Our annual survey of SpokenWord.org members included five essay-style questions. Here are some of the answers that don’t necessarily correlate with any consensus; they’re just the most interesting.
“How can we improve SpokenWord.org? (What’s the one thing you wish we did that we don’t already do?)” (53 answers)
- “Most popular” (today, this week, this month, ever) by category is a plus. [There was some consensus on this idea of per-category most-popular lists.]
- I find it confusing for reasons I can’t articulate. It’s not crystal clear exactly what I’m supposed to do. [I sense that’s true for many first-time visitors.]
- Ogg Vorbis content encoding option [We don’t control the encoding; that’s up to the publishers.]
- It would be great if SpokenWord.org could offer files from the Internet Archive. [Yes, we need to re-visit that idea.]
- Sync with any mp3 player. [We’ve published extensive APIs with the hope that others will pick up this ball and run with it.]
- Make discovery easier. I would also like a feed or a page that shows all new programs. [From many questions like this I get the feeling that people don’t realize that we get thousands of new programs every day.]
“What do you like most about SpokenWord.org?” (62 answers)
- The variety of content. [By far the most common response.]
- That it provides an open, public place to archive ratings data on podcasts.
- The ability to simplify the process of managing podcasts and subscribe to only a few collections in iTunes.
- One stop shopping and not iTunes-centric. [“Not iTunes” shows up frequently.]
“If you were running SpokenWord.org, what would you do to increase the number of people who use it?” (49 answers)
- Advertise [No budget!]
- Joint programs with schools, college and other educational institutions (younger people have larger social networks)
- Redesign the homepage.
- Try and get some influential technologists using it, such as Leo Laporte, Patrick Norton, Dave Winer, etc.
- Make it easy to post programs and collections on Facebook and Twitter.
“The Conversations Network is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit public-benefit corporation. How can we make SpokenWord.org better fulfill its mission of service to the community?” (30 answers)
- Maybe some collaboration with PBS and NPR.
- Introduce it to other non-profit organizations that are doing a Podcast.
- Create an educational hub similar to iTunes U.
“Anything else you want to tell us?” (35 answers)
- Keep up the great work, and thanks for all you do.