iPhone

Jackson Group Interactive going nationwide with a Hickory podcast

TMCNet:  Jackson Group Interactive going nationwide with a Hickory podcast

[July 30, 2012]

Jackson Group Interactive going nationwide with a Hickory podcast

HICKORY N.C., Jul 30, 2012 (Hickory Daily Record - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Four people are spending their afternoon sitting around a conference table in a Hickory studio. Each panelist sits behind a gleaming silver microphone that would have looked just right at a mid-1950s Elvis concert. Beside their microphones, every panelist has a laptop or tablet computer synched up to the internet. The brick walls behind them are coated with black foam acoustical tiles designed to minimize echo and keep the sound levels just right.

They're here to record the latest installment of "New Stuff," a podcast to be distributed across the globe courtesy of iTunes. Today's topic is the imminent release of Microsoft's newest operating system -- Windows 8.

Mary-Margaret Baker is the creative director of Jackson Group Interactive. She's also one of the leading forces behind JGI's network of podcasts called The Mesh. "New Stuff" is just one of the network's 15 special-interest shows being produced on a monthly basis.

No matter what the day's topic is, Baker is always working to get one simple message out worldwide: Hickory, North Carolina is a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Baker, 32, of Hickory, is a vibrant force with curly red hair and a wide contagious grin that never leaves her face. She's eager to tap into the new wave of Internet-based media and to have a good time doing it while taking care to promote her home town.

"I'd like to get nationwide attention to this region," Baker said. "There's just something special about Hickory -- it's got the perfect mix of education, culture and a small-town feel with big-town potential." The Mesh makes money from sponsorships. One of its most frequent sponsors is quickly gaining a reputation as Hickory's go-to spot for live music -- The Main Cellar City Club.

The company was a major sponsor of this month's installment of "New Stuff." As Baker and the others got ready to begin their discussion of the pros and cons Windows 8, other technology caught their attention.

"We were the first ones to interview Kip Winger with an iPad," said Baker's brother Alan Jackson, recalling a recent concert at The Main Cellar City Club. "He said, 'Are you ready ' and I said, 'Yeah." and he said, 'You're going to interview me with that thing " Jackson and Baker kept up the patter as they discussed the iPad's built-in camera and the fact that webcast apps make it a technological multi-tool ideally suited to their needs.

Perhaps not everyone is as enthusiastic about the latest gadgets as the cast of "New Stuff," but each of The Mesh's shows is designed to target very specific audience demographics. The shows are each 30 to 40 minutes long.

At first, recording podcasts was just a fun side project, Baker said. But when iTunes picked up The Mesh to allow downloads from its site, national interest picked up. Now The Mesh's shows are available for free to download on iTunes or you can listen on the internet at themesh.tv.

Baker lends her insights to several of the shows during roundtable style discussions of the day's topic, but she hosts a parenting show called "The Parent Trip," and a women's issue show called "Chick Chat." "People call from all over the nation to ask questions, and we answer them on the show," she said.

The Mesh also does local music shows, sports-themed shows that focus on topics like UNC athletics, fantasy football and current event shows. It all got started simply enough.

"We contacted all of our buddies and said, 'Hey, do you want to talk about something you know about on a show '" Baker said. "We picked people who are passionate about what they would be talking about." The Mesh has been up and running for about a year. It launched with about 10 regular shows. Now it has almost 20 -- including seasonal shows and one-time shows.

Baker studied communications and electronic media at Lenoir-Rhyne University before honing her skills at a magazine in Charleston, S.C. Then she moved on to become the city's tourism coordinator.

"I was over the carriage horses and the city's ghost tours for about five years," she said.

She left Charleston with her husband and their two children when her brother, Alan Jackson, asked her to come home and help with the family business. She got to work in The Jackson Group's marketing department.

When Baker decided to take some bold steps, her instincts opened some brand-new doors for the company her parents founded in 1976.

Two years ago, she took over as the director of Jackson Group Interactive where she gets to use her experience and passion to explore new opportunities for the company in the digital age.

HICKORY Four people are spending their afternoon sitting around a conference table in a Hickory studio. Each panelist sits behind a gleaming silver microphone that would have looked just right at a mid-1950s Elvis concert. Beside their microphones, every panelist has a laptop or tablet computer synched up to the internet. The brick walls behind them are coated with black foam acoustical tiles designed to minimize echo and keep the sound levels just right.

They're here to record the latest installment of "New Stuff," a podcast to be distributed across the globe courtesy of iTunes. Today's topic is the imminent release of Microsoft's newest operating system -- Windows 8.

Mary-Margaret Baker is the creative director of Jackson Group Interactive. She's also one of the leading forces behind JGI's network of podcasts called The Mesh. "New Stuff" is just one of the network's 15 special-interest shows being produced on a monthly basis.

No matter what the day's topic is, Baker is always working to get one simple message out worldwide: Hickory, North Carolina is a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Baker, 32, of Hickory, is a vibrant force with curly red hair and a wide contagious grin that never leaves her face. She's eager to tap into the new wave of Internet-based media and to have a good time doing it while taking care to promote her home town.

"I'd like to get nationwide attention to this region," Baker said. "There's just something special about Hickory -- it's got the perfect mix of education, culture and a small-town feel with big-town potential." The Mesh makes money from sponsorships. One of its most frequent sponsors is quickly gaining a reputation as Hickory's go-to spot for live music -- The Main Cellar City Club.

The company was a major sponsor of this month's installment of "New Stuff." As Baker and the others got ready to begin their discussion of the pros and cons Windows 8, other technology caught their attention.

"We were the first ones to interview Kip Winger with an iPad," said Baker's brother Alan Jackson, recalling a recent concert at The Main Cellar City Club. "He said, 'Are you ready ' and I said, 'Yeah." and he said, 'You're going to interview me with that thing " Jackson and Baker kept up the patter as they discussed the iPad's built-in camera and the fact that webcast apps make it a technological multi-tool ideally suited to their needs.

Perhaps not everyone is as enthusiastic about the latest gadgets as the cast of "New Stuff," but each of The Mesh's shows is designed to target very specific audience demographics. The shows are each 30 to 40 minutes long.

At first, recording podcasts was just a fun side project, Baker said. But when iTunes picked up The Mesh to allow downloads from its site, national interest picked up. Now The Mesh's shows are available for free to download on iTunes or you can listen on the internet at themesh.tv.

Baker lends her insights to several of the shows during roundtable style discussions of the day's topic, but she hosts a parenting show called "The Parent Trip," and a women's issue show called "Chick Chat." "People call from all over the nation to ask questions, and we answer them on the show," she said.

The Mesh also does local music shows, sports-themed shows that focus on topics like UNC athletics, fantasy football and current event shows. It all got started simply enough.

"We contacted all of our buddies and said, 'Hey, do you want to talk about something you know about on a show '" Baker said. "We picked people who are passionate about what they would be talking about." The Mesh has been up and running for about a year. It launched with about 10 regular shows. Now it has almost 20 -- including seasonal shows and one-time shows.

Baker studied communications and electronic media at Lenoir-Rhyne University before honing her skills at a magazine in Charleston, S.C. Then she moved on to become the city's tourism coordinator.

"I was over the carriage horses and the city's ghost tours for about five years," she said.

She left Charleston with her husband and their two children when her brother, Alan Jackson, asked her to come home and help with the family business. She got to work in The Jackson Group's marketing department.

When Baker decided to take some bold steps, her instincts opened some brand-new doors for the company her parents founded in 1976.

Two years ago, she took over as the director of Jackson Group Interactive where she gets to use her experience and passion to explore new opportunities for the company in the digital age.

NOMINATE A NOTABLE NEIGHBOR If you know of someone who might make a good person to profile because of their contributions to the community, tell us who they are and why they are special. Email the information to news@hickoryrecord.com with neighboring notable in the subject line.

If you know of someone who might make a good person to profile because of their contributions to the community, tell us who they are and why they are special. Email the information to news@hickoryrecord.com with neighboring notable in the subject line.

___ (c)2012 the Hickory Daily Record (Hickory, N.C.) Visit the Hickory Daily Record (Hickory, N.C.) at www.hickoryrecord.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

[ Back To iphone.tmcnet.com's Homepage ]

Free iPhone Newsletter