As I approach episode one hundred fifty, I find that this podcast is in significant need of a makeover. Not because I’m tired of looking at the same blog layout or podcast art. Not because I’m tired of podcasting. This makeover is a representation of my motivation and willingness to keep this silly little experiment going. To prove it to you, my eager listeners, to prove it to myself and to justify the hours upon hours I’ve spent finding new guests and seeking new conversations to feature on a weekly basis – this makeover is a celebration.
That doesn’t mean that I haven’t felt the look of the podcast has been a bit stale at times. I suffer from a constant desire to tweak and tinker with things, particularly my blog layouts. I frequently browse a handful of websites for new icon sets to link to various social media platforms, I carefully inspect each new theme that WordPress (.com) blogs have at their disposal, and thoughts of “the next step” are ever-present in my mind. I suppose this could be a positive state of mind. Never being satisfied keeps me hungry. Staying hungry means I always welcome change. And change we have. Let’s run down the list, shall we?
First, the blog. As you have already noticed, I’ve updated the look of the blog (again). The challenge with selecting a new blog layout is to keep things simple and accessible but not look boring. Of the many components of the podcast the audio file is the most important piece. I can have all the widgets and social media links I want but if getting to the audio presents any difficulties then I’m losing potential listeners. As a content producer, I have to do everything in my creative power to make sure the content remains king. The layout of this blog has unfortunately removed the ability to have episodes streaming from the index. I’ve added full post links to the excerpts (along with post titles that link to full content) to compensate for this, but this is the only major sacrifice I’ve made to the redesign. Podcast art now accompanies each post from the homepage (I’ll get to the art in a little bit) and each podcast blog post still has the full set of links you’ve come to expect – from streaming to subscriptions to social media, it’s all still there. It’s not perfect, but I think it looks a lot cleaner. Hopefully you agree.
The primary sidebar maintains basic links to the other points of contact for the podcast. Social media links now include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr. As always you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can subscribe to this podcast a number of ways, including iTunes, Zune Marketplace, Stitcher Radio, or you can just grab the RSS feed and remove all the frills from your podcast listening experience. There’s also an option to subscribe to the blog via email which means every time there’s a new post, you’ll be the first to get notified. I do my best to update all points of contact around the same time, but the automatic email will always go out no matter what. Finally, a post-specific footer includes icon links to each of the previously mentioned social media sites or subscription methods. Some people react better to images instead of text. Who am I to discriminate?
Now the art. My podcast has kept the same art for nearly every one of the episodes I’ve published. If you listen to this podcast on an Apple platform, you should have noticed the varying album art with each episode. Believe it or not, there is a method to my madness – Blue for people living with or associated to diabetes. Red for people from the gaming industry. And I rotate between Yellow, Orange and Green for guests that don’t fit in to either of those buckets. Okay, so maybe there isn’t THAT much method, but there was certainly purpose.
I knew that one of the first things that needed to change with this makeover was my podcast art. It was functional, but I knew better was out there. I reached out to Enrique Rodriguez – who can be reached at http://www.erj.me/ – after seeing what he did with the update to Talking About Games and he produced some fantastic art that fulfilled each of my requests:
- “Just Talking” had to be in there,
- I wanted two dialog bubbles, and
- If possible, I wanted the background to be versatile enough to support multiple color schemes.
As you can see, Enrique nailed it. I won’t be going back to update old mp3 files, so if you go back through the archives you’ll still see the old album art, but moving forward the new art will be in place.
I did have a secondary request for Enrique when he was working on the updated album art. I needed art assets to fulfill requirements for an iOS and Android App.
That part is kind of a big deal and it’ll require an extra bit of explanation so I’ll save that for a separate blog post.
I hope you can appreciate these changes, as I’ve done them with all of you in mind. I’d love any feedback you have for this or any other aspect of the podcast if you feel inclined. Leave a comment on this post or send me an email – email@example.com.
Thanks again for taking the time to read this and for listening to the podcast. I do this for me, but it’s incredibly humbling to know that you all are out there following my hijinks too.