brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell

2Mar/05Off

I’ve Got The Worst Podcast of All

I'd like everyone who has downloaded one of my podcasts to run to your nearest podcasting rating service and vote my podcast down. Give it a one. Give it no stars at all. Drive it straight to the bottom.

Or don't. I just don't care.

Frankly, I don't look at these things. I just look at how many people download my podcast. If that number seems good or growing, I get a little bit of a rush. If it seems like it's falling or nobody is downloading, then I feel a bit less of a rush, but I keep at it anyway.

I simply choose to ignore sites like podcastalley for two reasons:

The first is simply that I know the numbers are meaningless. Those that beg and plead and cajole their listenership can probably make it look like they are popular, while those that don't care to boost their egos like that will probably languish. Therefore, position in their rankings doesn't really mean anything useful. It's not a measure of how good your podcast is. It's just politics and advertising all over again, two things that I sometimes talk about, but seldom try to manipulate.

Secondly, even if the numbers were accurate, I hardly care. I've accepted life in the long tail. That means that there will be others who are more popular than me. That's perfectly cool with me. I just don't care.

I bring this up again because Dave brought it up again. He's upset that someone who talks about his poop is higher on podcastalley than he is. I wonder why he cares at all.

Dave, look at how many people download your podcasts. That's at least a reasonable measure of your popularity. Focus on that. At least it is objective.

Next, figure out a way to judge whether your podcast is good. Sometimes this requires deep introspection. Sometimes it requires the feedback of people whose opinion you trust. And sometime this requires that you reject the opinions of the unwashed masses.

Lastly, just accept that you don't want to be on top. It's a stupid place to want to be. The top is full of banal, low-brow, annoying crap. And if you don't want to be on top, then don't sweat it when you aren't.

To my three hundredish subscribers: bless you all. If you enjoy my podcasts, just keep downloading 'em and pass links to your friends who might enjoy them.

2Mar/05Off

Damn Small Linux: Two Thumbs Up

I've been playing with various Linux distributions. I usually keep a Knoppix CD in my laptop bag so that I can use computers in a particular computer lab I frequent (normally running Win2k, and password protected, but they are still able to boot from a CD 🙂 ). The problem with Knoppix is simply that it's too damned big. The answer: Damn Small Linux. A mere 50 megabytes of Linux goodness. You can even install it on a USB stick and if your computer can boot from it, voila. (Haven't tried that yet, probably will soon). If you have infrequent need of Linux, or just like to carry a rescue CD around, you could do a lot worse.

2Mar/05Off

FeedBurner Experiment

On a suggestion from a reader, I've decided to try to get better statistics on my RSS subscribers by managing my RSS feed via feedburner.com. For now, what this means for you, my subscriber is that instead of my normal RSS feed, you can use the URL http://feeds.feedburner.com/brainwagon to get the syndicated version of my feed. If you feel comfortable with all this stuff, try switching over to it and let me know what your experience is. If it seems to work, I'll probably try to figure out the mod_rewrite juju necessary to send all requests for my feeds there, and then I'll be able to get a better idea of who the regular users of my website are.

Thanks!

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