Diary of a Podcaster Part 7
Back in April I decided to relaunch the Contains Moderate Peril podcast for reasons of brand continuity. At the time, I was hoping to get back in to the podcasting saddle and return to producing weekly shows. However, the recording session was fraught with technical problems with Zencastr crashing regularly. I was left with nine separate audio tracks that weren’t in sync which made editing a major problem. There then followed a wealth or real-world issues that I had to address that meant for the next three months the podcast was put on hold. Finally, at the beginning of August I managed to complete the post production work on the show and publish it via Squarespace. I was hoping that using this existing website as a host for the show would save some money and reduce the work load. However, like most plans, it didn’t exactly work out that way
Although the podcast hosting service that Squarespace offers is functional, it does lack some of the features of other vendors provide. I had to create another blog within the current site specifically for podcast posts. If I had used the existing one the RSS feed would list all published audio files, regardless of whether they were podcasts or not. There is no way to segregate specific files via the use of enclosures. Once I had created an additional blog page it generated a new RSS feed containing just the show details. Within the Squarespace control panel, I set up all the usual syndication details regarding the podcast along with the relevant artwork. The RSS feed was now ready for use and could be submitted to iTunes.
I’ve been a member of The Game and Entertainment Network since its creation back in October 2014. Like many podcast networks, time has taken a toll upon its membership and the shows it syndicates. So, I decided to do a little housekeeping and retire some of the older podcast that are not currently active and tidy up the homepage. I successfully re-instated the Contains Moderate Peril podcast. Within minutes, the show appeared as part of the TGEN RSS feed and was subsequently listed on the various podcasting platform where TGEN has a presence. I then addressed then matter of submitting the new show directly to iTunes. However, this has proven problematic. The Contains Moderate Peril podcast was previously active up until early 2015 and had an established presence on apple’s popular platform. That existing account still exists but has been flagged as deleted. To cut a long story short trying to either amend the old show details to reactivate it on iTunes or submitting another show with the same name causes problems.
To date I am still in contact with customer services trying to resolve this problem. Staff have been helpful but because support is handled exclusively via email it is a somewhat ponderous process. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to address other areas associated with the podcast. As mentioned earlier, podcast hosting on Squarespace is functional but lacking in some features. At present, it doesn’t offer any specific statistical analysis or traffic details. Now I consider this to be a major failing as I want at the very least to be able to ascertain how many listeners the podcast will have in the months to come. Producing a podcast is time consuming and hard. Simply put I want to know my audience size to ensure that such efforts are justified. So, at present I am trying to see if there’s an easy way to do basic stat tracking via a third party.
I am hopeful that these issues will be resolved by the end of the month. If hosting the podcast on Squarespace proves impractical, then I may have to migrate the show to another host. The downside of this is that it will incurs costs which I’m trying to minimise at present. My recent housekeeping over at The Game and Entertainment Network has also got me thinking about its current membership and whether this can be built upon. As it is a collaborative undertaking there is a need for me to liaise with colleagues and the site owner. I hope I can rekindle some enthusiasm among my fellow podcasters as working collectively comes with many benefits. As ever time will tell whether things improve or not.