Monday, April 30, 2007

Five o’clock shadow 23

Five o'clock shadow 23

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

Contemplative. Funny how that get pronounced a couple of different ways.

Time to change the look of this blog. It's cluttered and serves too many purposes right now. So I'm going for a minimalist approach. I kinda dig this color scheme, so I'm going to stick with it. Everyone say hi to Dan S., as he's volunteered to help me with it, as I'm a code hack at best.

And don't forget that tomorrow is the First of May. Might I suggest you celebrate it in a very Jonathan Coulton fashion?

EPPfD 25% complete!

As of early this morning, Tee and I have knocked out 13 chapters of the new book. We're just on schedule and hope to get ahead some over these next four weeks. I tackled some of my tougher chapters up front and am starting to get in a groove.

We've also received our first batch of feedback from our incredibly helpful editor, Kim Darosett, on the first to chapters. It's exactly what I wanted to hear from here: add a little more here, show me a picture of this, break this into steps, use this formatting. We worked with Kim on Podcasting for Dummies and I was stoked when she was picked to help us again.

So with that, I have more writing to do!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Need a Dopplr hookup

I would really like to try this new service for frequent travelers called Dopplr. So if you happen to have an invite handy, I'd love to receive one. evo (at) podiobooks (dot) com is the bestest way. Thanks in advance!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Podcamp AZ

Last night, the Brooklyn Bluesman hooked me up with Jeremy from the Second Life Podcast to let me know about PodCamp AZ happening in my back yard. I'm now signed up and am looking forward to helping make this happen.

I'm involved with so many podcasts that come out of FarPoint Media that I honestly forget that the Phoenix podcasting scened doesn't start and end with us. This should help broaden my horizons and sounds like a hella good time. Holy crap, I just said "hella".

Friday, April 27, 2007

Win a copy of Tobias Buckell’s Crystal Rain

My friends at The Dragon Page Cover to Cover (my voice has been silent there for a while, but I'll come back -- promise!) are giving away copies of Crystal Rain by Tobias Buckell.

I really enjoyed this book. Dsytopian steam-punk far future stuff. With blimps. Very cool and quite different than anything I'd experience prior. Try to win a copy. If you don't, find another by other means. You won't be disappointed.

Five O’Clock Shadow 22

Five O'Clock Shadow 22

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

Actually this should be yesterday's post. But I was beat.

I had a great conversation with the fine folks at Lulu. (Chris, Sheila, Kelly and Ron -- thanks for taking the time to speak with me!) I consider Lulu a "non-evil" publishing company, so it was great to get some face time with them. I've been around enough authors who've been screwed by their press, so I'm keenly aware of the good guys. And I really think they are that.

And it was the first time I've ever flown from Phoenix to San Francisco to meet someone at coffee shop, then head back home¹. Bizarre. Cool, but very bizarre.

¹ The un-cool part is when United decided to hold the departure for an extra hour, ultimately causing me to have to overnight in LA. I don't pack a bag for day trips, so I'm sure I was a sight to behold on the plane ride home the next day.

The perils of print

I took this from a post Jason Calacanis made recently. He's been railing on a guy from Wired who wanted to interview Jason, but the journalist refused to conduct the interview. Jason stuck to his guns, citing the fact that it's way too easy to misquote someone in a vocal interview, but damn near impossible when conducted via email.

And while all of that is good and fine, it lead Jason to this path:

What this is really all about at the end of the day is that WIRED the print magazine--like other magazines and newspapers--are lost and adrift because they can't break stories any more. WIRED is six weeks old when you open it, hundreds of people read my blog posts minutes after they come out. It's impossible for print publications to have a "breaking news" role anymore, and they are certainly not going to be able to keep stories under wraps for six weeks when 90% of their subjects have blogs that are starved for content.

He's right on the money. While there still exists a large amount of people who want the packaging, gatekeeping and convenience of print, those hungriest for breaking news will soon discover (or have already discovered) much more effective was at gathering their information. The same will happen to other traditional media outlets, including TV and radio. The times, they are a changing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 21

Five O'Clock Shadwo 20

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

(Boy, it's amazing how the light changes in this room day after day.)

Tonight is a bust-ass night on cranking out chapters for the book. I'm a tad bit behind, which is a place I no longer wish to be.

Lots of things going on, like a trip to SFO tomorrow. Maybe I'll talk about it when I get back.

Until I do, have you seen Ma.gnolia?

LepreCon schedule announced

Moments ago, I received my schedule for LepreCon. I thought I had requested Saturday times, but maybe I said Friday. Whatever. I can make it work. However, there seems to be a conflict with the last two. Think I'll go to the second and then head to the third, assuming they are holding it in a the bar.

This is also posted on my schedule for those not keeping up.

********* PROGRAM SCHEDULE **********

Fri 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM Ballroom B Evo Terra
Censorship and Artistic Freedom

Fri 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM Ballroom B Evo Terra
Electronic Rights on the Web

Fri 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM Starlight Evo Terra
Meet the Pros

Monday, April 23, 2007

Three down, 48 to go!

Last night I knocked out Practice #1 and got about halfway through #3 in the forthcoming title Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies. I'm a bit behind, as need to have (after #3 is finished) and additional three Practices in the can to meet my deadline on Monday. So I'm a little stressed.

Hey, does anyone know a cool feature that lets you track your progress on a book and embed it in a WP blog? I think it would make a great side bar so you could follow the development process. Of course, I'd need to have Tee send me stuff when he finishes... or I could just mark the Practices he's responsible for as "Not mine" or something.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Breaking free of traditonal constraints with digital content

Yesterday I received the inaugural edition of Blogger & Podcaster magazine. Quite a few of my friends and even more of my peers contribute to this effort, and I wish them the best of luck.

B&PM tries very hard to deliver the "print" experience in a digital format, with familiar tasks such as "turning" pages. They also know when to break the boundaries of print, such as incorporating audio into some of the content. For those reasons (and more), the magazine is a success. But it causes me to wonder -- to what end?

The magazine-reading experience is isolated: I can't read a magazine while driving myself to the office, for instance. It's also unlinked: I can't get directly to the article/story/quote I'm most interested in. Finally, it's an interferer: It throws kinks in my normal information flow when I try find data contained therein.

So with that in mind, what's so special about the magazine-reading experience that would give you the desire to replicated it in a digital environment? Other than a lending a sense of familiarity to the act, not much.

My advice to content producers of all media: your content wants to be freed. Let it break outside of the confines placed upon it by conventional distribution means. If you wish to distribute your magazine content in both a print and digital form --great! But don't let the digital form be dictated by the physical. Sure, you should create a digitally-viewable copy very much like B&P have done. But why stop there? Here are five ideas on how to make your digital content more useful to me:

  1. Create an RSS feed for all stories. And don't wait to update the RSS feed until the assembled magazine is released. Gah! That's pointless! Instead, release each article as soon as it is approved. Go ahead and stick your advertising elements inside of the stories; we're OK with that. (But watch the auto-playing audio/video content, OK? It may not work in our feed readers anyhow..)
  2. Post stories to your website as they are completed. The print-version (or digital lookalike) will drive readers back to your website. What's the point of that trip if the content is the same? Likewise, use your website to sell your print version to the millions of people who prefer you to package up the relevant content and sent it to them on a regular basis. Oh, and be sure and send those stories out on your RSS feed as soon as they are posted.
  3. Notify readers (email or RSS) when keywords in your stories are triggered. Hey, if you don't do it, I'm just going to use Technorati to get what I need. Facilitate this behavior, and you get some incredible information on what I and a few thousand of my closest friends are really hoping to find inside of your content.
  4. Get as many town criers as you can! Get a Twitter account. Update on Jaiku. Tell your Myspace friends. Give me the option to get email updates. You need to recognize that there are many new competitors for attention that come onto the scene every day, so stay sharp and make sure I never forget about you.
  5. Encourage social media behavior. At a minimum, allow for commenting on each of your stories. Make sure they are one-click Diggable. 'Email to a friend' is fine, but how about facilitating posting in other places where all of someone's friends can read it?

And in reality, this applies to lots of different types of digitized content. How will you adapt your content in this brave new world? How would you rather consume your content once it's made available in digital form? What new technologies will burst upon the scene as smart folks start considering those questions and more?

Friday, April 20, 2007

From Commentors to Contributors: Building Rabid Fans - a PNME talk @ Podango

While the above phrase is a working title, I'm pleased to announce that Lee Gibbons from Podango has asked me to speak in the Expo hall on the topic of not only getting feedback, but also on incorporating that feedback into your podcast.

I'm already on one "official" panel at the Third Annual Podcast & New Media Expo (PNME) and I hope you come by to hear me talk if you've registered to attend sessions, but I'm very excited by this additional opportunity for a couple of reasons. First, it's a topic near and dear to my heart. Second, this talk takes place on the Expo floor, allowing even those who didn't shell out the $249 a chance to listen to me talk on the subject.

If you care to know more about the topic, keep reading. If you are interested in attending the show this year in Ontario California, I'd suggest starting your arrangements today. I'll post specific a specific time and location for my event as the details are finalized.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 20

Five O'Clock Shadow 20

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

This is going up a tad early today, but I'm on the fly.

The big news is that is back and in action. I got up way too early and started updating books, because listeners have been waiting way too long. We've got quite the backlog, and I'm trying to lighten as much of the load as I can so Matt doesn't bail on me.

On other fronts, my Wikipedia entry on podiobooks that I worked my ass off creating with a "neutral voice" was marked for fast deletion. So now I'm slugging through the arcane rules and restrictions of getting something back on board. Man. You'd think that with over 100 podcast novels (podiobooks) in existence and more on the way that this would be a valid entry on Wikipedia. And I'm not talking about an entry on the website -- just the noun "podiobook". Sheesh.

Parting shot -- check out when you get a moment. Sign up and hit the Cool Things link. Let your mind consider how to use it. I know I will be. Heavily.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 19

Five O'Clock Shadow 18

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

Holy cow do I feel better after a massage. Sure, the hair has looked better, but I'm limber, mellow and have a nice fuzzy glow about me. Maybe I should capitalize on this and write?

Well, first I have much work to do on, as we've successfully migrated to the new server. Listen to me. "We". Like I had anything to do with it. Hats off to Chris, Ray, Doug and Clair for their hard work. You boys rock my world.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 18

Five O'Clock Shadow 18

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

In my day job, I work for a company that spends gobs of our clients' money on online advertising. Even though it's not our core focus, we spend the largest sums on paid search, and I'm noticing some changes in that vertical.

For starters, Wikipedia has ceased to be an interesting curiosity that I can largely ignore. Rather, it's turning up in more and more searches and is unquestionably a trusted source of information. I'm a big fan of the idea of Wikipedia, for reasons many have said much more eloquently than I dare attempt.

Today marked a big change in my attitude and approach to Wikipedia, as I took matters into my own hands and updated my own profile page. I used to think that it was best left to the hands of the community, that people, organizations and entities that edited their own listings would somehow sully the sanctity of the information posted.

I was wrong. While I'm not so naive to think that nefarious characters won't try and tweak things to their liking (or to the detriment of those they don't like), I've decided to trust in the system, knowing that my intentions were honorable and honest. I figure if I'm not willing to take this step on my own information, how can I suggest the same of my clients?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day - April 23

In honour of Dr Hendrix [read his original luddite rant - e.t.), I am declaring Monday 23rd April International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day. On this day, everyone who wants to should give away professional quality work online. It doesn't matter if it's a novel, a story or a poem, it doesn't matter if it's already been published or if it hasn't, the point is it should be disseminated online to celebrate our technopeasanthood.

Whatever you're posting should go on your own site. I'll make a post here on the day and people can post links in comments to whatever they're putting up on. If you are a member of SFWA, or SFWA qualified but not a member (like me) you get extra pixel-spattered points for doing this. If other people want to collect the links too, that would be really cool. Please disseminate this information widely.
- Reprinted from John Scalzi, though the original post is from Jo Walton.

Spread the word on this. I'm obviously in support of using freely available content in novel and interesting ways in an effort to support the career of writers, even though I have no fiction of my own to post. So if you have some fiction to post, make it so.
If not, spread the word on this sucker.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 17

Five O'Clock Shadow 17

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

Man, I think I should change wall calendars. Someone send me one.

As the week winds down, I'm playing with many new things and thought I'd share a few with you. Unsure if I'll update over the weekend, but you never know...

  • I've added a "Call Me" button to the sidebar. I've been using the Grand Central service for a while now and am quite impressed with the service. Lots of functionality (one number rings on many phones, voicemail acts like email, custom settings by group and caller) and only missing one thing -- fax receive capabilities. Seems logical, as storing faxes has to be less storage-intensive as holding all those voicemails. I'm thinking that this would be a great service to podcasters, as the VM quality is head and shoulders above And yes, it's free. For now. It probably will be from now on, with added features you can pay for.
  • is a "rate everything" service. No logging in, no dealing with multiple paradigms of complex ratings. It just went into public beta and I have no idea if it will catch on or not. Many sites have their own ratings systems and I've not seen any way to port out that data. But it is interesting and I've added the links here on this site.

The weekend arrives. I have much writing to do. And Mur is back in town. Hooray!

More details on when I’m speaking/attending

On more than one occasion, someone has lamented the fact that we attended the same event but managed to miss each other. Even more frequently, people want to meet with me at these events, yet don't know my full schedule.

I aim to change both of this right now with my Schedule of Appearances calendar.

As the events I'm speaking at or attending (like the one this weekend) are solidified, I'll post my personal schedule for those events. If someone wants to block some time with me, they can check the calendar and send me an invite to block some of that free time. So have at you!

You can also subscribe to the calendar's feed so that you can receive updates when things are added, removed or changed.

Podcast Expo Speaking Engagement Announced

The fine folks behind the Podcast and New Media Expo (yeah, it's changed names every year so far) have once again asked me to return and to present to the attendees. I really enjoyed speaking last year and hope that this panel is even more successful. The details are as follows:

Note: If you haven't registered for the Expo, do it. It's free to attend. A pass to the sessions costs money which I think is well spent for many, but the floor is always open and is a must-be place to catch up on not only podcasting, but also new media. I've been every year and enjoy it immensely.

Veterans of the Yahoo! Podcasting Board: What We've Learned These Past Two Years
Day 2: Saturday, September 29, 2007 - Session 7: 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Track 1: Podcasting 101
Instructors: Stephen Eley of Escape Pod, Matthew Wayne Selznick of MWS Media, Evo Terra of, Michael W. Dean of Clone the Homeless, Ed Vawter of QD Information Services
Room: Ballroom B
Description: This session is all about stories and experiences of veteran podcasters who made all of the common "newbie" mistakes. New content creators will be able to shave two years off of their learning curve by listening to these panelists. Each of them has started their podcast from scratch and tried hundreds of things to deliver their message, grow their audience and promote their shows. The panelists will also cover the rewards of podcasting, whether it's money for sponsorship, increased influence in their industry, or simply developing their reputation as a community expert. Finally, they'll discuss how they stay motivated week after week, producing fresh content and keep from "podfading."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 16

Five O'Clock Shadow 15

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

I couldn't look more goofy in this photo if I tried. Putz.

Tonight finds me contemplating the nature of advertising and my role in it. Professionally speaking, I'm dissatisfied working in an industry where having 99.8% of the audience completely ignore your message is not only acceptable, it's considered a success.

On, I've been running a direct response experiment that isn't going so well. Part of it has to do with how I set things up (I mixed branding and DR elements), but I'm starting to think that podcast media files may not be the place for direct response approaches.

I'm trying something new next week and will have a more clean test. Always experimenting...

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Get an iStalker profile

It's late, I'm tired and I have to get up in a few short hours, so there's no time for a long explanation. But this looks REALLY cool.

Add me.

Five O’Clock Shadow 15

Five O'Clock Shadow 15

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

I'm fairly pleased with myself today. I managed to pound out my very first chapter (or practice, whatever) of the new book and got a heck of a start on the second. I may finish tonight or wait and do it when I'm on the plane. Long day of work on a Sunday. I need a nap.

I also signed in to Joost for the first time today. Holy cow. As a guy who has no great love for his television, I can see how this might be a little addictive. It's in closed beta right now, but I'm overly impressed with what I'm seeing. A bit buggy and the content is on the light side, but I'm loving it!

And I'm really bummed I missed Podcamp NYC. But those who went took lots of photos (thanks, C.C.) so I can pretend.

EPPfD Chapter 2 delivered!

I'm on a roll having delivered the 2nd chapter practice of Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies to our editor Kim. woot!

It may be the 2nd chapter practice in the book sequentially, but it's the first one I've turned in. I think that's what I like so much about this format -- if I don't feel like writing what is "next", I can just move on to another when the mood strikes me.

With that, once more into the breach, as I have one more to finish tonight to meet the deadline.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Help needed on Twitter

This is a post about my continued obsession with Twitter. If you are aren't enamored with the product, bail now. Even if you are, understand that this post is of a technical nature. Hence, I'm hiding it behind the "more" link.

Writing the new book and off like a hurd of turtles

Today marks the second day of the actual writing of Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies, my sophomore effort as a "real writer" and the follow-up to the wildly successful Podcasting for Dummies. Tee Morris is once again shouldering half the burden with me on this title and his sage advice and knowledge of the publishing world from the author POV will no doubt once again prove invaluable.

I'm a lot less further along than I thought I would be at this point. Maybe I have over estimated the speed at which the words might flow from my brain to electron via the hand-to-keyboard interface. Or maybe I have under estimated the amount of effort I'd need to put forth. My money is on a healthy combination of both of those.

At any rate, I'm started and am sure that once I hit my stride, I'll plow through without delay. At least I hope that's what happens.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 14

Five O'Clock Shadow 14.jpg

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. But then again, at 5:22 AM, is anyone?

Sometimes we have to make sacrifices to allow us to do the things we want to do. Like me, getting up at 5:15 to get a start on the day since I have so much going on. Sometimes, we make take on way too many projects, like agreeing to write the second book. And sometimes, like last night and today, the weight of all those somethings come crashing down upon your head.

Or maybe that's just me.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 13

Five O'Clock Shadow 13

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

I just realized what a great way to gauge how my tastes in tee shirts change. Or how quickly I age. Or turn gray. Or to see how long my hair gets. Yeah, I'm thinking of letting it grow a bit. Not like it was, but long enough to allow some curls.

Or maybe this is just a good way to judge my moods and see what's on my mind at any given moment. But not today. It's taco night.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 12.jpg

Five O'Clock Shadow 12.jpg

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

Well today is certainly not fun anymore. No, I'm afraid the fun dried up yesterday around noon.

First full day with out Joe, and it sure feels emptier than before.

But the community response has been outstanding. Not just in support of us here in AZ. I'm stunned at how many people in so many parts of the world have reacted to the loss of Joe, and how they've all managed to step up to help others. While it's true that most of these folks never met Joe, they have never met each other, yet are still finding meaningful ways of lending their support to one another.

Dinner awaits. And I need to contemplate getting more paper to list out all these new Personal Heroes of mine, for the population continues to grow. The pic was taken as I was making dinner tonight. Eating at home? What a concept.

Marketing Martini helped by Podcasting for Dummies

Marketing Martini podcast logoI needed some good cheer today, and it came in form of an email from Bill:

I just wanted to thank you so much for the great job you did co-writing Podcasting for Dummies. Your book was very useful to me in planning and launching my Internet marketing podcast, Marketing Martini, which after only a few months is now in the top 10 on iTunes for Business & Marketing.

No, thank you, Bill. I'm very happy that you count us among the reasons for your success. And you have no idea how much I needed to hear this today. :)

Too many podcast cons, too little time

HELP WANTED: Developer needed to create Google Maps/Upcoming mashup specific to all these infernal podcasting conferences which keep cropping up. Zero pay, zero direction from management. Other perks include a feeling of accomplishment and the undying love of the podoshpere.

All kidding aside, I could really use an application that used the Google Maps API to display any and all cons that have to do with podcasting.

As a user, I'd use some fancy month selector/slider on the bottom to change my time reference, causing the map to redraw with callouts for all the events happening world wide that month.

As an event organizer, I'd add my event to and add a very specific tag (podcasting?) to the entry.

As a community member, I'd be responsible for helping police the thing, so that it doesn't get loaded up with spam or events that have nothing to do with podcasting. Maybe some additional fields?

I could use this by, oh... next week. Any takers?

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Joe has passed

I'll miss the big guy.

Born: July 10, 1972
Died: April 1, 2007

How fitting. See the sidebar for the most awesomist picture ever. Lots more info on Wingin' It! and the Memorial Fund site.

Podcasting for Dummies picked up for German translation release!

Good news from the publisher! Which I should have posted days ago! And what's with all the exclamation points!?

But yes, the book has been licensed for translation into German. My son is in his second year of German. Wonder if I should have him proof it?

Oh, and I did I mention that Tee and I are writing the second book? It's called Expert Podcasting for Dummies and we're just now getting started.

Finally BTW... yes, it's April 1st. But no, neither of these announcements is a joke. How un-Evo of me.