Monday, January 28, 2008

Dreamtime catchup

The blog/podcast that just keeps on going is at Episode 49 with a show on Blossom (Dearie) and Jack (Sheldon), two jazz artists with a mutual Schoolhouse Rock! connection.

I made several changes in late 2007, finally creating a domain, cloaking the blog - which is still hosted by blogspot - under the aegis of that domain, and moving the then-45 podcasts away from my original host, Solidcasts, over to their new Dreamtime home. The transition went relatively smoothly, except for iTunes. Note to any burgeoning podcasters out there - do not let your RSS Feed out of your control.

WARNING - Heavy geek weather ahead: Unfortunately, when I originally signed Dreamtime up in the iTunes directory, I used the direct Solidcasts RSS Feed. While Solidcasts had the benefit of creating/updating the feed through a simple form entry system, they provide no way for you to manually update the feed. Thus, no way to redirect to a new feed location. Plus, when you kill the Solidcasts account, they simply delete the feed. As far as I could determine, I had about 150 listeners who were subscribed through the iTunes directory, so I had to create a special show giving them instructions on how to find episodes when I moved. Most seem to have made the transition. But the old Dreamtime listing - now pod-dead - still sits in the iTunes directory, the iTunes' team ears deaf to my pleas to redirect the listing to the new feed.

The solution to the problem - if you care at this point - is to 1) make sure that your original feed is under your control so you can create a feed redirect if necessary, and 2) Use Feedburner as the feed address for all podcast listings, including iTunes.

End Geek Storm.

Now Master of my own Domain, I'm getting better tracking of audience stats: Dreamtime the blog gets about 4-5,000 a month visitors a month, about 60 percent of those coming from a referring site, such as Expecting Rain, which is my #1 supplier of visitors. #2 is "Night Time in the Big City," more-or-less a TTRH mp3 download site, and #3 is usually the TTRH Wikipedia article.

About 30 percent of visitors come through some sort of search, and the remaining 10 percent hit Dreamtime directly. And that pretty much reflects my subscriber base. I seem to have about 500 subscribers to the podcast, a smaller - but I think, more accurate - figure than the numbers reflected by Solidcast's stats. And I have a slightly higher number of regular readers at the blog itself.

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