A West Indian podcast with no agenda, the No Behaviour Show has been slowly building buzz in Twitter circles since February 2010.
Talking about anything from technology, music, and food to social issues or whatever else suits their fancy, the NoBS hosts – SanMan Bandi, Max, and Dre – more popularly known on Twitter as @SanMan_ish, @maxnavie, and @Dre7413 invite us to talk about what we want, with no cover for our mouths.
The three came up with the idea soon after the Carnival bacchanal between Gayelle TV and CNMG, and in less than a week, they were up and running. Working in a true, virtual environment, they’ve never had a real-life production meeting, and use tools like Google Wave, Twitter, and Skype to collaborate.
Streaming live on Thursdays from 10 p.m. and on Sundays from 8 p.m. (T&T time/ -4GMT), on UStream, the No Behaviour Show can go on for as much as two to three hours. UStream’s social stream platform ensures a large degree of interactivity, as listeners can log on to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or AIM to add views, and even post their comments as status updates. For now, it’s a hobby for now. Nevertheless, it’ll be interesting to see where the show goes. Check out the interview below to hear about how these Internet savvy Trinis are building a new Caribbean community online.
From day one, we’ve been hooked on the No Behaviour Show. You mobilised the idea pretty quickly, in one week. What made you say ‘we have to do this’?
Max:San and I were chatting on Twitter, and I was feeling passionate about the topic, and I said, “You make me want to have a radio talk show”. San agreed, and Dre (Lil Dre, LOL) say why not and in no time we organised it and it became a reality. We just did it.
Dre:Max was the one that said we should do a radio show right after that entire CNMG/GayelleTV Carnival rights debacle, so I give her full credit for providing that initial impetus. Prior to that though, I was prodding San to do a podcast on any and everything since I knew he had the technical skills. We mobilised pretty quickly because it’s that easy to produce a podcast these days; all one has to do is google it.
SanMan:I’ll say that MAX said we HAD to do it… DRE was really the instigator although he didn’t believe we would take him up on the offer. It was easy to start as I have dabbled in streaming since the dialup days.
Especially online, you have to give users/ readers/ listeners a timely, unique experience or something that is different to what other people are offering. What’s different about the No Behaviour Show that makes it appealing?
Max: The very loose format and old talk and picong. Yet at the heart of every show there are some real and relevant issues discussed. It’s a place where fellow West Indians talk about our lives, and our culture at length. You know we West Indian people have an opinion on everything and like to share it too.
Dre:I believe it’s a combination of four things that make the show unique and appealing: the tight integration with a social stream (Twitter and the Ustream chat room); our colourful, laid-back approach where we can say pretty much what we want; addressing all topics which are in the interest of our target audience, the Caribbean; the fact that we encourage people to call in as we believe it gives everyone a voice.
SanMan:The West Indian perspective I think… well mainly Trinidadian… I believe… that’s our core even if it’s barely over 20 listeners. Our varied backgrounds make for interesting perspectives.
“It’s a place where fellow West Indians talk about our lives, and our culture at length. You know we West Indian people have an opinion on everything and like to share it too.”
You named the show No Behaviour. Does that mean that anything can happen, anything goes? Max: Basically…. Yes the boys could stray at times. They does like to ole talk when they ready…luv u boys. LOL. We talking any and everything. No fear. No behaviour. No picking sides… just opinions big and small.
Dre:But of course!! Case in point, we have mentioned such phrases as ‘soggy crix’ and ‘vajazzling’. If you don’t know what they are, then go listen to our show.
SanMan:That’s what it supposed to be but I guess we still try to keep it PG out of respect for others really. RUMSHOP talk has no cover for the mouth.
Tell us a bit about yourselves, what each of you bring to the table, and the roles you play.
Max: Hmm… I’m the girl …so of course I’m the smart one and the cute one… hahahahha. Dre likes to stir thing up; he’s devil’s advocate. San is Mr Passionate.
Dre:Well I am the resident devil’s advocate. I try to take the opposing stance on most topics just to foster a debate since we often discuss really serious issues. This often leads to both Sanman and Max lambasting me on the show which I think provides a good dynamic. You could also say I am sort of the mediator/host since I generally do the introductions. San does the closing remarks and recap of the show while Max handles what upcoming topics we’ll be discussing on the next show. Outside of the show, I’m also trying to start up my own business, however I’m trying to be more global and not focused on the Caribbean. I am a die-hard listener of many podcast (No Agenda Show and This Week in Tech are my favourite), which is coincidentally the reason I wanted to do a podcast.
SanMan: Well as I said in answer to another question I’ve dabbled with online streaming before and also had plans for podcast series before. Guess I was too early in my developments as I found no real viable means of monetizing previous efforts, but now there are some channels that I have to research yet again. My background is in the Audio Visual industry. I studied Computer Science and always had a LOVE for Culture. Oh I guess I am the resident recorder, UStreamer and podcast editor. I think there’s a six-show backlog if not more. Oh, and well I’m here to generally give DRE a hard time… and make all the innuendo
You’re online and in different locations, and collaborate online for the most part. How does the virtual arrangement work in your favour?
Max: The level of anonymity that comes with the Internet allows listeners and callers and typers to express themselves openly. It makes for great discussions less holding back and judgment on the part of participant and even us in terms of our own opinions.
Dre:I think the main boon that the virtual arrangement provides is cost. Besides the cost of the recording program, Internet access, Internet hosting and a headset, the show is virtually produced for free. If we do grow though, in time the Internet hosting costs will increase since right now the show is piggy-backing on another site’s hosting plan and would need it’s own separate hosting plan. When that time arrives we will definitely have to look into monetizing to make ends meet.
SanMan:You just need an Internet connection although the studio and central locations sometimes have their perks. It gives us flexibility.
“We still try to keep it PG out of respect for others really.
RUMSHOP talk has no cover for the mouth.”
In the beginning, callers were mainly from Trinidad; then it quickly broadened to the wider Caribbean. Now you’re gaining some international listeners. What are some of the countries you have listenership from now?
Max: Mmm not sure.
Dre:The main characteristic of all our listeners is that they have Caribbean roots. I am trying to think of any of our listeners who aren’t in the Caribbean or living abroad but have Caribbean roots and I can’t come up with any names whatsoever. Of the Caribbean countries to whom our listeners have an affiliation, I would have to say Trinidad is the most plentiful (probably because the hosts are Trini), but we do have loyal listeners with affiliations to Barbados, Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada. We’re always trying to broaden our viewership, and we appreciate listeners from.
SanMan:Mainly Trinidad and I think only because of time zone. The second episode had a call from the US… even if it was from someone with Trini roots. I’m not really sure where all our listeners are from… US, UK, Canada, BIM, SVG, Grenada and Guyana… not sure if anyone from JamROCK or Cayman ever listen.
What are some of the challenges you’ve had to date?
Max: Hmmm finding appropriate topics that can be suitable through out the entire region, people calling in, making sure we start on time LOL.
Dre:Our main challenge has been the state of the Internet connectivity within Trinidad. I don’t think we’ve done a show where at least one of us hasn’t gotten disconnected. It can be very frustrating at times especially when you know there is a live audience. However, I have to commend our listeners since they have the utmost patience with us. Every week they continue to show up in their numbers. Other than that the only other issue would be trying to start on time.
SanMan: The main problem has been bandwidth or should I say reliable Internet connections, and all the blame cannot be laid on one service provider either. I still have to tweak my setup so that I can play music during the discussion as we do want to be able to do some critique/analysis of audio and even video sometime… and I think getting listeners to log in at the exact starting time for the shows. We usually wait until we see 9-10 viewers/listeners before we start, so we don’t have to go back and explain everything… makes for more conversation. Oh that brings up the point that the show isn’t long enough :s
What kind of feedback have you had about the show?
Max: All good.
Dre:Feedback has been mostly positive. We have had some really great constructive criticism, which I absolutely love since we all know our show isn’t perfect in how it’s run. A couple of recurring criticisms that I’ve received are the pacing of the show, at times there can be moments where we just pause and there is silence. I believe this will work itself out as we all grow and become more adept at what we’re doing. Also our listeners have mentioned not knowing the topics up front. They like to be informed as to what we’re going to be speaking about.
SanMan:Feedback… hmm… losing steam… not long enough… request music… best of all is that we get topics from our listeners and we plan to talk about all of them.
UStream enables people to buy premium content that is real-time and mobile, and is upgrading its service to handle large audiences. What plans do you have for the growth of the No Behaviour Show?
Max: Don’t want to jinx it. It must be organic.
Dre:I don’t know how well Ustream’s plans will complement ours as of yet. Our main focus right now is to get more viewers. As we grow we can then consider how to monetise our project. Till then we just need more viewers. To accomplish this we just need our current loyal viewers to keep evangelising using social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook. Also online magazines such as Outlish and blogs such as BitDepth are doing a great job getting our name out there. Did I mention we need more viewers?
SanMan: No plans for now I guess… monetize with some advertising is the only thing… expect some more interviews as well.
You say that the No Behaviour Show is part of the #WITArmy’s plan for world dominance. How do you plan to take over the world?
Max:LOL. That was San’s idea. He is Pinky… I’m the brain J
Dre:Haha. I don’t know where that came from. Sanman probably put that in there since he runs the webpage. Still I find it quite appropriate. The Caribbean has produced great authors such as Sir Vidiadhar Naipaul, C.L.R. James, Derek Walcott to name a few; we have produced sportsmen such as Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Vivian Richards, Brian Lara, Usain Bolt, Dwight Yorke; artistes like David Rudder, Bob Marley. So I’d love to believe that by exporting our show to all our Caribbean expatriates we can have a voice in the global arena.
SanMan:No secrets will be divulged. I really just put that tag in as filler, but it’s meant to mean that maybe WE can come up with some solutions to help the world in our discussions… keep showing what these little islands can produce and achieve… greatness.
Editor’s Note: Due to just how much they misbehave, SanMan, Max, and Dre like to maintain a certain level of anonymity online, and hence shy away from camera. If you’re curious to know more about them though, look them up on Twitter.