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Author Topic: EP Metacast #3  (Read 50013 times)

Thaurismunths

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Reply #20 on: March 11, 2008, 04:21:42 PM
What this might mean is that anyone coming to escapepod might only ever hear the show after the conversation has already happened, and you might start to drain your NEW followers since they might not be so enthusiastic without the community and discussion. Also with the CC license when someone shares the stories before the 'public' release it might just negate the whole idea, or just pour lots of confusion and angst on it.

I think point one could be overcome by not posting the new story thread until the day of the public release. One of the mods (praise N-sh) is responsible for posting the new story thread each week, so HE can just not post it early. No thread, no discussion. The other mods can make sure no one starts any unofficial story threads ahead of time.
The second point might or might not be an issue, I don't know enough about the technology to make that call, but I think if any of the other subscribers were to do something so uncouth we could all point and mock them publicly. A lot.

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sirana

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Reply #21 on: March 11, 2008, 06:02:41 PM
What this might mean is that anyone coming to escapepod might only ever hear the show after the conversation has already happened, and you might start to drain your NEW followers since they might not be so enthusiastic without the community and discussion. Also with the CC license when someone shares the stories before the 'public' release it might just negate the whole idea, or just pour lots of confusion and angst on it.

I think point one could be overcome by not posting the new story thread until the day of the public release. One of the mods (praise N-sh) is responsible for posting the new story thread each week, so HE can just not post it early. No thread, no discussion. The other mods can make sure no one starts any unofficial story threads ahead of time.
The second point might or might not be an issue, I don't know enough about the technology to make that call, but I think if any of the other subscribers were to do something so uncouth we could all point and mock them publicly. A lot.

I'm pretty sure the second point would be no problem at all. Who'd go to the hassel and bandwidth of uploading every episode, just so other people could get the story 3 days earlier? More to the point, who would download the episodes from bittorrent or an unaffiliated site just so he could them 3 days earlier, when he can just come back 3 days later to the official site and get it there or drop a dollar in the donation jar and get them NOW.
And even if an uploader and a downloader would be willing to go to these extremes, it's not like they would be taking away anything of value. The downloader would just get it 3 days earlier. So I don't really see a problem there.



DKT

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Reply #22 on: March 11, 2008, 06:11:13 PM
Okay, after actually reading (EDIT: I DID read it before, I meant listening) this...is there any word on the flash fiction?  Are you guys still accepting flash fiction submissions?  I know some of the stuff from the contest will be on Podcastle, so I'm hoping we'll see some on Escape Pod, too. 
« Last Edit: March 11, 2008, 07:07:25 PM by DKT »



Heradel

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Reply #23 on: March 11, 2008, 06:27:56 PM
I'm pretty sure the second point would be no problem at all. Who'd go to the hassel and bandwidth of uploading every episode, just so other people could get the story 3 days earlier? More to the point, who would download the episodes from bittorrent or an unaffiliated site just so he could them 3 days earlier, when he can just come back 3 days later to the official site and get it there or drop a dollar in the donation jar and get them NOW.
And even if an uploader and a downloader would be willing to go to these extremes, it's not like they would be taking away anything of value. The downloader would just get it 3 days earlier. So I don't really see a problem there.

And in terms of Escape Pod's hardware, it'll be easier on the servers if they can break up the heavy load days. Even if it's just a thousand or two downloads offloaded to a Sunday, it'll probably mean that the current hardware (and bandwidth) setup will last longer it could otherwise, as it won't bog down as much on download days.

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


SFEley

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Reply #24 on: March 11, 2008, 06:39:25 PM
Checking in again:

A lot of the discussion here on the early episodes plan is echoing my own thoughts.  Just to be clear, I don't think of it as something that's going to perceived by many people as an incredible value or priceless gift.  It's not going to make people start donating in droves if they weren't going to donate anyway -- and I'm okay with that.  It's more of a gesture than a prize, a way of saying "Hey, thanks" and letting donors feel just a little bit special.  We're having to write some software anyway to enable the donations earmarking, and to keep better track of donors, and since we were already on that, this is something we can do that isn't that much more work.  It also enforces some better discipline with our production scheduling, especially for myself.

I'm not really worried about "piracy."  These feeds will have unique IDs for each donor but won't be password protected.  I'll probably build some sort of access logging with really high thresholds, just to make sure we can block a feed if someone posts it on Digg.com or something; but if you share it with your spouse or your kid sister, that doesn't stress me at all.  As for reuploading onto a non-Escape Artists site -- as some have already observed, a product that's going to be made free in a few days anyway doesn't have a very high value; and the only way it could hurt Escape Artists on any sort of scale is if the "leech" site became visible enough to compete with us.  That doesn't seem likely.  Even if it happened, the only damage would be reducing our own download stats, and I can live with that.  If that bothered me I wouldn't encourage people to share our episodes every week.

In terms of discussion threads on early releases, etc., I have ideas, but I don't want to dive too deep into that without first talking to the moderators here.  Anything involving the forums is going to be a team effort, and I'm pretty sure that in this case the team is smarter than me.  

Thanks again, too, for all the well-wishes and kind words.  It really means a lot -- and even before I posted the audio last night, we were getting more offers of audio editing help, requests for bookmarks, etc., than I'd expected.  You all are amazing.  I'll have a followup on it, probably in an episode outro, but I really do want to make it less than two years before the next metacast.



ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine


SFEley

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Reply #25 on: March 11, 2008, 06:46:26 PM
Okay, after actually reading this...is there any word on the flash fiction?  Are you guys still accepting flash fiction submissions?  I know some of the stuff from the contest will be on Podcastle, so I'm hoping we'll see some on Escape Pod, too. 

Yes.  We're still reading flash and sometimes buying it, but a bit more sparingly than full-length fiction, since the backlog is so huge.  (Don't take that as a discouragement to submit, however.)

Some of the contest fiction and other flash stories I've bought over the years for EP has been transferred to PodCastle.  The rest of it will eventually get produced and put on Escape Pod.  I don't want to give a timeframe, because it's still pretty far down on my list of actions, but having a production team will help a lot with this sort of stuff.

Meanwhile, I do hope that everyone who enjoys flash is listening to the Drabblecast, and hopefully sending your stories there too.  Norm and his team are kicking ass, and I must confess that I'm a bit jealous of their production values.

ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine


SFEley

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Reply #26 on: March 11, 2008, 06:56:02 PM
And in terms of Escape Pod's hardware, it'll be easier on the servers if they can break up the heavy load days. Even if it's just a thousand or two downloads offloaded to a Sunday, it'll probably mean that the current hardware (and bandwidth) setup will last longer it could otherwise, as it won't bog down as much on download days.

This is getting into minutiae, but we're no longer hosting the MP3 files ourselves.  We've moved back to LibSyn; they offer a full-blown content delivery solution that won't break under any plausible load.

Apart from the MP3 files, the Escape Pod and Pseudopod Web sites, as well as these forums, are on a virtual private server now, so we don't have to worry about my former shared hosting provider crapping out.  The custom feeds will be generated from a Ruby on Rails application that I'm writing, and any time you do anything with RSS you take the risk of heavy load because some clients check their feeds every hour.  I'm hoping caching techniques will help with that.

BUT.  Honestly speaking, if we end up having so many donors on our system that it starts to create a load problem for us and we have to scale up...  That's a problem I truly don't mind having.



ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine


oddpod

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Reply #27 on: March 11, 2008, 07:00:26 PM
in steave we trust

card carying dislexic and  gramatical revolushonery


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Reply #28 on: March 11, 2008, 07:00:57 PM
In terms of discussion threads on early releases, etc., I have ideas, but I don't want to dive too deep into that without first talking to the moderators here.  Anything involving the forums is going to be a team effort, and I'm pretty sure that in this case the team is smarter than me.  

I'm throwing my two cents in here, because I want to hear what the forum folks have to say.  

I think the threads should just go up on the earlier day.  Everyone time shifts at least a little.  Normally people don't look at the episode threads until after they have heard the story.  Many people come into a thread for the first time weeks after the story has run.  I just don't see it having any impact.

Those of you who disagree may now pick up your rotten tomatoes.



DKT

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Reply #29 on: March 11, 2008, 07:13:22 PM
In terms of discussion threads on early releases, etc., I have ideas, but I don't want to dive too deep into that without first talking to the moderators here.  Anything involving the forums is going to be a team effort, and I'm pretty sure that in this case the team is smarter than me. 

I'm throwing my two cents in here, because I want to hear what the forum folks have to say. 

I think the threads should just go up on the earlier day.  Everyone time shifts at least a little.  Normally people don't look at the episode threads until after they have heard the story.  Many people come into a thread for the first time weeks after the story has run.  I just don't see it having any impact.

Those of you who disagree may now pick up your rotten tomatoes.

I'm totally cool with that.  I don't usually read a thread until I've heard the story, so it wouldn't bother me.

Okay, after actually reading this...is there any word on the flash fiction?  Are you guys still accepting flash fiction submissions?  I know some of the stuff from the contest will be on Podcastle, so I'm hoping we'll see some on Escape Pod, too. 

Yes.  We're still reading flash and sometimes buying it, but a bit more sparingly than full-length fiction, since the backlog is so huge.  (Don't take that as a discouragement to submit, however.)

Some of the contest fiction and other flash stories I've bought over the years for EP has been transferred to PodCastle.  The rest of it will eventually get produced and put on Escape Pod.  I don't want to give a timeframe, because it's still pretty far down on my list of actions, but having a production team will help a lot with this sort of stuff.

Meanwhile, I do hope that everyone who enjoys flash is listening to the Drabblecast, and hopefully sending your stories there too.  Norm and his team are kicking ass, and I must confess that I'm a bit jealous of their production values.

Cool, I can wait, I'm just happy to know that it's being addressed and that it is coming.  One of my favorite things about getting the collections was hearing all the flash.  (And don't worry, I refuse to be discouraged about submitting :) )

Also, I realize I said above "Now that I've actually read this..."  I meant now that I'd actually listened to this.  I did read it when I originally posted :)


Heradel

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Reply #30 on: March 11, 2008, 07:18:01 PM
In terms of discussion threads on early releases, etc., I have ideas, but I don't want to dive too deep into that without first talking to the moderators here.  Anything involving the forums is going to be a team effort, and I'm pretty sure that in this case the team is smarter than me.  

I'm throwing my two cents in here, because I want to hear what the forum folks have to say.  

I think the threads should just go up on the earlier day.  Everyone time shifts at least a little.  Normally people don't look at the episode threads until after they have heard the story.  Many people come into a thread for the first time weeks after the story has run.  I just don't see it having any impact.

Those of you who disagree may now pick up your rotten tomatoes.

I'll be honest, I have about 3-4 episodes I haven't listened to yet. Usually I load up and do a couple at once while I'm out doing stuff or taking the bus between NYC/DC, and I don't look at the story threads until I do. Maybe once in a while I'll look at the top post that I know isn't spoiler'ed to get a preview, but otherwise they're pretty easy to avoid.

This is getting into minutiae, but we're no longer hosting the MP3 files ourselves.  We've moved back to LibSyn; they offer a full-blown content delivery solution that won't break under any plausible load.

Apart from the MP3 files, the Escape Pod and Pseudopod Web sites, as well as these forums, are on a virtual private server now, so we don't have to worry about my former shared hosting provider crapping out.  The custom feeds will be generated from a Ruby on Rails application that I'm writing, and any time you do anything with RSS you take the risk of heavy load because some clients check their feeds every hour.  I'm hoping caching techniques will help with that.

BUT.  Honestly speaking, if we end up having so many donors on our system that it starts to create a load problem for us and we have to scale up...  That's a problem I truly don't mind having.
.

Ah. I was remembering a while back when I noticed that the downloads would trudge along around 150 kb/s, but that was obviously under the old regime.

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


sirana

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Reply #31 on: March 11, 2008, 07:52:36 PM
Regarding Donor Perks:

One thing that I liked about the way Rooster Teeth (http://www.roosterteeth.com/) handled this was the little star that they put next to your forum avatar/ handle if you were a "sponsor" (which cost 10 $ for 3 months, if I remember correctly). Really not much, but it was a feel good thing for me, even though I was never very active on the forum.

Another way that I like is the Monkey/Robot/Banana-Buying that Jonathan Coulton (www.jonathancoulton.com) does. If you donate 5/10/25 dollars you get a cartoon banana/monkey/robot on joco's front page and you can specify some small message that is shown on mouseover. joco is doing this via www.gimmesomecandy.com as are a few other people.



sirana

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Reply #32 on: March 11, 2008, 07:59:07 PM
In terms of discussion threads on early releases, etc., I have ideas, but I don't want to dive too deep into that without first talking to the moderators here.  Anything involving the forums is going to be a team effort, and I'm pretty sure that in this case the team is smarter than me. 

I'm throwing my two cents in here, because I want to hear what the forum folks have to say. 

I think the threads should just go up on the earlier day.  Everyone time shifts at least a little.  Normally people don't look at the episode threads until after they have heard the story.  Many people come into a thread for the first time weeks after the story has run.  I just don't see it having any impact.

Those of you who disagree may now pick up your rotten tomatoes.

I personally would open the thread on the earlier day, although I could see some non-donors beeing frustrated that they had to wade through 10 pages of donor discussion before contributing themselves. But of course that is true for everybody who doesn't listen to escapepod the day it is released, so it shouldn't be to big of a problem.



Mr. Tweedy

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Reply #33 on: March 11, 2008, 09:08:09 PM
That was downright inspiring.  Seriously.  I have nothing but respect and admiration (and lots of it) for this sort of entrepreneurship, this taking nothing and building something valuable from it.  That kind of vision and spirit is what makes the world move, and with 20,000+ subscribers it sounds like you're moving a decent chunk of it.  It's inspiring in a moral sense–it's good in principle to see this sort of thing–and in the practical sense of encouraging me to strive for my own goals.  This is what freedom is made for: So ordinary people can do.

I wish that I could do something to contribute directly, but for what it's worth: Congratulations.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2008, 09:09:53 PM by Mr. Tweedy »

Hear my very very short story on The Drabblecast!


wanderer

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Reply #34 on: March 12, 2008, 12:38:33 AM
Excellent Excellent Excellent!, spurred me to register for the forums.
Really Stephen trully inspiring.  I also might be able to get some places to put your bookmarks. I'll let you know. I'm Glad to hear that things are improving for you now.
Good luck with this plan. Here's to hoping it works.


Quote
Insert Quote
That was downright inspiring.  Seriously.  I have nothing but respect and admiration (and lots of it) for this sort of entrepreneurship, this taking nothing and building something valuable from it.  That kind of vision and spirit is what makes the world move, and with 20,000+ subscribers it sounds like you're moving a decent chunk of it.  It's inspiring in a moral sense–it's good in principle to see this sort of thing–and in the practical sense of encouraging me to strive for my own goals.  This is what freedom is made for: So ordinary people can do.

I wish that I could do something to contribute directly, but for what it's worth: Congratulations.

Tottaly agree with Mr. Tweedy also.



bikerhikerrdr

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Reply #35 on: March 12, 2008, 02:16:52 AM
three things:
1. What you seemed to forget is that you cater to people with hypertrophied imaginations.  When you told us that you had the worst day of your life, we were imagining very bad things.
2. you didn't say if purchasing pod discs generates revenue.  Did I support you when I bought discs 1-5, or am I a free loader.
3. and, I hate to criticize, because escape pod is the only weekly entertainment that I look forward to.... but, in regards to pseudopod, if the protagonist of a story is "crazy", you can be 99% certain that the story is badly written.  I think that pseudopod should set a hard and fast rule, "no more crazy protagonists".


Having said all that...god I love you guys.  Realistic or not, one of my big goals right now is to write something good enough for you to consider using on escapepod.
-bhr



Kaa

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Reply #36 on: March 12, 2008, 03:50:13 AM
I said this over on LiveJournal, but I'll repeat it here for a different (maybe) audience.

Something I thought of while listening to this: I wonder if it would be possible to convince book publishers that allowing Escape Pod or Pseudopod or Podcastle to podcast a scene or two of an upcoming release would garner interest? I've bought books before solely because I heard a good reading of a scene and thought, "I wanna know what happens next!"

I've been wondering for a while why Escape Pod had a $5/month button but Pseudopod didn't. Every few months I make a "catch-up" donation to Pseudopod, and until last month I was on the $5/month thing for Escape Pod (I'll reinstate after April; I'm not sure why February - April always have to be National Take All of Kaa's Money months, but they are). I'll gladly do the same for Podcastle without ever hearing a word of it, because I know that you guys do quality podcasts, and many times, they are the highlights of my week.

So I guess what I'm saying is: Thank you, Steve. Thank you for all that you do to make these podcasts as good as they are. For having the vision. For giving of yourself and your time. For getting me (and others, I'm sure) excited about short fiction again. It is all very much appreciated.

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DarkKnightJRK

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Reply #37 on: March 12, 2008, 03:56:04 AM
Question concerning the perk thing:

I get my EP & PP from my subscription at iTunes--it's the easiest option for me and it guarentees that I get it in case I forget. Can anything be done at that level? You'll be getting a paper Lincoln or so from me either way, but I'm just curious.

Other then that, good to hear you're getting things straightened out. I can somewhat relate--like someone else mentioned, for me it's more "Lazy A-Hole Syndrome," or, as I like to call it, "The Procrastination Goblin," but I'm trying to go cold turkey on the habit, so you're not alone. Good to hear you're expanding Escape Artists with PodCastle. I probably won't subscribe, since I could never get into fantasy, but it's cool to hear. And if only I knew anything about sound design, I would have totally helped out. :(



Sanpaco

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Reply #38 on: March 12, 2008, 04:09:16 PM
Don't know if its just a coincidence or anything that this is the point where I finally caught up on the stories.  I subscribed a couple months ago and have been listening when I could to each story in chronological order.  I really appreciate all the time you have put into this podcast and I want to say that for the non-sponsored proprietary type podcasts I have heard, this is one of the best.  Back in 2004 or so when I first discovered podcasts, I searched all over the place for a short story type podcast and couldn't find it. When I finally tried again this year this one and Psuedopod were the first I found and I've enjoyed both immensely.  Keep up the good work and I'll do what I can to support.



contra

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Reply #39 on: March 12, 2008, 07:43:26 PM
Escape pod has been there for the last few years when I have went through tough times and had nothing stable in my life.  Escape pod was always there.  I've never thought about supporting because... well donate buttons are on most sites and they become something that other people do.  However I'm in a better position now, and I want to support escape pod.  So as of 10 minutes ago I am.

Its good to hear about the state of the pod and so that I can know hows everything is going with it. 

Good to know you have a plan Steve and you know where this is going.  Its very good to hear things are already better than they were 2 weeks ago. 

Awesome stuff.

---
Mike---Glasgow.  Scotland.-->