Friday, March 21, 2008

Standing on the shoulders of giants

Dreamtime has hit episode 52, a very difficult one to produce, as it turned out. I had a touch of the flu last week but still needed to work on the podcast to keep to my "one every couple of weeks" schedule. I decided to do a compendium of Dylan's Season 1 TTRH poetry readings, figuring it'd be easier than creating/researching/writing a completely new podcast, as those take a good 3-4 days to accomplish, even when I'm feeling well. In total, I put maybe 4-6 hours of work into any given Dreamtime, but since I have to do it around paying work, those few hours stretch into several days of real-time.

Anyway, as it turned out going through 52-odd hours of TTRH episodes, some segmented, some not, some with easily found poetry readings, some not, was a much more daunting task than I had planned, and took much longer than I had wanted. I was still working on the podcast this Monday when, for the first time in 52 shows, Audacity completed corrupted the 30-minute audio file to the point of non-recovery. I ended up starting from scratch, but, with the poetry readings now categorized at least I was able to repeat the work much more quickly and eventually posted the podcast on Wednesday.

As of right now Poetry Readings with Your Host Bob Dylan has already broken the Dreamtime record for downloads in a 24-hour period - well over 700. The traffic was so heavy for awhile that it brought down my cheap lil' GoDaddy podcast site for a couple of hours. Episode 52 is already on its way to becoming my most popular show ever if the numbers hold steady. I've also had over a thousand visitors to the site within 48 hours - comparably, I usually get on the average of 1,000 visitors a week.

This is all very pleasing, but it's also a bit humbling, since none of the content for Episode 52 is my own. Of course, I know, and have known from the beginning ,that Dreamtime lives and dies by Bob Dylan and Theme Time Radio Hour - my audience was cut in half almost immediately after TTRH went on hiatus last year. It's to be expected. It comes with the turf. Mr. D. has a much bigger fan base. And all in all, it's not total woe is me. I do get regular fan letters from people who like the background, the trivia, the history I provide through Dreamtime. Episode 52 seems to be a rising tide lifting all Dreamtime boats, too. I've had an increase in downloads of all shows over the last few days, and many new subscribers to the podcast/blog.

So, I have nothing to complain about. But it'd sure be nice to write a Dreamtime that only passingly referred to Bob Dylan and still get that amount of traffic.

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