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Author Topic: EP Metacast #3  (Read 45558 times)
Tango Alpha Delta
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« Reply #60 on: March 16, 2008, 04:46:27 PM »

You know, I don't think we could overdo the point if all 20,000 of us logged in and posted the same thought: every WEEK for three years?  Steve, if THAT isn't f***ing professional, then I don't know what is!

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This Wiki Won't Wrangle Itself!

I finally published my book - Tad's Happy Funtime is on Amazon!
Mama Cat
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« Reply #61 on: March 17, 2008, 08:29:42 AM »

Hey Steve,

I'm newish to Escape Pod and still working my way through lots & lots of back episodes. And I have to say two things:

1) I look forward to when Escape Pod gets to the top of my podcast queue again. There is so much really good SF being written and a lot of it makes its way to your show. The production values are high, and it is always a great listen. I am impressed and grateful.
2) I have been where you are. My husband is pretty much there now. It is very, very hard - and I'm glad you're getting help. My wish for you is that you're able to stay tough with yourself. It was brave to share your story with 20,000 listeners and again I am impressed and grateful.

I'm going to toddle over to the webpage and find that "donate" button because I have absolutely no technical skills that I can contribute. But the content is worth paying for, though I totally support keeping it free!!  So I don't mind paying a bit extra to help support those folks who really can't afford to pay.
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Grayven
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« Reply #62 on: March 17, 2008, 05:56:13 PM »

Here's a random silly idea. You probly shouldna use it, just bounce it around and see if you can make a better idea of it.

You know that computer voice that begins the eps with a number and the name of the story? Replace that with a paid user. Do some sort of lottery. Then the paid user gets to be part of the episode (albeit a small part).
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Heradel
Bill Peters, EP Assistant
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« Reply #63 on: March 17, 2008, 06:29:42 PM »

Here's a random silly idea. You probly shouldna use it, just bounce it around and see if you can make a better idea of it.

You know that computer voice that begins the eps with a number and the name of the story? Replace that with a paid user. Do some sort of lottery. Then the paid user gets to be part of the episode (albeit a small part).

WNYC's Radio Lab does this via the answering machine, but with people interviewed during the program.
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clichekiller
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« Reply #64 on: March 18, 2008, 11:09:54 AM »

I was a monthly subscriber for a long time but during a hard point in my own life I was forced to cancel it.  Well thanks for reminding me it's time to restart it.  I enjoy Escape Pod immensely.  It is by far one of my favorite podcasts.  Thanks Steve and know you're not alone.  Good luck!
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Yossarian's grandson
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« Reply #65 on: March 19, 2008, 06:00:10 AM »

Hi Steve,

I just listened to the MetaCast and I wanted to let you know: much love and respect for all the work you've done. Please, never forget, you have (and are) touching so many people with your work; I have nothing but respect for that.

We do not know each other personally. So I can't honestly judge wether you're a good person in all aspects of your life (who is all the time, anyway?). But Escape Artists and everything it entails is great. In every way. You bring top notch entertainment, clear the way for other podcasters and you have created a community of users that, for the first time, makes me feel at home in a forum-site.

Please don't ever doubt the worth of this. It is something extraordinary. And you make it all happen.

Salutations from the other side of the Atlantic (The Netherlands)!
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jodymonster
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« Reply #66 on: March 19, 2008, 12:38:31 PM »

Steve- Wow, man.  I don't even know where to start.   I've been a listener for little more than a year, an I couldn't be more impressed with EP (and PP).  The work you're doing is of the highest quality, and the fact that you have produced something of such every week for three years is a testament to what a professional you already are.  You've never been anything but.  (No, we can't tell you that enough.)
While the stories are what originally drew me to EP, I want to say I love your intros and outros just as much (especially geek dad, can we get another one of those?).  When I heard you say the bit about having the worst day of your life, I was surprised at how emotional a response I had- of how much I could care for and worry over a family I'd never met or spoken to. (Speaking of, how are you? The other day I heard of the tornado in Atlanta and thought of you guys.)  I'm glad to hear you have someone like Anna, and appreciate her.  Anna, thank you. 
I haven't donated before (college student, legendarily cheap), but I was wondering, for all of us who don't trust paypal or would rather not have anyone take a chunk out of our donation- is it still acceptable to mail you a check? If so you can expect one from me soon.  The work you're doing is important and deserving of whatever extra cash I have.  I hope some day you can podcast professionally (or write, whichever you prefer. But I hope you never stop doing either.) You are talented, and that should be appreciated.
I have always tried to tell people about EP, and though I don't have a blog, have gotten my friends to blog about you.  My donation is on it's way.  Now all I need's a T-shirt to help me advertise. Smiley
EP and PP are important parts of my life.  They have brought me so much and asked nothing in return.  Thank you so much, Steve (and the rest of the EP crew) for all you've done to enrich my life and the lives of others.  You are awesome, and I wish you nothing but the best. 
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"If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up." -Hunter S. Thompson
jkr
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« Reply #67 on: March 19, 2008, 09:50:41 PM »

Steve,

Long time listener, first time caller Smiley,  like many others I just listened to the metacast, and wanted you to know that I finally took a moment to get my donations going in the tip jar.

I don't know that I have much else new to add to the thread, but want to echo that I think its great how you've described your priorities.  I have a family too, and I only hope that if I ever hit the wall you described, I'm in one piece and can say I still have them by my side - you can rebuild almost anything else.

Also FWIW, you sound very focussed and purposeful on your plans around escape artists.  I'm sure I don't need to quote Joseph Campbell to you, but aligning your efforts to your "bliss" sounds like a great plan.  Might hurt to be disconnected from a good software startup, but most "successful" people talk about the moment they turned their passion into their vocation as a big turning point, so I wish you all the best in this step forward.

Good luck, I'll keep listening and spreading the word!

JK
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tarmo
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« Reply #68 on: March 20, 2008, 04:02:55 AM »

Greetings from Finland, Steve. I've been listening to Escape Pod for a bit over a year now (as well as catching up on the old episodes via the Classic feed), and will definitely subscribe to Podcastle when it launches. I trust you'll let us know in your intro when the feed url is available.

I must say that listening to your metacast on my way to work was more profound that most (but not all) of the actual episodes. As a psychologist, I'm happy you're doing therapy - I've been in therapy myself, and it's been the best value for money I've ever had. I really think everyone should do at least a short session of a suitably oriented therapy at some point in their lives to learn about themselves. So I wish you an eventful and successful journey, both in your personal life and building up Escape Artists.

And yes, I'll get my donations rolling in regularly. Smiley
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Sanpaco
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« Reply #69 on: March 20, 2008, 12:05:16 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.
Welcome!
What other stories did you like?
Thanks!  I've liked a lot of the stories I've heard so far.  One of the first ones I heard was Nightfall and that one got me hooked.  Awesome.  I have enjoyed most of the ones read by Steve because he does such a good job with them.  I really can't think of any other specific ones but again I have enjoyed most of the stories. 

After looking at some of the past titles here is a list of some of the most memorable ones:
Kin
Friction
Pressure
The Color of a Brontosaurus
Astromonkeys!
Stu
Me and My Shadow (This one was GREAT!)
Sparks in a Cold War
What We Learned From This Morning's Paper
Save Me Plz
The Sundial Brigade
Ej-Es
Conversations with and About my Electric Toothbrush
Ishamel in Love (reminded me of Hitchhiker's Guide, probably just because of the dolphin theme; So long and thanks for all the fish...)
The Giving Plague
Frankie the Spook
8 Episodes
The House Beyond Your Sky
Impossible Dreams (inspired me to FINALLY watch Citizen Kane)

I think that goes back to the first episode I heard which was Start the Clock.  I didn't hate this episode but there have been much better ones I've heard.  I enjoy this podcast so much because it takes a medium that I've really wanted to dive into being SciFi short stories but haven't really had the time to because I don't often have time to sit down and read.  But I spend at least two hours a day driving and at least another hour walking around campus so I have plenty of time to listen to my ipod.  I have heard some great stories and books this way including Escapepod but also including some great classics from librivox.org which only posts stories in the public domain so they are all 100% free and shareable.  They have stories from authors like Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, Dante, F. Scott Fitzgerald, C.S. Lewis, and many others.  Also I've listened to The Shining audiobook for the first time after having seen the Kubrick adaptation numerous times and it has to be one of the best books I've ever read.  I've also discovered the 7th Son trilogy through podcasting and all the other podiobooks and babblebooks podcast audiobooks that are available for free.  I have so many audiobooks to listen to that I have filled up about 100 GB on my External Hard drive with just one folder: "To Be Listened To".  I'm trying to catch up on all my serial short story podcasts first though and Escape Pod is the first one I've been able to.  I'm working now on Librivox and Pseudopod.  So much great fiction and so little time!
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #70 on: March 20, 2008, 02:06:25 PM »

Greetings from Finland, Steve. I've been listening to Escape Pod for a bit over a year now (as well as catching up on the old episodes via the Classic feed), and will definitely subscribe to Podcastle when it launches. I trust you'll let us know in your intro when the feed url is available.

Escape Archive is a fan run feed where you can get all of the episodes that are no longer on the regular feed.

PodCastle feed: http://feeds.escapeartists.net/PodCastle_Main
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aklarand
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« Reply #71 on: March 20, 2008, 03:25:58 PM »

Steve,

   I've been a listener for the whole run. I've lived with EP for that long and just really love everything that it does for the world. I'm a software developer. I build things every day that have some kind of impact on people and their lives so I know something about the scope of change and effect. That being said, I have to say that nothing that I will likely ever do will bring such a positive influence into the world. You have, by fiat, grace, and the support of your family, friends, and colleagues, built a new and thriving market for fiction. Seriously. Built a market for fiction. That's insane. I know dozens or hundreds of people who would kill for the opportunity to do that. Amazingly, it's really a pauper's lifestyle so dedicating yourself to a modest income at most for a long time is even more nuts.

I just wanted to tell you that you matter and you're making a difference. I'm so glad that you've straightened out the priorities in your life. I'm so happy that you have the support of a wife who really cares and will stand by you. I really know how much that matters. (Without them, we are lost, non?) I'm glad that because of your determination and the support that you have that my world will continue to be a little happier every time I hear the opening riffs of EP. Your gift and dedication is appreciated more that you will ever know.

Thank you.
     -Mike (new monthly subscriber)
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Boggled Coriander
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« Reply #72 on: March 22, 2008, 10:29:12 PM »

I first discovered Escape Pod late last year.  I loved the idea, and started working my way forward through the archives, listening to it while out on a walk, riding the subway, or on the treadmill at the gym.   

Metacast #3 came out just as I got all caught up.

I'm a person with some severe time management issues.  I have a knack for focusing my attention on problems which are really not important, while ignoring ones which are.  Steve's metacast really hit home for me... and it was more inspiring than a very well-written EP story.

Thank you.
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Planish
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WWW
« Reply #73 on: March 24, 2008, 09:51:47 AM »

You know that computer voice that begins the eps with a number and the name of the story? Replace that with a paid user.
Shocked
Then poor Vicki would be out on the street. I'm sure she depends on the regular EP gig for rent money.
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Firedust
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« Reply #74 on: March 26, 2008, 07:40:53 PM »

First off Steve, I'd like to say thanks for making Escape Pod all these years. I think you've done a great job so far considering you've done this mostly yourself.

As for advertisements, I have some suggestions.
  • Shorter = better. 15 seconds = more than enough. Any longer will just annoy listeners. Ads should be short and sweet about what the product is and why it's so great.
  • Have ads at the end, not the beginning. I still listen to ads at the end but for some reason they are less annoying at the end. Also, if they want me to buy some product or sign up for some service, I'm more likely to do it at the end of the podcast and I won't remember if the ad was at the beginning.
  • Run ads that EP listeners would find interesting. You're doing a good job on this so far so I won't say anything else about it.
  • Don't narrate the ads yourself. Either get an "ad guy" or have the companies submit ads they've already narrated. To understand this, see if you can remember ever listening to the radio, and the host of the radio station promotes some type of crazy weight loss pills, saying, "I lost 20 lbs with this program." Lots of respect is lost for the host, even though it's obvious he's paid to do the ad. Whereas if some crazy weight loss ad comes on during the ad portion of the radio show, no respect is lost for the hosts of the show no matter how much the ad sounds like a scam.
  • You can mention the ad in your intro if you have something to say about it, and even briefly thank the sponsors if it's the first week of the ad, but don't go out of your way promoting their product or service. It makes the podcast feel like an infocommercial on late night TV. In my humble opinion, good products and services largely sell themselves once customers know about them, don't beat us over the head praising them.
  • On that note, try not to repeat the same ad two or more weeks in a row, if possible. I sometimes listen to Escape Pod stories back to back, and it's annoying to listen to the same ad over and over again. Do something; vary the ad, or put it on a rotating basis like once every three weeks.

...

Anyway, I'm excited about the new direction of Escape Pod and the upcoming Pod Castle, so keep up the good work.

Except almost all of what you say concerning ads is broken by TWIT in the podcast realm and Prairie Home Companion in the radio realm. Long ads can work if they're good, and so can ones narrated by the narrator. As for the crazy ad bit it's pretty clear Steve isn't advertising anything he wouldn't buy, which takes care of the crazy weight loss stuff. A long ad/testimonial works fine so long as it's clearly delineated from the content and the audience is sure it's not editorial. And for most companies ad-buys work in blocks, so it would be rowing upstream to try for every-other week. Up front ads bring in more money, and are a lot easier to sell than ones at the end.


Sorry it's taken so long to reply, my internet has been down since last post.

But I wanted to say, I'm well aware of the many issues concerning ads, and why things are done a certain way. I'm also aware of what TWIT and Prairie Home Companion have done, and I'm actually hoping Escape Pod doesn't go down that same path.

I actually stopped listening to the Prairie Home Companion podcast, partly because of that annoying mattress ad that played at the beginning of the podcast every week. Even though I know that Mr. Keillor was paid to do those ads, I still lose some respect for him and his show.

As for TWIT, I'm not really a fan how Leo sneaks ads into the middle of podcast and they end up talking half the show about audible.com. Again, I know it's just an ad but it gets annoying after a while. Also, it feels kind of insulting to the listener, as if the only way anyone would listen to ads is if they are in the smack dab middle of the content.

I just finished listening to episode 149, and so far I think I've liked the way Escape Pod has done its ads. Brief mention (10 sec) of getting a sponsor at the beginning of the podcast, very brief lead in to the ad (4 sec) and a reasonable length ad (1min 5 sec). Mr. Eley rambled a little at the end, but it was mostly about the relationship between podcasts and the publishing industry in general, not directly promoting the product. He let a well-produced narrated ad do most of the promoting, and I think that works the best for everyone.

I'm not usually one to pick apart episodes, but I feel that some methods for introducing ads are clearly better than others without making the ads any less effective. In TV and radio, I think the most effective ads are ones that either make you laugh while promoting a product, or ones that make a product seem really cool. All while not annoying the consumers so we don't harbor a grudge against products with annoying ads. In podcast world, I listen to my podcasts much more closely than I do TV, radio, web pages, or really anything else. That means they can either reach me much easier or annoy me much easier.
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Heradel
Bill Peters, EP Assistant
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« Reply #75 on: March 26, 2008, 11:54:20 PM »

Sorry it's taken so long to reply, my internet has been down since last post.

But I wanted to say, I'm well aware of the many issues concerning ads, and why things are done a certain way. I'm also aware of what TWIT and Prairie Home Companion have done, and I'm actually hoping Escape Pod doesn't go down that same path.

I actually stopped listening to the Prairie Home Companion podcast, partly because of that annoying mattress ad that played at the beginning of the podcast every week. Even though I know that Mr. Keillor was paid to do those ads, I still lose some respect for him and his show.

He does them for the regular show too, so not sure if you're stateside or elsewhere and have ever heard the whole thing. The PHC podcast is just the Tales from Lake Woebegone, and the style of ads he does is a deliberate choice to bring it more in line with the kind of old-timey show he's imitating. Personally I don't mind him doing it, but my mom's been playing PHC since I was born, so I'm used to it. 

Quote
As for TWIT, I'm not really a fan how Leo sneaks ads into the middle of podcast and they end up talking half the show about audible.com. Again, I know it's just an ad but it gets annoying after a while. Also, it feels kind of insulting to the listener, as if the only way anyone would listen to ads is if they are in the smack dab middle of the content.

If you get it off of AOL radio the ads are cut out, but personally I really like those Audible ads because of the book discussions they rathole into. It's very clearly delineated as an ad from the rest of the show, and they've had Doctorow on, so I don't think you can say the ads affect their editorial. He makes the ads entertaining, and I don't really mind (but then again I use Audible, so I just usually mentally glaze over the little bit of actual ad copy).
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eytanz
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« Reply #76 on: March 27, 2008, 04:31:59 AM »

Sorry it's taken so long to reply, my internet has been down since last post.

But I wanted to say, I'm well aware of the many issues concerning ads, and why things are done a certain way. I'm also aware of what TWIT and Prairie Home Companion have done, and I'm actually hoping Escape Pod doesn't go down that same path.

I actually stopped listening to the Prairie Home Companion podcast, partly because of that annoying mattress ad that played at the beginning of the podcast every week. Even though I know that Mr. Keillor was paid to do those ads, I still lose some respect for him and his show.

He does them for the regular show too, so not sure if you're stateside or elsewhere and have ever heard the whole thing. The PHC podcast is just the Tales from Lake Woebegone, and the style of ads he does is a deliberate choice to bring it more in line with the kind of old-timey show he's imitating. Personally I don't mind him doing it, but my mom's been playing PHC since I was born, so I'm used to it. 

I don't mind the PHC ads because even though they're narrated by Keillor, they are very clearly seperate from the show. As long as it's just a short spot, I don't care if it's narrated by the same guy who does the show or not.

Quote
Quote
As for TWIT, I'm not really a fan how Leo sneaks ads into the middle of podcast and they end up talking half the show about audible.com. Again, I know it's just an ad but it gets annoying after a while. Also, it feels kind of insulting to the listener, as if the only way anyone would listen to ads is if they are in the smack dab middle of the content.

If you get it off of AOL radio the ads are cut out, but personally I really like those Audible ads because of the book discussions they rathole into. It's very clearly delineated as an ad from the rest of the show, and they've had Doctorow on, so I don't think you can say the ads affect their editorial. He makes the ads entertaining, and I don't really mind (but then again I use Audible, so I just usually mentally glaze over the little bit of actual ad copy).

TWiT is more problematic - I enjoy the audible ads because, as Heradel comments, they often develop into actual discussion - sometimes, as when Doctorow was on, actually being quite anti-Audible in tone. And they're still signposted enough so that it doesn't get too confused with the rest of the show.

On the other hand, some of the other TWiT shows (such as Munchcast, which I listen to occasionally) have really annoying integrated ads, where Leo is very much in salesman mode throughout, and since there is no panel they never develop into anything interesting. Those bug the hell out of me. Especially since now they're advertising a "fruit and vegetable wash", which I believe is a snake-oil product that doesn't do much except that advantage of food-safety and hygene hysteria and delivers some meaningless results. And in early ads it was abundently clear that Leo never even tried the product, as he didn't really know it was (he thought it was a vegetable washing device, not a vegetable detergent). So yeah, I really dislike those.

I do agree that I like the way that EP currently handles ads; I wouldn't like them becoming more subtle though I don't mind Steve commenting on them if he has something to say.
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