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A response to your podcast called "Beyond organic innovation"

 
                            
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Dear Mr. Wheaton,
I really love your content on youtube. I just heard your rant on your Pobcast (beyond organic innovation 008). It was refreshing to hear your current feelings on the green movement and the difficulties of being a “good” content provider. I sense that you are new to the format of podcasting. The pressure you feel to post a new podcast 5 days a week must be immense, especially when you are feeling alone. I have been listening to podcasts for about 6 years now. Most of them are weekly postings. As a content consumer I am happy to have one well made podcast a week. If you feel frequency is paramount then you might post the same content in many formats, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Podcast, Tumblr. Maybe I misunderstood your frustrations. You might not need hundreds of people to continue. I might have heard the mad ramblings of a man driving through the wastelands of Eastern Washington. This would make any man complain about “the teeny boppers” ruling the internets. I am sure you know smart people that have advice on how to go about podcasting. Jack Spirko is someone who posts a podcast 5 times a week. It was great at first, but now it has become a series of rants. This is not totally true, I have noticed he has started having guests on like you for example. These shows are better than when he is alone talking at you for two hours. I have noticed he is starting to do more interviews. This is a good thing. I don’t want to disparage Jack. He is putting out a really good product. Like you I have learned so much about the natural world from him. I think he is doing a good thing. I love his views on debt. Something people don't talk about much in this context. My only critique would be his tone. I am sure within your circle of influence you have dynamic, caring and intelligent people to have a conversation with like Jack has. Do that. I think yours would have a different feel.

You have introduced me to so much new information Sepp Holzer, Huglkultur, the evils of transplanting, Wafadi homes, the wonders of black locust trees, rocket mass stoves. I do feel an urgency when thinking about this stuff. I hope to contribute in some way. Right now I live in Richmond, VA. I am starting to make contacts with the local Permaculture people here. Maybe soon I will have some of my own content to add. In the mean time. I will be watching you... Not in a creepy way just as an interested observer... That still sounds creepy.
 
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I have to confess that the whole thing about podcasts is pretty new to me.  I probably listened to my first podcast two months ago - and that was because I was in it.  And then I listened to a couple of Jack's other podcasts.  So I have very little to compare to to get any idea of what is expected.

My current plan is that while I have podcasts in the hopper, I will put them out every other day - in between the videos.  When I run out of podcasts, we'll see what my interest level is in making more. 

The upside of making podcasts for me is that the act of driving somewhere can suddenly be a lot more productive.  Another upside:  i really groove on the idea that there is zero concern over quality.  I can edit and polish a video, but the podcast is a (relatively) raw dump.

I feel powerfully compelled to spread this information around.  To get this information into the minds of millions.  And I know that if I sit here and generate content and don't go and post it around, it will get into the minds of hundreds instead of millions.  And, I now know, that most of those hundreds are happy that they got it and do not share my passion about getting the information shared.  And those that do share my passion for sharing the information, would probably be disgusted to see the amount of time and effort that goes into it.  They would be willing to spread the word to a few dozen more, maybe even hundreds, but their passion does not go into the arena for millions.

I am coming to grips with that.  I think Jack understands where I'm coming from on this, and he sends me email with information to help me on this path.  I have to read his emails a dozen times to get my head wrapped around what I need to do. 

I think there are a dozen people in this forum that would gladly give me ten minutes a day, every day.  Plus a full two hours once a week.  And that helps a lot!  When I started the podcast, I thought that number might be more like 250.  And, I admit, that was just my own runaway enthusiasm/optimism. 

 
                                      
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Paul, you come off as a bit whiny... i've posted to you multiple times that I would help you with tech side of things and you haven';t reached out to me even once. Lets quit whining about how nobody will help you
 
paul wheaton
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At the moment, I'm leaving technical stuff to kane.  It seems to be working okay.  Is there something in the technical space that has been overlooked?

The thing I errantly leaned on was the idea that others would take care of promotion.  Which is different from technical stuff.  As I have said - it is my own mis-perception.  My own runaway enthusiasm/optimism which crashed into reality.  The results were that traffic took a big dive. 

 
                                      
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Sorry if i sounded a bit harsh Paul. It sounded like you were chastising the audience and accusing us as being apathetic. I assure you I am not.  Your tech stuff does appear to be in order, however I offered much advice, not sure if any of it was used or not, however as much as you feel you are pod-casting in a vacuum I feel like I am helping into a vacuum.

I'm not sure what you expected, however you have 9 episodes out ... 9... not 600

You can't be TSP over night, that is something you earn over time by being appreciative of your audience and putting out a quality product. You have done B very well and now need to work on A.

Now I have little doubt someone of your charisma and intelligence will make it happen.

I think of the old adage "you catch more flies with honey"



paul wheaton wrote:
At the moment, I'm leaving technical stuff to kane.  It seems to be working okay.  Is there something in the technical space that has been overlooked?

The thing I errantly leaned on was the idea that others would take care of promotion.  Which is different from technical stuff.   As I have said - it is my own mis-perception.  My own runaway enthusiasm/optimism which crashed into reality.  The results were that traffic took a big dive. 


 
                                      
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You say traffic took a big dive? traffic to your site? and you say this is a result of posting the podcast?

Or are you talking about traffic to your podcast?



 
paul wheaton
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I think that was the reason I made the podcast.  I was pissed/frustrated.  I know I'm not going to stop, but I did think that with the help of a few hundred people i was going to, possibly, double my production velocity.

You are, of course, right about the honey and all.  And, at the same time, I like using/abusing the podcast thing to embed something more.

I was talking with Jack about it.  I suppose I could add in a bunch of sponsorship and then use the money collected from sponsorship to pay somebody to do a lot of this work.  

I want to focus more on creating more articles, videos, podcasts, etc. per month.  And the only way I have figured out how to do that is to get somebody else to take over promotion stuff.  

As soon as I get 10 things done, I have ideas for 20 more things and footage for 20 more.

I have footage for ten more rocket mass heater videos.  And opportunity to get footage for 20 more on top of that.  And by the time I have the ten up on youtube, I will probably have footage for the 20 and and opportunity for 40 more.  

I have 9 podcasts up, three in the hopper, five more recorded that need prep work and about 20 that are outlined.  I have 94 videos up, zero in the hopper (well, a dozen from when I was presenting at the library - but those are weak), footage for about 60 more and trips lined up to film about 60 more in the next few months.  I have a dozen articles up and about 40 more I need to write.

I need to finish my book.

I feel so powerfully compelled to do this.  I feel like the world gets a little better with every "brick" and that when I work hard, I will continue to see exponential growth and that I am changing the world.   I'm watching for when my promotional efforts are dwarfed so much by others that I can step away from that aspect and focus entirely on generating content.




 
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saveourskills wrote:
You say traffic took a big dive? traffic to your site? and you say this is a result of posting the podcast?

Or are you talking about traffic to your podcast?



I stopped all of my regular promotional activity.  Or, more accurately, I cut back to just twitter and fb.  Then took that time and focused on getting the podcast started.  Traffic to permies, richsoil and my youtube channel all saw a big drop.  At first I write it off as ramp up time for the others to manage all the promotion stuff I did. 

 
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Here is an example of time suck:  http://www.backwoodshome.com/forum/vb/showthread.php?t=25051

That thread lead to over a hundred views of the video.  And there will be another hundred.  If i wait two day and then reply, there will be 50 more.  If the debate goes on and on for a couple of weeks there could be 500 views from that thread to the video.  And I can probably make links to some of my other stuff along the way. 


 
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Hi Paul,

Like the originator of this topic I am an avid podcast listener. I listen to 20+ podcasts a week mainly from Leo Laporte's www.TWiT.tv I first came across you from Jack Spiko's podcast

1. Do not try to put out 5 podcasts a week, you'll overwhelm yourself and put out really crappy stuff that not even you'll want to listen to.

2. Don't worry about time. Many of the podcasts I listen to are over 90 minutes long. for every  listener that thinks it's too long there's a 10 or more that want it to be longer.

3. Focus on one or two topics per podcast

4. Don't ever expect more than 1% of your listeners to support you. Listen to www.noagendashow.com study their model for revenue. They are successful because they have a crap load of listeners. Less than 1% of their listeners actually support the show.

5. For tech stuff related to podcasting this is a good intro http://revision3.com/systm/podcasting

6. When you can't think of anything to podcast about do an interview, it's the easiest way to come up with content. If you can try to interview someone from another podcast, the cross promotion is great for both parties.

7. Always keep it raw, don't edit. People like genuineness.

8. Avoid sponsors if you can, sometimes they are necessary but they are the reason I no longer listen to Alex Jones, or for that matter anything on the radio anymore. Make sure if you get a sponsor that you do not become their slave.

9. Never expect your audience to be loyal. There will always be attrition, even the littlest thing will turn someone away. Just be yourself and be persistent and your audience will steadily grow.

10. Tenacity is the key to successful podcasting. Hell, it's the really the key to anything in life. Do be a victim of pod fade. Keep making episodes, keep your feed fed. Podcasts last forever and you will always grow your audience but only if you continue.

11. Never write a long post in a forum, especially if you feel compelled to number all your points Wink

It boils down to this...

Do your podcast for yourself and no one else and many will love you ans support you for it.

Do it for others while sacrificing your time and sanity and no one will love you or support you and you will not be happy.



Examples of some great podcasts

www.twit.tv/twit - Leo Laporte the greatest tech podcast ever (makes over $1,000,000 doing podcasting)

www.noagendashow.com - Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak - Adam helped invent podacsting and is often called the "Pod Father" - They have a great conspiracy type podcast that is 100% listener supported, no ads (They make hundreds of thousands per year)

www.mikeschmidtcomedy.com/podcast - A LA based comedian who talks into a mic for 90+ minutes a week and I can't stop listeng to him (he probably looses money in podasting)

www.pardcast.com - Jimmy Pardo - a very, very funny podcast that costs $20 per season to subscribe to  (I actually have purchased 2 seasons)

I've also attachec an OPML of the podcasts I listen to if anyone's interested
PodcastFeeds03-29-11.opml.txt
[Thumbnail for PodcastFeeds03-29-11.opml.txt]
 
                                      
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I'm keenly aware of the time suck in web promotion. I've been building my facebook fan base and it takes a lot of time, no arguments here.

Bottom line is I think a lot of people are willing to help you, but you have to reach out to them and give them things to do. Seems like your sitting around waiting for people to help you and then complaining when they don't. That's not going to work.

Also a few well placed thank yous go a long way to keep people motivated.  I was out there helping you and my only thanks is "you suck" then it kinda-sort-a knocks the wind out of my sails. I mentioned you to my fan base, talked about you on my podcast, and linked and shared items on my facebook page. Also I'll note that I have never asked for reciprocation (and don't still)

I'm grateful for the roughly 1000 people that tune into my podcast... not a great number on any stats chart... but I'm hopeful when I get to episode 200 that number will look a bit better.   This is a marathon not a sprint.

Second point... if your traffic numbers die off quickly if your not there to tend to them then I wonder about the stickiness of your site? Why aren't the old people coming back for more?  I think you need to consider reworking your homepage so it always shows your most recent content.

Also this is something I need to work on for my own site, but what are you doing to capitalize on the people that do come to your site? Getting them to sign up for a mailing list? Getting them to subscribe to your podcast?  Getting them to go to your facebook page? Where are the action items?

I would suggest it could be a mashup of permies.com information, links to your most popular articles, and a feed from your blog/podcast.

Your current homepage has a lot of information but it is static information.   Also for someone as concerned with SEO as you seem to be this should give you a boost in google as google likes homepages that change a lot.


This is my 2 cents as a wanna be blogger and a web developer with over a decade of experience



paul wheaton wrote:
Here is an example of time suck:  http://www.backwoodshome.com/forum/vb/showthread.php?t=25051

That thread lead to over a hundred views of the video.  And there will be another hundred.  If i wait two day and then reply, there will be 50 more.  If the debate goes on and on for a couple of weeks there could be 500 views from that thread to the video.  And I can probably make links to some of my other stuff along the way. 



 
paul wheaton
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The thing that eats at me the most is that somebody has done something nice for me and I have not properly appreciated what they have done.  Most of it comes from me being behind in email or not connecting a real name with pseudonym (something I really suck at) or some other stumble on my part. 

I have 25,000 unread emails.  Each email has a task that I need to do.  Each time I do a task, half the time it results in a new email with a new task.  It's as if I have snubbed 25,000 people. 

I've been especially awful in the last two months.  This is when I promised myself that I would put up a new video every two days.  By keeping that promise, I have received even more emails that go unanswered. 

I see two paths:

1)  keep cranking out the content and everything else suffers.

2)  take a month or two off from putting out content and get caught up on emails, SEO, fixing bugs in the forum software, get moved to the new forum software ... basically focus on housekeeping.  Once the housekeeping is caught up, go back to cranking out content

Oh, and while I've been pouring big gobs of time into this, I've been neglecting my bigger site: coderanch.  I really need to spend more time there.

Jack Spirko has been giving me a mountain of excellent advice.  Most of it is so advanced I'm having a hard time getting my head wrapped around it.  So I end up re-reading it about a dozen times.  I am slowly starting to understand it.

My sincere apologies for being less than kind in the face of your generosity.  I have no excuse.  I'll try to be less of an ass in this space.

 
                                      
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Paul,

I also have to say thank you to you. When I first heard you on TSP I lost sleep for several days thinking about the possibilities.

All my garden expansion is going to use hugelkulture beds for the spring.

Ok now we're all happy and dancing around in circles singing kum-bay-ya.

I realize there is a work life balance issue here. I want to see good information get out to people. The more people doing things correct the less doing it wrong... makes sense of course.

I'm also an over-committed work-a-holic and I know how frustrating it is to focus on content vs building your site and striking that balance. I know that good content takes care of itself to some extent... so keep on keeping on.

-Nick
 
paul wheaton
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Kolomona,

1) agreed.  Each podcast is currently taking far more time than I thought it would - and that's with the expectation of no regard for quality.

2) THAT is good to know!  I'll let my presentation podcasts run the full two hours.

4)  I am learning this lesson.  Although I do think I am getting better than 1%.  I made the mistake of setting my expectations far too high.

6)  I plan on doing interviews because there are some sharp people out there and I want to convey their stuff.  If I run out of stuff (which seems really unlikely) I'll just stop making podcasts.

7)  The idea of not fiddling with it was one of the enticing things.

  At this point, adding a sponsor would be more work.  Although I do like the idea of a sponsor giving me gobs of money which I can then convert into hiring somebody to take care of a lot of my daily chores.

10)  The moment I am doing it out of obligation, i stop doing it.  This podcast will always be because I felt like it.

 
paul wheaton
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Nick,

I think I'm going to hold off on podcasts and videos for a few days.  I just need to get caught up on housekeeping.  I have 100 open windows on my desktop - each represents something that needs to get done.  I should get caught up with that, and with email and with the other things I've been neglecting. 

 
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Paul, 

I wanted to express my sincere thanks for all you have done.  I heard you on TSP for the first time.  Both you and Jack have lighted an inner fire in me.  It is refreshing to have someone who does not "tow" the party line.  Your rants and meandering are quite refreshing.  Please continue to put out the podcasts.  As has been said before it is the quality.  I could listen for hours on anything permaculture, polyculture, making money.

I have the opportunity to use about 70 mountain valley acres here in Utah from my father in law and the ideas are frothing.  I am just not sure where to start. 

Once again thanks for all you have done.  You have been quite the inspiration.

 
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When I was driving back from the mountains of western maryland, I was listening to your cast iron cookware podcast.  Although I was dead tired from tent camping in 26 degree weather, I immediately went to your richsoil.com article when I got home, and clicked around.  I ended up purchasing some cast iron skillets from ebay using your link.

Keep up the good work Paul, everything you do is much appreciated, particularly the way your mind works.  It seems like you approach each subject scientifically.  That works very well for people like me.  Don't worry, be happy.  People like me will be listening to you no matter how often you want to post things.  We're just glad you care enough about the state of things to do it.
 
paul wheaton
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Thanks fellas!  That puts some wind in my sails!
 
                                              
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paul wheaton wrote:

I feel powerfully compelled to spread this information around.  To get this information into the minds of millions.  And I know that if I sit here and generate content and don't go and post it around, it will get into the minds of hundreds instead of millions. 



I also feel compelled to spread this info, get it into the hands of folks with different world views as well. show people we CAN have sustainable ag, WITH affordable food. We just gotta see the need and build it. I talk about these things to every gardener i met, which is rare in my area, but theres a few.

I have a fire lit under me. a force calling me, from the depths of all I am. you couldnt refer to it any other way without ignoring aspects of it. I know how to and am currently building a permie design for an area that covers a massive region, but is utterly dependent on shipped in food, besides beef running land to death weve got that.... for now anyway....

so I know what its like to feel driven.

I just wanted to applaud you for your work. Its going to take people spreading the knowledge, and people perfecting it. that said, if theres any suggestion I could give you (besides the importance of breeding  ) perhaps you DO have a resource of people here....

they might not work to well for what you were envisioning, but perhaps you can set up experiments, or who knows what, but essentially use others work to highlight yours? Im not sure if you can or not, just a partially formed idea really....
 
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This forum started off as a place to talk about stuff that is broken and in need of meding; to see if uploading a picture worked; to make sure the reply stuff worked okay; etc.

Now I think this forum is the place to figure out world domination.  We'll all haphazardly try a little of this and that and see how it goes.

 
                                              
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paul wheaton wrote:
This forum started off as a place to talk about stuff that is broken and in need of meding; to see if uploading a picture worked; to make sure the reply stuff worked okay; etc.

Now I think this forum is the place to figure out world domination.  We'll all haphazardly try a little of this and that and see how it goes.




you mean to thwart others goals of world domination? or form your own to compete?

Or just get worldwide coverage of the permie mindset?

since this is in the off topic section.... Im reading more of your and sepps stuff. Im fully impressed. I hope you continue to grow into one of the faces of the movement. you touch on these things in a way many more can relate to then some folks do as I see it. Its a very good thing.....
 
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SILVERSEEDS wrote:
you mean to thwart others goals of world domination? or form your own to compete?



I suppose there is competition. 

I like the idea that in the future, safeway (and all other grocery stores) carry only permaculture raised food.  Not because there is a law that says they must, but because farmers and stores profit more from it.

I like the idea that the nation becomes far more self sufficient (wofati, rocket mass heaters, no toxic gick on their lawns) not because the law requires them to, but because it is easier and cheaper. 

I like the idea that smart, decent folks get freaky rich.  And those that do slimy/icky things don't.  And we all have the option to be as lazy as we wanna be (live cheap and humble).


 
                                              
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paul wheaton wrote:
I suppose their is competition. 

I like the idea that in the future, safeway (and all other grocery stores) carry only permaculture raised food.  Not because there is a law that says they must, but because farmers and stores profit more from it.

I like the idea that the nation becomes far more self sufficient (wofati, rocket mass heaters, no toxic gick on their lawns) not because the law requires them to, but because it is easier and cheaper. 

I like the idea that smart, decent folks get freaky rich.  And those that do slimy/icky things don't.  And we all have the option to be as lazy as we wanna be (live cheap and humble).





If we take all the agendas out of the picture or simply convince enough folks there is other options that is much more then possible. we know how, a few have it now, and I agree we all could.

weve got top heavy systems. Its not the only way.

using the law to do its, not likely to work to well. then youd need a police state to enforce it, and we are right back to top heavy leeching systems.

nope, we need a new dream, new relationships to what we can do....

Im right there with you.... I see that world to, or a similar one.... Im doing my part.

 
                              
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paul i just listened to this podcast and one thing that struck me about what you were saying about the teeny boppers hyping up all the bs crap is they have the time to actually do all that linking and voting and staying in touch with that bs. I like many other you mentioned that listen and leave so to speak just dont have the time to go thru all that for each of the podcasts we/I listen to. I actually walked away from computers altogether a few years back because I was spending so much time in front of the box and not outside doing the stuff I really like doing. I try to spend no more than an hour online at any given  time now. And I only got back online for email and recently i made a facebook because of Jack Spriko and Johnny Max, but I rarely use it the way it was made to be used. If there was a speedy-er way to do all the techy stuff your asking many of us to do I would be more inclined to do it for you and other podcasters. But I'd rather be outside with my ipod listening to you all giving me inspiration to live a better life.
that was my 2cents and im over my hour online, till tomarrow. LOL
 
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Hi Paul, Listened to podcast #8. Would love to help with the workload if it will help make more time for podcasts. I am pretty web/computer savvy. Let me know what I can do.
Suzy
 
paul wheaton
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There is lots!

Do you know much HTML?

Somewhere in this forum I talked about building a better relationship between permies and appropedia.  And by relationship, i mean "links".  That would be a good first step.
 
Suzy Bean
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Don't know html, but I'll work on linking the appropedia and permies sites.
 
Suzy Bean
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Tell me if the links I made between http://www.appropedia.org/CFL and http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/5761_0/alternative-energy/cfl-brightness-and-longevity-claims are what you are looking for
 
paul wheaton
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For the link back to appropedia, you don't need the # stuff, but other than that, yes!  It's great!
 
Suzy Bean
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Cool. Took off the stuff after the # sign. Will work on linking up more pages.
 
Suzy Bean
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Ok. I've attached a summary page of the links I've made between the 3 sites. Let me know if this works for you and if there's other stuff to do.
Appropedia-richsoil.doc
[Thumbnail for Appropedia-richsoil.doc]
 
paul wheaton
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Wow!  Suzy!  That's great!

I have a new podcast out today about chickens.  Can you find appropriate places to post that ... appropriately?  As in, respectful to the community where you are posting it?  Maybe post a link to the chicken podcast (in the blog stuff) and a link to the chicken article. 

??



 
                                              
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paul wheaton wrote:
Wow!  Suzy!  That's great!

I have a new podcast out today about chickens.  Can you find appropriate places to post that ... appropriately?  As in, respectful to the community where you are posting it?  Maybe post a link to the chicken podcast (in the blog stuff) and a link to the chicken article. 

??






Oh man... great chicken article... im still reading it... But I wanted to say you crack me up. your sense of humor is hilarious....


And this might be a good time to point out that when I see "100% vegetarian diet!" on a carton of eggs, I think "we are raising chickens to suffer to satisfy the passions of ignorant twits!" I have yet to see a package of eggs with the words "diet includes bugs and other meat".

What's funny about the egg carton pictured is right next to "vegetarian diet" is "certified humane".



this is absolutely classic.
 
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