advice for podcasters (& bloggers)

by Hugh

I have been touring the net of late looking at podcast sites, and I have a few suggestions (some of this is relevant for bloggers too). I’m not talking about what you do in audio, but what your site looks like. Chances are I’ll come to your site before I hear your stuff, so what you do on your website is as important as what you do in audio. Here goes:

  1. about. please, put an “about” section on your page. If I land on your page and I don’t know what it’s about, I’m gonna leave. Gimme a sentence at least: “music and talk,” “sports and politics”… just tell me where I am.
  2. flash player. one of the most interesting things I learned at Podcamp, was that by far the majority of website visitors will press a “listen-now” button, rather than downloading, or subscribing (RSS or iTunes). Here is a great free plugin player if you are using wordpress: podpress
  3. feeds. this drives me nuts. make subscribing to your podcast obvious and easy. put those subscription icons right at the top of the page where I can see them. See here for a good description of podcast icons… and here is where you get your nice orange RSS icons.
  4. itunes & rss. also drives me nuts. not everyone uses itunes. so please, give me the option to subscribe in iTunes, but also give me the plain vanilla RSS feed. don’t let apple own your distribution. the RSS format is open for a reason, and that apple has closed it off in the iTunes-only feed format should jab you in your freedom-loving heart. Give me both.
  5. rss icon. the organge RSS icon RSS icon is for one thing: a link to your RSS feed. It is NOT for:
    a) a link to mp3 files
    b) a link to an iTunes store feed
    c) anything other than an RSS feed
  6. no flash. if you have a flash site, kill it. or at least set up a nice CMS site in parallel – wordpress or something – and make it clear how to get there away from your stupid flash site.