SpokenWord.org — Freestyle

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.
  • No

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