Last Ditch Effort

For those who follow me on the Tavern, you may have noticed a substantial drought in the articles I’ve written and published since late last year, outside of WordPress Weekly.

In the last 4-6 months, I’ve been in a pretty low place emotionally, mentally, and at times, physically.

The Tavern started out as a fan site, a blog all about WordPress. A place to discuss what was happening. A place to help each other out. In the past five years, the Tavern has grown from a hobbyist blog to a place of professional journalism thanks in large part to Sarah Gooding. Sarah has done an amazing job, has a great work ethic, high standards, and has taken the site to new heights.

I have not faired well in the Tavern’s transition. In the past few years, I’ve struggled to find a place, maintain my written voice, and become more of a traditional journalist. I’ve admitted in the past that I’m not a good journalist and I still feel that way. I enjoy writing how I feel, what I think, and evolving the narrative over time. But with the Tavern becoming a more serious and professional industry source of news, that kind of writing is getting phased out.

The way in which I write stories on the Tavern now a days is akin to Ben Stein’s voice. Dry, boring, accurate, no personality, that I sometimes wonder if it could be accomplished better by AI.

One thing that I’m proud and that I’m good at is WordPress Weekly or podcasting in general. I get to be myself on the show and I enjoy talking to people about WordPress and learning about other’s experiences. I’ve had a few pep talks lately and I’m going to try expanding my reach and produce three different WordPress podcasts a week.

  • The first will be a daily podcast that covers the pressing topics of the day.
  • The second is WordPress Weekly
  • The third will be a Friday night podcast where for one hour, I’ll invite members of the community to join me on a public Google Hangout to talk about whatever WordPress issues they want. I’ll literally be giving people in the WordPress community a chance to have their voices heard.

I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to expand the Tavern listener base while at the same time, trying to bring back some more community elements to the site. Most importantly, what these shows will do is give me a sense of purpose. Let me tell you, when you feel like you have no purpose, no sense of well being at work, it’s draining.

So, that’s what I’m working on. I realize there are already plenty of other podcasts that cover the things I mentioned above, but only one of them involves me. I’ll still be writing but I’m hoping that the podcasts provide enough time for the site to be redesigned and install some sort of community software such as bbPress. This way, I can move into community management or something and not just a writer.

Podango Might Fold Is Talkshoe Next?

Podango has has a report out regarding the recent announcement made my Podango regarding their future. Based on the announcement, things don’t look very good for the company:

We at Podango believe that you, our customers, are our most valuable asset. Given this belief, we have always done our best to be honest and forthright in our dealings with you. The current uncertainties of the financial market has affected many of us in this nation. As of this morning, Podango is no longer immune to it’s effects. Our ability to continue operations past the end of this year (2008) is in question. We do not want any of you, or any of your shows to be negatively affected by this uncertainty and so we are encouraging you to begin taking all necessary steps to secure your data or begin moving to another hosting provider. On Monday we will have a more definitive direction. As of today, the last day to move or secure your data is December 31st. RSS feeds will need to be redirected by this date as well. It is our hope that the events of the next few days will allow us to continue providing you a service based upon a subscription fee. Again, we will know more on Monday and you will be notified of any changes to the above plan as soon as we are made aware of them.

We will have a link in the My Podango section of the Podcasters login page by Monday which will allow you to redirect your RSS feed off of the Podango feed to a new feed. Instructions will accompany that tool. Also on Monday we will provide you with alternatives for show hosting.

Inactive accounts, those without recent uploads or downloads, may be already been deleted from the system. If you need to contact us, please use

Again I personally apologize for this notice of caution. We truly appreciate your business.

With Podango possibly going down the tubes, I am now wondering how well is doing. I host two podcasts through, one called Perfcast which deals with all things blogging and the other, WordPress Weekly which is a WordPress centric podcast.

At this point, I pretty much have a vested interest in surviving. There are many things which can be improved upon within Talkshoe but overall, I’ve been very happy using the service for my podcasting needs. My worry is, does not offer any type of (PRO) account or package. In terms of monetizing, I know they have a few Google ads on the Talkshoe site and you can also pay to be featured on the front page but that is about it. I also know based on what a representative of Talkshoe told me, they make money whenever someone calls into the site.

I’d hate to see Talkshoe fall from the wayside and honestly, I’m willing to shell out some cash to continue using Talkshoe if the opportunity pops up. I hope that Dave Nelson who is the CEO of Talkshoe takes this opportunity depending on the final outcome of Podango to come out and make an announcement regarding the future of Talkshoe and put the minds of its users at ease. Hell, it would also be a nice time for Dave to capitalize on the fall of Podango to see if he can’t reel in some users from that service to Talkshoe.

Appearance On TwoBeams Podcast

Rob White runs a weekly podcast on Friday evenings at 8PM EST on Talkshoe called, Podcast Training And Chat. This past Friday, I was his special guest host as we covered the topic of WordPress. I discussed how I got involved with WordPress, previous experiences, then I discussed various plugins for different purposes. By the way, I also gave out which blogs I’m subscribed to in my feed reader which keep me up to date with the WordPress world.

Please give the show a listen and let me know what you think. It’s pretty weird being on the receiving end of an interview but it was fun.

Two Beams: Podcasting Training and Chat

New Month Means New Poll

Jeffro2pt0 Banner For Site Updates

During the month of August, I asked readers if they would like me to produce a podcast based on the content that has been featured on this site. The results are in:

Should I Produce A Podcast For This Site?

  • Yes (57%, 13 Votes)
  • No (43%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 23

It was close, but it looks like I better put my podcast hat on. So with that in mind, I’d like to present to you my idea for the podcast. I was thinking of calling the podcast, AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE. The podcast would be produced LIVE every Friday Evening at 9PM EST on Talkshoe and would last anywhere from a half hour to 60 minutes. The interviews will be open to discussion on various topics such as what the blog author covers on his or her own blog, blogging in general, their thoughts and opinions on various subjects, tips and tricks for other bloggers, discussion of topics in the news, and anything else that comes to mind. It won’t be a tightly arranged format. I want guests who appear on the show to feel like they are entering a relaxed environment without all of the stress or expectations that may accompany other shows.

If you are a blog author and want to appear on the show, please contact me and tell me which Friday you would be available. As it stands, all slots are empty, but I’d love to fill them up. I’m looking to produce the first show on Friday September 21st, 2007. Who is going to be the first guest on the show?

With that out of the way, it’s time for a new poll question. I’ve been thinking about adding forums to this site, but I’m still not sure if they would be productive or counter productive to the web site. The decision is now in your hands. Vote yes if you would like to see forums attached to this site, or vote no if you could care less.

TalkShoe Changes Payout System

If you have yet to get on the podcasting bandwagon, this may be the time to get a ride. Talkshoe will be paying more to those with live audiences.

Here is a copy of the email I received today:

As you know, TalkShoe exists for the purpose of live interactive podcasting. And a live interactive podcast is more valuable when lots of people download it. So starting July 1, 2007, we’re planning to change our TalkShoe Cash system to reward live interactive Talkcasts as follows:

Talkcasts that draw at least 1% of their listeners live each month will earn our top payout rates. Across all of TalkShoe, we are currently seeing 2.1% live participation so this is not a hard-to-reach threshold.

Here’s how the calculations will work: Each live listener will qualify you for 100 downloads at the high payment rate. Downloads over and above 100 (per live listener) will receive a lower payment rate. For example, if you have 150 live listeners and 20,000 downloads during a month, your live listeners and 15,000 downloads will receive the high payout rate. 5,000 downloads will receive a lower payout rate.

It’s important to recognize that you can still upload non-TalkShoe-based (AKA “offline”) podcasts and episodes — there’s no scenario where uploading an offline episode will reduce your earnings on your other Talkcasts or downloads. More episodes and more downloads are always a plus, but much more of a plus with more live listeners. Even offline episodes will earn the top payout rate if your total of live listeners for the month at least 1% of your total downloads.

What should you do? Drive live participation! Encourage your listeners to join live, creating a fun, entertaining, and satisfying interactive experience — for them, for your time-shifted listeners, and for you the host.

What if the live, interactive format doesn’t work for your podcast? You’ll still be able to use TalkShoe for free hosting and earn cash at one of the best rates in the industry.

If you have been thinking about podcasting but have yet to cross the other side of the fence, now may be a good time to do so. If you have something passionate that you would like to share with others, you can use Talkshoe to do most of the heavy work for you and be paid a few bucks while doing it. Getting paid to podcast, sounds like a good deal to me.