Rally the Podcast Community

One of the reasons that I love podcasting so much is the fact that behind all the productions is a community of great people. This is a group of people united by a common purpose and usually are only too happy to help fellow podcasters.

Despite the range of topics that we cover as podcasters, our styles and personalities or whatever we are all working towards the same thing. That is to have our say, be a voice, further the industry and get the word out to those that don’t know about the great medium called podcasting. Podcasters are in it for podcasting. Plus it is a hoot.

The Internet is a funny beast. I have made an observation. Some bit of news happens, sure those at the front line see it first and blog about it or notice it in searches. This is the first wave, this can still take a few days to happen. Then over about the next three to five days, depending on how big the story is; it reaches “critical mass” within the blogosphere. What’s that I hear you ask. It is that point at which you start to see trackbacks, the information gets disseminated and talked about. Whatever it is becomes more “news worthy” (whatever that is!). This happens on a smaller scale as well.

So I posted my plea for a new co-host on the 5th of September. At first I got nothing, no links no replies to the story. I publicised it a bit more on forums and kind people have linked to the story at my request. Now yesterday and today I am starting to see the effect of that. Incidentally, four days have passed. So the take home message there is; don’t loose heart if you are breaking a big story or have written an exceptional post or advertising something you want to sell, wait for critical mass.

So today I have recieved a response from a forum, the comments in The Global Geek Podcast Blog. In addition I got a pleasant surprise this morning when I checked the blogs and I noticed that there were two trackbacks to my post for a co-host.

So thank you to PodcastNYC.net for carrying the story. This is a pure example of a fellow podcaster seeing a comrade in need and helping out. Here it does not matter that we are from different networks or production style or whatever else might separate us. It is this sense of community that is evident, that which is important. This is the essence of community network that the Internet both facilitates and engineers as time goes on. It is one of the best aspects of what the Internet can do for you. I can see no other reason for the proliferation of engineered social networks on the net.

The other trackback I found this morning was from Podcasting Jobs Podcast. I have touched on the issues that Jon Watson raises before and indeed during this effort to find a new co-host:

“To date, nobody has put together a real concerted effort to provide a “podcasting classifieds” type thing. Some podcasting sites have job sections, but they’re generally pretty sparse.”

This is a niche that is yet to be filled. I will add that if it is filled, would it be done right? It will only work if it is supported by the community and the services that are offered are slick, inexpensive (or free). A social network for podcasters? We certainly need a space that offers:

  • Connections
  • Sources of information
  • How to’s
  • Potential Advertisers
  • Support
  • I need… [a new co-host]
  • Where to find podcasting resources like music

To name but a few examples that I can think of. However Jon goes on to say:

“The lack of podcasting job sites isn’t a reflection on the services, rather it’s a reflection of the space right now.”

I fully agree, until podcasting is more accessible to the masses and “trusted” by advertisers, the potential marketing value will be limited to a few.

So thanks guys for the vote of confidence and the support, keep it up and remember to let me know of anyone that might be interested in the “job” as long as they don’t mind they are doing it for nothing! Don’t worry I do it for free as well.

What’s with “Link Dumping” and Invisible Advertising?

I subscribe to a lot of RSS feeds. I have noticed a bit of a change lately and I am not sure I like it. I am not sure if it is because people are stuck for things to write about in their blogs or they are just using a new feature. But what I am seeing is the practice of “link-dumping” getting a bit out of control. It is almost RSS spam.

Every other post that some bloggers are doing is just a list of links. While these links are usually related to del.icio.us or something similar and related to their area of interest and maybe mine. I just do not see the point. I am not really that interested in what they have bookmarked for the week or day. In addition if I was interested in what people are bookmarking I can always subscribe to their del.icio.us feed. As this is usually the tag that is added. Why cross post their links on their blog and del.icio.us?

It does seem like an excuse to post rather than something useful to say. I realise that they think they are providing their listeners with useful information or curious content, I would rather no post than a “link dump” thanks. It would seem that the proverbial social bookmarking phenomenon is taking over the world.

Something else that angered me this week was a nasty trick that some RSS feeds seem to be employing. It might be an error but it has occur more than once and I am starting to think it a ploy. What has been occurring is “invisible” adverts. In other words an embedded ad that you can not see but if you hover over it there is a link there in the feed-reader screen display. I think that for most the temptation to click would outweigh leaving it alone. While there is nothing wrong with clicking the ad – who wants to? In addition yesterday I accidentally clicked one and I was so annoyed at myself for doing it. But perhaps they are banking on that too.

Adverts in RSS was always going to happen but when companies try to trick people into clicking their ads I believe that to be wrong and uncalled for. The best way in my opinion to combat this as users is to not click anything, make the ploy ineffectual or boycott the feed until they shape up. I don’t mind the advertising but please lets be sensible and abstain from trickery and nasty ploys of entrapment.