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Re: [podcasters] Summary of Podictionary presentation for Podcasters Across Borders 2007

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  • George L Smyth
    Charles - Too bad I can t be there - I know about a handful of people who will be attending the conference, so look for people wearing AMP t-shirts. If the
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 22, 2007
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      Charles -

      Too bad I can't be there - I know about a handful of people who will be
      attending the conference, so look for people wearing AMP t-shirts. If the
      session is recorded please let us know the link.

      Cheers -


      --- Charles Hodgson <charles@...> wrote:

      > Tomorrow begins the 2007 edition of Podcasters Across Borders in
      > Kinston Ontario. One of the organizers Mark Blevis asked me early on
      > in his planning process if I'd do a presentation. There was some
      > mixup in communications because he thought I said "no" and I thought I
      > said "yes." In any case, Mark was good enough to fit me into the
      > schedule, but because I'm presenting almost dead last I thought I'd
      > share some of my pearls of wisdom (if you can call them that) here, in
      > case people need to run home before I hit the stage.
      > For those of you within travelling distance PAB2007 has room for a
      > very small number more attendees, the cap is 160 and people are coming
      > from as far away as Britain and Argentina.
      > My presentation breaks down into 3 parts: why I started podcasting
      > (and why I keep at it); my experiences; and finally where it's going
      > for me.
      > We all know podcasting isn't a way to get rich quick and I extend this
      > to becoming an author as well. I'm in Canada and the average Canadian
      > author makes something like $12k a year from their writings. My
      > personal experience has seen a book contract with a major publisher
      > for an already complete manuscript take 29 months to get to bookstore
      > shelves. So for both podcasting and book writing you better love it
      > or it isn't going to last.
      > I'll explain how the wise author thinks about publicity because with
      > hundreds of thousands of books published every year, if you don't make
      > noise there is every likelihood your book will sink like a stone.
      > Which is why I started podcasting, why in part I'm going to PAB2007,
      > and why in part I'm posting this.
      > I'll then explain how wonderful my book about the words we use for our
      > bodies is, but I'll spare you that here except to say that it is
      > indeed wonderful with endorsement blurbs from such famous names as
      > Lynne Truss author of Eats, Shoots and Leaves; Richard Lederer former
      > co-host of the NPR podcast A Way With Words; Erin McKean the Editor in
      > Chief of The New Oxford American Dictionary; and others I admire and
      > respect. (The book comes out in August, for more info
      > www.navelgazersdictioanry.com)
      > I'll talk about why I've been doing a podcast episode five times a
      > week for more than two years. The answer I started out with was that
      > it was a vehicle to help my book sell, but that's not the whole story
      > as I realize today (more later).
      > I dreamed at the beginning that I'd have 100,000 people listening to
      > me but it's much more modest than that, although I have managed 2.7
      > million downloads.
      > I'll review how my audience built up, first with support from other
      > podcasters particularly The Word Nerds, then with exposure via Yahoo!;
      > NPR; newspapers, magazines and blogs including USA Today, Slate and
      > Jane Magazine. I'll reflect that all these things must help, but they
      > usually don't stand out as individual drivers of listeners. It's hard
      > to convert from one medium to another. USA Today has an circulation
      > somewhere in the 1.2 or 1.4 million range but my front page exposure
      > on the Living section only brought about 200 listeners that stuck and
      > 1000 website visits or so.
      > iTunes on the other hand holds all the cards. I got top banner
      > exposure in Feb '06 and it jumped my listenership 50%. Last Christmas
      > so many people got iPods as gifts that when the plugged them in, my
      > listenership went up by 200. Even more impressive, when I got repeat
      > iTunes exposure in March of this year it was really obscure, not the
      > top banner, but 3 pages deep on a list of other staff picks or
      > something. That had five times the power to bring me listeners as did
      > the prime banner exposure of 14 months earlier. iTunes is big and
      > getting bigger fast.
      > I reflect that this wonderful vehicle really means that there is no
      > central web resource for podcasts like YouTube is for video. Because
      > millions or hundreds of millions of people don't have iPods and won't
      > install iTunes, they face a much higher barrier to find your podcast.
      > So I'll talk about what I did to try to become a web property outside
      > iTunes. You can see it at www.podictionary.com but it boils down to
      > making sure there is a per episode player, that the website is
      > attractive to Google and that users can easily subscribe by methods
      > other than iTunes.
      > My podcast is "evergreen" meaning that the episodes remain interesting
      > to listeners even years after I post them. I talk about this as a
      > strategy for building a web property. I'll talk about expanding the
      > suite of things you offer. For me the first two will be the podcast
      > and the book, but at PAB2007 I'll also mention a third leg to my
      > little stool. That's the "where I see it going" part. Because I hope
      > a contract is pending I won't say more about that here.
      > The thing about staying motivated 5 times a week for years when you're
      > not getting paid started out as being a vehicle for book sales, but in
      > retrospect I realize that the opportunities it has opened up for me go
      > beyond this. I spent last week at a meeting of the Dictionary Society
      > of North America (you have to understand that my podcast is about the
      > surprising histories of words you thought you already knew) and met
      > some of the leading lights in the field of lexicography. They
      > welcomed me with open arms. This was probably more because they are
      > really nice people than because I have any authority in the world of
      > dictionaries (I don't). But the point is that my career as an author
      > has been significantly buoyed by the podcast. I write better than I
      > used to, I've met people who count and been the beneficiary of their
      > kindness.
      > Yahoo! Groups Links


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