…a tech geek podcast with an ever so slight Macintosh bias! Continued sound problems, Lithuania & Bharain join in the fun, earnings report, question about how you listen, Apple announces the 1GB iPod Nano, answers.com for web searching, Swedish Chef Firefox extension, Podfading, Wikimedia Commons, MacTracker, Podcasting 101 and Lulu Press.
Listen to the Podcast – Time: 17 minutes 58 seconds
2/12/06 show number 30
new country update: Bahrain & Lithuania. I especially enjoyed watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, watching for countries who are involved in the NosillaCast. When Macedonia marched in, they had them come in alphabetically at “E” because in Italian former starts with “ex”, and I KNEW that Macedoia was the The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia so I understood! I know, you guys are all good at geography, but I only made this connection a few weeks ago as I’ve tried to study up and not sound like an idiot with our vast international audience! geez, I hope I didn’t mess this up…
As you may recall, in January I posted my 2005 earnings off of my Google Adsense ($1.04). I am pleased to announce a 400% increase in earnings, as for the month of January I earned a whopping $2.13. so keep those click coming!
Tell me about yourself
So in the last month the number of visitors to podfeet.com has SKYROCKETED – we’re over 2000 visitors/listeners to the NossilaCast, isn’t that awesome? it just thrills me to think this many people get value out of this content. now here’s the weird part. while the unique visitors continue to climb (on target for about 4000 visitors this month), I don’t know how many people listen to the podcast on the web, how many download through an aggregator like iTunes or iPodder or Juice Receiver, and how many people just read the show notes. As I’ve said before, whatever way YOU want the content is the right way, some people think we should do bad shownotes to force people to listen, but that is contrary to the whole concept of podcasting – it’s supposed to be what you want, when you want it, and HOW you want it. I’m trying to run some perl scripts that are supposed to tell me how many people downloaded what podcasts, but the data from them doesn’t match my analysis of the raw data by using Excel. I have no clue how to make changes to a perl script (I did my fingernails during computer science class) so I’m struggling here.
So, my question to you is – do you listen or do you read? do you listen at the website or do you use an aggregator? I may do an online survey soon (found a cool open source one) but until then, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me how you get the content. It will help me to understand how to make things better.
iPod Nano 1GB
Apple announced a new iPod this week, it’s the 1GB iPod Nano for $150. This makes the line complete. for almost exactly every $50 there’s an iPod for everyone. the 512MB Shuffle dropped to $70, 1GB Shuffle for $100, 1GB Nano for $150, 2GB Nano for $200, 4GB Nano for $250, 30GB iPod with video for $300, and then finally it jumps by $100 up to the 60GB iPod with video for $400. Personally my favorite is still the 4GB Nano for my world. big enough to put a lot of podcasts in it, some music, and some photos, but still teeny in size.
I want to tell you about a really cool and different search site. Let’s say you want to find out something about a country – let’s say Lithuania since they just joined us. You could type in Lithuania to Google, but you’d get piles of unrelated information. Check out answers.com instead. answers.com gives you information about the country, but it’s categorized information. It has information from the dictionary, the encyclopedia, Maps, local time, geography, phone dialing code (370 if you’re wondering), currency exchange, statistic, the words to the national anthem, WordNet (for definitions) and Wikipedia. From there you can dive down into the detail of any of those sections to learn more. I think I might start using answers.com to link to the countries on my website, it was suggested to me by a listener that using the CIA might be a bit offensive for some out of the US, and I do want to be sensitive – my deal is all about inclusion!
I tried looking up Google in answers.com and found that it adapts to the kind of thing you search for – it brought a completely different set of categories from when I queried on a country. the categories it returned were Technology (from the Computer Desktop Encyclopedia), and Company, from Market Watch.
I think this is a great site when you’re looking for specific information and don’t want just a gigantic pile of google hits on something. check it out at answers.com.
I think it’s a basic tenet of my podcast that I help you improve your productivity. One of the ways I intend on doing this is to introduce you to various Firefox extensions from time to time. Firefox extensions are little tools you download to extend the features of the Firefox web browser. Firefox is designed to be very light, the opposite of bloatware. That means you get to CHOOSE what extra features you want to install into it. From time to time I intend to introduce extensions to Firefox that will help advance your browsing experience. Installing extensions is very easy, you download them, they try to install, you give permission, then you have to restart Firefox to get them to kick in. If you want to jump ahead and check out extensions on your own, go to mozilla.org and search on Firefox Extensions.
I promised that I would give you an extension that would increase your productivity, but I lied about that. Do you remember the Swedish Chef from the Muppets?
Imagine how annoying it would be if every web page you looked at had the words spelled out in Swedish Chef-eez? Well, you can have that very thing by installing the Bork Bork Bork Firefox Extension! Maybe not for everyone but it sure made me giggle! If nothing else, it’s sure a good prank to pull on your friends on April Fool’s day! Please pick up this important productivity update at snert.com
In all seriousness, I will be trying to find the useful extensions in the future, but I don’t promise I won’t throw in a silly one now and again! I did explain a very useful Firefox extension on show number 19, the November 27th episode – that’s when I showed User Agent Switcher that lets you spoof websites into thinking you’re using Internet Explorer.
There’s an interesting article at wired.com (the authors of Wired Magazine) on the subject of Podfading. this is the symptom many podcasters are facing where they get burned out on doing their podcasts. One very common case of podfading is that many podcasts don’t make it past their 4th episode. I have to admit that I did 4 and then kinda stopped for a while and it wasn’t until listener Jay wrote to me and said whazzup? that I realized I actually had an audience and that it was appreciated! Thanks to Jay, I got back in gear and I’ve been going strong ever since. there are also podcasters who have become wildly popular and yet find that the time commitment is too much and they simply throw in the towel. I’m glad this hasn’t happened to me – I seem to have a lot of energy for this! It may be because I meter myself to one a week, lots of these guys are doing 2,3 or 5 podcasts a week, and I definitely would podfade if I tried to do THAT!
Last week on the show I explained what a wiki is and all about Wikipedia. This week I stumbled across a really cool wiki called Wikimedia Commons. “The Wikimedia Commons is a project that provides a central repository for free photographs, diagrams, animations, music, spoken text, video clips, and media of all sorts, used in pages of any Wikimedia project.” So Wikmedia is a site where you can find high resolution photos to insert into other media with very flexible licensing. I think the best way to get the idea is with an example. I typed “butterfly” into the search field and found a gorgeous, high res photo (1299×836) of a blue butterfly. It’s of course downloadable, and it says at the bottom that “permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.”
Check it out at commons.wikmedia.org.
I noticed a link on Wikimedia Commons’ main page for the Wikimedia Foundation – and Evidently the Wikmedia Foundation actually operates both Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. On the Wikimedia Foundation page they have a great line that expresses their intent very well: “Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing. And we need your help.” What a great thing – I love it!
There’s a really cute little application for the Mac I thought I’d tell you about – have you ever wanted to know what date a particular Mac model came out, or whether the old one you used to have actually had a DVD in it or was it only a CD, or which model was codenamed Sawtooth, or what did the startup chime sound like on the original bondi blue iMac? Good news, there’s a free little app called MacTracker from mactracker.ca that will give you all those great tidbits.
If you’re still struggling with exactly what a podcast IS, or if you have friends you’d like to explain it to buy just can’t seem to get through to them on what makes it so cool, there’s a great explanation called Podcasting 101. I really recommend you review this page because it’s so clearly and concisely written the ParrotTalks Podcast folks wrote this specifically so people would point to it to explain Podcsting. They wrote not just a screen version but a nice print version as well. Check it out at parrottalks.com/radio.html.
If you’re an aspiring author but don’t have a publisher, it’s awfully hard to break into the industry. Even if you were able to get a publisher, the industry is built on the idea that the publisher gets reimbursed for all costs before they author gets paid. this means that if you overestimate how popular your book will be, the cost of all those unsold books will get paid off before you ever get a dime. The advances in print technology have created a new market for unpublished authors, and it’s called Lulu Press at lulu.com Lulu uses Print on Demand (POD) which is a method of making books and other media one at a time. I wish they had some kind of photos of their printer or more info on the technology but perhaps they keep that as a trade secret!
Lulu creates more than books (CDs, DVDs, manuscripts, calendars), but I’ll walk you through the process of creating a book. choose the size of your book first, enter info about your book including who your intended audience is (e.g. children, teens, etc.) now upload your document from your computer to Lulu. Lulu then converts your document to a PDF (which can take a while). then you choose your binding choices and colors (and the effect on price of your choices). you can upload cover art as well for the front and back of your book, or choose from their gallery to generate your cover. You also get to choose whether people will just download or just print a book, or both, charging different fees for both. Now you get to choose how much money you want to make (your royalty) on each book. Lulu charges 25% of your royalty amount as their fee, which they say is 20% of profits on the book and that you get 80% of the profit. That’s some weird math, but I finally figured out what they meant. If you chose to make $4 on the book, they would charge $1 which is 25%. but when you add them together, the total profit on the book is $5, and since they get $1 that’s 80% of the total profit. This is an interesting business model, since they calculate what it will cost them to create the physical book for you and of course they recover that first, then it’s a real profit share with them on the last percentage. I like the idea!
There’s an excellent demo on the website that walks you through this whole process, complete with moving screens hots and an audio explanation of how it works.
If you’re not an author, there’s lots of fun here for you as well, because of course you can BUY books at Lulu. it’s kind of like buying music from independent artists, here you’re buying books from independent authors. they have a nice site that’s well organized and easy to browse. Service providers are available to help you with reviewing of your manuscript, designing the cover of your books, and even Marketing Services. I think this is a tremendous concept with a real breakthrough idea, so go check it out at lulu.com.
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