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Remember When Podcasting Was For Geeks?

Remember when podcasting was for geeks?

When I got into podcasting the majority of podcasts that were available were technology podcasts. In fact they used to dominate the iTunes store.

It seems that we are now headed into a different era of podcasting, at least according to some of our recent data :)

What? Technology Podcast Are 2% of libsyn's Top 100 Downloads?

Back in the day (2007 to be exact ;) ) Technology podcasts were 13% of libsyn's Top 100 Downloads. They were right up there with the 13% of Entertainment Podcasts. Comedy podcasts were 7% of the top 100 dowloads. The mac daddy of them all was the whopping 37% downloads for the Education category.

Now it seems that the podcasting tides are shifting.

According to the current 2011 data from the last 3 months...Hold on to your horses...or microphones:

  • Comedy Podcasts represent 42% of the top 100 downloads (31 shows)
  • Language Podcasts represent 23% of the top 100 downloads (17 shows)
  • Technology Podcasts represent 2% of the top 100 shows (3 shows)

I hesitate to say podcasting is becoming more "mainstream," per say. I believe that people are becoming more tech savvy and are used to consuming the kind of content they want when then want, particularly content that they view as valuable and entertaining.

The world of TV, Film and radio is no longer in a unique power position.

Consumers have realized that if they can't get the sort of entertainment that THEY are looking for from mainstream media, they simply have to look elsewhere for it, and podcasts are one way to consume the kind of content they long for.

High profile producers and entertainers have also recognized the power of mediums other than mainstream media to create compelling and entertaining content, podcasting being one of most popular formats being used.

Comedy is Leading the Way

Although podcasting as a whole may not be as popular as cable television, the words podcast and podcasting are more well known and recognized due to massive exposure from high profile comedians and great content. According to PopWatch "here are a few of the biggest and best out there":

  1. WTF
  2. Comedy Bang! Bang!
  3. The Adam Carolla Show
  4. Doug Loves Movies
  5. The Nerdist
  6. The Pod F. Tompkast
  7. Jordan, Jesse, Go!
  8. SModcast

Stoked all those are hosted with libsyn :D

The kind of press that podcasting is getting at this point and time, is more than it has ever gotten. Even Entertainment Weekly has a featured article on podcasting via Marc Maron's WTF podcast- The June 24th issue to be exact. That sort of coverage is unparalleled and introduce podcasting to a much larger audience.

But it isn't just about the big names...

Yes, the big names absolutely helped to grow the popularity due to the built in audience. Yes, fans are loyal. The success of these comedy podcasts isn't * just * because these comedians are famous. The success comes from the comedians ability to take chances, get creative and produce freely.

There is something that feels raw and new about the content. THIS is what has kept fans interested plus added a ton of new fans that may not have been particularly interested in podcasting or these entertainers before.

Education is Opening The Door

One of the biggest challenges every podcaster faces is explaining how to subscribe to a podcast or even what a podcast is to newbies. Because of the newfound "fame" coming to podcasting, this job is being done for us! The mere fact that there is more mainstream media conversation about podcasting forces descriptions and definitions of podcasting, which helps grow people's knowledge about the medium.

Even though at this moment the popular category of Comedy is being driven by more popular names, podcasting as a whole is becoming more accesible and clearly a viable medium for self expression, brand awareness and exposure. It's only going to become a stronger medium.

What do you podcasters think about this? Do you feel that podcasting is becoming more mainstream? Is the medium's popularity due only to the big names coming to podcasting? Or is there more?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Elsie Escobar


Top HelpDesk Articles!

Here are some FAQs that the libsyn support team gets. These are all HelpDesk articles that you can refer to whenever you desire!

GENERAL LIBSYN QUESTIONS

SMARTPHONE APP QUESTIONS

Did you know we have a new HelpDesk? If not, check out this article to learn all about it!


Symbol of Confusion image used via Wikipedia


Introducing our HelpDesk!

We have a new way to help you!

In order to refine the way that we serve you guys we have a new HelpDesk that offers an array of choices to get support for any issues that might arise using libsyn.

You can get to our fancy new HelpDesk by going to http://helpdesk.libsyn.com OR while within your libsyn dashboard click on support on the top left hand side of your screen.

What can you do from our HelpDesk?

  • You can submit a ticket giving us all the details of your issues.
  • You can check out our ever growing Knowledge Base where you can find articles helping you both troubleshoot your issues as well as inform you of our system plus how to solve problems. Self empowerment, yeah baby!
  • You can stay up to date with libsyn news and articles (Coming Soon!)
  • You can use our Troubleshooter, which is a Wizard that guides you through a series of steps in order to diagnose and resolve common problems.

How To Submit A Ticket To The HelpDesk

1. Submit a Ticket

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Simply click on the Submit a Ticket icon.
You can submit a ticket within your libsyn account (top left hand side) or go directly to http://helpdesk.libsyn.com

2. Select a department

Here you get an opportunity to share with us what part of our system you are having trouble with.

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1. Choose the department Libsyn3 is our general service. Libsyn Pro is our premium service. App Support deals with all Smartphone App issues for all platforms ie. iOS and Android. Marketing deals with any issues related to our newsletter, our social media outlets, blog posts, or anything not related to technical libsyn system issues.
2. Click Next

3. Your ticket details

Please fill out all the information required within your ticket details. 

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  • Full Name
  • Email 
  • Show Slug (required)
  • Type of Problem (required): You can see from the dropdown menu above that you get to choose the general type of issue that relates to your problem.

NOTE: Although your name and email are not required to submit a ticket they are incredibly helpful in communication with you.

4. Your Message

You have plenty of space to let us know your issue.

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    • As you can see at the bottom of the screen you can attach any relevant documentation which may help our team resolve your issue, such as screenshots of error messages.

    5. Confirmation Screen

    You will immediately see a screen that summarizes your request, including your Ticket ID. You may want to make sure you note your Ticket ID even though you will be receiving a confirmation email. 

    media_1304979303137.png

    6. Confirmation Email

    You will receive a confirmation email from Libsyn Support, whose title will include your Ticket ID plus the title of your message to Support.

     

    media_1304979336198.png
    Within this email you will receive all information regarding your ticket, including a direct link to check on the status of your ticket as well as the ability to reply to your current ticket. If you have received more information regarding your issue or have more to add to your initial submission you can reply to this confirmation email, but please make sure that the support ticket is part of the subject line for tracking purposes.

    Come On And Check Out The HelpDesk!

    We would love to get your feedback :)

    Let us know your thoughts and ideas for articles in the Knowledge Base. That would be rockin'


    Why Does Marc Maron Prefer Podcasting To Mainstream Media?

    In my humble opinion I believe every podcaster is an artist. Each podcaster has her own voice, her own story, her own passion and her own drive to express that which she is impassioned about. As I read the Salon interview with Marc Maron, he very clearly and simply highlights the still growing power of podcasting in a way that inspires main stream performers to step into podcasting as well as invigorates those of us that have already drank the podcasting kool-aid.

    Sparked by the article Marc Maron explains his podcasting infamy, here are some key points as to why podcasting continues to be one of the most dynamic and effectual media publishing platforms to cultivate your success. Mr. Maron does a phenomal job in highlighting the best reasons to podcast.

    Truth = Story = Gold

    "I know that what I'm doing on the podcast is as true to myself as I can be, and that people are digging it."- Marc Maron

    There is something absolutely captivating about listening to someone speak from their own truth. When I say that, I'm not referring to simply being honest or telling truths, but truly being yourself, without censoring yourself.

    Places where podcasters tend to record their work are those that are very personal to them: garages, closets, living rooms, kitchens. More likely than not they won't leave their house and won't have to get all gussied up, plus can surround themselves with people and things that make them feel comfortable. This environment facilitates going with it, simply allowing YOU to flow.

    No one is like YOU, so why pretend anything else?

    KEY: Excel and work on effectively becoming more of who you are. Even if you "fail", you will still be much more compelling than pretending to be somebody or something else.

    Unique Publicity

    "And the podcasting format works in Marc's favor, bringing him the publicity and fans that almost 20 years on the comedy circuit never could." -Salon Article

    There are a ton of people that are currently looking outside of TV, mainstream movies and cable for information and entertainment. We have become a mobile and on-demand culture. In addition to that, due to world economic crisis and joblessness, a huge amount of people's lifestyle has required them to downgrade their lives, looking to save money. Cutting out the cable and even movie outings seem to be the first to go. Given those two points the public has become more aware of internet content, whether it be audio, video, ebooks or mainstream movies and tv shows.

    Marc Maron stepped into the hunger and desire of a massive amount of folks that were both yearning to be entertained and a medium that was growing and ever more accessible.

    KEY: Marc Maron's audience is subscribing to his podcast, purchasing his iOS app and subscribing to his premium content because THEY CHOOSE TO. That's power.

    Engaging Content & Fierce Engagement

    "When you're engaged in a conversation, you can completely lose track of time...because your brain puts itself in the conversation" - Marc Maron

    Podcasting is personal. You are choosing to allow the podcaster's voice to go directly into your ears. You choose to step into their world, listen and be engaged and perhaps transported away. Through listening you engage, respond, perhaps laugh out loud, cry, get really angry, maybe even talk back to the podcast. Podcasts can instigate you to take action, become re-impassioned about something, or simply become aware of something that you didn't know. All of this happens because of the personal nature of the medium.

    Mr. Maron isn't podcasting FOR you. Mr. Maron is not talking directly to you, but there's something about the magical engagement of podcasting that gives you the feeling of intimacy and greater accessibility.

    KEY: There is greater accessibility with the show producer. Main stream media has a lot more walls between producer/artist and their fans. As a producer, direct engagement with the audience does create a stronger relationship with their fans.

    Freedom Without Context

    "people would ask me, "What is this show? I don't get it." And I'd say, "It's my show." Those are the perimeters. I don't have to make people laugh. I don't have to do anything except talk into a mic. I can sit there and just emote for 10 minutes, I could cry for 10 minutes. It's just really freedom." - Marc Maron

    In the Salon article, the interviewer Drew Grant questions Mr. Maron's assertion that with podcasting he can do anything he wants, alluding to the fact that having written and starred in his own off-Broadway show as well as doing stand up for years, he was already doing anything he wanted.

    No matter what form of mainstream media you choose to be a part of, whether it be writing and performing in an original play, creating your own sitcom and starring in it, touring in your own comedy tour, there are parameters to how much of it is truly YOURS and how much you are 'bound' to expectations of the medium and others involved with its execution, something Rosanne Barr candidly drives home in her NY Mag article. In podcasting, these parameters are not there. As Mr. Maron says in the quote above "I can sit there and just emote for 10 minutes, I could cry for 10 minutes." It really is HIS show.

    This freedom not only allows Mr. Maron to experiment, improvise, and follow his instincts fully but because he is, he reflects back to other performers, producers, and every day folks that they can do it too. There are no boundaries. You can do what you want, in the way that you want to do it, AND you can change your mind.

    KEY: The clearer the podcaster is at fully being herself, expressing herself, failing and succeeding the more it allows her audience/fans/fellow artists to engage, create and grow in *this new media*.

    Media Innovation

    Since one is able to freely create content without context, it follows that podcasting would naturally grow, evolve and change. Although podcasting hasn't really been around for too long, it's already grown in vast amount of ways. As much as podcasting brings about the incredible talent of the every-man, whether it be independent businesses, original episodic series, education, entertainment, or insightful criticism, it's also being employed by bigger media sources more and more consistently.

    The growth of portable consumption devices, whether it be iOS devices, smartphones, tablets, etc, are simply going to allow podcasters to find new and innovative ways to publish their content and align with their optimal audience.

    Podcasters, have you found this to be true?

    Why have you chosen to podcast?

    Do you feel podcasting is as great as Marc Maron believes it to be?

    Let us know in the comments!

    PS

    BTW, Marc Maron just shot a presentation pilot with the amazing Ed Asner playing his father :) Guess the inspiration just keeps growing and growing!

    -Elsie Escobar


    If you'd like to be part of the growing community of mighty podcasters like Marc Maron, do what he did, start podcasting with libsyn :) and if you wanna take it to the next level rock out your podcast with a smartphone app. You can sign-up HERE!


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    3 Reasons You Should Consider A Facebook Page for Your Podcast


    One way to connect to your podcast is a facebook page.  Facebook has a separate way for businesses, organizations, shows and brands to promote their content on facebook.  Profiles are for people, pages are for everyone else.

    3 reasons why you should have a Facebook page for your show:

    1. People are already there.  Everyone is on Facebook - okay maybe not everyone - but lots of people check facebook many times a day, they might not come look at your website everyday - but if they are already on Facebook - then you should meet them there.
    2. The personal endorsement.  Advertising is okay, but anyone who has ever spent a dollar on advertising will tell you that a personal reccomendation from a friend is always more valuable than an advertisement.  When some one "likes" your show on Facebook - that "like" then shows up in their friends stream.  When you "like" Libsyn (if you are on Facebook - we hope you will like out page) - that shows up in stream.  "Your_name liked Libsyn"
    3. Sharing is easy.  When you add something to your show's Facebook page - your fans are just a click away from sharing that information with their friends.  No links to copy and paste.  1 click sharing makes it easy for your fans to tell your friends about the latest episode or news about your show.  

    How to set up a Facebook Page:

    Don't have a Facebook Page yet?  No problem - Facebook pages are free an easy to set up.  Mashable has put together a great tutorial on setting up a Facebook page here.

    Also check out this post from Mashable - 5 Easy Ways to Liven Up Your Facebook Stream for some more ideas on what you can share with your fans on Facebook

    Already have a Facebook Page? Check out our Facebook for Podcaster Series here.


    Want More Listeners? Common Podcasting Mistakes And How To Fix Them

    You got your podcast. You want more listeners? Great! Check out these simple ways to optimize your fabulous work so that folks know how awesome you are!

    • Your Podcast Description and About Page Are Your Calling Card

      You know what your podcast is about. Your audience knows your what your podcast is about. What about all those people that could potentially fall in love with your work? You have got to take the time to pimp up your podcast description and about page!

      Let's take a look at 4 descriptions from iTunes and pull out key factors toward creating the optimal about description for your podcast ==> read more

    • Do It Up With Your Keywords

    Keywords are simply an easy way to search for the content that you are looking for, kinda like the signs above the isles in the grocery store.

    The internet is basically a giant grocery store. Keywords are the guide with which to get to the content that you are searching for faster. Why not give those searching for the kind of flavor that you provide in your podcast the best way to find it? ==> read more

    Everybody loves pictures. I'm sure that you’ve had your attention drawn by them at some point during your day. Images are power. Images, design, color and graphics hold within them the power to convey distinct and compelling information. They have the strength to engage the viewer to step closer to the source or to push away from it.

    You may already have decided what you want your artwork to look like. You may have no idea what your artwork should look like. Following will be a few guidelines and important information to both facilitate your decision making process as well as refine your choices ==> read more

    ID3 tags are extra information/data contained within your audio beyond the actual audio. The general basic information that you see in the majority of your audio files that we all have seen, particularly in your music library or even simply in your computer files is: the name, author, album, genre and artwork. This makes finding particular songs within your music library a bit easier. It also helps whatever music software you are using sort your audio files in ways that are logical and easy to search.

    Why are ID3 Tags Important To Podcasters? ==> read more

    There are tons of podcasters that are currently using Twitter as another way to enhance relationships with existing listeners as well as to extend their reach.

    Assuming you already know about Twitter and either already have a twitter account or are ready to jump on board. Here are tips specific to podcasters to best use this medium in order to enhance the work you are already doing! ==> read more

    How about podcast audience engagement via Facebook as another opportunity to develop deeper relationships with your current audience and perhaps facilitate a wider reach? Let's delve into Facebook Page basics for a bit.

    This in no way means that you MUST have a Facebook Page as a podcaster. This is a uniquely individual decision that matches your workflow and your existing audience engagement Up for it? ==> read more

    Hope that helped a bit! How about letting us know how you are growing your audience?

    Elsie Escobar


    Fans In Little Italy Picture: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.


    Podcast Clean Up: Wordpress 101 Permalink Power

    What Are Permalinks?

    In the podcasting world, these would be the unique url or location of each of your shownotes/posts on your blog. You can find the permalink for each and every one of your posts by looking up at the browser's address bar. According to Wikipidia:
    A permalink, or permanent link, is a URL that points to a specific blog or forum entry after it has passed from the front page to the archives. Because a permalink remains unchanged indefinitely, it is less susceptible to link rot. Most modern weblogging and content-syndication software systems support such links. Other types of websites use the term permanent links, but the term permalink is most common within the blogosphere. Permalink is a portmanteau word made from permanent link. Permalinks are often simply stated so as to be human-readable.

    Why Are Permalinks Important To Podcasters?

    We as podcasters are constantly looking to grow our audience. As opposed to blog posts which you can scan and read easily, it's really hard for people to know our content without having to listen or view it. Permalinks are an opportunity to facilitate discoverability that is often completely overlooked.
    • You can customize your permalinks to focus on any relevant keywords within your podcast episode
    • Paying attention to your permalinks will naturally help your shownotes be indexed well by Google aka better SEO for your site which equals a potential larger audience.
    NOTE: Although this article mainly focuses on configuring the permalinks on a Wordpress site some of the practices can apply to any other platform that you might be using: Blogger, TypePad, Squarespace, Posterous, libsyn, etc.

    The Best Configuration of Permalinks For Podcasters

    There are a handfull of options to configure your Permalinks within Wordpress. In order to configure your Permalinks please go to your Wordpress Dashboard and on the left hand side column go to Settings => Permalinks
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    The common settings are:
    • Default- This is the structure that is set on your blog right off the bat. These links have no SEO juice whatsoever. They offer the least amount of information.
    • Day and name- This is a good choice for your podcast. The date before the show episode name will offer important information to search engines.
    • Month and name- This can also be a good choice to use, especially if you have happen to produce a monthly podcast
    • Numeric - Not the best choice for your podcast shownotes
    • Custom Structure- This is my personal favorite. You can configure it almost any way you like. My favorite choice is simply the year and the post name. It allows the permalink to be shorter while providing room for optimal keyword usage.
    If you want to know more of the how and why of permalink structure inside of Wordpress, please check out this article from Wordpress.org.

    Configuring Individual Permalinks For Your Episodes

    Not only does Wordpress allow you to set the overall structure of your permalinks, but it also gives you an option to configure individual permalinks to each of your episodes if you so desire. The permalink does not necessarily have to match your title.

       
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    As you see from the picture above the you can very easily rename the permalink.

    Why would you want to do this?

    It's a really great tool for specific episodes, or important episodes that you may be producing.

    Let's say you have a really popular episode where you interview a high profile guest, instead of having your normal permalink of:

    http://yourwebsite.com/2011/episode-100-interview-with-high-profile-guest

    it could simply be:

    http://yourwebsite.com/2011/yourhighprofileguest

    With that structure you can easily share that permalink with folks that ask you about your podcast as a way to guide them to one of your best shows.You could do special permalinks as well for holiday focused episodes:

    http://yourwebsite.com/2011/Christmas or http://yourwebsite.com/2011/birthday.

    The most important thing to remember about permalinks is that they work best when you use keywords within them that your potential audience is looking for.

    If you have an in depth tutorial all about iPhoto 11 and your episode name is The Magic of Deconstructing iPhoto 11 a simple and better permalink for this post would be:

    http://yourwebsite.com/2011/iPhoto-11-Tutorial

    Doing this you can still get fancy and creative with the episode title but your permalink provides a greater opportunity for those searching for what you have to offer as it employs keywords people would naturally use in search engines.

    Have you configured your Permalinks? Do you have any other suggestions regarding optimizing your permalink structure? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you :)

    Elsie Escobar


    Get Ready, Gamertag Radio Will Be At E3 2011!

    2010-08-28 GTR 2K Games Mafia II Event NY (131)

    Wait,

    You don't know Gamertag Radio?

    Some of their episodes have made a major impact in the gaming industry and community from 2005 to 2011.

    1. From their first episode in 2005 they instantly were noticed, first by Microsoft featuring them on Xbox.com and it just grew from there :)
    2. They interviewed the Capcom Team about "Lost Planet" at the Microsoft campus when it was first played, plus checked out Small Arms and sat down with the developers from Gastronaut Studios for an exclusive roundtable audio. (Episode 78)
    3. Know Danny Trejo? Heat, Spykids, Dusk Till Dawn? Well GTR has had him on for two interviews! (Episodes 80 and 242)
    4. Crazy awesome coverage of the launch of the XBox 360, including a roundtable with Xbox execs Peter Moore and J Allard. (Episode 31)
    5. Kinect vs Playstation Move- Check out this debate in Episode 249
    6. Why are gaming companies not working with indy sites anymore? Are there too many gaming podcasts and blogs? Has this "community" gone too commercial? Are they community or press? Healthy discussion on Episode 157!
    7. So you want controversy. How about: What's wrong with the Xbox community on Episode 28.
    8. Did you know that ESA gave out less media passes to bloggers this year? GTR took on this subject with a massive roundtable discussion on Episode 279.
    9. Community Launch Party for Mafia II! Can we say H-O-T! That was Episode 257.
    10. Check out this MASSIVE LIVE EVENT! Community Vibes 5 Live. Yeah baby, rated the number 1 Super Bowl party in South Florida

    How's that for a quick summary of their their awesomeness? If you are totally intrigued or are a mega fan check out this totally EPIC post: The Top 25 Most Important Gamertag Radio Shows of All Time Also if you want to subscribe or download individual episodes HERE is a direct link to the podcast via iTunes

    So What Is Gamertag Radio Up to At E3?

    According to this, the GTR staff, those attending E3 and the others providing support away from the show floor, will be offering a variety of content during the expo. Gamertag Radio at E3 2011 will be delivering:

    • Random live streams
    • Live Blogs
    • Developer interviews
    • Show floor pictures and video
    • Staff write-ups about press conferences and events
    • Round table discussions featuring staff, community members and event attendees
    • Posted announcements and new game trailers

    During the show, the team will be working constantly to compile information and provide their experiences about any game that may be shown at E3 2011. For the Gamertag Radio app owners on iPad, iPhone, iTouch, and Android, there will be exclusive bonus content including:

    • Behind the scenes content from the show floor
    • Special round table discussion shows
    • Video logs
    • Exclusive editorials and more

    Also this year, community members who do not have access to a Android or Apple device can now get their hands on the bonus content by joining the Gamertag Radio Premium page at www.gamertagradio.com/premium for the low price of $0.99.

    All this awesome coverage starts June 6 and goes until June 9th!

    The Fancy Pants Gamertag Radio Smartphone App

    All the content that you see above above, you'll find in their Smartphone Apps for Android or iOS devices. Insider 2011 E3 Content at your fingertips! Starting a day early. Wooohooo!

    Get the iOS App

    Get the Android App

    So psyched libsyn is sponsoring GTR at E3!!!