Archive for Site News

Vote for your favorite!


Here’s a minor new feature for the site. If you look at the sidebar on the right, you’ll see a poll asking you to vote for your favorite Escape Pod story from 2005. We’ve picked a couple of likely candidates, but if you don’t like any of those, feel free to click on “Add an Answer” and submit your own.

This is not an entirely academic exercise, by the way. We plan on using this information for a good cause in the next few weeks. (Hint: Hugo nominations are now open…) So let us know what you liked best!

Listener Survey


As I just mentioned in today’s podcast, we’re conducting a brief listener survey:

Why should you fill it out? Because it’ll help us understand how we’re doing, what you like and what you don’t, who listens to us, and it might help us in the future with grants or funding.

And also because I’m giving $1 to Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play for each completed survey. Click some boxes, help a kid. How good a deal is that?

UPDATE: Janice’s comment (thanks!) made me understand that I probably ought to be a lot clearer about my intent with this. Yes, the survey was composed by a marketing company. Their intent with it, I think, was to help podcasters prepare a pitch to advertisers. That is not my intent with it. We seriously are doing better with donations right now than I think we’d be likely to do running ads, and I know as well as anyone that if we started running commercials the donations would probably drop to nothing overnight. I don’t want to do that. You all have been incredible in your support, and I want to redeem that trust.

The reason we’re using this survey (despite some annoying questions) is because it was free and ready-made, and that saves us a lot of time. Also, we do want to prepare a pitch — but not to advertisers. I’m hoping that some of this information will be useful in our application to the IRS for 501(c)(3) status, and later on if we decide to go looking for public arts grants or ad-free sponsorships. And some of this stuff we’d simply like to know. I’m far more interested in the questions like “What do you think of the Web design/show length/frequency?” than “How much would you trust this host to recommend real estate products?”

If you find those questions obnoxious, just skip them. I can’t really can’t blame you. Heck, I’m not sure I would trust me to recommend real estate products. If you would, you haven’t seen my lawn.

EP Collection 1


As I mentioned recently on the podcast, Escape Pod just reached its six-month anniversary. Since May of this year we’ve enjoyed tremendous success, with thousands of listeners worldwide and new fun stories every week. We’re now reported to be the largest source of free audio fiction on the Internet, and of course we’re still growing.

To help us celebrate, Jesse Willis of the SFFAudio.com review site has helped us to design and produce a collectible MP3 CD containing every audio file we’ve podcast in the first six months. These CDs are produced using the LightScribe labeling technology, which burns an image directly to the front side of the disc, allowing us to number and put a customized inscription on each disc. An example of the CD:

We’re offering these CDs as a special reward for anyone who donates $20 or more to Escape Pod between now and January 31, 2006 — or until we’ve made 200 of them, whichever comes first. You can keep it for yourself, to catch up on our archives, or inscribe it as a gift for somebody else and have it sent to them.

(UPDATE: We’ve changed our policy on this. There’s no time limit now; we’ll keep going until we send out all 200. As of the beginning of March, we’ve sent out 75 of them — but we’re still getting orders, so don’t wait too long!)

Want one? All you have to do is include the following information in the comments field of your donation:

  • The name of the recipient (yourself or anyone else)
  • The address of the recipient
  • Any personal message you’d like inscribed on the edge of the CD, up to about 60 characters or so. (There’s no absolute limit, but the longer the text the more we’ll have to shrink the font.)

It’s worth noting that, in accordance with Escape Pod’s values, the *contents* of the CD are all Creative Commons-licensed and can be freely copied for all your friends. However, the front of the disc is absolutely unique, and cannot be easily duplicated. I’d like to think that someday these CDs will have collectible value, just as old science fiction magazines have value today.

Thanks to all of you for your support!

Recognition


It’s been a busy week for Escape Pod. I’ve got a few shoutouts accumulated over the past few days, so let’s get to them all:

  1. The new Yahoo! Podcasts directory launched on Monday. What’s more, they’ve chosen to feature Escape Pod as one of their “New & Noteworthy” podcasts for their debut week! This is the first time we’ve had prominent front-page status on any major podcast portal, and we’re just tickled about it. If it suits you, feel free to visit our page there and rate us or leave us a review. And to everyone who just found us via Yahoo!, welcome.
  2. I had the pleasure of speaking with Mur Lafferty for her I Should Be Writing podcast, a resource specifically for beginning writers. We had a good conversation, talking about Escape Pod, the Viable Paradise workshop, and perspectives on writing and persistence. If you’re writing and still working to get published, you really should be listening to Mur’s show. Check it out!
  3. Fan art! FNH sent us this fun little piece from the inside of our logo:
    Escape Pod Fan Art
    That’s far too cool for me not to share it with you.
  4. And of course it’s Thursday, so we have a new podcast. You’ll find that right underneath these words.

Mirrormask Giveaway!


As I just mentioned in the Metacast, we’ve got the opportunity to give away some collectibles related to the Neil Gaiman movie Mirrormask, opening in limited release on September 30. Not exactly sure yet what the stuff’s going to be, but I was told “Several large posters, a couple sets of action figures.” Works for me.

So what can you do to win this stuff? Just drop me a line or post in our forum with your personal answers to the following questions:

  1. What was your favorite story on Escape Pod so far?
  2. How did you first hear about Escape Pod?
  3. Is there anything you’d like to see more of or less of? Any new features you’d like us to offer? Anything we should do differently?

Be honest. Be creative. After a couple of weeks (let’s say Sunday, October 9) I’ll randomly pick some of the people who responded and contact them for their addresses. Not sure how much stuff we have to give away yet, so I can’t tell you how many winners there will be. But you’ll be helping us make Escape Pod better, so it’s worth it regardless. Right?

EP Metacast #1


A “state of the podcast” address, in which we talk at some length about subscription counts, finances, our plans to become a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and what to expect from Escape Pod in the near future. If this sort of thing bores you, you can skip it with absolutely no harm to your health, the environment, or our self-esteem. But if you want to know the intimate details of our podcast, then here you go.

Forums!


After far too long, Escape Pod finally has discussion forums again. We’re hosting them ourselves this time, so that we can be flexible and offer you a wider range of discussion. It takes about thirty seconds to register, and then you’re free to talk about our stories, science fiction in general, or whatever you wish.

There’s some other exciting work going on for Escape Pod as well. Watch for a podcast about it in the next day or few.

The Writing Show Interview


This seems to be our week for interviews… There’s another interview with Steve up today at The Writing Show, an engaging podcast by Paula Berinstein featuring interviews with writers, editors, and other movers in the writing industry.

You can find the link to the interview itself here, or you can read the transcript here.

They’ve got some other excellent interviews in their archives as well. My personal favorite is the one with Jim Cox of the Midwest Book Review. Check them out!

Podcast411 Interview


This won’t be news for the many of you who listen to it, but Escape Pod was featured yesterday on Rob Walch’s excellent Podcast411 podcast. That my interview with him sounded decent is a tribute to his masterful editing skills. And if you’re not familiar with his podcast, I highly recommend you check it out — it’s most often described as “Inside the Actor’s Studio” for podcasts. I’ve learned something from every guest he’s had on.

 Click to listen to our interview on podCast411

And if you’re just joining us from there, welcome! Put your feet up, listen to some stories, and Have Fun.

Dragon*Con


I should have mentioned this before, but time’s been sneaking up on me:

I’m going to be a guest at Dragon*Con this weekend in Atlanta, along with Mur, Michael & Evo, Derek, and many other fun folks in the podcasting world.

We’re all going to putting up a panel on podcasting in the Electronic Frontiers track, at the utterly insane time of 11:30 PM Friday. Yeah, I know that’s the time most people are hunting for bodypainted elves on the hotel party floors, but if you’re around we promise our panel will be almost as much fun. I’m also running a panel for the Science track at 10 PM Sunday called “Burn, Hollywood, Burn!” and will be generally flitting around the rest of the time looking to socialize.

One thing I’d like to do is have at least one lunch or bar meet-up with podcast listeners. I don’t have concrete plans yet, unfortunately, since I haven’t scouted out the lay of the land. But if you’re going to be at D*C and you’re so inclined, drop me a line with your contact info (preferably cellphone, and let me know if your phone can do SMS) and I’ll give you mine, and if there’s at least one of you we’ll figure it out. If there are several responses I’ll actually organize a real event and post it here, so keep checking this space if you get a chance.

Thanks very much. Next year we’ll be a lot more organized about con presence: I’m already making plans to hit Worldcon and Dragon*Con in consecutive weeks on both coasts. Meanwhile, I hope I’ll get a chance to see some of you this weekend!