Before you Submit a RSS Feed to iTunes

by RobinMaiden on November 9, 2012

A friend of mine asked me what he should do to submit his podcast to iTunes. He’s figured out the recording equipment, the software, the storage… He has plenty of recordings.  He’s even created a  RSS feed.  So he really does have a podcast.
I wrote him an explanation of the steps I recommend before submitting a feed to any podcast directory.  I thought I’d share my recommendation here.
The tools
  • WordPress and the Blubrry PowerPress plugin
  • Feedburner
  • .htaccess redirect
I’m a fan of the combination of WordPress and the Blubrry Powerpress plugin.  If you are going to do a podcast these are great tools.
Feedburner does a couple of things for you:
  1. Allows you to clean up and adjust your feed no matter what you use to make the source feed.
  2. Gives you subscriber feedback on clicks, plays, geographic info, browser type, and much more.
  3. Offers tools to leverage your feed in ways you may not have thought of .  You can make a simple widget you can drop on your website or in an HTML email.
What I suggest is not easy.  It is complex, takes time, and will require troubleshooting.  But, it is what you have to do to future-proof your RSS feed.  Here are my reasons for doing the steps below:
  1. You will have control over your feed.  As long as you “own” your domain, you will “own” your RSS feed.
  2. You can have the benefits of Feedburner without the risk of losing control of your feed.  If you submit a Feedburner feed to iTunes and Feedburner goes out of business or has a break in service, you are in trouble with no way to recover.  If they do, you can redirect the feed you submitted to iTunes to originating feed going right around Feedburner.  You don’t lose any subscribers.
  3. You can change podcast host without losing subscribers.  If you get more sophisticated or out-grow your current podcast host, you may choose to move your podcasts to a different platform, you risk losing subscribers when you change feeds.  If redirect to the new platforms feed, you won’t lose any subscribers.

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Best Podcasting Tool from Conversations Network

by RobinMaiden on September 18, 2012

Ok… I’m giving away one of my secrets.

Levelator. 

There I said it.   Levelator is one of the secrets to making my podcasts have the great technical qualities I like.  Levelator acts as a software compressor, normalizer and limiter.  Although I’m careful and use a hardware compressor and limiter on my recordings, I still run my raw recordings through the Levelator before I do anything else to it.  It is a great tool to have in your podcasting toolbox.

Why do I mention this now?  The Conversations Network, the organization that created and hosts the free software  is evolving.  As the podcast universe has grown, the share and influence of the Conversations Network has shrunk.  There are new leaders in the podcasting arena and CN is migrating some of their content to other sites.

The Levelator tool may be available for a long time, or it may disappear from the web.  I just want to make sure you can download it and have it before it is gone.   I think it is that important.

I want to specifically thank Doug Kaye for his vision and leadership in building the Conversations Network and the Levelator that supported it.  Under Doug’s leadership, the amazing Paul Figgiani of the Conversations Network created the free software very early in the podcasting revolution to help podcasters improve the quality of their recordings.  Their software was widely used by most of the pioneers of podcasting.  I still use it today.  I can not thank the Conversations Network crew enough for this wonderful tool.

If you podcast or plan to podcast, download Levelator.  You’ll be glad you did.

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Where Good Ideas Come From

September 14, 2012

I had a great conversation with a friend the other day and then ran across this video again.  I was surprised I had not included the video here.  This video is Sooo good in Sooo many ways. Content is fantastic Creatively presented (kept my attention) Consistent message across platforms (website, book, other videos…) Compelled me […]

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WordPress Upgrades – Trust the Codex

August 2, 2011

I just finished upgrading from version 2.7 to version 3.2.  I know it is a pretty big jump, but that’s part of why I kept putting it off.  WordPress 3.2 requires a newer MYSQL database and PHP language.  I was running an older versions.  Here is the process that worked for me.  Hopefully it will […]

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QR Codes – My experiments

May 25, 2011

I’ve seen them in magazines.  I’ve seen them included in some street advertisements.  I’ve seen them on the doors of some businesses.  What the heck are they? These are QR Codes – Quick Response codes.  The technology has been around since the 1970′s in different versions (think barcode at the grocery store).  The one I’m […]

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Collaboration and Project Management

April 27, 2011

Over the last few years, I’ve experimented with many different collaboration tools in my businesses and in my profession.  I’ve made recommendations and learned some lessons along the way. The First and Last Lesson Keep it Simple.  Very Simple. Not everyone is tech savvy.  I play, learn, poke, and toy with this stuff all the […]

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Ramon Ray’s Presentation CES 2011

January 19, 2011

Ramon ray Oh, how I wish I could have been there to see his presentation.  These slides only convey a snippet of his message. Ray makes two points I really want to highlight: Don’t Technologize a bad business process Email is not CRM (Customer Relationship Management) I’ve talk in the past about how new and […]

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Product Launch – Old School, New School

July 1, 2010

Just like you, I get lots of email.  Lots of links to articles.  Lots of tweets.  Lots to read.  Lots to consume.  All these bits of info swirl around in my head until I can synthesize something of value.  Here’s today’s synthesized nugget… Here are four related items that popped up in recent days and […]

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Your Communications, Web based or Paper Based?

June 21, 2010

This question is for internal corporate communicators: Do you have paper based communications you create and share digitally, or do you have electronic communication products people can consume any way they want including print? “Take a memo!”  That is SOoo  1960.  This is 2010!  We don’t have typewriters.  Of course, we all have computers.  But, […]

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Prezi Presentation Tool

June 3, 2010

Academy: 10 ways to say it with prezi on Prezi Academy: 10 ways to say it with prezi on Prezi When I work on a project, I usually whiteboard it, then work in outline mode of Microsoft Word.  I will sometimes use a mind map program like MindMeister to capture my thoughts.  The benefits of […]

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