Friday, May 30, 2008

Give the gift of Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies

The New Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies is here!First, thanks to everyone who bought the book. This isn't a sales pitch, I promise. In fact, it's the opposite. I find myself with about about dozen copies of EPPfD here on my desk. These are copies I am provided by the publisher to do with as I see fit. I've given away those that I want to give away, and have more here than I know what to do with.

Since I no longer have a podcast or really any public venue with which to give these away, I'm turning them over to you. Many of you reading this have your own podcast, show... or whatever. Would you like to give away one of my books as a prize or incentive? Bip me ahead of time so we can work out the logistics. I'd hate for 50 of you to offer them up only to discover that they are already spoken for.

You know how to reach me. If not, check my Contacts page.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Taking value away from users to try to force a specific action is almost always going to be less desirable than providing people what they want.

Here's a little secret: statistically speaking, no one cares about what you have to offer, show or say. But rather than have me beat you over the head with that statement of fact, I'll let Loren Feldman tell you in this video.

In fact, the collective "they" care so little, "they" aren't even going to bother putting forth the effort to steal your content. Tim O'Reilly told us that in 2002. And while a goodly number of creative people finally took that message to heart in recent years, the vast majority of people are still spending to much time protecting what is rightfully theirs -- when (statistically) nobody cares.

Today this issue came to a head for me (again) in the guise of the full-text vs partial feed debate, so I sent over this classic comment as a stand-in for my arguments. Podcasters who bitch about feed-hijacking are singing the same tune. Funny how the issue of media-serving ownership doesn't seem to bother video producers. And people wonder why YouTube is more popular than any podcast directory. Go figure.

Here's the bottom line: If you are a creative person, you should be primarily concerned with people being able to consume your product. Worrying over how it is consumed or what might happen to it after it is consumed is a clear case of chicken-before-the-egg. Get it out there. Make it easy to find and enjoy. If not... well then you're as crazy as my cousin in Iowa with an irrational and all-consuming fear of sharks. Guess how often I take her call?

The title -- and inspiration -- for this post came from an article on Techdirt last year. Worth the read as it's applicable to much more than the issue of the proper contents of an RSS feed.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Going mobile?

A friend of mine recently launched (Ok, it was a while ago) a service to automatically convert blogs into mobile sites. Now you may be thinking that it's not all that difficult, or that with the rise of the iPhone and other browser-rich mobile devices, such technology wouldn't be all that necessary.

I thought that. And I see that I'm wrong.

Enter MoFuse -- a free service that uses your RSS feed to create a mobile-friendly version of your blog. Yes, I've said blog a couple of times. That's what this is for, though there are obviously other applications. What I'm most impressed by is their ability to detect which flavor of mobile is coming to view the site and present an appropriate page for that phone. It's hella cool.

Right now, I'm trying to get the system to automatically redirect all mobile browsers to my site to the MoFuse-enabled version. That's not going as smooth as I like, but it's probably my fault. There's lots more to do with this application. So I'll be playing for bit and will report back soon!

Parsec Awards 2008 - Who will you nominate?

It's time for podcast listeners to nominate their favorite podcasts in the realm of speculative fiction. Well, truth be told, it's been time for a few weeks now. I'm just my standard putzy-self and have managed to not post anything about it until now. Sorry Doug. The rest of you? Sue me.

I'm working on getting an insert up and running on titles for the next few weeks. It's nice and clean. But this one that Sigler and Hutchins did? Not even a little safe for work, kids, or small dogs. Seriously. The bleeping of naughty words is cursory, at best. Don't bitch if you listen and are offended. And no, it won't be playing on titles. Though I was tempted. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

RIP, Forrest Pollock

Anytime I'm asked "where did you get your start in [insert trendy new way to say The Stuff You Do here]?", I reflect all the way back to my first job at a production company back when I was in college. The lessons learned there shaped me into what I am today. (Hi Jane. Hi Joe. Hi Suzanne. Hi Rob.) College just gave me a place to drink.

This post is in tribute to that young entrepreneur who gave some smartass kid from the sticks a chance to prove himself. He died in a small plane crash last week.

Thanks, Forrest, for all the lessons and opportunities you provided me some 20+ years ago. Though our paths later in life diverged and we rarely saw eye-to-eye when I worked for you, I wouldn't change it for the world. My time with you was a milestone and the first course-correction of my adult life.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Unintentional consequences of social media

Yesterday I tweeted about an incident involving one of my favorite food establishment and an unfortunate outbreak of Hep A. It wasn't a store in my local area. I had no immediate connection to the happenings and I'm honestly not at all concerned it can/will happen to me, though it certainly could. No, I tweeted it out because I wanted to bring the funny, and by accounts from others I was successful in my mission.

But it bugged me all day.

Food-born illness is a serious concern in our way life. I get that. But there isn't a doubt in my mind that the incident mentioned was isolated and in no way linked to the food handling standards of the institution. Forgive the pun, but shit happens. It's not an epidemic. It's not a blatant violation of safety standards. It's probably one lone (again pardon the pun) dipshit responsible -- and likely not intentional. Mass-hysteria isn't the best reaction. Calls for company-wide investigations and more strict regulations of the entire industry (yes, I read Fast Food Nation) probably aren't going to help curb this in the future. As I said before, shit happens.

Yet I propagated the story via my tweet, lending fuel to the fire and my name to a growing list of pundits and activists demanding someone take action. I didn't want to do that. I don't feel that way. I just wanted to be funny. (And no, I'm not linking to the tweet. You can back up in my Twitter stream to find it if you must. It wasn't that funny).

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Fire at First Fridays

Fire at First Fridays

Originally uploaded by evo_terra

So my first First Friday at Phoenix was a blast. I'll go again. Need a Seqway or something.

Anyhow, I captured these ladies slinging fire as we were heading back to the car. My first Flickr video upload!