I was digging through some podcast websites today that sounded like they might interest me. I was surprised and scared at what I found. Then I started asking myself if Missionary Talks (my main podcast) has the same problems.
The shows I checked out were listed as “religious.” Other than knowing their name and that they should be religious in some way, I knew nothing about the shows. Some I did not even go to because their name told me that I would not be interested (that’s a good thing) or I couldn’t figure out what the show might be about based on their name (that’s a bad thing). As far as a name goes, I think Missionary Talks is a good name for a show. It does not tell you exactly what the show is about, but I think most could figure out that it has something to do with missionaries and that it is conversational or instructional rather than musical.
When I arrived at the websites of the shows that passed the first test I had trouble finding information immediately on the front page that tells about the show. Most had the standard blog post with a few words about the episode and an audio link. But I still had trouble figuring out from the episode posts what the general tone of the podcast was. I did not do this for all the shows, but even clicking through to the standard “about” page left me puzzled about the content of some of them. Is the masthead explanation of Missionary Talks sufficient? Or do I need a little blurb at the top of the sidebar that gives a bit more detail?
None of the sites I looked at gave me any indication as to how long each episode was. I know we, as podcasters, are not bound by a time limit (though I think each one should have a goal), but I could get no feel for how long any of the episodes were without either downloading an episode or starting to play the episode from the website. (This was not always available, nor was the information about episode length always listed on the embedded player.) At Missionary Talks I have the show length stated at the bottom of each post. Does anyone but me care about episode length?
I am curious to get feedback on the impression you get when you go to the Missionary Talks website. I am looking at refreshing the site with some new graphics and maybe a color scheme change. While doing all this I want to make any informational changes that will help potential new listeners become immediately comfortable with navigating the site. Any input is helpful. What bugs you about Missionary Talk? What do you love about it that you think shouldn’t change?
By the way, I didn’t subscribe to any of the podcasts I went to look at. I guess I was too depressed by what I found.