What you want… when you want… where you want. A new media network has started in the Catawba Valley, and it’s called The MESH. The MESH is an online network of special interest podcast shows available on the Internet with the ability to play on computers, mobile phones, or tablets such as iPads. The MESH and all of its programs are available on its web site, www.themesh.tv.
The network was developed by Jackson Group Interactive, a Hickory-based video and multimedia production firm producing original media for organizations since 1997. The MESH takes the production capabilities of Jackson Group Interactive and combines them with the broadcast opportunities of the Internet to deliver locally-produced content to a potential worldwide audience.
The network is launching with nine shows, with more shows planned to start throughout the remainder of the year. All shows are free to listen, watch or download. Visitors to the web site can choose a show of interest, listen to the latest or past episodes at any time, and then choose to “subscribe” through iTunes to ensure they automatically receive new episodes whenever they are available. All shows, initially, will deliver monthly episodes.
The majority of the shows are recorded and produced in the Jackson Group Interactive offices, which contains a specially-built “MESH Studio”. The finished shows are published on the web site and on iTunes within a few days of their recording.
The shows feature local personalities and professionals discussing topics of interests to them or connected to their area of expertise. The shows are generally discussion-based, with many of them unscripted and allowed to go in-depth on particular topics. While most of the shows are currently audio-only, there is at least one current show that is a video series.
“We see The MESH as a way of not only providing interesting, original content through today’s technologies, but also as a way of spotlighting talent, personalities, and our local area in general to a potential worldwide audience” says MESH Director Mary Margaret Baker. “It’s exciting to think that a show produced here in Hickory featuring local personalities could be listened to by people in other states around the nation or other countries around the world.”
Sponsorship opportunities for the network will be announced in the near future, with commercial advertising available for each of the shows. “Ratings” will be gathered for each show — much like a television show — to gauge the show’s performance and the audience size.
Alan Jackson, Executive Producer of The MESH, is quick to point out that the network is not meant as a replacement to traditional news and media sources. “We see MESH content as a supplement to existing media sources. Our shows are special interest — much like hobby or very specific magazines — and are focused on discussions and unscripted conversations. Plus, we are focused on providing content through the Internet and to mobile devices, a very high-growth area for today’s communications. We hope to see The MESH sit alongside many of our high quality media sources and provide yet another opportunity for our area to get the exposure it deserves.”
For more information about The MESH, to listen to any of the shows, or for instructions on subscribing through Apple iTunes, please visit the network web site at www.themesh.tv. Questions, suggestions, or feedback can also be sent directly to The MESH by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.