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blog/podcast - need advice

 
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http://paulwheaton12.wordpress.com/

I am now going to try to put lots there.  Especially the new podcasts which are coming soon (maybe tonight).

Please link to it lots.

Please give me advice on how to make it good. 

 
paul wheaton
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Kane,

Please tell me more about what you think I should do.

The #1 thing to me is that I don't want to take on the burden of lots of downloads of big files.

I also like not having to worry about installing future versions of wordpress (I hear that if you don't keep up on that, your site can get hacked).

 
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Hey Paul, I'm currently at work but I'll try and give a rundown of my opinion later tonight.
 
                                      
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Paul, this is nick ladieu over at the saveourskills.com blog and podcast. I posted up an offer to help on your facebook page and you said to put the information out to permies.com so I wrote it all up and am posting it just like you asked!!

Here is the article I put together for you, I hope this answers your questions. if you need me to help in any way possible you can just contact me through this thread, facebook, or email me direct

http://www.saveourskills.com/setup-podcast

Now I'm going to ask all my chicken paddock questions and hopefully get some great answers here !!
 
Kane Jamison
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So,

The following is what I would do if I were you, Paul, but at the end of the day the most essential thing is to produce the content and not let it languish in the drafts queue.  At the same time, a million bricks doesn't do anyone any good without some good mortar in between, so if you're going to put the effort into posting stuff, might as well do an hour or two upfront to maximize your mileage:

WHERE TO HOST IT)  I would be looking to maximize links to RichSoil.com or Permies, since it doesn't make any sense to start up a 3rd site about the same topic covered by the first two - might as well consolidate that linkjuice onto one of your primary domains.  In this case, something along the lines of permies.com/podcasts/ or richsoil.com/podcasts/ is ideal.  (subdomains like podcasts.richsoil.com and podcasts.permies.com are less ideal, but not a terrible alternative, specifically if you have to host the podcasts section on a different server)

HOW TO HOST IT)  It doesn't have to be Wordpress.  Since Wordpress is my hammer, all websites look like nails to me.  That said, Wordpress is a pretty badass hammer for content producers.  With the help of a plugin here and there, it will automatically do all the RSS Feeds for you (so people can subscribe via email and RSS readers), take care of most SEO issues, facilitate categorizing and tagging of content, take care of internal linking if you set up a "similar posts" and "popular posts" plugin, create XML sitemaps, and a bunch of other details I won't get into in this post.  You need to be able to upload podcasts and content quickly and effectively, so if you can do all of this via Java, by all means, do it.

WORDPRESS UPKEEP)  Updates need to be run roughly every 2 to 4 months.  They flash a big message on your admin screen so you will always know when new versions are released. Typically it involves clicking upgrade, waiting 5 seconds, and then it's upgraded.  Depending on server quality and set-up, I occasionally get memory errors and have to deactivate a couple plugins, upgrade, and then reactivate the plugins.  Still usually a 5 minute or less process.  I've only been hacked one time since late 2005 when I started using Wordpress.  It was Fall 2009 and they injected some spammy links into my database.  Total fix time was probably 3 hours, mostly because it hit a bunch of people at once and noone knew a perfect fix in the first couple days, so I had to restore the site from a backup.  This was a result of me ignoring upgrading for a couple months, so my own fault.  I'll be the first to say it's not perfect security-wise, but they've made quite a bit of progress in the last 2 years and I haven't had a problem since.

BANDWIDTH & HOSTING)  Nick's solution using Podpress isn't bad but it does not solve the issue of bandwidth for streaming/downloading podcast files.  Off the top of my head two options are:
  1) -  Archive.org's music section is a great option as far as bandwidth (and you can embed the audio player for streaming purposes in the wordpress posts), though I'm not certain about ease of uploading.  The guys at Agroinnovations host their podcast on Archive.org and seems to work alright.
  2) - Alternatively, setting up a CDN(content delivery network)  via Amazon Cloudfront or Rackspace is pretty cost effective and excellent as far as speed.  That's slightly more set-up, but uploading would be as simple as using any FTP program. 
I looked the other day very breifly and found some podcast hosting sites but I didn't get a chance to look at them closely, so I can't speak to their value.

Gotta run, there's more to talk about obviously, but I'll see what other questions you have and write more tonight or tomorrow.

 
                                      
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Jack over at tsp uses hostgator.com

If works with 20k+ downloads per day then it should work for Paul too. Hopefully Paul will have just as much success


Agree.  You are best off putting the blog up on existing properties. In fact I would redirect richsoil.com to permies.com/richsoil and permanent redirect all your old links to new ones.  Short term you might take a minor Seo hit but long term it is best to give one domain all the "juice". 

Anyway that is if your goal is to maximize Seo which it might not be.  If it is just to put up a podcast then u can use wordpress or tumblr or whatever.

I'm here to help. Just let me know how and when
 
Kane Jamison
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saveourskills wrote:
Jack over at tsp uses hostgator.com

If works with 20k+ downloads per day then it should work for Paul too. Hopefully Paul will have just as much success.



It sounds like you have talked to Jack at some point, which I haven't, but I would guess Jack is on a VPS to handle a surge of downloads like that.  I've read here on permies or on TSP that he has issues with all of the iTunes users automatically downloading when the podcast is posted.  Even if only a few thousand of those 20k+ are automated downloaders, and another couple thousand choose to stream/download it from the site immediately when it's posted, that would still kill most of the shared servers I've used.  Just my experience; not all servers are created equally.
 
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Yay for podcast! Can't wait until it's on iTunes!
 
                                      
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Paul doesn't have to start out with a Porsche  A Toyota will be fine. As his popularity increases he can scale with it

Kane Jamison wrote:
It sounds like you have talked to Jack at some point, which I haven't, but I would guess Jack is on a VPS to handle a surge of downloads like that.  I've read here on permies or on TSP that he has issues with all of the iTunes users automatically downloading when the podcast is posted.  Even if only a few thousand of those 20k+ are automated downloaders, and another couple thousand choose to stream/download it from the site immediately when it's posted, that would still kill most of the shared servers I've used.  Just my experience; not all servers are created equally.

 
paul wheaton
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(waiting for the coffee to activate ---  brain limping along ...)

A big part of my youtube traffic comes from related views.  Somebody watches something about container houses and then watches my video on container houses.

I have two thoughts at this point:

Is there a place where I can store my podcast that has a related pods sort of thing?

Is there a place where I can put my blog that has a related blogs sort of thing?

 
                                      
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Paul your better off creating your brand as it's own island and then using social media and social bookmarking etc to put your content into the mix of other related content.  For Seo and useability it is best to keep your site as focused as possible

To get the effect your talking about on YouTube with a podcast.  Getting it into tr iTunes store will do that to some degree. The rest is just pitting it on fb and twitter etc
 
paul wheaton
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I have several more podcasts made.  I'm thinking I might use the existing thing today and maybe by the end of today I should get something else set up.  Then move those two over later? 

I've been reading everything.

Jack told me about stuff to work into my wordpress stuff to help with when a new submission goes up to automate different feeds.  So it sounds like I need to do a wordpress somewhere where I can add stuff to it willy nilly.

SEO is important.  I used to ignore SEO and my lawn care article traffic dropped by a factor of 100.  Clearly, I need to pay attention to SEO.

If there is no "related" advantage to where I put the blog stuff, or the podcasts, then it does boil down to SEO.  Maybe I should set wordpress up at richsoil.com/permaculture



 
                                      
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Btw forgive the typos.  Mobile phones :d
 
                                      
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It's a good idea.  If you need help just drop me a line.
 
paul wheaton
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I used to go out to reddit, forums mailing lists and stuff like that to get the social connectivity for the videos, forums and articles.  So the trade is that fans will do that for me and I will then be freed up to make the podcasts.  So I am making a bit of a leap in that space.  And so far, the numbers seem to be dropping a bit.  So I'm nervous in that space. 

But, okay, I get it.  At this point, it sounds like the thing to do is set up the podcasts at archive.org, set up the blog at richsoil and then, in time, optimize the blog stuff with the tools for automatic notifications.  And somehow feed stuff to itunes. 

I'm minutes away from putting a new video on youtube.  Once that is done, I'll start tinkering with wordpress.  (ug, I really don't to fool with installing stuff on the server).

There is still time to go a different path.  Any other advice?

 
                                      
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Dont feel too bad about the drop in seo. It was probably junk traffic anyway around a generic keyword. I'll take 10 visitors that care about what I have to say over 10000 that are just looking for fertilizer or something


I'd be more concerned with your "long tail". A topic for another thread
 
paul wheaton
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Kane sent me email a few days ago offering to set up wordpress for me.

So I sent him all the stuff to get that going out at richsoil.  I am now going to make sure podcast #2 is ready for upload and maybe get a couple more videos edited (I picked up some really excellent footage in the last few days!)
 
paul wheaton
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what is a normal size for a one hour podcast?
 
                                      
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20 to 40mb depending on encoding.  I would encode at 70 to 90kbs and use mono rather than stereo
 
paul wheaton
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I tried 48kbps mono.  Via an app called audacity that jack recommended.  Now at 24 megs (down from 96 megs).

The recent stuff was done on my blackberry, which made an AMR file.  I found a tool that would convert these to mp3 files. 

The first one went over an hour, which the BB won't do - so I had to splice two files together.

Is there a tool that allows me to just edit the meta data in an mp3 file rather than writing the whole file out?
 
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24 mb is pretty good.  I used Audacity for the couple podcasts I've worked on in the past and it works just fine (and even better, it's free).

Check here for tagging tools (http://lifehacker.com/#!5266613/six-best-mp3-tagging-tools), looks like plenty of free options.  iTunes would work, too.
 
paul wheaton
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#2 is ready:  general info about permaculture and design courses

#3 is ready: chickens

Once kane has wordpress rolling, I'll get #1 up there and then push up #2.

 
paul wheaton
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okay, the first podcast is now up at http://www.archive.org/details/PaulWheatonPermaculture001ElectricHeat

 
paul wheaton
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Kane has the new blog stuff running at http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/
 
paul wheaton
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Any suggestions on how I track traffic?
 
                                      
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PodcAst = feedburner

Site = woopra.com
 
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saveourskills wrote:
Paul doesn't have to start out with a Porsche   A Toyota will be fine. As his popularity increases he can scale with it



That's a good point.  We got Paul set up on Wordpress this morning.  Feedburner will need to be set up for both podcasting and for email subscriptions, and then a few plugins and theme edits.

Archive seems to be a good host for the moment.  I don't know how the upload process went but they're very versed in streaming huge amounts of audio, so that's certainly a plus.  Also as I mentioned to Paul, I think the archive.org posts might draw some random search traffic for long-tail permaculture topics.  They're indexed almost immediately it appears.
 
paul wheaton
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podcast #2 is up:

http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/?p=13
 
Kane Jamison
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Hi all,

I have updated the url's to the blog to make them a little better.  The links above will still work, but if you link to the site or post the podcasts on any sites like Facebook etc, please use the links below:

http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/11-ponds-trout-polywogs-and-sepp-holzer-permaculture-missoula/
http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/13-what-is-permaculture-what-is-a-permaculture-design-course-podcast/
http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/3-heat-yourself-and-not-the-whole-house-and-save-80-on-heat/
 
Emerson White
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I recommended the second podcast to a very delicate young woman with out having listened to it. As a result of this irrevokable stamp of approval I did not enjoy the first 30 seconds of the podcast, specifically the joke about where the jungle can be found.
 
                                    
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paul if you see this & you have a twitter account i recommend getting your blog posts w/new videos & podcasts to automatically go to twitter (you can do this w/facebook too).
 
paul wheaton
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Now that i have three podcasts, I guess the time has come to get going on itunes.  How do I do that?

Emerson, I promise to be even more ridiculous, obnoxious, innapropriate and vulgar in the future.  If you have any other delicate friends, I suggest that you direct them to lolcats stuff.  And I still have no idea why suggesting that I have a jungle in my pants is funny, or what it even means - but somehow I had fun saying it.

Chris, I have a twitter account at http://twitter.com/paulwheaton and I am trying to get better at using it.  I suppose I would get more followers if I told more people about my twitter stuff.

Kane,  I suppose there are lots of things I need to do to get the blog stuff polished.  Did I do okay with links and stuff this time? 







 
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paul wheaton wrote:
And I still have no idea why suggesting that I have a jungle in my pants is funny, or what it even means - but somehow I had fun saying it.



Paul, do you really want me to explain it to you?  In public??  Trust me, a lot of people would be offended about hearing people discuss such things on a podcast, especially women, and in particular any female who has ever been abused would probably be hitting the 'off' button pretty quickly!
 
paul wheaton
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Here is the itunes page that I am currently trying to fathom:

http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/specs.html

Kane, do we have this rss thing they mention?
 
Kane Jamison
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paul wheaton wrote:
Here is the itunes page that I am currently trying to fathom:

http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/specs.html

Kane, do we have this rss thing they mention?



Yes, I need you to create a Feedburner.com account (using your email or a google account if you have a gmail account already)

They'll walk you thru the setup, and there's a lot of little things, but the most important thing is to hit "I'm a podcaster"  and then title it /RichSoilPermaculture or something.

That RSS feed starting with feedburner or google feeds domain is the one you enter into itunes.
 
Emerson White
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I was not offended, as you may know I do not easily get offended, I was however mortified.
 
Kane Jamison
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Use these instructions, except skip the iTunes test at the beginning, you're fine on that end:

http://www.8barloop.com/using-wordpress-and-feedburnerto-manage-your-podcast/
 
paul wheaton
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Kane Jamison wrote:
Use these instructions, except skip the iTunes test at the beginning, you're fine on that end:

http://www.8barloop.com/using-wordpress-and-feedburnerto-manage-your-podcast/



Reading .... 

Once I've read through all of this, I'll try to get something going at feedburner.  Should the name I set up reflect SEO or reflect how to find my site or what?
 
Kane Jamison
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paul wheaton wrote:
Reading .... 

Once I've read through all of this, I'll try to get something going at feedburner.  Should the name I set up reflect SEO or reflect how to find my site or what?



For the feedburner url (http://feeds.feedburner.com/xxxxxx) I would stick to branding over keywords.  RichSoil, or RichSoilBlog, or RichSoilPermaculture would all be reasonable.  I would avoid unbranded urls, such as SeppHolzerRulez or PaulWheatonRantingViaMP3.

As far as the iTunes-specific data, I would certainly include lots of keywords.  Approach it like you would a meta description without a character limit: listing keywords, but in a human-friendly way that maintains a sentence structure.  People searching for a raising chickens podcast will definitely want your content, so don't just list the obvious ones like permaculture.  I'd utilize organic, gardening, farming, permaculture, agriculture, sustainable, and every other buzzword you can come up with.
 
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I don't much like the product you are putting out here paul, sound quality is not the only thing I need in a podcast, but my car already makes lots of wind/road noise so the exess background noise makes it hard to follow
 
The glass is neither half full or half empty. It is too big. But this tiny ad is just right:
dry stack step
https://permies.com/t/125100/dry-stack-step
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