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Jeremy Cherfas

How Long Should a Podcast Be?

1 min read

Podnews has a piece that many podcasters could usefully read. The bit that resonated was this quote from Roman Mars:

If you have 100,000 listeners and you edit out one useless minute you are saving 100,000 wasted minutes in the world. You’re practically a hero.

Not quite a hero, I can at least count myself a mini-hero.

Jeremy Cherfas

2018-12-10

1 min read

cover art for podcast episode

New podcast episode out now, tasting the delights of Nürnberger lebkuchen, at https://www.eatthispodcast.com/lebkuchen/

Jeremy Cherfas

2018-05-17-02

1 min read

If you're looking for a really good introduction to the and insights into how it all works, you could do a lot worse than listen to Jeena's podcast with Martijn. They do a tip-top job of explaining for people less knowledgeable than they are, and the audio quality is very acceptable.

Jeremy Cherfas

2018-01-23

1 min read

Latest episode of Eat This Podcast is up now. Bread as it ought to be.

Jeremy Cherfas

Owning my audio clips

3 min read

In the past couple of days, prompted by Marty McGuire's write-up, I raved about the potential of Audiogram to help promote the podcast by making it easier to share audio clips to social media -- by turning them into video clips. This afternoon, having managed to get tomorrow's episode edited early, and having had to chop quite a few interesting digressions, I thought I would have a serious play.

Tl;dr: It worked. I'd show you here, but I haven't found an easy way to upload video to Known yet. If you want to see the result, you can go to Patreon right now.

Installing Audiogram was not entirely plain sailing. Marty used Docker, and so despite warnings from other IndieWeb friends, I tried the same. All went well out of the gate, but then fell at the first. Something to do with virtualbox. So I switched to Homebrew and that did the needfull. Even then, though, Audiogram wouldn't start, but the error message made it clear that I needed to update node.js and npm. That done, it still wouldn't start.

Turned out I already had a local server running, via MAMP, and that was getting in the way. Switching off that server, and all was good.

That was two days ago. Today, I tried to use it for serious, and although there were plenty of hiccups along the way, I got there.

The instructions for modifying the theme are very straightforward, and with a bit of trial and error I was able to create a background for any future clips.

Uploading the audio, inserting the caption, all that was dead simple thanks to Audiogram's editor. Actually generating the videos, though, generated error after error, and some of them scrolled through several screens. But I kept my nerve, turned to search engines and StackOverflow and eventually got there.

Some of the fixes seemed to be pure voodoo. There's an invisible file that one of the Audiogram developers suggested deleting. The first time I tried that, it worked beautifully. The second time, not so much. Nor the third. But then, it worked again, at which point I called a halt, for now; a wise decision in my opinion.

I'm looking forward to seeing whether clips will attract listeners to the podcasts in their entirety. I put the first one on Patreon because the episode is not yet public, although Patreons have received it. I'll probably use clips there as bait and see how it goes. Once episodes are public I'll send clips to Twitter and, maybe, Facebook which will, I think make it relatively easy to trace any impact. And if the whole process isn't too hard (getting to the first video uploaded took almost three hours today) then I can imagine it might be useful to promote older epsiodes too, when there is a news peg.

So, grateful thanks to Marty McGuire and WNYC.

Jeremy Cherfas

"Paying to podcast is so passé"

1 min read

On what planet does Techcrunch live? Their report on Anchor's bid to lure podcasters from SoundCloud says n0thing about whether audio hosted there will be sharable via, say, Huffduffer, which to me was the biggest single problem with SoundCloud as a podcast host.

I would also argue that a promise by Anchor "to cut podcasters in when it starts to earn money" isn't much to go on.

But what do I know?

Jeremy Cherfas

No. 2 is my favourite

1 min read

Dave Winer offers [three reasons why he will not point to a Facebook post](http://scripting.com/2017/05/31.html#a110526)

No. 2 is my favourite:

> It's supporting their downgrading and killing the web. Your post sucks because it doesn't contain links, styling, and you can't enclose a podcast if you want. The more people post there, the more the web dies. I'm sorry no matter how good your idea is fuck you I won't help you and Facebook kill the open web.

Jeremy Cherfas

And I say podcast discovery IS broken,

2 min read

Nick Quah's Hot Pod newsletter is a lode from which I occasionally extract a nugget. [Today](http://us12.campaign-archive1.com/?u=e7175619f87bd6b29429572aa&id=732cf5e4b1&e=07840946c7), in the wake of the latest Edison Report on podcast listening (in the US) he quotes a bloke from Audible who says:

> To me, the fact that 40% of US adults have tried podcasting, yet only half of them listen regularly, that's astounding. Show me any other medium that has that gap. None. When people sample and don't habituate, it speaks to interest that isn't being met by the content that's available today. There either isn't enough variety of things for people to listen to —or there isn't enough of what they like to meet their appetite. With 350,000 podcasts, that seems like a strange thing to say, but the simple truth is that potential listeners aren't sticking with it — and there are only two potential reasons: not enough good stuff — or they simply can't find it. Solving this could go as far as doubling the audience for podcasting.

I wonder why "Eric Nuzum, Audible’s SVP of Original Content," even bothers to raise the straw man of not enough content. And why he does not raise the question that discovery and subscription are two sides of the same coin. Right now, neither discovery nor subscription is easy.

Nick Quah himself doesn't think discovery is a problem, and that's a problem for me. He says:

> It has always occurred to me that discovery functions in the podcasting space along the same dynamics as the rest of the internet; there is simply so much stuff out there, and so the problem isn’t the discovering an experience in and of itself — it’s discovering a worthwhile or meaningful experience within a universe of deeply suboptimal experiences.

But to me that seems to miss the essential difference between audio and the other things on the internet.

It is hard to get audio at a glance. And the solution is not to make ever shorter bits of attention-grabbing audio. It is to find other ways to recommend and share audio in ways that make it easy to hear a piece, to sample a show and eventually, maybe, to subscribe.

Jeremy Cherfas

A podcast about the Indieweb

2 min read

Further to my note about a new about things, I listened to Marty McGuire's rendering of This Week in the Indieweb. I really enjoyed it, even though I had read the text version. Production and audio were top notch, and it was very clear. My only quibbles concern the pace and the audience.


Even as a native English speaker, and despite Marty's very clear diction, it seemed a bit speedy to me. I wonder whether less fluent listeners manage to get it all.


A second, similar point, about the audience. In my estimate, as a newcomer to indieweb and a less than expert person, some of the stuff whizzed right by me. But if I were familiar with it all, I'd probably be keeping up with the IRC channels and the indieweb.org pages and so I'm not too sure why I'd need an audio version. But that's just a matter of choice.


The slightly bigger question is, would there be an audience for a more discursive podcast about the indieweb? Marty would be in favour. So would Chris Aldrich, who started this ball rolling for me. There's a fair bit of audio tagged indieweb at huff duffer, but nothing, apparently, dedicated to the topic.


We certainly have the technology to produce something that captures the history, what's happening now and how things might develop. There's no way I could do that on my own -- not least because I don't know enough to ask intelligent questions -- but with a co-host or two it would be a really interesting project.