Podcasters like to hang out with other podcasters and get help, learn about the tools, and share their experience. I think these are the best forums for talking about podcasting.
My opinions are based on the frequency and quality of discussion. Please comment to share your favorites from this list or a place you think other podcasters should check out!
6 recommended communities to discuss podcasting
Google+ Community: Podcasters
When Google+ added the Communities feature, discussion and participation exploded in many niches. Jeffrey Powers created the Podcasters community and it has quickly grown to the largest on Google+ (more than 1,400 at this time). This community also has the moderating support from several big names in the podcasting space, such as Ray Ortega and even Cliff Ravenscraft! I’m also a moderator.
Honorable mention: Podcasting Technology Resources. This group is much smaller but is the official Google+ extension of the LinkedIn Group (next point). It’s nearly 500 members are very active and quick to participate in conversations.
Most of the other podcasting communities are ghost towns or filled with episode spam.
LinkedIn Group: Podcasting Technology Resource Group
LinkedIn attracts a professional crowd and you’ll see that in the quality of discussions in Podcasting Technology Resource Group, created by Martin Brossman. You’ll find several business podcasters in this group looking for help to succeed or sharing knowledge from their success.
Most of the other podcasting groups are ghost towns or filled with episode spam.
Facebook Group: Podcast Community
Megan Enloe (once known as the “Podcast Junky”) started the Podcast Community Facebook group and it now has the popular endorsement from New Media Expo. This is a very active community but also has strict rules against self-promotion (see my etiquette tips below).
Forum: Blubrry Forum
Blubrry created PowerPress, the best podcasting plugin for WordPress. The Blubrry forum is the best place to go for help with the PowerPress plugin, and there is also plenty of podcasting-related conversation in the forums.
I highly recommend Dan Miller’s 48 Days to the Work You Love and he has a passionate community of people pursuing meaningful work through a variety of outlets. Cliff Ravenscraft started the Podcasting And New Media group (thus the heavy “Podcast Answer Man” branding in the neutral forum) and there’s always great conversation in it.
If you’ve read Dan Miller’s book and podcasting is part of your plan for success, then this is a great community for you!
Quora is a different kind of community from most others. This is a social-Q&A format where a visitor posts their question and receives multiple answers. You can comment on questions and answers, and suggest edits. Once you post an answer, you can only edit it or comment on it and others. This isn’t a discussion forum but a place to find answers.
You can also vote answers up and down or request specific members to answer questions that they may not have noticed.
I’m very active in the podcasting section of Quora, and you’ll find many answers and suggestions that you may have never considered.
Podcasting Podcasts subreddit
Reddit is the new Digg, and it has a loyal following. The has great conversations between average podcasters.
6 tips for community etiquette
- Search first. It’s possible that someone has already asked your question or something similar. So search the community first. But also try Google for your question, before crowding a community with questions.
- Ask great questions. When you can’t easily find the answer, ask great questions that will inspire conversation. Try to avoid yes and no questions (e.g., “Should I use WordPress?”), but use open questions (e.g., “Why should I use WordPress and what are the best plugins?”). Your question may need more explanation and examples, too, which help make it great. For example, instead of just posting, “Why does my podcast sound bad?” tell what your setup is, how you’re doing things, what you’re expecting, and link to a specific sample of what you want to fix.
- Don’t self-promote. Communities can be a great place to share your podcast and grow your audience, but that shouldn’t be your reason for joining and some communities have strong rules against this. Introduce yourself and let people know about your podcast, but then don’t post about every new episode. Usual exceptions to this are to post what would truly benefit other community members (for example, “Check out my review of this podcasting app”). If you’re bordering on too much self-promotion, consider asking your followers to share your information to the group if they believe in it enough.
- Participate in conversations. You have your own experience and opinions that are valuable to everyone else! So if you have something to share that hasn’t already been said, add to the conversation. Just don’t hijack a conversation to discuss something else.
- Share relevant resources. If you find something that will help other podcasters, share it in the community. Many of them may have already seen it, but the creator will always appreciate your sharing their content and there will always be someone who hadn’t seen it or needs to be convinced why they should check it out. Sharing a little nugget from the resource is always better than a mere link and title.
- Give solutions. When you post about a problem and then figure it out, the Internet’s worst-every response is, “Figured it out. Thanks.” Share what you did and it will be helpful to others!
Google Reader is retiring, is FeedBurner next?
There is now a constant fear that Google will kill FeedBurner, the third-party RSS service many have used to manage and track their RSS feeds. Google announced that they will retire their popular RSS reader, and this doesn’t look good for FeedBurner.
But before you panic, consider the following points.
- Google Reader was about consumption and Google sees that many other apps do that better than they do.
- FeedBurner is about creation, and there are few alternatives.
- Google wants to focus on fewer services. With the AdSense removal from FeedBurner, this means FeedBurner is no longer profitable. Even GoogleReader had ads and could generate a small profit.
- Reader was popularly being used as an RSS syncing service between other web and mobile apps (such as Feedly or Mr. Reader) and this wasn’t what Google designed it for.
- Google announced the “sunset” of several services, but still hasn’t mentioned FeedBurner.
All things considered, I still recommend that you own you RSS feed URL, even if this simply means running your own domain through FeedBurner’s MyBrand feature.
The sky isn’t falling, but I do still recommend that you follow my instructions for leaving FeedBurner to bring your RSS back under your total control and ownership.
Upcoming WordPress and Audacity webinars
The core software to successful blogging or podcasting is WordPress. But if you don’t know how to use it, you’ll struggle with building your online platform. Tickets will go on sale soon for my “Learn WordPress” webinar on Saturday, April 20 at noon (EDT/GMT-4).
My first Audacity webinar was a great success and was highly praised. This is where I teach the basics and some of the more advanced techniques of using Audacity for podcasting and other audio-editing. If you want to edit your own audio for high quality and with efficiency, then join me for my “Learn Audacity” webinar on Saturday, May 18, at noon (EDT/GMT-4).
Tickets will be $100 for either of these 90-minute webinars (plus Q&A), or $175 for both. Reserve your seat soon!
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