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February 2009
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Podcast Announcements on the OTR Digest…

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 8:42 pm

Over the last few weeks I’ve run into an issue on the Internet OTR Digest I’m not exactly sure how to handle, and so I ask for opinions and suggestions from the subscribers. It has to do with podcasts…

See, lots of people (including your obedient servant) run podcasts…we used to call it “uploading OTR files for others to enjoy,” but even I can’t stem the podcast moniker, so I’ve quit trying (and you may stop laughing now, Jim…). OTR podcasts are, in the best of circumstances, irregularly-released, since most folks running them have real work to do, and operate them as a hobby. Still, there are many releases to choose from every week from subscribers to the Digest who publish them.

But I believe there are too many to have postings about every release. Some people are justifiably proud of their podcasts (unlike your servant, who is still “the worst voice in Internet audio”), and want to post about each new edition. My fear, and the reason I have been rejecting those weekly postings, is that it won’t take long before the podcasts promotions will over-run the conversation on the Digest, crowding it out, and that seems like a really bad thing. One podcast I subscribe to has released twelve episodes so far this month, add to that weekly and less-regular podcasts out there. Heck, I don’t post to the Digest about my own podcast, unless I post a show specifically because it’s being discussed there. (But since I have you, feel free to look around here on the blog and check out the recently-released shows; you can play them directly from here, or download and take ‘em with you. The Six Shooter audition program is scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday.)

Yet there are weekly promotions for radio shows on the Digest, so I seem to be splitting a somewhat fine hair here in rejecting the one and allowing the other. And if I’m going to allow radio promotions, shouldn’t I be encouraging the other subscribers on the list who have radio shows (for example Max Schmid of WBAI, Ed Walker of WAMU, etc.) to post as well?

I have to admit I’m stumped for a simple, solid, I-can-follow-it-all-the-time rule about this; and it’s going to get worse as more people publish podcasts, not easier, so I really need to come up with something we can all live with, something that keeps me out of being in the position of making value judgments and deciding who or what is “worthy” and who or what isn’t. I need a solution that works for the Digest and all the subscribers to it, since (as I’ve said more than once), the readers of the Digest are my primary concern, even sometimes at the expense of the posters.

What I have been doing to this point about podcasts is to suggest the poster, instead of posting about every episode they publish, write a brief description of their podcast and post that along with a link to a more detailed description on the podcast’s website. That way subscribers would receive the information about the show, and be able to make up their own mind about subscribing. But there are reasoned arguments against this (and trust me, lately I’ve heard a bunch of ‘em), and besides, it seems to the rejected poster that I am saying his podcast (which I almost certainly haven’t yet heard) is somehow not “worthy” of promotion in the Digest,

So I’m asking for your thoughts on how we might solve this, getting the word out while not dampening the discussion the Digest was designed to carry. I want to keep the discussion here, though, not on the Digest - it’s easy to make public comments to this blog entry (once you register and sign-in to the blog, use the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom), and if you prefer to make suggestions privately to me, you may easily use the “Contact the Webmaster” button over on the sidebar - those comments aren’t public, and come to me alone.

You can follow the discussion here easily, too, using any RSS aggrigator or even your browser, by adding the “RSS feed for comments on this post” link below to your RSS news client (Firefox calls it a “Live Bookmark”) and monitoring it for new comments.

A side note: I’ve added our Twitter name to the footer of each issue of the Digest; should you have a problem and not be able to contact me via email, you can always get in touch via the web form over there on the sidebar of this blog, or by a DM to CFSummers on Twitter. Our Twitter address is also tracking this blog and announcing our podcast, so if you have a Twitter account please feel free to follow me, and DM me that you’re a Digest subscriber. As always, if you have any questions about which address to use for what, just check that footer - it’s in every issue of the Internet OTR Digest!

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