Category : Podcasting Tips

Podcasting Tips

Q&A with Victoria Ryder of CodeBass Radio

We spoke to Victoria Ryder about what makes the independent radio CodeBass Radio tick. Driven by volunteers made up of developers, designers and others within the community, it’s pure passion on the airwaves, where quality content and pushing your limits has brought success.

Hi Victoria, do you mind introducing yourself?

Howdy! I am the Executive Producer of CodeBass Radio, a community-driven internet radio station. Our tagline is “Where Geek & Music Combine – Immense music and an awesome community of listeners.”  I coordinate the 24/7 operations with the help of my Sr. Producer, Ben Farrell, my manager, James Allen, and a team of all around awesome people. Our team, staffed 100% by volunteers, is comprised of full-time Application Developers, Designers, Audio Visual Engineers and other talented geeky professionals.

How did CodeBass Radio start?

Our core team is made up of various professionals with a special interest in broadcasting who either lacked the time or resources required to pursue the field via more traditional routes. We are all trendsetting personalities who like to push our own limits, as well as to inspire others to do the same. We are all very active within our sphere of influence, so  the ease and speed with which we are growing is no surprise.  The quality of content is pretty amazing, and it only gets better as we all learn our way together.

Sounds like such a refreshing change from the norm. You represent an online independent station, what do you think are the pros and cons of being in independent media? How did you overcome the difficulties?

While the on-demand services such as Spotify are taking hold and definitely have their place in the world of music, the CodeBass Radio team still believes in the personal touch of human-produced radio around which we can build a solid community of good, productive, inspired and motivated people.  We are proud to say that our listenership has steadily increased. However, we believe in the quality of listeners and creativity of content more than quantity.

Being independent, we definitely have a lot more control over the stream. However, licensing and legal issues become a bit more complex.  It is definitely a trade-off, and I always have my eyes open for better hosting opportunities that allow for the sort of flexibility we currently enjoy with regard to both content and stream origination.

We agree, though, on the importance of the quality of listeners and content. Speaking of which, what makes good content?

Remembering that the listeners are people, actual and whole. They are friends and community members with a desire to feel involved in determination of that content to some extent.  We do what we do because we love the human side – the interaction.  It is absolutely no fun for us if it’s not fun for the listeners. Our shows cover a variety of different formats and genres. The key factor, though, is that most of them are directly interactive with our listening community to some degree. Many of the broadcasters are out there tweeting from their own Twitter accounts. The listeners know they’re conversing with the broadcasters.  Most of the listener interaction takes place at Twitter hash tag #CodeBassRadio vs. the station’s main account.  However, we’ve had shows take call-ins via Skype and the like. Our most popular show, The 80sRewind Show, can be viewed behind-the-scenes via webcam with lots of regulars interacting in the webcam’s chat channel. We love to see our numbers rising, but we’re most interested in maintaining quality content and knowing that each number counts.

We do have two station accounts on Twitter:

@codebass – my account with consistent periodic updates and general chatter.

@codebassradio – station metadata, for those who want more frequent “Now Playing” updates. We also have a Facebook Page. We try to reach out only in the places that afford the most interaction.

Yes! Interaction is always a tried and true practice. How do you think broadcasters should approach monetizing their content?

This is hard to say and a question with which I am currently wrestling.  My ultimate desire is never to run advertisements in the stream. Whether our station can remain self-sustaining without them remains to be seen.  That desire is basically the one that keeps us determined to remain wholly independent.  At the very least, we desire a final say over the type and frequency of advertising. I am hoping that using a portion of the CodeBass Radio website for advertising will negate the need for in-stream advertising.  We just recently started leasing ad space in our sidebar.

There are other streams of revenue you can tap.. selling t-shirts or being a reseller of products you like, asking listeners to donate support. There are many avenues of exploration, but you must be ready to be out there promoting all the time. There is no magic switch. If you want to be focused on people vs. automation, it is that much more challenging.

Did you follow Radiodays Europe? What did you think about the quote by Tim Davie: “The most important thing you can do today is tell your mobile operator that you want phones to receive a broadcast signal, as IP can’t deliver us the growth that we need”?

I do not follow that publication and hesitate to speak out-of-context.  My viewpoints are diametrically opposed based on my own experiences, but I am certainly not experienced enough to debate BBC’s Director of Audio. He is welcome to bring me over there for a few days to walk around in his shoes, if he’d like to enlighten me. I am open-minded and can never learn enough about broadcasting technology!

Lastly, anything you’d like to share with Spreaker’s community?

Just that it has been fun to watch Spreaker grow. We at CodeBass Radio value advancing technology, and we especially value exploration and collaboration in this constantly changing landscape of online social A/V.  We’ll continue to observe and learn from you, and we hope you will stop by and give us a listen.. maybe chat us up on Twitter!

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Podcasting Tips

Discovering the Community: Chris Allen of The Chris Allen Weather Podcast


Spreaker’s own Chris Allen is kicking off our newest series of interviews, where you guys are the ones to tell your stories, give advice, and be the focus of attention. You may know Chris from his show The Chris Allen Weather Podcast, and he’s been a dedicated and reliable podcaster on Spreaker for some time now.

And so, meet Chris:

How do you think doing a forecast on Spreaker compares to doing a television broadcast?

On TV, I’m very limited on time.  I have only 3 or 4 minutes to explain the weather and unfortunately, that’s only enough time to hit the highlights.  The podcast gives me time to dive a little deeper in the forecast and even explain to the listener some of the “ins” and “outs” of my forecast.

How did you find Spreaker?

I actually received an email one day that asked me to give Spreaker a try – and it just so happened that I was looking for a more user-friendly podcast service that would better fit my needs.

How large of an area do you cover?

By the airwaves, our station covers an 18-county area in Southern Kentucky, but thanks to my podcast on Spreaker, I’ve been able to track coverage well beyond our TV borders and even into other countries!

Wow, that’s great! How has Spreaker been able to help your listeners during severe weather and emergencies?

I’ve used Spreaker mostly to better help prepare my listeners for the possibility of severe weather.  When I see there is a real threat for severe storms, tornadoes, flooding or winter weather, I can broadcast through Spreaker very easily and get the word out to thousands of people quickly.

Which I’m sure is the priority. What do you like most about using Spreaker?

The interface is fantastic.  I don’t have time to do a lot of thinking about how to make my podcast work for me so Spreaker takes out all of the guesswork.  Being able to record and instantly post to all my social media pages makes this a no-brainer.

Have you used any of the interactive features of Spreaker like our chat function?

Not yet…but I am also looking forward to using the LIVE broadcast functionality of Spreaker before the next severe weather event, so I can promote a live show and use the chat function to answer listener questions.

Kentucky is right in the heart of what is sometimes called “Tornado Alley”.

More into what has been referred to as “Dixie Alley” but so far in 2012, Kentucky ranks #1 in the number of tornadoes – and we rank 3rd in the number of killer tornadoes that occur overnight.  This is why we focus so much on preparedness and safety.

And why your show is so important. What are some of the most memorable weather situations that you’ve had to work through?

While the tornadoes of early March didn’t affect our viewing area directly, they did affect Kentucky and it’s heartbreaking to hear of the losses in the northern part of the state.  But, my most memorable storm has to be the Super Tuesday outbreak of 2008.  We lost 7 lives in our area and I recall being on the air covering the storms for about 12 hours.

Did you become a weatherman because of a love for the study of climatology or do you find it more of a calling to help people?

My interest in weather actually started from a fear of storms as a child.  I was curious to learn more why violent storms had to occur in the first place.  From that fear came fascination.  I was also enamored with radio and broadcasting…so I put the two together and I’ve been at this now for almost 30 years.  As someone who was once very afraid of storms, I can now relate to those who show concern anytime we talk about severe weather.  It’s a passion…and yes, more of a mission now to make sure people are better prepared.  My motto is “know the weather before it knows you” and Spreaker helps me accomplish this mission by getting my podcasts into the ears of those that need to hear it!

Thanks for the interview Chris, and keep up the amazing work!

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Podcasting Tips

Q&A with Whitney Hoffman of the Podcamp Foundation

Whitney Hoffman is a busy bee of a podcaster, working on multiple projects dealing with health, learning disabilities, and more. Check out her interview with us to get a taste of her bubbly personality.

Do you mind introducing yourself?

My name is Whitney Hoffman, and I have tons of titles. Most relevant here is that I am the Executive Director of Operations for the Podcamp Foundation, organizer of Podcamp Philly, and I have been podcasting since 2006. My first podcast was The LD Podcast, all about learning and learning disabilities, and the current show I’m producing is OB GYN To Go, a podcast for medical resident education and continuing medical education. Through the LD Podcast, I’ve also written a book for Jossey Bass Education called The Differentiated Instruction Book of Lists, that helps teachers make personalizing the classroom for all students a little more approachable and doable- helping every student learn in the classroom.

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Podcasting Tips

Podcasting and Social Media with David Spark of Spark Media Solutions

David Spark of Spark Media Solutions has a lot to say when it comes to getting yourself and your business out there with the help of podcasts, blogs, social media, and more. Check out his interview for great advice and insight!

Do you mind introducing yourself?

I’m David Spark, veteran tech journalist and founder of the brand journalism firm Spark Media Solutions.

Great to meet you! How did you begin with Spark Media Solutions?

I was writing case study articles for eWEEK, a B2B-oriented IT publication. I would get pitches for these IT integration stories all the time. Many of them were really good, but the magazine had limited space for these case study stories and I really only could get assignments for one or two a month. I would always respond, “You should publish this story yourself.” No one would ever take me up on my suggestion. Companies at the time had it so ingrained in their head that if you want a story published it needs to be published by a journalist in a major outlet.

It’s very weird how once I was working for a media outlet I was seen as an expert. The outlet gave me that prestige. I didn’t do anything different. I realized that any company can have that same prestige and also publish their own materials by simply viewing their communications as editorially based rather than all marketing based. For more, read Why Corporate Blogging is Like Selling Uncut Cocaine.

I was hired by Publicis Dialog to launch their new media and custom publishing division. I did that for three years and realized I would be more successful if I did this without having an ad agency on my back. So I quit and after 6 months figuring out my model, started Spark Media Solutions. We just celebrated our fifth anniversary and business has been going great.

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Podcasting Tips

Ms. Ileane Speaks on Podcasting, Blogging, and More!

Ileane has made a name for herself in the social media and blogging world with BasicBlogTips.com, and her podcast Ms. Ileane Speaks, both places to go when you need professional advice on making the most out of your blog and social networking. I had the pleasure to speak with her yesterday on podcasting, blogging, and more. Check out what she had to say below!

Hi Ileane, thanks for doing this interview with us! How are you?

I’m doing great and I’m looking forward to the new year.

As are we! So first thing’s first, how exactly did you get into podcasting?

I started off with video blogging, or as some call it vlogging, the same time I started blogging. I was uploading videos to YouTube, Vimeo, Meta Cafe and a bunch of other sites. So I decided to upload them to iTunes, too, and I called it a podcast. I think a lot of podcasters would argue that it really wasn’t a podcast, but I’m not a purist.

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Podcasting Tips

Podcasting with Dave Thackeray of ThePodcastGuy.com!

We had the pleasure to talk to the great Dave Thackeray of ThePodcastGuy.com and ambassador of the EPA11.  Starting out as a journalist wanting to bring newspaper to life, to now managing websites, and creating podcasting strategies and web radio programs for others, Dave has gained tons of insight and experience in the podcasting game, and is a fountain of advice and knowledge on the subject. Listen to the audio, and check out these golden nuggets extracted from the interview:

Engage the listener Everyone seems to have a self made business or blog, and achieving success is not just about wanting to sell your product or content, but also about engaging your clients. Podcasting  goes beyond the business or blog, and creates a dialogue between yourself and your audience, where you can share everything you know as well as listen to your listeners’ requests.

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Podcasting Tips

5 Tips on Podcasting with Valerie Geller

Valerie Geller is a broadcasting consultant and author of four books including the recently published Beyond Powerful Radio. An expert in her field, she creates models and gives excellent guidance to broadcasters using the radio medium. We recently spoke to the lovely Valerie about podcasting, and she gave some great pointers for new podcasters. We’ll be sharing them through the new few days, and you can start reading the first batch of advice below:

Niche podcasting: Podcasting is great in the narrowcasting market. Narrowcasting you say? Yes, instead of broadcasting, narrowcasting allows for shows about specialized interests. Podcasting allows you to be much more focused on specific topics and themes, and gain listeners that are looking for just that.

Be a storyteller: Speak visually and paint pictures in order to tell the story. Take into consideration how the information you want to spread will affect the listener, and how you would tell this to a friend.

Engage the audience: Tell the truth and never be boring. Ask yourself: how would you interest someone in something they weren’t interested in before? It’s all about communicating on a human level. Being passionate will pull at anyone’s heartstrings, whether or not you have a “golden voice,” so make sure you’re actually interested in what you’re talking about. You don’t necessarily need to be a natural-born talent as long as you apply a technique and model to your programming.

Should you keep opinions to yourself? That depends on the kind of podcast it is. Generally, when it comes to news journalism, it’s best to be objective, but let listeners have an idea of what you think about it, so as not to come off as an actor or parrot. Entertainment journalism, however, calls for opinionated hosts and it helps make a good story.

Listen Simple as that. It is just as important to tell a story as it is to keep your ears open to your fans, participants, and guests you interview.

Don’t make it all about “ME” It’s a trap a lot of podcasters fall for. Take the focus off off “me,” the host, and switch it to “you,” the listener. Speak to one individual and propose ideas by stating “have you ever…”. It’s not “we have a ticket contest coming up,” it’s “you can win these tickets to this awesome concert.”

For more information check out Valerie’s book Beyond Powerful Radio, and stay tuned for more tips throughout the week!

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