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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Well, Duh!

Dunno why I didn't think of this before.  Not the sharpest knife in the drawer...

I've had a nice yellow "Listen" button at the top of my Podcast page for a year or two now.  It points to my main Grizzly's Growls RSS feed, which has practically everything I do.  I've also known that the Default Feed for each of my books from Podiobooks.com has all the chapters for that book, from first to last (that's the important part).  But just now it finally struck me, I could put a Listen button next to each book on the Grizzly's Growls website, linked to that books feed... and a casual browser to the website can go ahead and listen to the book.  From beginning to end.  With one click.

Only took me three years to figure that out.

Duh.



Where am I at now?

I just noticed that there are now 185 people following my blog.  That is a bit embarrassing, because I haven't actually done much with the blog in a very long time.  Sorry about that.

A lot of my time lately has been taken up with DJing on Second Life.  I am actually a pretty popular DJ there, which is nice.  But it's an ephemeral accomplishment.  It's not about having done a nice job as a DJ ten, a hundred or a thousand times.  Am I being a good DJ right now, or will I be tonight?  When it's done, it stops mattering.  "What have you done for us lately?"

I have three major podcasts, Grizzly's Growls, Stories from the Hiber-Nation, and The IDSL.  It seems The IDSL is done with.  I was doing that five days a week before I started school, and I stopped doing it when school began.  Never started again when school finished.  Yet it seems to have the most ongoing popularity, and the most potential to do something to help me with my hoped-for career in broadcasting.  It has a built-in structure to it; There's a specific list of songs in a particular order, and the next song on the list is already determined till I run out.  And being unemployed, it sure seems like one I ought to crank up again.  But it's time-consuming to do, and the primary resource, the list itself, is derived from a search I did on Garageband -- and Garageband.com is closing down.  So the basic plan is kinda screwed.

Grizzly's Growls doesn't really have a topic, a format, a schedule, or much of anything else to define it.  It's just me -- as Evo Terra terms this style of podcast, "Some dork with a microphone."  Not a bad description.  Unlike The IDSL, it really doesn't have a structure, and there's no way to know inherently what comes next.  So it's easier to do in some ways.  All I need to do is Record Something and post it and I have done Grizzly's Growls -- not well, but it's done.  But it's harder, too, because every time I have to Decide what to talk about. 

Stories from the Hiber-Nation has is like both.  It doesn't have a structure till I find a book I want to record.  Then, when I pick a book, the show is structured till I finish the book.  Then I have to Decide again.  Right now that one is "hanging fire," because I know several I really ought to record, but once I start I have a whole stack of chapters I have committed to do for that book, of course.  That can feel daunting, looking at that whole pile of chapters to record. 

And of course I end up taking those books and posting them to Podiobooks.  That is and isn't a separate project.  The book content is already there by the time I get to the point of producing the Podiobook.  In fact, these days, I usually process each chapter for Podiobooks chapter by chapter while producing it for Hiber-Nation.  I put together standardized intros and outros, take off the HN intro and put on the Podiobook intro and so on, save all the prepared Podiobooks chapters in a separate directory, all -while- doing chapter-by-chapter for HN.

I have a remarkably small amount of spare time for a guy without a Day Job, though.  Again, the DJing stuff.  Second Life adds an extra motivator, in that I get tips from the audience.  Sure, it's just a few Lindens, the SL equivalent of money.  But it's something -- and at the moment, no one in RL (Real Life) is paying me to do much of anything.  The places I DJ for expect me to show up on schedule.  There isn't an RL employer who even cares I"m out here, far as I can tell. 

Ditto for the podcasting, really.  In the three years I've been podcasting, I've gotten one donation.  And that was a couple years back.  It's flattering to have people listen, an honor, really.  It's still remarkable to me that a couple hundred people actually care to listen to what I have to say.  That doesn't happen for me in Real Life.  But if there were a "tipping" system for podcasting, I suspect I'd feel more motivated.  An average tip in SL might be L$100, one hundred Lindens, the equivalent of maybe 40 cents.  In a huge evening, I might get a couple thousand Lindens -- maybe eight bucks US equivalent, for five or six hours of work.  But it's something from there, as compared to nothing from anywhere else.  It's a motivator. 

If there were such a system in podcasting, I'd likely do more of it.  It's not an expectation; podcasting has traditionally been done for free and the content offered for free.  But if there were a mechanism to simply give a micropayment for appreciation, like tipping in SL, now that might help keep me motivated.  No multiple clicks, no logging into your Paypal account, just click, here's 40 cents, thanks, nice work.

If I can find a practical way to do it, I should record my podcasts -in- SL.  That way tipping in SL would provide a motivator for getting the podcasts recorded.  And if I can get all that lovely technology to work together, it would be possible to record from Voice Chat in SL into the podcast, -and- stream the show into my Shoutcast stream, so that it would be hearable around SL...  Lots of stuff has to work together for that, though.  Another perk, it'd be Something Happening in SL, which is the kind of attraction that one doesn't find often in SL.

I'm not saying it's the only way, complaining it doesn't exist, or demanding that it must.  I'm just saying that if there were such a thing, I suspect I'd get more work done.  Cause I'm really not doing enough podcasting, not anymore.

(sigh)