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Author Topic: Clarion West Sponsorship  (Read 3985 times)
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Sir Postsalot
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« on: February 10, 2014, 09:41:10 AM »

I'm assuming Clarion West was a paid sponsor?  Cool to get sponsors, and writing related ones at that, whatever income can be generated to keep the podcasts going.

But some feedback about it.  I thought it went on a bit long, and didn't really need to  be at both the front and the back of the story.  It seemed to take the old old fashioned advertisement style from back in the radio days where the host talks about the paid advertiser as though it were something he is personally recommending with no monetary incentive, rather than it being a paid sponsor.  I'd prefer to have it just be "Our sponsor is Clarion West.  This is what Clarion does.  Go check them out."  When the story ended, I was looking forward to hearing Alasdair's insightful comments, and the first thing that comes is a slight variation of the advertisement I'd heard at the beginning of the story--I think it would've been better to go straight from the story to the insights so that I don't have to switch gears into ads and then switch them back again into the story.

Clarion West sounds great, if you have thousands of dollars of disposable income and can afford to step out of your life for 6 consecutive weeks.  
« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 04:53:16 PM by Unblinking » Logged
kibitzer
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2014, 04:48:44 PM »

...if you have thousands of dollars of disposal income...

Disposable income. I believe "disposal income" is the money one makes from being a paid assassin.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 04:53:45 PM »

...if you have thousands of dollars of disposal income...

Disposable income. I believe "disposal income" is the money one makes from being a paid assassin.

*snicker*  Okay, I corrected it in my original post to pretend like I'm smarter than I am.   Grin
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DKT
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2014, 11:59:29 AM »

For future reference, would it be possible to critique sponsor spots on some other thread on the forum, and leave this space for the story itself? I understand why it might feel natural to tie it to the story feedback, but I think it'd be better to separate it out.

(And this really is for future reference, as we'll have similar things running on PC and EP later this month.)
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2014, 12:18:10 PM »

For future reference, would it be possible to critique sponsor spots on some other thread on the forum, and leave this space for the story itself? I understand why it might feel natural to tie it to the story feedback, but I think it'd be better to separate it out.

(And this really is for future reference, as we'll have similar things running on PC and EP later this month.)

Sure, I thought it made sense here to treat the episode as a packaged product.  Should I extract that part and move it?
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DKT
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2014, 02:00:36 PM »

No worries, Unblinking Smiley

I think the criticisms are fine - I'd just like to distance them from the story discussion.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2014, 09:39:49 AM »

No worries, Unblinking Smiley

I think the criticisms are fine - I'd just like to distance them from the story discussion.

Fair enough.  It's a reasonable distinction, especially since as you say there are other sponsorships coming.  Smiley
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2014, 09:52:55 AM »

Heard the ads in Podcastle and Escape Pod now, and some further comments, trying to word them as constructively and specifically as possible.

1.  I think I've now heard the ad 6 times in the last week?  Bookending an episode each of Podcastle, Escape Pod, and Pseudopod.  It's a bit much, especially considering:
2.  The ad is almost the same every time.  One of the reasons that I've never spoken up about the Audible ads that have run in the past is that each one lends something novel--usually the person reading the ad picks a story that they would like to recommend that you can find on Audible, and it's different each time. I'm not exactly sure how that would be done with Clarion, but if the ads are going to be used with such density I think it's necessary to avoid just being generally annoying.  Maybe could get a brief paragraph read by Clarion graduates for different ads?  As it is, if this keeps up I'm probably going to start skipping to the next track as soon as the closing ad starts and miss the feedback and closing comments and other things.
3.  I know this wasn't the intent, but I find it hard to not feel insulted by the way the ad is worded.  The ad says something like "Do you want to be published in Escape Artists?  Then you should go to Clarion!"  By implication I feel like it also says "You know damned well you're never ever going to go to Clarion?  Then you're unworthy of being published by Escape Artists!"  Obviously this isn't true, since I have been published by Escape Artists a handful of times.  Except Podcastle, because of course they hate everything I write (yes, yes, I know you don't, I'm just in the mood for hyperbole I guess).  I expect a workshop might help steer your learning, might help you skip a few levels, but that doesn't meant that you need to go to a workshop to sell stories.  At this point to attend Clarion I'd have to quit my job, which would mean I'd lose my house, as well as leaving my wife to tend to the baby and everything else in our life without any help from me for a month and a half, and then spend several thousand dollars that I don't have to spare now let alone if I quit my job and lost my house.  If that is truly the cost of writing success then I quit now.
4.  As well as feeling insulted because the ad promotes this product that I will never be able to afford as a necessity, I also think that it condescends even to those who could afford it.  You know the best way to get stories written?  Sit your ass in a chair and put some words to paper.  Even if you've gone to a workshop, you still need to sit your ass in a chair and put some words to paper.  Even if your life would allow you to attend it's not a magic pill that makes your writing sell.  You still have to do the work.
5.  Maybe put the price in the ad?  Maybe it was left out intentionally because you were worried that people would not want to go if they heard the price. But they're going to have to hear the price to go at some point.


I am curious--do you have an idea how much of your user base is actually made up of writers?  Things like Audible are an obvious hit, because they can be made to appeal to speculative fiction fans and anyone listening to the podcasts are either speculative fiction fans or they are in the wrong place.   This isn't a criticism of the ad, because Clarion is paying for the ad, and it might be well worthwhile even if only a small percentage are writers because the EA audience is so big, but I am curious if this question has been explored.
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Alasdair5000
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2014, 12:37:14 PM »

Thanks for your suggestions.
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albionmoonlight
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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2014, 08:55:40 AM »

I have no problem with ads.  Indeed, because the financial reality of EA was made apparent to us last year in the metacast, I am actually happy to see revenue coming in from any number of places.  But I agree that ads should be labeled as such.  Just a quick "today's episode was brought to you in part by {x}, and here's why {x} is awesome . . ."  EA did a great thing by being completely honest with the metacast, and that seemed to bring in more contributions and a greater sense of community.  I'd like to see that honesty continue with labeling ads as such.
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