Internet Radio Program Lets NJ Tech Entrepreneurs, Creatives Have Their Say
Photo: Susan Newman is interviewing members of the N.J. tech community on her Internet radio show. Photo Credit: Tanzie Johnson
Susan Newman is interviewing members of the N.J. tech community on her Internet radio show. | Tanzie Johnson

Photo: Aaron Price Photo Credit: Danny@Customphotoshoot.com
Aaron Price | Danny@Customphotoshoot.com

Last week, Aaron Price, who organizes the New Jersey Tech Meetup, was interviewed by
longtime meetup member Susan Newman on a relatively new Internet radio program, The Suzy Brandtastic Interview Series on TalkShoe.com.

Newman started the Internet radio series to interview creative people, entrepreneurs and owners of companies, and highlight their businesses. She quickly realized that the tech community could benefit from the exposure an Internet radio program gives, and has now started interviewing members of the New Jersey Tech Meetup on her show.

People are responding to the format, Newman said. It’s so much easier to listen to an interview when you are multitasking, she said. Most shows receive initial downloads of between 25 to 50 listeners, then subsequent hits thereafter.When an interviewee promotes his or her appearance on a show, many more people listen to it, she said.

Newman doesn’t charge entrepreneurs for interviews, but she is looking for sponsors to monetize her efforts. She points out that the interviews have longevity and can be found in several places on the Web.

She has already interviewed Glen Jones, CEO of MessagePetz, another New Jersey-based tech entrepreneur, as well as the founders of Stantt, a Hoboken company that has a patented digital scanning process that provides custom-fit shirts and has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign. An interview with Greg Dell’Aquila of the Mission50 coworking space is on the agenda.

Price’s interview can be found here in its entirety, since the shows are available for download after they are recorded. They also can be found as podcasts on iTunes.

Some highlights from Price’s interview:            

  • He doesn’t think New Jersey necessarily needs to “lead the way in technology;” however, “I think that it is important that New Jersey is part of the conversation in a serious way.” He believes the state can become a more attractive place for investors.

  • Also, “we could give people who start companies tax incentives and potentially even research grants to keep their companies here. I love New York and other cities too, but I think there is a lot that New Jersey can do to make it a more attractive place. We have a huge talent pool and a ton of resources, and I think they are totally underutilized.”

  • The NJ Tech Meetup’s Heal Hoboken campaign collected some $32,000 for Sandy relief, mostly in the first four days. Price borrowed the idea from Bret Morgan of the Jersey Shore Tech Meetup, with Morgan’s blessing. “We donated the funds to a nonprofit that the city endorsed,” he said, to avoid the hassle of having to disperse the funds himself.

  • The MileMesh project grew out of the tech community’s need to be connected after Hurricane Sandy. Anthony Townsend, a NJ Tech Meetup member, had been talking about building a mesh network in Hoboken that would power public Wi-Fi. “If everyone puts a small antenna in their window, balcony or roof, we could cover the town in a relatively easy way.”

  • The group is still seeking volunteers to put antennas on balcony windows or roofs, and hopes over the next month it can wire up a big portion of the town, “and over the year, perhaps the entire city.”

  • The MileMesh project is “looking to set an example with our effort.” If people want to do this in another town, West Orange for example, they can copy the methodology used in Hoboken. “This is a total grassroots volunteer effort, and if someone gets inspired to wire their town, we are trying to do it in a way that inspires other people to do it as well.”

  • TheMapped, which also grew out of the community, while a powerful tool, isn’t ready for primetime yet. The idea is that anyone involved with technology can pin themselves on a map. The goal is to expose technology communities in New Jersey and everywhere.

  • Price’s new startup, LiveCube, takes social media and marries it with gamification to provide an engaging app for events. The Web app solves the problem of figuring out who the most engaging people and conversations are to follow at an event.

  • The app provides incentives for people to become part of the conversation as they earn badges and real prizes for tweeting and retweeting posts. At a recent event with 183 attendees, the app generated more than 13,000 retweeted messages over a three-day period.

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