Is C.C. Chapman a podcaster? Does he produce podcasts? Recently, I tried out the Songbird browser, which is part iTunes clone, part Firefox. When you browse any web page with MP3 links and/or RSS feeds, Songbird brings up a panel, kind of like iTunes' mini-store, that lets you listen to the MP3s, download them (or queue them for batch download), and subscribe to the RSS feed. It's a podcast producer's dream browser in a way - instant connection for the audience members who want to listen right now, who want to subscribe, or who want to queue up selected shows for later listening. I decided to point it at a couple of web pages - my own, of course, at the Financial Aid Podcast, and I was rewarded with my most recent shows.
Now, before I continue, I should clarify something. C.C. Chapman is not only a good friend and a brilliant guy, he's also the Podfather of New England. C.C. started the first podcasting group in the area as podcasting was just getting started, and that became the New England Podcasting network. He's unquestionably not only a podcaster, but a podcasting pioneer.
I decided, let's check out C.C.'s show, Accident Hash. Since I've been a little hard on Podshow recently, I figured I'd show off Songbird pointing to C.C.'s page on Podshow Plus - AccidentHash.Podshow.com, show a little love. Was I surprised. C.C. is not a podcaster. There's no MP3s to download, no RSS feed to subscribe to, no way to get the show, his show, right then and there.
I headed over to AccidentHash.com, and found that on his own site, C.C. is a podcaster. MP3s, RSS, the full deal.
So, in the tradition of trying to help Podshow Suck Less, I offer this suggestion to the development team at Podshow - on Podshow podcasters' home pages on Podshow Plus, put links to the MP3s and RSS feeds - use the Auto-Discovery links so that browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Songbird, and Google Desktop-enabled browsers can find and subscribe right then and there. It's a fast, easy way to quickly get new listeners.
Nothing is more transient than a web site visitor. You're lucky to get 5 seconds of their attention. If they can't be rolling with the Podshow podcast they presumably came by to tune into immediately, they're gone - and that listener may never come back. If you need the syntax for the auto-discovery, use this HTML:
<link rel= "alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title ="RSS 2.0" href ="http://www.accidenthash.com/feed/" />
This goes between the <head></head> section of the page and lets any browser find the RSS feed of choice. Please help C.C. Chapman become a podcaster again.