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Show Format Suggestions
Posted: 18 December 2006 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve been enjoying the POI podcast just nearly from the beginning, but I’d like to offer two suggestions for improvement. 

First off, your intro is [i:685da4775b]way[/i:685da4775b] too long.  We [i:685da4775b]know[/i:685da4775b] what areas of interest you cover, and a first time listener will figure it out very quickly.  Notes of new campus groups and similar things are yawnworthy that early in the show.  Those should be closing notes.  And sometimes, after we sit through the excessively long intro and opening notes, you follow them with a promo!  It’s always at least three minutes before we have any idea of who you’ll be talking to, and sometimes four or five.  That’s way too long. 

I think many of us would appreciate a 30 second intro, 60 tops, followed by getting right into the meat of the show. 

Secondly, you’re naming your files with just a date.  When I look at my MP3 Player I see "12-1-06" as a file name.  I don’t know if that’s you, or one of the several other shows that use the same naming convention.  It would be far more useful if you’d give us a file name that means something when the file is mixed in with all the other podcasts a typical listener downloads.  Something like

"POI_12_01_06.mp3"  would be a big improvement.
"POI_Sam_Harris.mp3" would be an even bigger improvement.

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Posted: 24 December 2006 03:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I noticed the recent change in naming files.  smile  However, prior to this I would rename them myself.  This’ll say me a couple of keystrokes.  :wink:

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Posted: 24 December 2006 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Good points, Dave, and I’d have to agree that the repitition at the beginning of every show will get old to a regular.

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Posted: 25 December 2006 03:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Intro/file names

I have started changing the file names for you, but most MP3 players sort by show name, not by file name. Same is true on iTunes, which is my favorite. As for the intro, I feel it is important to review mission regularly, and even extensively, since the show is primarily a means of outreach. We are gratified at the large numbers of new listeners we are attracting every week. Also, mentioning the campus outreach every show is a great way to highlight it; for the exact reasons you state, mentioning it at the end of the show wouldnt be effective: no one would ever listen to it.  Lastly, everyone knows the guest of each episode by the title of each episode. It isnt like you have to wait through the intro to discover who the guest will be. The guest is the title of the show. Thanks for your comments. Again, we are excited by how popular the show is becoming. We are now carried on over 30 normal radio stations (campus and community radio stations) all over the country, and hope to be picked up by many more as time goes on. I think we are being picked up by normal radio because of the strength of D.J.‘s interviews and our fantastic guests (I have some amazing things lined up in the weeks and month ahead, too).

—Thomas

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Posted: 26 December 2006 02:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I have been listening to POI since it began, and I have been struggling with the intro. It is way too long, I end up fiddling with my mp3 player trying to fast forward. Lately, it seems that the format goes like this…

- POI, date
- intro music
- DJ’s essay on what CFI is
- new groups
- announcement of today’s guest
- one of those same, tired advertisements for Free Inquiry
- guest interview
- another one of those same, tired advertisements for Free Inquiry
- announcement of next week’s guest

I find that I am fast forwarding too much some time, and just frustrated to press play to find the “advertisement” that I’ve heard a million times playing yet again.

Here’s my ideal format:

- start intro music in background
- POI, date
- announcement of today’s guest
- DJ’s very brief CFI statement
- end intro music
- Lauren Becker commentary
- guest interview
- announcement of next week’s guest
- other announcements/welcome new groups, etc.

I suppose I understand the desire to explain what CFI is, but the problem with providing a long speech on it at the beginning of every episode is that this is a podcast. After hearing it the first time, it’s difficult not to get angry the next time you hear it.

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Posted: 26 December 2006 02:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Sorry for the last cranky post. I really do love the podcast. DJ consistently does a great job.

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Posted: 26 December 2006 03:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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New Ads

Just to announce: we are in the process of having new ads created for FI, SI, Campus, and FOC, but they will not be done for about a month or six weeks, as POI is done in addition to everyone’s actual jobs at CFI, usually after normal work hours (we are farming them out somewhat to a supportive audio engineering company, as well).

Also, I think you might notice in the last episode a slightly shorter intro. As we tighten the format which is necessary as we are carried on more actual radio stations (so each weekly episode will fit in a half hour or hour of air time) the format will continue to change somewhat. But we do for the time being need to keep the short description of CFI at the beginning, since data suggests no one will listen through to the end for the listing of new groups or the D.J.‘s spiel on CFI.

We’re thrilled we are getting hundreds of new listeners each and every week, but this means we keep up with the promotion of CFI each and every week. Just thought I would throw this out there.

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Posted: 27 December 2006 02:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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It’s great news that this is getting on the radio, Thomas, even in smaller venues. Gotta start somewhere!

Personally, I’m of the ‘glass half full’ variety when it comes to the intros. They will always be necessary in order to let people know which group is behind the production, to bring new people onboard, and to highlight successes, e.g., with campus groups. I think that, as you suggest, putting a few new ones into rotation from time to time will keep them from getting stale.

Also would be nice to have the Forums mentioned before the very end of the podcast ... everyone has almost certainly tuned out by then ...

:wink:

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Posted: 09 January 2007 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Kudo’s

I think the format is fine, if somewhat repetitious for us regulars - I feel that in particular, the practice of mentioning the new college groups affiliated with CFI at the beginning is an excellent idea.  It’s always encouraging to see how much progress is being made, especially with young people.  I also very much enjoy how DJ is letting more of his own personality emerge on the show, instead of just asking questions - I enjoy his comments, and was delighted when he shared that he and his partner had decorated their house for Xmas for the sheer kitsch of it.  Much more warm and friendly then than just a voice, however well modulated,  asking (very intelligent) questions.  Keep it coming, DJ!!

Eileen smile

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Posted: 11 January 2007 04:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Intro length

I would have to admit the intro is a little long but I tend to fast forward through some of the intro anyways so it does not make much of a difference in the end me.

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Posted: 19 January 2007 09:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I agree that the intro is way too long. I also think some of the repeat notices (in particular the one about the “reality basd community”) are too long. I fast forward through the intro and some of the notices. It’s a shame, because it damages an otherwise very good show.

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Posted: 24 January 2007 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Fast forwarding through the intro isn’t too difficult.  I’m getting good at picking the correct time to hold down the button.  I usually end up in the middle of that inane advert with the ‘reality based community’ quote.  It’ll be good to get new ads soon.
Basing reasoning on the comment (possibly a throw-away line anyway) of one unnamed political advisor is hardly convincing.

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Posted: 24 January 2007 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I’m not sure what’s going on, but it seems the dreaded “reality-based community” spot has been re-done by a woman/man (can’t tell to be honest). I sounds like the person who took over the opening voice. Anyway, by re-done, I mean just re-recorded, word for word.
Bizarre.

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Posted: 25 January 2007 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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[quote author=“tom_g”]I’m not sure what’s going on, but it seems the dreaded “reality-based community” spot has been re-done by a woman/man (can’t tell to be honest).

I thought it was just me.

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Posted: 10 February 2007 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I have started changing the file names for you, but most MP3 players sort by show name, not by file name. 

That was very speedy.  I made the suggestion, and the next show was renamed. Cool. 

With so many different ways of listenting to shows, and so many different players doing things their own way, making everyone happy can be tough.  But using a descriptive file name is something with no downside.

I feel that in particular, the practice of mentioning the new college groups affiliated with CFI at the beginning is an excellent idea. 

I find this one of the most tiresome parts. 

Everything in the intro would be fine sprinkled throughout the show.  It’s just tedious to hear the same stuff at the beginning week after week after week.

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Posted: 10 February 2007 04:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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[quote author=“Hittman”]Everything in the intro would be fine sprinkled throughout the show.  It’s just tedious to hear the same stuff at the beginning week after week after week.

We thought a lot about this, but since often the show is just an interview by D.J. (if people doing the secondary segments are busy—we all do POI in additional to our real full time jobs at CFI) it wouldnt make sense to interrupt the discussion with, say, Peter Singer, with a mention of upcoming events or new groups. And putting it at the end would have most people never hear it, for the same reason you say you dont like it at the beginning. And taking “station identification” breaks doesnt make sense as a podcast. POI serves an educational mission of CFI and a promotional goal for CFI at the same time. But I appreciate the constructive criticism of the free show we put out each week.

Also, we have hundreds of new listeners each week. We take the opportunity to give as short introduction of CFI each week to them. Ideally, if people are enjoying the interviews each week on these important and interesting topics not often treated in the mass media, they support CFI by becoming a Friend of the Center, etc.

Regarding mentioning new CFI campus groups starting up specifically, many listeners have emailed saying that is one of the most inspiring things they hear on the show each week since it shows growth in a needed part of our population, young people. Different strokes for different folks. Or as D.J. would say, everyone can’t always be pleased, but many or most can, and based on kudos we get in th blogosphere, and the emails and other feedback we receive, we do smile

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