Check out our apps
Join libsyn


 

Categories

Have the newest IMake.Libsyn posts delivered to Your Email. Enter your email address here:

Archives

Where are all the women at? Part 2

statistics about women in podcasting

Below is an article I wrote for Blogger and Podcaster Magazine back in Sept 2007 called - Hey where are all the Women at? The article went over the lack of women in podcasting at that time.  

I thought it would be interesting to follow up on this article to see where women are percentage-wise in podcasting five years later. 


September 2007

Hey where are all the Women at?

Surely someone will get their nose out of joint by the title of this article.

“What does he mean by it?” 

Well, back in late 2004 I remember reading an article that talked about how 42% of bloggers were women and the author felt that statistic was more important to mainstream acceptance of blogs than the publicity blogs were getting from their coverage of the US presidential election. 

The author of the article, and for the life of me I can not remember who wrote it, made the point that passing that 40% mark was somehow a magical event and at that point there would be content available that all could enjoy, not just the techies and political pundits.

This author felt the content would reflect the image of the audience and this would be more inviting to the general population. Word of mouth outside of the internet would then help fuel blog growth even higher.

I have often thought about the message in that article, and as podcasting came into being in late 2004 and as we moved into 2005, I wondered what percentage females made up in the podcasting ranks.

How did Podcasting match up against Blogging? 

Then in late 2005 I did not have to wonder anymore. 

Monash University released a survey of podcasters in the Fall of 2005 that found only 14.2% of Podcasters were female.

I wish I could say I was shocked, but I figured we were in the early adopter stage and things would work themselves out over time and the number of females would start to rise.

Fast forward to early 2007 and Jacobs University along with the University of Technology Berlin conducted a survey of podcasters, this time with over four times the number surveyed back in 2005.

What they found was that females now represented 13.8% of the podcasting community

This time I was shocked, I was hoping for 25% and thought it might even be as lows as 20%.  But to see a decline (albeit a very small decline) was not even something I remotely thinking was an option. 

I have always made a conscious effort on Podcast411 to get more women on the show as guests. For the life of the Podcast411 - 22.8% of my guests have been female, with 34.3% of my guests in 2007 being female.

I hope someday to not have to make a conscious effort to interview more women and that simply by statistics my interviews will work out to close to 50/50 male to female guests.  But based on the most recent survey we are not just a long way off – there has been no improvement in the situation in the past two years.  

Please do not get the message wrong - there are some great individual women in the podcasting world that have been extremely influential and instrumental in helping grow this community, they include.  Mur Lafferty (Geek Fu Action Grip, I Should Be Writing, and co-author of Tricks of the Podcasting Masters) Colette Vogel (Podcasting Legal Guide), Shelly Brisbin (Shelly’s Podcast, Editor Blogger and Podcaster Magazine)  Nicole Simon (Useful Sounds, and lots of other credits), Cali Lewis (GeekBrief.TV, iCali), Violet Blue (Open Source Sex, San Fran Chronicle), Mignon Fogarty (Grammar Girl, QDNow Network), Carmen Van Kerckhove (Addicted to Race), Gretchen and Paige (The MommyCast), Denise Howell (This Week in Law, Sound Policy) and many others I do not have the space to mention here.  

I think the key in the list of women above (beyond me leaving someone out you think I am an idiot for leaving out) is that they for the most part did not come from a media background or a hyper-marketing background.

They are all just everyday people, some have a blogging background, for others podcasting was their first foray into the internet world. In other words, they represent most of the women in the general population and they show that there is no real X chromosome barrier to entry in podcasting. 

So like I asked in the title - where are all the women at?  What is it about podcasting that makes it not so attractive or interesting if you are a female? 

Honestly I want to know. 

I would like to hear what your thoughts are on what I consider to be one of the biggest issues in podcasting.  


So where are we at today?  

On the blogging side in 2012 there are more women bloggers 50.9% vs Men 49.1%.  This according to Sysomos -

But for Podcasting - we just have not seen that increase that blogging has seen - actually we have seen a decrease from the numbers of 2005 and 2007.  

In 2012 just 12.5% of Podcasters are Women.  

This from info of podcasters using libsyn.com . The data comes from over 10,000 podcasters using our service - so it is more than statistically significant.  

Maybe the issue has been all the added tools you need to podcast?  

If that is the case - good news - I am doing a presentation at NMX titled - Audio Podcasting - Doing it all from your iPad.  Maybe by showing how easy it is to actually podcast and that you can do it all from your iPad this will help get more women interested in podcasting. 

Who knows with a little luck maybe in 2017 I will be able to put up an article titled - Hey were are all the Men at?

Rob Walch


Image credit via CC Women standing in a picket line reading the newspaper PM. by Kheel Center, Cornell University

   

Do Not Use Apple Product Imagery In Your Podcast Artwork...Or Else

In this article we will address the following:

  • How to effectively get your podcast pulled from iTunes.
  • Why not to use Apple images in your artwork.
  • How to get your podcast re-instated if it's been pulled due to use of unauthorized Apple product imagery.

As of this weekend several podcasters have had their podcasts pulled from iTunes completely, with only a very general email message simply informing them of the fact.

As we inquired as to the reason for said podcasts being pulled down, we were informed clearly by Apple that it all boiled down to one thing:

The offending podcasts all had artwork that included unauthorized Apple product imagery.

If you ever wondered whether or not you should or could use Apple products or logos in your podcast artwork, the definitive answer is NO.

Please be advised that if you currently have Apple products, logos or imagery in your current podcast artwork NOW is the time to update. If you have had no troubles in the past, this will not be the case anymore (one of the podcasts removed had its artwork up there for almost 5 years).

If you wait until your show is pulled from iTunes you may not be able to get back your shows ratings and reviews. Change your Artwork now if you have any doubt about your artwork.

Apple is pro-actively seeking out use of unauthorized Apple imagery within podcast artwork and pulling the offending podcasts from iTunes.

Updating Your Podcast Artwork

If updating your artwork within the libsyn dashboard please make sure that you:

  • Change the file name- iTunes does not update the artwork unless the file name changes. For example if the file you used before was "artwork.jpg", change it to "artwork2.jpg". The name must be different.
  • Make sure the jpg or png is 600x600 px

To upload the new artwork in your libsyn account:

  • Click on the Gears icon next to your icon in your libsyn UI.

  • In the pop over box in the lower right you will see your current artwork.
  • Click on "upload" select your new artwork from your computer and then after it uploads click on "Save".

It should update in your RSS feed shortly and with in iTunes in the next 48 to 72 hours.

Re-instating Your Podcast In iTunes

If you have already had your podcast pulled from iTunes you MUST first update your podcast artwork and remove any possible offending Apple images in order to be re-submitted.

Then make sure that you do the following, please email support(at)libsyn(dot)com with the subject heading “Had my Podcast pulled from iTunes due to my Artwork."

Within this email please include ALL THREE OF THE FOLLOWING:

  1. A copy of the email from Apple saying your podcast was removed.
  2. A copy of your new artwork.
  3. The original URL to your iTunes store page. It should look something like this:

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=252820844

We must have all three for us to contact Apple on your behalf. If you don't know what your iTunes store page URL was - please search around until you find it.

Again once you get the three items above email them to support(at)libsyn(dot)com and we will do our best to get your show back at the same iTunes store URL.


IMAGE CREDIT via CC "Think Different" by funadium


Your Favorite Podcasting Microphones

Man do podcasters love their microphones! And it seems that there are a lot of podcasters interested in knowing more about what microphone to use as well as what others use.

We asked on twitter: What's your favorite podcasting microphone?

It certainly was a lively conversation on Twitter!

I'm amazed by all the high end microphones our producers are using! I think we're going to have to do some diggin' for a future post to provide y'all with some 'economic' choices. :)

Podcasting Microphones By Podcasters

For those of you that missed the conversation, here are the microphones suggested by podcasters for podcasting:

theRamenNoodle Daniel J. Lewis @libsyn You'll hear this one a lot: the Heil PR40. #podcasting

jonreadscomics Jon M. Wilson @libsyn The simple bottom-of-the-line Logitech analog headset. Clear reception, no buzz, works like a champ.

karinhoegh Karin Hoegh @libsyn I agree with @theramenNoodle Heil PR40 #podcasting

goodbadgeeky Nick Nitro @libsyn marshal XML condensor mica

ctrlaltdeliver Jim Meeker @karinhoegh @libsyn @theramenNoodle Heil PR40 is not in this teacher's budget, but is in hopes and dreams #podcasting

mediacastguy MediacastGuy @libsyn Heil PR40

invervegas KDP @libsyn Fav mic for podcasting: Behringer C1

Legopolis Steven Schapansky @libsyn Blue Snowball FTW!

bcdunkel Brian Dunkel @libsyn Anyone suggesting any good budget microphones? #impoor

TheMediocreShow TheMediocreShow @libsyn EV RE20 the finest vocal transducer known to man. Am I right @RickEmerson

RickEmerson Rick Emerson @TheMediocreShow @libsyn You…are correct, sir.

richardgperry Richard Perry @libsyn Shure SM7B

bonnyface Julie Kuehl @libsyn @bcdunkel Logitech headsets don't get enough credit. They'll do for a tight budget.

YoGeek ♥ Elsie Escobar 4 an onthego podcasting Mama: built in ZoomH2 mic & audio-technica PRO88W RT @libsyn: What's ur favorite podcasting microphone? #podcasting

reformedcast Scott Oakland @libsyn I use the Heil PR40 and absolutely believe it is the best mic available!

mediacastguy MediacastGuy @libsyn The best VALUE microphone for #podcasting is the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB. Less than $50 US from Amazon.

jtswhipped jtswhipped @libsyn @legopolis @bcdunkel @themediocreshow @rickemerson @richardgperry @bonnyface @reformedcast shure mics. The only way.

TokyoPodcast Anthony Joh @libsyn I love my RODE Podcaster USB mic becos I only need my laptop + mic to record my show. It's a portable studio I can take anywhere

TheMediocreShow TheMediocreShow @jtswhipped @libsyn i have a shure sm7b as well, the RE20 still sounds better for male voices.

Do you see any microphones that are missing from the list? What do you use?

Elsie Escobar



What Are Your Expectations for the iPhone 5? A Podcaster Shares His Predictions

There are plenty of prediction posts all over the blogosphere about what's coming with the iPhone 5, and we couldn't be left behind!

Our own podcast luminary Rob Walch has written a pretty thorough post all about the possibilities of what's to come on Tuesday October 4th from the Apple event and the iPhone 5.

The 6 new features of the iPhone 5?

1. Upgraded camera to an 8 Mega Pixel camera module. In iOS 5 - Apple has added a few features that are focused on the camera - such as using the volume button as a shutter control and adding quick access to the camera from the lock screen - so an upgraded camera for the iPhone 5 that will be running iOS 5 seems to be a lock.

2. Upgrade of the CPU to the A5 - which is the same processor in the iPad 2. This follows last years process when the iPad 1 had the A4 Processor first and then when the iPhone 4 came out it also had the A4. Apple will also likely bump up internal ram from 512 MB to 1 GB - but likely will not even mention this. Other than the CPU - Apple does not like to talk much about the internals of the iPhones.

3. For Business Travelers - especially on Verizon - the biggest upgrade will be in making it a true world phone. With a chipset that allows for both CDMA and GSM use from the same phone. This chip set is already in the Verizon iPhone 4 - but the Verizon iPhone 4 is not optimized to use both GSM and CDMA. The iPhone 5 - will be designed from the ground up to be a true world phone.

Click HERE for the full article, where you'll get the last 3 feature predictions, plus answers to these questions:

  • For business users, is this going to be a no-brainer upgrade? Why or why not?
  • What can a business user do to prep for the new model in terms of support in the workplace, expected costs, etc.?
  • How has the Android OS encroached on the iPhone in terms of business features?
  • Can Apple possibly keep the momentum going with each new iPhone in terms of capturing market share, etc.? How will they do that?

As podcasters, what would you like to see on the iPhone 5?

Let us know in the comments!


Are you interested in having your show available for your audience on the new iPhone and fully compatible with iOS5? Why don't you get started HERE!


Who Says Podcasting Has Lost Steam?

There was a recent article on podcasting that alluded to the fact that perhaps no one is really listening to podcasts anymore.

Well, we here at libsyn beg the differ.

In order to celebrate podcasting, podcasters and all their work, we will be showcasing some of our longest running podcasts, like from waaaaay back in 2005 or so. The producers themselves will answer some questions primarily focused on what's kept them going consistently for so long!

We hope you find this entertaining, useful but most of all inspiring.

Come on back tomorrow! We're posting our first interview our first interview :)


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


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!


Facebook For Podcasters (Part 1)

As podcasters, any social media strategy we choose to use to help us better connect with our audience is all about OUR unique and individual audience.

There are certain podcasts whose audience is primarily voice feedback and emails, others are all about twitter conversations, for others audience engagement is solely within the podcast webpage and comments on the blog, while others have their own social network communities (ning sites, forums) that are highly active.

Each podcast and its audience is unique.

In this post we’ll talk about podcast audience engagement via Facebook as another opportunity to develop deeper relationships with your current audience and perhaps facilitate a wider reach for your podcast through examples and general tips.

The main focus will be on Facebook Pages.

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. In a later post we will focus more on the differences between Personal Profiles vs Pages vs Groups.

Key Ideas For Facebook For Podcasters

Here is a bite size synopsis of the basic key concepts to keep in mind using Facebook Pages. As you delve into the post, we'll address each of the following bullet points a bit more fully.

  • Be authentic: Don’t get a Facebook Page if you hate Facebook. Don’t get a Facebook Page if your audience is not there! Use your time effectively in a way that aligns with your workflow.
  • Use what’s there! Fill out as much information as you can. Use all the functionality of the Pages before you start to get creative.
  • Put in the time: The beauty of a social network is that you participate in it. Be engaged. Do it up. Don’t expect to get tons of folks to start Liking your page just because you put it up. Like anything else, you have to put in the time to see the results.*
  • Facebook changes all the time: Be willing to roll with the punches.
  • Have fun! If it’s not fun, don’t do it.

Who Is Your Audience?

In the Twitter for Podcasters blog post I asked one main question: Why are you podcasting? In this post I ask another: Who is your audience?

This is particularly important for Facebook if you plan to invest some time developing that community. Even though almost the entire world is on Facebook, is your audience active on Facebook?

Some podcast's audience want nothing to do with Facebook. They would rather gather anywhere else but there. Those podcasters although they may have a Facebook Page are not really engaged on their Page. Any extra time invested in Facebook would take away valuable time they could apply elsewhere to cultivate audience engagement.

Before you invest your time and effort on Facebook, either do some research yourself, or ask your audience if they are active on Facebook. It doesn’t hurt and it could absolutely save you tons of time.

It’s not only about your audience but about yourself: are you comfortable on Facebook? Are you willing to delve into and make this a place to have your community live? If you cannot stand Facebook and never go there, then don’t start now. Be authentic to yourself!

Take the Time To Effectively Use Your Facebook Page

Your Facebook Page’s importance relies on your willingness to take the time to fill out all the necessary information, including the optimal tabs that are relevant to your podcast.

Add Your Proper Information

Edit your Basic Information from the left hand navigation. Please fill your podcast info. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gone into a podcaster’s Facebook page only to find this Basic Information such as email and website missing. If you are not going to fill this out, at least put a link to your podcast’s main site! Here is the top information needed:

You can add all that information and more within your Page on Basic Information on the left hand side navigation.

What Is Your Podcast About?

A quick summary of your podcast will do so much for potential listeners (filling out the About section on your Facebook Page).

It's always great to be introduced to a new brand/person/business in the form of a quick description on their Facebook Page.

You can let folks know about your podcast in these places within your Page:

  • The About section within Basic Information
  • The About section from the left hand navigation on your Facebook Page
  • A customized landing page (we’ll talk about this in another post)

Facebook Photos and Videos

Uploading media to your Facebook Page is a gold mine for your audience. You can supplement your existing content or add Page specific content for your audience.

Here are some ways to leverage your media:

  • Upload your logos and artwork to your Facebook pictures. (Great way to have folks steal your information). You can always add a hyperlink to each pic to drive back to your site!
  • Share any pictures where you have in some way engaged with your listeners face to face.
  • If your listeners send you pictures ask permission to post them to your Facebook page.
  • Post pictures of events, workshops, meet-ups relevant to your podcasts’ subject matter.
  • Create screencasts, tutorials or how-tos specific to your Facebook Page
  • Create Facebook Page specific videos engaging with your audience.

Testimonials/Reviews

(Update: in true Facebook fashion they removed the testimonials/reviews tab as a feature for your page. C'est la vie.)

You know how important iTunes reviews are for your podcasts. Even though Facebook reviews are not quite as important in terms of getting your seen more they are an excellent way for folks to share how great you are! If people want to know more about what others think of your podcast, you can simply link straight to your Testimonials Page on Facebook.

There is no real “Testimonials Page," it’s actually called Reviews, and you can add the ability for your fans to review you simply by adding that tab to the left hand side column as you are editing your Page. I don’t think many podcasters use this functionality very much. It’s so easy, especially if your audience is already active on Facebook.

How do you get people to review you? The tried and true way, you ask them :)

Get Them Landing Where You Want!

If someone who has not Liked your Page lands on your Page, what do you want them to see?

  • Your information?
  • Your wall posts and links?
  • Everyone’s wall posts and links?
  • A specific landing page

This is strictly up to you. You can also choose to have folks land directly on your information page, or even perhaps design your own iFrame fancy pants landing page. The sky’s the limit! Those settings are accessible via your Manage Permissions settings within your admin panel of your Page.

That’s just the tip of the ice-berg when it comes to the power of Facebook, or should I say what’s possible with Facebook ;)

Facebook is CONSTANTLY Changing.

Before even beginning to delve into Facebook practices, know that they will change. They always do. Usually Facebook settings, Pages, Groups, Profiles, permissions, applications, usage, privacy, whatever you can think of regarding the platform will change, more than likely just as you finally got the hang of it.

Whenever researching Facebook practices on your own, make sure you pay attention to the date tutorials/tips where posted.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE FACEBOOK TEAM BLOG

Being podcasters we know about RSS, right? Using your RSS reader of choice subscribe to the Facebook blog. You will get a head’s up regarding up and coming changes, and at times you may have the ability to beta test possible new features. You’ll be in the know before a vast amount of people about Facebook!

If you wanna get crazy in the know, subscribe to the Facebook Developers Blog.

There’s a lot more to come, so I hope you come back to check out Facebook for Podcasters Part 2 + more! We’ll be covering: automation, tagging, growing your Likes, customizing your Page and Profiles/Groups/Pages.

If there’s anything else that you’d like to learn about leave it in the comments, we’d be happy to serve!

-Elsie Escobar


Podcast Clean-Up: Don't Use That Link!

Do you want to make your downloads count?

Are you making sure that you are using all the proper links in as many channels as you can so that they do count?

Do you know the proper link to use, when you are sharing your links on your site, Twitter, Facebook, or any other sharing platform so that your downloads are counted and you don't get any 404 errors?

Here is THE link to use when you are sharing your links on line:

http://traffic.libysn.com/accountname/filename

That link is the permalink to your file. That link will not change. Wherever you share that link, your audience will be able to go to your file and download or stream your content.

Interesting....

Have you noticed that when you click onto that link you are redirected to another link that looks something along these lines:

http://hw.libsyn.com/p/3/9/1/391271669968b057/yourfilename+othernumbersandlettersandsymbols

If you write or paste your traffic.libsyn.com link onto your browser it will redirect to that link as well.

*That link is A TEMPORARY LINK! It can change!*

This information is very important, because if you use the http://hw.libysn.com link directly (meaning you copy the link from your browser's address bar) and use that link to share on your site, or Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else, anyone that downloads or streams your media directly from those links will not be counted in your stats.

Another less than stellar thing that can happen if you link directly to the http://hw.libsyn.com link is that it can lead to a 404 error message. As stated before, the hw link is TEMPORARY and it can change.

To clarify:

  • The http://traffic.libysn.com link IS THE PERMANENT LINK AND DOES NOT CHANGE
  • The http://hw.libsyn.com link IS NOT PERMANENT AND IT CAN CHANGE.

Where do you find your traffic.libsyn.com link?

Once in your account, under the Publishing Tab/Previous Posts, when you hover over any one of your previous posts you will get a few options pop up

Click on the LINKS option.

Once you do that more choices will be revealed, including the traffic.libsyn.com link!

Copy and paste wherever you desire. That's it!

Wrapping it up

As a way to make sure that all of your stats count and you don't get 404 messages from your files, please make sure that the links that you use to share your files in any online platform are the links formatted: http://traffic.libsyn.com/accountname/filename

I hope that was helpful!

Please share your thoughts regarding this issue, especially if it doesn't make sense. :)

Hope you hear from you guys soon!

- Elsie Escobar


Podcast Clean Up: Have You Edited Your ID3 Tags Today?

Today in iOS ID3 Tags for libsyn how-to edit blog post

Do you know what your ID3 tags are?

First let's just get a quick definition: ID3, according to id3.org means "IDentify an MP3." Although this definition refers particularly to MP3s (due to it's origin) it doesn't pertain specifically to MP3s, in fact there are other audio formats whose ID3 tags can be edited such as MP2, MP4/AAC, Ogg Vorbis and 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?

  • Easy contact information- I've found myself wanting to give feedback or contact a podcaster at the most inopportune times. Having their information email address and website embedded into their ID3 tags has really helped to create relationships. Yes, usually podcasters mention their info within the episode and this info is available on the site as well, but especially to new listeners the place they will go for your info will be their MP3 player or perhaps their podcatcher software.
  • Recognition and consistency- When you edit your ID3 tags, once you publish it to your RSS feed and it's released into podcatchers, podcast directories and your website, all the information on the MP3 file goes with, so if someone downloads it, they get all the data leading right back to you and your 'brand,' ie. what it is, who made it, where it came from.
  • Your podcast goes where it's meant to go- In most MP3 players' software audio files are sorted by their ID3 tags: music files go with music, audio books with audio books and podcasts with podcasts. In any MP3 player, iPod or iOS device this makes browsing and organizing audio files a breeze.
  • You are always there- No matter where your audio file ends up your signature will always be within that file. When folks look at your ID3 tags they will see what you have chosen for them to know about you: your name, podcast name, business, email, phone number, website, etc. That is really powerful.
  • It looks pretty- I don't know about you but when I have files inside my iTunes library that are missing artwork or descriptions it bothers me. It's challenging to look at my podcasts and quickly glance to see what podcast it is when there is nothing visual that can help me.

The artwork and properly filled meta data doesn't only make things look aesthetically pleasing, but it also reflects professionalism. Being able to read the description of an episode , and all the other information that can be added to the file cements within the listener your commitment and expertise regarding your chosen subject.

How To Edit Your ID3 Tags

Most folks use iTunes to edit their ID3 tags. It's pretty easy to do it within that software. Here is a tutorial on the Podcast411 site that walks you through how to go about it.

NOTE: When folks subscribe to your podcast via iTunes, iTunes will overwrite some of your ID3 tags. An example would be your title, iTunes actually replaces what you entered in the ID3 tags with the title from the RSS feed for that episode.

Don't like iTunes, don't want iTunes? No problem. Here is some software that is all about helping you edit your ID3 tags:

The following list are both free and paid apps.

I do hope that you found this information helpful, especially if you hadn't delved into editing your ID3 tags.

For those of you that have been aware of the power of ID3 tags, what are your best practices? Do you use specific software? What's your favorite?

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

-Elsie Escobar


Podcast Clean-Up: Optimizing Your Podcast Description And About Page

What is your podcast about?

iTunes now has hundreds of thousands podcasts available for easy consumption, and upon looking at some of the top rated and most popular podcasts, other than eye-catching artwork there is something they all share: a clear, concise and informative description.

This description is not just about iTunes but is carried over to the podcast website, where it deepens and becomes a little more elaborate without loosing it's simplicity.

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

1. The Call To Action

The Winning Investor: Take control of your financial destiny and develop a successful investing strategy with The Winning Investor. Join Andrew Horowitz as he cuts through the sometimes confusing jargon of financial products and services to help you analyze investment opportunities and decide what's best for you.

The QDNow Podcasts have fantastic descriptions which incorporate action. As you read the first sentence of the description above it immediately tells you what action you'll take from consuming this content with strong active statements. The second sentence gives you the how this action will happen: with Andrew Horowitz guiding you to action.

2. The Leading Question

How stuff Works: in a world of limitless possibilities, who can listeners count on for up to date info on everything from oil spills to flamethrowers? Just check in with Chuck and Josh, your favority Neo-Renaissance men for more Stuff You Know from HowStuffWorks.com

Starting off with a question that incorporates your optimal audience, including a reason to subscribe, while providing a precise answer is another way to quickly communicate what your podcast is about.

In the description above you see the question stated offers 2 things: audience description (people interested info from oil spills to flamethrowers) and a reason to subscribe (up to date info). The response shares with the potential listeners that the podcast is a conversation (Chuck and Josh) and who they are (Neo-Renaissance men) plus adds where to get more (HowStuffWorks.com).

In those two sentences, you get a fantastic overview of what you can expect when you listen to this show as well as the type of people who may be drawn to listening.

3. The Power List

Back To Work: Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin on productivity, communication, work, barriers constraints, tools and more. Hosted by Dan Benjamin and Merlin Man.

This is perhaps the simplest way to get everything your podcast is about in one sentence. Have the who (the doer/subject) + on (the verb/action) + a list of your key words (object/the topic). Done.

4. The Simple Statement

Sticks & Strings Podcast: A podcast by an Australian bloke who knits. www.sticksandstrings.com.au

Did you get that? Short, simple, and done! I know what that podcast is about :)

In your iTunes podcast page you get about 50 words above the fold (anything that you immediately see without having to click ...more and scroll down) If you can make those first 2 sentences powerful you've totally got them to offer the more of your greatness!

Now, don't think that you can only describe your podcast in these 4 ways or that you have to do it with only two sentences. Those examples above are simply the tip of the iceberg. After distilling what your podcast is about so succinctly at the top of your description, you now can elaborate about what makes your podcasts unique, adding all the flash and singularity that makes it you.

If you want to deepen your description a great guideline to keep your description readable and effective is to keep it between 100-200 words. Use the same description both in iTunes as well as in your About Page on your website.

Uniformity And Consistency Yield Great Power

When you take the time to distill your description up to two sentences as well as grow your description to a couple of paragraphs, it not only clearly informs your potential audience but gives you the power to communicate what you are about in effective ways. You can now share what your podcast is about via one twitter message as well as pitching potential partnerships, marketing your podcast and strengthening your brand across many platforms through the distinct uniformity.

Have you thought about what your description or about page says about you? Do you have any tips to share? We would love to hear from you in the comments!

-Elsie Escobar

Image: From Wikipedia by Satyakamk


Podcast Clean Up- 2 Explorations To Get More Subscribers From Your Podcast Website

iTunes Podcasting Polaroid

Do People Know How To Subscribe From Your Site?

I go to my podcast website all the time. I can navigate within it and it all looks pretty clear to me! But then, I put the thing together ;) I'm always surprised at what other people think of my site, or some of the questions that I get regarding content consumption on my site.

At times I get questions that in my mind are SOOOO clear…but alas, in reality, not so much.

During my work at libsyn, a lot of times I search for podcasts, visit podcast websites, listen to podcasts, find out what podcasts are about and I've found that I've encountered road blocks when it comes to actually consuming and even subscribing to some podcasts.

I find myself having to do a lot of searching to find out what podcasts are about, where the real podcast website is, and even where to click to consume the content, and I'm well versed in the podcast culture, so I know a lot more than the average person! I have to be absolutely honest. There are times when the podcast looks so cool but the fact that I cannot listen to it with one click or even find out more about the content to see if its what I believe it is, makes me wanna give up.

Here are 2 inquiries for podcast creators to help you from loosing potential subscribers.

Search for a podcast whose subject you've always been interested in but are not too familiar with.

One way to check yourself to see if you are providing the very best support for potential listeners is for you to do some podcast browsing yourself, specifically on something that you are totally unfamiliar with.

There has to be some subject that you've been intrigued about, that you've always wanted to know more about. I'm sure there’s a podcast about it!

Follow these steps and take notes :)

  1. Search for whatever topic you are interested in, in the iTunes Music Store. Once you get your results pick a couple of podcasts and go to their respective pages.

  2. Go to the podcast website straight from iTunes. Where does iTunes take you? What are your initial thoughts about what you find? If you find a link that doesn’t work or you land on a libsyn blog that is obviously NOT their main site, what does it take for you to get to their main site? Are you willing/interested to do it?

  3. Once on the podcast website find out what the podcast is specifically about. Is there an about page, a succinct quick explanation of what to expect when you consume the podcast? How easy is it to find this information?

  4. Listen or view the podcast from the podcast page. Can you do this easily? Are there different and clear ways offered to consume the content (ie: direct download link, player, subscribe button)?

  5. Subscribe. How easy is it for you to subscribe in the easiest way for you? Is there a way to do it via iTunes? RSS reader? Newsletter? Go through the process in the name of research and investigation. You can unsubscribe right after (or not.)

  6. Evaluate your own podcast website. Use your notes and the insight that you gained from your investigative work to optimize your own page. Can you easily find what your podcast is about? Easily play the content? Easily subscribe?

Find yourself a podcast newbie and have them subscribe from your site.

This little podcaster inquiry will work best if you get someone who is NOT holistically techsavvy but your average Social Media Facebook/Twitter everyday consumer.

  1. Have your subscriber guinea pig go to iTunes and follow steps 1-4 above.

  2. If they cannot get to your website from iTunes have them google your site (maybe they don’t even have or want to use iTunes…you never know!) Give them the name of your podcast, not the url of your site.

  3. Have them give you their observations of the process.

  4. Thank them profusely for their insight :)

Why start these inquiries off in iTunes?

Well, you see, iTunes is a given at this moment in the podcasting world and as such it’s very important.

Of course if someone wanted to subscribe or even preview your content they can do it straight from iTunes. They do not have to go through the whole process. The process is for you to learn about the efficiency and effectiveness of the information you provide. Don’t assume everyone knows how to subscribe to your podcast or what it even is. Let them know.

So what did you find out? Is what you are doing effective in getting new subscribers/fans?

Are there any insights that you learned from going through the process above? Are there any other tips you can share with fellow podcasters that you use to make the process of subscription, or even simply content consumption easy for your audience?

It would be so great to hear some of your insight! Leave a comment below :)

-Elsie Escobar


Podcast Clean-Up Series: The Accessible iTunes Podcast Page

150

When was the last time that you checked out your own podcast landing page in iTunes?

It may seem a bit basic and even perhaps a waste of time, but in all honesty it's a very important space that podcasters often overlook. I may venture to say that for the majority of your potential raving fans this is the first and only impression that they will get. There will be no second chances.

Why not take a moment right now to make sure you are making the best first impression?

Here are key points to make sure folks click that subscribe button:

  • Have a podcast description: Did I really need to get this basic? YES. Because of my duties here at libsyn I visit a large amount of iTunes podcast pages and there are a surprising amount of podcasters that have no description at all!

  • Make your description clear, succinct and informative: What exactly is your podcast about? Describe it in two sentences and have these be the first paragraph in the description. Most people don't scroll below the fold, meaning that they usually won't click ...more on the page. If you make those first two sentences clear, precise and appealing anything you write below the fold will just be icing on the cake. Write those two sentences for those that are already familiar with you content as well as those that are not. Keep the jargon and inside jokes to the latter half of your podcast description.

  • Link back to your main website!: In your iTunes page, on the left hand side column there is a link to your website. 50% of the time when I've clicked on the link to the podcasters website, I either go to a broken link or to the libsyn.com blog page that is part of your libsyn account. Now, there's nothing wrong with your libsyn blog. In fact a lot of podcasters do use that as their website. What I'm talking about here is for those of you that have spent time creating an awesome website for your podcast, but no one from iTunes goes there because you are not linking to it! Tip for libsyn users- you can edit this information within your edit show settings pane in your account

  • Add easy feedback accessibility to your description: Somewhere within your iTunes description, usually towards the end, add the easiest way to get in contact with you: email address, voice feedback line, and your url. Although this information will not be clickable it will provide your existing audience as well as potential listeners a seamless way to get in touch with you. There are a ton of podcast listeners that never go to your website and perhaps never will. When they want quick access to you, the first place they will go will be to your page in iTunes. I know this has been true for me and have always been so glad when I find the podcaster email address right in the description to send along that feedback :)

Although simple podcasting tips, you'd be surprised how much they really do help both existing and potential subscribers.

There are other ways to subscribe to podcasts, but the reality of the situation is that iTunes is the easiest and most accessible way to subscribe to podcasts, especially for those that are not particularly tech savvy.

Why not provide them with the best experience of you and your work?

Do you have any other hints and tips that you can offer to other podcasters regarding the iTunes landing page? Is there other information that you feel is helpful to promote your podcast? Leave it in the comments!

-Elsie Escobar


BlogWorld Expo and a Good Problem to Have for Podcasters

BlogWorld Badge

Check out this post from the Hubspot blog - The State of Podcasting - which offers a nice round up of some of the talk about podcasting at the 2010 BlogWorld Expo.  Here at Libsyn we see tons of great podcasts every day and we love that we get to work with so many producers who are putting their hobbies, businesses and passions into a podcast.  So we are always happy to see more people talking about podcasting.

The Hubspot post also highlights one of the challenges of podcasting -

Webster asserted that one of the main problems contributing to podcasting's lack of growth is that of convenience. Because people have the option of listening to or viewing podcast content any time they want, they will often push off consuming that content until never. This means that great podcasts need to be topical and timely to help create urgency.  

In the most recent Edison survey on podcasting, the report found that age groups listening to podcasts have been redistributed to an older demographic compared to the previous year's findings. Sixty-four percent of 12 to 24 year olds don’t subscribe to podcasts. Instead, they consume content on demand, meaning they access computer-based players and listen to podcasts individually without subscribing.

 

This may seem like a problem, but its really an opportunity.  

 

At libsyn we have been working hard to build the technological bridges to audience.  libsyn3 at its core is about the new destinations for your content.  Podcasting News, a site all podcasters should bookmark, recently covered the Say media study which examines the one out of three people in the US that have dumped live TV for the internet.   These people are put into two groups: On Demanders and Opt Outs.  

 

On Demanders are the trailblazers that have been moving away  or severing ties from conventional media.

 

Opt Outs are the ones to watch.  They are the generation that do not watch live TV.  They are across the threshold, and we think they will be the ones setting the trends and driving the media culture forward from here on in.  

 

We are close to finishing the transition to the libsyn3 platform.  We are just as excited about the upcoming platform as we were when we launched the first all-in-one podcasting platform in 2004 (you can read about how we got started here).  We appreciate all of you that have stuck it out with us.  We are lucky to have your business, and we intend make it worth your while.  The wheels are in motion and the audience is growing faster than ever.  

 

If you are new to podcasting - welcome to Libsyn - you have come to the right place! We are the original podcast service and we have everything you need to start, promote and manage your podcast.

 


Podcast Artwork Support and Resources

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. 

This is why your podcast artwork is incredibly important.

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.

What is cover art and do you really need it? 

You don’t have to have cover art, but you are certainly loosing tons of benefits by not having it or not caring about it. Here’s what Apple has to say on their site

"Attractive and interesting cover art attracts new subscribers to your podcast. Podcasts must have good cover art to be featured on the Podcast main page or the Store main page. Most good podcast images include an image as well as a title, brand, or source name. A 300x300-pixel JPG is the recommended size and format. Using this relatively large format, the iTunes Store automatically generates the various smaller images you see in the podcast directory. Before you settle on the art for your podcast, you may want to review the Top Podcasts page and note the various elements that contribute to compelling art."

If you decide that you want to avoid iTunes all together, you may still want to spend time developing your artwork as a way to inform your listeners of what your podcast is about. The top question potential listeners are looking to answer when they  bump into your content is what is this about and is this for them? The easier you make it for your potential superfans to decide to subscribe to your content based upon your artwork, about page and Web site in general, the less work you will have to do all around to get your show out there.

Get them to hit the play button and engage!

While in your development process, no matter how tempted you are to include well-known brands or actors and actresses in your artwork it is a good idea to steer clear of this.

Monetizing a podcast with copyrighted artwork or selling products with someone else's work on them is illegal. It is so important to adhere to this as it could save you a lot of trouble down the road.

If you have further questions about ethics and design AIGA has published a very informative document which goes into great detail about this matter:  AIGA Design Business and Ethics 

Artwork Sizes and Resolutions

Not only is the look of your artwork significant, but also the size and resolution. Podcasters in general recognize the importance of their artwork, but often times forget to optimize the size and resolution.

Here are a set of important numbers for you to keep handy:
  • iTunes Podcast- 1400x1400 at 300 dpi
  • iPhone Display - 160 dpi
  • iPhone App Image requirement - 512x512 pixels at 160 dpi 
  • iPad Display - 132 dpi

You can see from these numbers, how much they change from device to device. Make sure that the initial artwork that you create is capable of being sized down, which means, making all your images large (1400x1400 at 300 dpi). It can always be scaled down.

You won’t waste your time having an image that large, in fact it may save you a lot of time in the future, specifically if you decide you would like to offer some shwag for your show: t-shirts, mugs, caps, etc. When it comes to images for print, bigger is definitely better. At minimum to get something printed you would need an image at 200 dpi, optimally 300 dpi (currently the safe bet print standard). Web standard is 72 dpi, although on most devices, especially those with massively powerful screens, that dpi looks fuzzy. 

What you should ask for when someone else is making the artwork for you. 

The original editable file. (You may not have the programs to open this file if you don’t have Photoshop or illustrator but if you have a graphic designer make changes down the road you will have this to send to them.)

A PNG and JPEG version of your cover art at 1400x1400 at 300 dpi and 300x300 at 72 dpi . 

Podcast Artwork Design Help

Here’s a list of some web resources to both hire a designer and create your own artwork. As with anything: do your research, ask questions and make informed decisions. We are not particularly endorsing any of these services, we are offering you choices so that you can begin or refine your journey. 

Here’s hoping this was helpful!

Please let us know if you have any other questions regarding this topic. If we don’t know, we’ll certainly go out of our way to get you an answer!

- Sarah, Elsie & Chuck from App Ops