Real World Community Tips for Podcasters

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Just listened to a fascinating discussion on the PodcastingUnderground podcast about steps to build community related to a podcast. As a new podcaster it's an interesting thought. This was a conversation with Cliff Ravenscraft of the GSPN.tv network, who runs a network of podcasts that have many community members associated with each. Cliff also runs a podcast about podcasting at http://gspn.tv/category/technology/pam/

First thing I got out of this was various levels of involvement by your community members:-

  • Reader / Listener
  • Subscriber
  • Commenter
  • Forum
  • Twitter
  • Participant

That represents one range of involvement from someone who casually drops by to look at one thing, all the way to someone who is so deeply involved they are part of the team. They suggest that success in a podcast can come from engaging with and building a community of involvement with the podcast.

In other words it is important in running a successful podcast is to find a way move people beyond the first step to at least the second step if not further. Having an active forum discussing topics related to your podcast can be a driving force for topics in the podcast.

Cliff described his path as a series of steps he took semi-accidentally: "Hey I want to hear from you", "Leave a comment, and by the way here's my email", "Call the listener comment line", "Here's a forum", etc.

He suggested that when comment traffic reaches 20 comments per posting it's time to consider setting up a forum. It is bad to have a forum with little traffic because it looks like a ghost town and won't draw readership.