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Chapter 4. Podcasting Distribution > Advertise on your own Web page or on a blo...

Advertise on your own Web page or on a blog

If you have your own Web page, it is a good idea to put up a banner or a note about your podcast and the feed link. If you have friends or colleagues with Web pages, you can trade with them so that they link to your podcast as well. This technique may net you some new listeners, and if they like the show, their word-of-mouth advertising will be worth the effort.

Interview with Aaron, Pamela, and Travis

“Slacker Astronomy” is a top-10 podcast run by Aaron, Pamela, and Travis—no last names here (Figure 4.6).

Figure 4.6. The “Slacker Astronomy” crew: Aaron, Pamela, and Travis.

Aaron has a MS in astronomy and currently is in a Ph.D. program at James Cook Univer sity. He has worked for the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) for seven years.

Pamela has a Ph.D. in astronomy. She works for Harvard University's Science Center and writes for Sky & Telescope magazine.

Travis has a BA in broadcast journalism from Emerson College and is involved in several musical projects in addition to working at the AAVSO.

Farkas: When did you first become aware of podcasting?

SA: Aaron read about it in a newspaper article at the airport while traveling for the holidays. The article talked about mainly the religious podcasts. He thought it would be perfect for astronomy and then invited Travis and Pamela to join him, and it was the first they heard about it.

Farkas: What made you decide to create your own podcast? Was the desire to get the message out with regard to astronomy the driving force?

SA: Our Prime Directive is to have fun. We do this for ourselves first of all. A strong second is the desire to share news of astronomy while respecting the intelligence of our audience (i.e., not “dumbing” it down). Aaron and Pamela are both very active in astronomical education and public outreach. so this was a natural extension for them. Travis is interested in the broadcasting aspect of it as well as astronomy.

Farkas: What has surprised you the most with regard to the impact of your podcast(s)?

SA: Two things. The first is that so many people listen! We were hoping for about 500 listeners, and so far we have ten times that. Secondly, the e-mails we get surprised us—in particular, the numbers and thoughtfulness of them. People have been very kind and supportive, and that keeps us going.

Farkas: What are your plans for “Slacker Astronomy” going forward?

SA: We have lots of ideas. We want to expand our interviews and soundseeing tours. We also have ideas to move it beyond podcasting and into public talks and other media. Finally, we want to work with more professionals and produce podcasts on demand. For example, when a professional observatory has a press release, they can contact us to produce a podcast version of it for release at the same time.

Farkas: Where do you see podcasting going in the next year? The next five years?

SA: The most interesting thing will be to see how the attempts at commercialism play out. We think it has equal chances to succeed or fail.

Farkas: Do you have an opinion on the commercialization of podcasting?

SA: It will depend on whether marketing agents have respect for the audience. If they don't, and they treat [the audience] as one mass, it will fail. They need to tailor their technique for each unique podcast. Our advice to marketers: Pay no attention to what others are doing, and come up with your own plan.

As for our podcast, we do not plan to become a for-profit enterprise simply because it would violate our Prime Directive: to have fun. Freedom is important to us. As soon as we have to self-censor and kiss a brass ring, the show will no longer be fun, and we doubt we could ever make enough to justify that. We did an April Fool's show where we pretended to be shut down by The Man. Our audience loved it.

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