Why to continue funding Public Television

We're in the season of fund raisers for public media in our area. WVTF and Radio IQ just concluded their spring drive, and I'll be at WNRN tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM for my shift as a phone volunteer. In the spirit of that, here's a great educational program sponsored by the government.

(yes, I know this isn't really real, but isn't it awesome?)


Is Odeo Dead?

I've been using Odeo to run secondary pieces of the Charlottesville Podcasting Network. But, the company seems to have stopped operations. So I'm going to start using other things, and I'm just going to see how ugly I can make it. Like right now, you can see that I've got an ugly "Headline Animator" from FeedBurner.

We're fast approaching the 1,000 podcast. That number is harder to get to now because I've temporarily stopped producing the news podcast I was producing. I would like to do it again, but for the moment, it's too much work and not enough money.

But, Odeo is dead, it seems. I will be trying my best to use what I can from the site. I am going to learn to build my own player. Such as the one below:

Brought to you by the Charlottesville Podcasting Network

That plays something from awhile ago. There have been a lot of podcasts. I would like to make many more. I need to experiment more. I need to find the fun again. It's been a year since the Tavern closed, and I must admit I lost a lot in the fire. I miss being out.


A look at Search Engine Results on the eve of a trip

Eric of Backward Five has a really interesting post about how traffic to his site goes up and down based on its Google ranking. I can't say I understand most of it, but I am very interested in these questions as I try to get more traffic to the Charlottesville Podcasting Network. The key is multiple links, as well as well-written content. I've certainly got content. My own look at Alexa over the weekend has us listed as having 21 posts a week, which sounds about right.

But, what about visitors? To be honest, I don't quite know what metric to use as a success. The most satisfying metric is to get a written response from someone. I've had a few people say they use the Gateway Virginia Headlines but comments are awfully hard to come by, for that, or for other shows. Is a lack of comments an indicator of a lack of audience?

Not according to my stats counter, which I keep behind the scenes. I know what works and what doesn't, or at least, I have a sense of what works and doesn't. And, I'm enjoying playing with the so-called long tail. I've got at least 750 pieces of unique audio on the site. There are plans to create even more.

The site will go on a bit of a hiatus over the next two weeks, as the family and I head to England for another visit. I've got a couple of things in the can, and the Headlines will take a break until March 15th. I doubt I'll post anything from England, though I am taking equipment with me.

But, I'll also be thinking about ways to make the site better. Should we go in the non-profit direction? How should we break the podcasts onto separate pages? How can we get more people involved? Where will this all go?

I'm following Eric's advice to some extent - my own satisfaction with the site is somewhat independent of its Google rating. I know what we're doing is a public service, and that it will grow with time.