Symmetry of Soul:Platform

From Symmetry of Soul

Problem

By 2023, Blogtalkradio was showing its age.

  • Show canceled 10/10/23 because call-in numbers did not work
  • Show cancelled 11/7/23 because call-in numbers did not work.
  • Show cancelled 12/19/23 because call-in numbers did not work.
  • Reported an outage the morning of 20 Feb 2024, but was cleared up by show time.
  • Show cancelled 4/2/24 because call-in numbers did not work.

Considering Podbean

  • WHAT'S THE SAME
    • Yes, can schedule 1 show in advance.
    • Listing: public/unlisted. We don't need outreach to gain listenership
    • Yes, listeners and co-hosts can call in on a phone number
    • Yes, co-hosts can call in early. Even by phone.
    • they suggest headset or mic


  • WHAT'S DIFFERENT
    • Chat: only if using the app (iOS or Android; no web browser access)
      • But it does tell you how many live listeners there are
    • Must click the "start" button for the show to start
    • Only 8 call-ins max (free plan, that is)❓How many live callers if we have a paid plan?
    • Automatic donation/solicitation: ❓what kind of control do we have over this? Need to look into this.


  • UNKNOWN
    • Reliability. Market leader, but ❓need to find more out about this.
    • ❓Does Podbean sell their info to 3rd parties. Look at Privacy policy.
    • ❓Who owns podbean? "David Xu" -- what's the story there?


  • IDEA: Rehearsal shows


  • Must
    • Four live co-hosts. Yes, thought perhaps only through the Podbean "app." Unclear what phone call-in is like.
    • Listener live interaction. Listeners can "call in." Possibly only using the Podbean app, not a phone line. Unsure about chat functionality
    • Syndication. Yes, can distribute to Apple, Google, Spotify, etc. If we even want that.
    • Reputation. Been around a long time and market leader. 750,000+ podcasters use it.
    • Migration.
  • Should
    • Robust. UNSURE. Show continues even if show launcher/switchboard operator loses connection
    • High-quality. Yes, if spoken audio is through the Podbean app or prerecorded, it is far better than landline phone quality.
  • Could
    • Audio editing. Apparently yes in the Podbean app. UNSURE about downloading and then reuploading a completed broadcast in situ.
    • Video. Yes, video podcasting is supported, though the Tuesday broadcast is unlikely to ever go there.
    • Embeddable player. Yes, with an iframe.


  • Mission questions
    • Is this an outreach ministry, or a study group?


  • End-user questions
    • Can I still access past podcasts?
      • Need to test. Should be able to migrate past ~700 episodes into Podbean, either automatically or manually worst case
      • But users would have to re-subscribe to a new feed. Presumably they'd lose any favorites, bookmarks, or other user-generated metadata associated with the feed or episodes in their podcast player.


  • Logistical questions
    • Should we keep Blogtalkratio and Podbean running in parallel?
      • Andrea says yes at least for awhile. Brad is leery, as it might only confuse people.
    • Would usual listeners have trouble making switch?


  • Important features: can we keep everything that makes the Tuesday show what it is? If we lose some feature, are their suitably offsetting gains?
    • Important for listeners to see this as a gain, not a loss. Frame positively, not negatively.
    • Live broadcasts -- what's the experience like?
      • Test some live shows using Dave's podcast account
    • Live text chatroom supported?
      • If not, is that a cultural loss? Or could it be compensated with a simple, ephemeral IRC service?
    • Live listener call in supported? By phone or only by Internet?
      • Do we need this? It's rare, but it's been highly valued at times.
    • Co-host call-in by telephone.
      • Has been a killer feature for years. Chris likes it a lot.
    • Podbean "app" seems essential. Does it work on MacOS and Windows? Or only iOS and Android?
      • One of us will never "call in" using a mobile device.
    • Keywords supported?
      • Even if not, they're more useful on the Wiki website anyway.
    • Post blurb and show in advance?
    • What if the host's connection drops during the broadcast? Does it stay, or does that kill the show?
      • If it kills it, is there a way to have a contingency?

Other possibilities

  • Riverside.fm Mostly about HQ audio and video with guests. But appears to nominally support livestream.
  • Any live webinar or meeting software with record feature could work.
  • Spotify for Podcasters (formerly Anchor.fm). Big industry leader in 2024. Offers learning resources
  • Buzzsprout
  • Zencastr
  • Podkite
  • Podcast Insights
  • Midroll
  • PodcastPage.io
  • Chartable
  • Shoutcast
  • Stitcher
  • PodOMatic
  • Rooster teeth
  • Audio Acrobat
  • Libsyn
  • Pocket Casts
  • Podcastics
  • Cumulus media
  • Mixlr
  • StreamYard
  • Etc
    • Urantia Book Network (not its own media network, broadcasts on Youtube)
    • X? (Twitter; uncensored, but not easy to catalog or livecast)

Not viable options (only players, etc)

  • YouTube CHAT. Only 1 live streamer (4LIVE is experimental and not a core feature). Free, but has ads, possibly censorship. No cost for entry level. Live interaction thru chat only. Unsure if it distributes to other podcast systems.
  • Castos Seems more focused on corporate internal audience. No livestream or live audience interaction.
  • Spreaker
  • Mono.fm
  • Fireside.fm Advertise easy importing/migration of existing podcast
  • Captivate.fm
  • Buzzsprout. Podcast distribution. $24/mo for 12 hrs/mo of audio. Offers a website feature and AI companion and other things we don't need.
  • Libsyn. Podcast distribution. Supports co-host hi-quality local audio recording. But no live or guest call in feature. $20/mo for 10 hrs audio per month. Possibly $40/mo for video podcasting

Notes from chat room, 11/7/23

  • [sos]: Well, it's not looking optimistic for tonite. Quick straw poll of those in the chat room: if we had to move to a new broadcasting platform, how would that work for you? Assume our website is still the same, it's just a different website you go to listen Tue evening... Would love to hear everyone's quick thought here. Just to give us SoS co-hosts something to discuss and ponder.
  • bbwenger: Any platform you choose if fine with me
  • 0omichelemarieo0: sings...I will follow him...wherever he may lead
  • beccalynn1: Will follow SOS wherever you lead. had the same tune going on in my head, lol
  • hermitdew: I agree, any paltform SoS is on, will be there
  • zabrielzadravetz: have been here for around ten years ill go where ever the SOS team goes
  • rx4piano: New platform is ok with me. Cost?? I can help.
  • [sos]: Okay, thanks everyone! We're going to cancel tonight's show. Thanks @rx4piano we appreciate the gesture and that might be very helpful! Everyone, please watch the symmetryofsoul.org website's homepage. I'll post any news right up top in a big blue box. Otherwise, see you back here on next Tue and we'll try again!
  • 0omichelemarieo0: Any help that is needed, just let us know. See you all next Tuesday.
  • rx4piano: Let us know the plan if the platform changes
  • hermitdew: Okay everyone, Thanks! See you next week
  • [sos]: Will keep everyone informed via the website homepage. Thanks, all! https://symmetryofsoul.org/