to stay at a Motel 6 this season instead of with your relatives. My favorite of the six: "That noise your grandpa makes in the morning--yeah, that noise."

But there is one curious thing about the way Motel 6 parent Accor North America has handled the podcast. You see, it's nowhere to be found on the Motel 6 site. For visitors to Motel6.com who haven't read one of the handful of stories about the podcast, unless they think to click on the "About Motel 6" tab, and then "Press Room," and then "Press Releases," they won't even know it exists. And even the press release there doesn't provide a link to the download, but instead just mentions that it's available on the parent company's site.

Lucky for you, there are writers out there that will point you to these things. But let's hope that as more companies like Accor/Motel 6 decide to experiment with this entertaining new medium, they'll think to make it easy for us to listen.

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