Monday, August 02, 2010

Don't Be A BOOF

In the field. In the trenches. Today’s programmer needs to come out from behind the computer, from behind the fire hose of PPM data and talk to the audience. More now than ever.

You hear a lot about “digital” and “change the way we are doing things.” Change leads to stress.

Even good change causes it. Stress can lead many experienced programmers and talent to develop the syndrome known as:


Burned Out Old Farts.

Its not just a disease for experienced programmers. Even the youngest, most bright eyed and excited can suffer from the disease. Its a response from stress, worry, change, and fear.

At some stress point, the body and brain simply stop functioning and stop looking for new approaches.

How do you know if you might have it?

Lets look at possible symptoms:
  • Doesn’t go to shows with his format’s artists anymore. Been there, done that
  • You won’t find photos in the trades from them. Everyone knows them.
  • Thinks blogging is something someone else does.
  • Everyone knows them; but not really sure what they do now
  • Last hung a banner at a station event sometime in the 90’s
  • Never placed a Google Adwords or Facebook ad campaign
  • May listen to his own station; but spends the majority of time buried in data or meetings
  • Hired someone to build their own Facebook page or web site
  • Do they have a web site?
  • Most of his Facebook friends are old industry colleagues who are older than they are
  • Can’t ID Matt Cutts, Matt Mullenweg, Matt Carter, Michel Fortin, John Carlton, or William Strauss
  • Doesn’t have a Pandora account? Couldn’t tell you what does?
  • Couldn’t tell you the names of the top 20 influentials in his stations audience
  • In charge, but makes others responsible when it hits the fan
  • Hasn’t lost a ratings fight in a decade. Hasn’t been in one in two decades.
  • Spends more time talking about what used to be; rather than what could be
  • Last talked to a listener in person about the radio station in 1997
  • Hasn’t been on the air for five years, but can tell talent how it should be
  • Production? Really?
  • Spends more time meeting about radio than listening to radio
A person affected with BOOF syndrome works harder on keeping his job, than doing his job. They are entrenched in the way it was and are praying they can last through the next IPO or two and still be working.

BOOF in your system can be overcome.

Emotion in the form of passion is your first defense.

Listening, learning, and reading from others is your second.


Dan Matthews said...

I like this line:

'Emotion in the form of passion is your first defense.'

Seems like there are too many people working their day-to-day without any emotion. It's hard to keep, but isn't that why we got involved in this crazy business in the first place?

A little extra emotion can be chicken soup for the radio soul :-)

Tom Jordan said...

Dan Matthews, right on! Couldn’t have said it better! But I’m gonna try! :) I was told I was a BOOF in 2005, so I got out of the biz and into a B&B in MT, lost my ass when the recession tanked, then got back in the biz, rested and all juiced up and ready to rumble, only to have some believe Tom is ready to tumble…again. NOT! Passion runs deep in THIS old fart, learning new and invigorating things each day now. You MUST stay on top of everything, everyday. READ, listen, understand, and show some emotion once in a while. Keep moving forward with a smile and success will find you!