Now that the dust has settled and we've all taken a few naps, we're ready to discuss Earwolf 2.0! The bulk of the Earwolf team is in the studio with The Plop List's Joel Mandelkorn to talk through the new Earwolf: What we're proud of, what we want to improve, and our plans for the future. Take this opportunity to get acquainted with the Earwolf staff and explore Earwolf beyond what you've seen so far. Let us know what you think in the forums!
Episode 22 — Who Built Our Website?
Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:38 AM
In the episode you said you have about 3000 short clips.
If you want to grow your audiance, maybe you should turn the clips into 3000 short videos that have text that says something like "Hear more great comedy like this at www.EARWOLF.com" and put the videos on youtube with relevant tags. So when people are watching stand up videos of people that have been on earwof, your videos will show up in the related videos section.
It's like free advertising for Earwolf.
Posted 16 June 2011 - 04:48 PM
I'm with Jonathan. I think it's easier to sell people on clicking a youtube link rather than having them navigate the Earwolf website or app.
Piggybacking on what he already said: I saw yesterday that The League started its ad campaign for its new season on youtube. There must be some way to show those fans of The League that Paul Scheer hosts a great podcast and here's just a taste of it; they can go to this website or that itunes link to hear more.
Posted 17 June 2011 - 07:45 AM
Like you said, a good forum is built over time. Though having the hosts be active (and talk about it on their shows) would be a huge boon. Jesse is still extremely active on the MaxFun forums even though he probably doesn't have to be anymore. Given time, I think the Earwolf forums will be a great community.
Posted 18 June 2011 - 05:24 AM
Another suggestion- about the Yourcast section- a comment or rating section there would be handy (ratings and comments provided by listeners, of course). There is a lot of un-heard-of podcasts, and it would be nice to have some sort of starting point, especially for podcast nerds like me would already listen to 40+ podcasts on a regular basis.
Posted 18 June 2011 - 11:39 AM
The website looks great but it doesn't have anything to bring in page views. I didn't like having to create another account. It would have been nice to use twitter or facebook. AST built a nice forum and people are already comfortable discussing comedy and podcasts over there, plus it has space to promote upcoming shows. I feel that you share the same community and I'm not sure why it was necessary to create another or sign up for another forum. There is no content in the form of blogs or articles or videos, things updated daily to bring in people. Splitsider and The AV Club and a million other sites do this very well. And while you do a great job with the podcasts, you are limited to LA based comedians and UCB type comedians. I think it would be beneficial to expand outside LA, probably NY, to broaden the types of comedians on your network. Finally, what is Earwolf doing to bring in new listeners? Is it merely word or mouth, fans of guests, a mention in an article? Any plans on advertising?
*I'm calling for an AST Earwolf Splitsider merge
Posted 21 June 2011 - 04:22 AM
Echoing and continuing on Dan's point: I'm also a member on the MaxFun boards and some other active and sizeable-yet-closeknit community sites (that have spawned member-meetups, or bigger events like MaxFunCon) and like Dan said, a very important element is activity and accessibility from the site staff and/or hosts. In addition to regularly posting on the boards, making yourself available to people and encouraging them to get in touch. Jesse and Marc Maron regularly announce their personal email addresses on air, and Jesse's site has private user mailboxes/messaging as well as his email addy posted there too. On geekier sites like Metafilter, the owners also include AIM/chat/Skype contact info.
I've already tried to get active here offering design feedback and tipping off the staff to minor site/server bugs both on the forums and via the contact form, and haven't received anything more than an automated response email with no reply address (I know you're really busy and the site is very young, so it's no biggie - just emphasizing my point). I understand if the hosts are too busy to be involved a lot, but at least the crew should be more accessible, maybe private messaging to site users should be implemented, and everyone on the earwolf team should be posting at least once a day somewhere on the forums just so folks know that they are listening and making an effort to build the community. Theoretically internet communities can build themselves unmonitored, but from past experience, some community moderating and a lot of active participation from the owners makes for much better experience for everyone.
And lastly, I disagree with the idea that you shouldn't need a site account. It's a little annoying at first to sign-up, but going through the process gives you more incentive to come back or make use of the account you created. Having instant access via facebook makes it more disposable, plus you'll get a lot of extra lazy comments and trolling from passer-bys who are not willing to be active community members. People who use the site will soon forget about having to sign up and will enjoy having their own account on a site they value.
Posted 22 June 2011 - 04:03 AM
One additional note- Since my comment yesterday I had a much more prompt and friendly email exchange with the Earwolf site staff in regards to a posting bug with my account. So you have some great folks keeping tabs on things, but I still stand by my overall points: Facebook and Twitter contacts are nice, but providing users with your direct earwolf.com email addresses or at least an on-site private message system sends a stronger message that you're ready to accomodate anyone and everyone that wants to be a part of the site. Also being more active on the forums, and maybe down the road getting some of the forum regulars more involved by promoting folks to forum moderators, etc..
I'm sure you'll figure something out, and it's looking great so far ;) Keep up the awesome!