Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blue Hot Gossip's 13 Days of Halloween 2011 - Day 13

Day 13 - Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Took the time today to carve my pumpkin for this year. It saves me the time and effort of doing it tomorrow when I'll likely be busy decorating.

This may be the last post for Blue Hot Gossip, although I can't say for certain. I don't think I'm going to bother doing any more episodes considering the amount of work it takes for a single episode and the difficulty in coming up with suitable music. I don't want to rely completely on The FuMP for material and I haven't been all that impressed with their latest offerings. And if anyone wants that music they can just as easily subscribe to that podcast.

I am seriously considering doing more Podcast Ping episodes and may try to get one out for Christmas this year. But it depends upon how things go. It's more a consideration for next year. There was one epic classic poem that I was going to do but it would take a little translation from Old English first; mostly changing a lot of "f"s and "s"s around. It's just a little too hard to read out loud the way it is.

And I've been mulling over turning one of the finished manuscripts I've written into an audiobook. The first attempt at such a project sort of fizzled out because I was working on an unfinished manuscript. If I try it again I'll work with one I finished. But I may try to find an e-book publisher for the book first and use the audiobook as part of the promotion.

I'm not ready to quit podcasting, it's just that I need to do something worthwhile.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blue Hot Gossip's 13 Days of Halloween 2011 - Day 12

Day 12

I was able to record and edit the final day today which I'll be posting tomorrow. It will be nice getting it finished, although at this point it was good having done it. I can't say at this point I won't do it next year, but it's not looking likely. However, I most likely will have some sort of Halloween episode for one of my podcasts.

For many reasons I've been busier this year than last, at least for the past couple weeks, so it's been harder to find the time to work on the podcast. I keep feeling that I'm posting the episodes late, although I have to remind myself that I'm posting a day early. And I do wait until at least 6pm EST, so that I'm at least after midnight UTC, so it's late in the day when I post.

Mostly this comes about because I'm posting episodes on Mininova and they use to clear their favorites at midnight so that I would give the podcast the most amount of time. But they've changed the way they do things so it doesn't matter. The only downside is that they will only list the most recent on their main page, but those use to searching shouldn't have a problem finding the other episodes.

In comparison, last year's 13 Days have got between about 3,500 and 5,000 downloads an episode. The year before got between about 6,200 and 15,400 downloads per episode. Although they have had one or two years of availability. The highest so far this year is less than 800, which might climb to about 2,000 by next year. But it does seem that the numbers are dropping. Still, Mininova is probably still the best place for a show to get attention. And if I went by direct download numbers I likely won't have even bothered doing one this year. But as the numbers drop it's harder to justify spending the time working on the podcast rather than writing or some other venture. It's sort of similar to the reasons why a TV show gets cancelled.

I have been meaning to do an audiobook or something similar this year but I could never get around to it. I've also been thinking lately about reviving Podcast Ping, although I'm likely to take a slightly different approach. Instead of the spoken portion being all poetry I may include short prose as well. And ratings--I mean download numbers--for it aren't as important since they never were all that high.

It was because Blue Hot Gossip was getting better numbers that I dropped it to work on Blue Hot Gossip, but I wasn't able to get it going as regularly as Podcast Ping and it turned out to require a lot of work for each episode. Podcast Ping episodes are easier to put together and the music for them is easier to come up with. Much of the work for those was writing the poetry, which is why I'll probably use some prose. Besides, I've listened to the old episodes so many times I need new episodes myself to listen to. They do have a certain timeless quality to them. I just can't say at this point how frequent they will be. I would like to do them weekly but I would try to do at least one a month.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blue Hot Gossip's 13 Days of Halloween 2011 - Day 11

Day 11

I haven't found much so far in the way of good new podsafe Halloween songs. Fortunately there's plenty of older stuff but it will make it harder to come up with stuff for next year, should I do a show.

At this point I'm thinking that if I do another 13 Days I won't bother with a host but just play music. Having a host means I have to write and record the scripts which takes up time. And I have to justify spending that time and effort.

Although that of course depends upon how much music I can come up with. And since I try to do 13 days then I need 13 good songs to play. Less than that and I'm better off doing just a single show. I could use songs I've already played but I feel that I would just be repeating myself and this year's shows will almost certainly still be available.

I also don't know how much the show would be missed if I didn't do one next year. The download numbers have been okay but nothing near the levels of past years. And I haven't seen any feedback so I don't know how the show is being received. The number of downloads on Mininova has dropped, but that has more to do with the drop in Mininova users. I would use Demonoid or The Pirate Bay but they don't host files like Mininova does and they don't provide stats so I don't know how well the show does. I did use them last year but it didn't seem to make a difference. (Although since I can't get stats from them I have no way of knowing.)

I do hate to drop it but at the same time it doesn't appear to be taking off the way I hoped it would. After three years there will be a total of 39 shows and over 40 songs in those shows. So there's still a good body of work for people to draw from. But I was hoping that there would be more feedback and possibly some blog posts to help bring attention to the show.

But podcasts have past their heyday. They now have to compete with streaming television shows that were made for millions. Fortunately, I have got enough downloads from Mininova, even at a smaller rate, to have made doing the show worthwhile. Although as I have always said, whether I do one next year depends first and foremost on whether I can get enough music to do the show. And if I do revive Podcast Ping then a Halloween episode of that show may be sufficient.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blue Hot Gossip's 13 Days of Halloween 2011 - Day 10

Day 10

It turned out to be a busy day for me today and I almost forgot to upload the episode. I've still got to record the final day but that shouldn't take too long and I can do that on Sunday if I have to.

The theme of this show is magic and as it happens I'm finally getting around to watching the pilot of Once Upon A Time. I can't say I'll stick with it though. There's just too much focus on the "real" world elements and not enough on the fantasy world. It's shaping up so far to mainly take place in the "real" world with fantasy world flashbacks. And it's also shaping up to be a prime-time soap.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blue Hot Gossip's 13 Days of Halloween 2011 - Day 9

Day 9

Today's theme happens to be zombies. I'm not really a fan of how they treat them today since they've made them out to be really what they aren't. The zombies that are popular today are actually more akin to revenants than to zombies. The current incarnation has much more to do with movies than actual folklore and seems to be an excuse for gore than real terror. Even vampires have gone from being revenant-like beings to more like romantic predators.

It's like modern storytellers don't know how to scare people anymore. This is most evident with ghost stories. Since Poltergeist people think ghost stories have to have a sense of danger to them but it was simply the sheer nature of the ghost that made them scary.

A ghost doesn't have to kill. It only has to warn someone that they will die. The mere thought that someone will die through accident or natural means is scary enough. The ghost doesn't actually have to do anything. It's those ghost stories that merely suggest a supernatural element that are often the most effective because it suggests that the world may not be as safe and comfortable as you think, but at the same time it offers a hope in something beyond death.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blue Hot Gossip's 13 Days of Halloween 2011 - Day 8

Day 8

I've been spending most of the day cleaning up and organizing files my computer but I did get a script written for the final episode. I did have to get rid of part of a line that I liked but it was keeping the flow of conversation from moving. I'm a bit busy this week but it should only take me about an hour to record and edit the episode together. And I've got until Sunday to do it, so if I have to I can work on it on the weekend.

Usually about this time I start to get tired of the monotony of the posting, but I've just been so busy these past couple weeks I haven't had a chance. In previous years I would have all the episodes finished by the start of October but I just couldn't get myself motivated to work on it early. I think it was the selection of music that held me back. In previous years I only used one song a day but this year I decided to use three and I had to find and select enough music for each day. I couldn't start on the scripts until I had that worked out.

As for next year it will be hard to avoid reusing all the same music again. I'm thinking more about just having one or two shows filled with Halloween music rather than posting for 13 days. But that's likely to be based upon whether I decide to do other podcasting or not. At the very least I'm likely to have one show with some or all new music. And by "new" I mean music I haven't used before. Many artist wait until October to release their Halloween music so it's hard to get it in the show when I need to prepare the shows early.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blue Hot Gossip's 13 Days of Halloween 2011 - Day 6

Day 6

I've been having a bit of trouble with my computer after I tried out Windows 8 so I've spend most of the day getting it back to normal. However, I was able to get all but the last episode finished up and ready to go yesterday so there's no trouble with delay.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blue Hot Gossip's 13 Days of Halloween 2011 - Day 5

It would be hard to do a show about skeletons and not include Dem Dry Bones. I was lucky enough to find a decent copy to put in the show. Mostly because it's old enough to fall into public domain.

There are plenty of songs I would like to use but they aren't podsafe. I even tend to stay away from songs I'm uncertain about. The most obvious would be Monster Mash which I can't play because of the copyright. However, it gets so much radio play around this time and people have heard it so much that many simply get tired of it and there's no need to play it. A lesser known song and more modern song I would like to play is The Greatest Show Unearthed by Creature Feature. The title is an obvious play on the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Baily Circus tagline. The song itself reminds me a lot of the Something Wicked This Way Comes movie and "The Greatest Show Unearthed" could be the tagline for the circus in that film.

This is the first day this week that I've had plenty of time to work on the shows. I've recorded the voice part of all but the last episode and I should be able to get most of the shows edited together today. If I have to I can do all the work for the last episode next Sunday. The only problem with doing the shows at the last minute is that it doesn't give me the time to make improvements before I have to post the show.

I've also been considering getting back to Podcast Ping. It never got great download numbers but it's clear at this point that podcasts have passed their peak. With TV shows made for big money streaming on the Internet it's hard for a home producer to create anything anywhere nearly as competitive. Most of my downloads have been from Mininova and it's been dropping patrons over the years. Episodes of shows that use to get over 10,000 downloads are now getting only a thousand. But web postings are even worse. People just aren't seeking out podcasts as they use to, and there's millions of them out there. But I do enjoy listening to the Podcast Ping episodes and have listened to past episodes many times. And I think this time if I did it I would try and do a bunch at a time then post them on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Blue Hot Gossip's 13 Days of Halloween 2011 - Day 4

Day 4

It seems to me that devils were more popular in the past as part of Halloween than they are today. It might have something to do with the pranking origins of modern Halloween. In the past pranks were performed to scare people into thinking that spirits had done things but today's Halloween is more about the celebrations than the scares.

Although Spring Heeled Jack isn't exactly a devil, he would have been thought of one at the time. It's a Victorian character that not everyone knew about, much like the Jersey Devil. I was surprised when the character showed up on Sanctuary. I suspect the song may have renewed an interest in the character, although I can't help but wonder if one of the writers happened to listen to last year's show.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Blue Hot Gossip's 13 Days of Halloween 2011 - Day 3

I'm glad I got the the first three done since I've been a little busy the past couple days to do any work on it. But it doesn't take long to edit the shows together once the voice recording is done and edited. The rest should go quickly, once I get the time to work on them. The only thing I'm cutting short are these descriptions.

Since it isn't always easy to come up with Halloween-related songs that are also podsafe. However it seems that there's more podsafe stuff than commercial stuff. Some of it, like the old 78 records, are commercial material that's become public domain.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blue Hot Gossip's 13 Days of Halloween 2011 - Day 2

Day 2

I've been busy these past couple days so I don't have the time or energy to write much. I've got up to episode 8 recorded and only up to episode 3 edited and ready to post so I'll have to try and get some more work done tomorrow.

Initially I was just going to have one new song in each posting but I realized there might be a lot of older stuff that people haven't heard and the episodes were a little short so I decided to add another song. But since I was making the episodes two songs long I decided I might as well put three songs in each. And many may not have heard listened to those song since last year. That allows me to repost many of the songs I've played in the past. But there's still plenty of new music in the episodes as well.

The themes really came about as I was sorting out what songs to put in each show. I hadn't initially planned on themes but I found that I had many songs that would fit into groups. Since I chose to go with themes many days may have all older music while some might have a couple new ones.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blue Hot Gossip's 13 Days of Halloween - Day 1

Day 1

It's time again for the third annual 13 Days of Halloween. I say third even though it's only the second year I'm posting it at Blue Hot Gossip. The first year was posted at Podcast Ping.

I started working on it a little late and I've still got the last script to write, but I had decided already that I wouldn't make it as complicated as the past two. Initially I was just going to have one song and a paragraph of narration, but I wound up deciding to use some songs I had used before and felt it better to add Edward in with Count Cordova as hosts. So I've got a little bit of conversation plus three songs.

And like last year, I am going to try and post the evening before the day so that it's easier for people to download. That way come Halloween most people will have a whole day to download and listen to the podcast.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Blue Hot Gossip Comedy Show 22

After a long delay, here's episode 22.

This will probably be the last episode of the podcast, at least for a while. It's been hard enough to get around to doing it with all the other things I need to work on, and many of those take more priority. I also have another podcast I'd like to work on, however it could be some time before I start on it.

This seems like just the right time to wrap the show up. I've take the Count Cordova/ Francis storyline just about as far as I can. And I'm ending the episode in a way that would allow me to either continue with the format of the three hosts or to do the show more like I did for the first five. So if I do continue with the podcast I can do so with a fresh start.

It's sort of interesting how the airplane motif works into the show. The Count Cordova storyline started with a plane crash and (sort of) wraps up with the boys traveling home on one. The first song of the first episode was "At The Airport" which also related to planes.

The airplane motif relates well to the podcast because I've always felt I've been trying to get it off the ground. I would like to have been able to do it weekly but just found it took too much work as well as it being difficult to come up with enough good suitable music. In fact I'm a bit amazed at even getting 22 episodes out of it, or 35 if you include the Halloween specials. And likely because the episodes haven't been so regular it's been difficult to really draw much of an audience (aside from the torrentcast).

So rather than just coming up with one every few months I thought I'd give it a proper ending, or at least do a show that would work as a proper ending. But like season finales it also leaves it open to further shows should I decide to do them.

As for other podcasts I'll have to wait and see. I do want to get into a new one but I'm a bit busy right now. And I don't want to get into a new one unless I can be sure I can do it weekly. The big problem is that right now I can't afford to work on anything that isn't going to generate revenue. And podcasting tends to be non-profit. I could afford to do one or two a month but not weekly as I would like so it's best for now just to hold off.

But I'm not quitting podcasting, just taking a break from it for now. I have been blogging a bit more lately. My blog, The Best Blog In The Unknown Universe, can be found at .