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The State of the Podcast: Summer 2010 Edition

Hey folks, it’s been a pretty busy summer so far and so I thought it’s time for another State of the Podcast.

First item on the agenda: the move.  It’s going, but at a slower than expected pace, thanks largely to some setbacks that we encountered.  Still, it’s nothing we can’t handle, it’s just delaying things.  Of course, we’re in the middle of packing, so the place looks kind of like a warehouse that got hit by a bomb.  (Someone set up us the bomb!!)  Which makes day to day living rather difficult.  We’re hoping to be moved in and all settled/unpacked/etc. by August.  Whether or not I’ll be able to construct my Studio of Doom(TM) by then… who knows?

Second: FanimeCon.  In a word, AWESOME.  Rumor has it that Fanime this year saw almost 20k attendees – and it sure felt like it.  Crowds as far as the eye could see.  We may be in an economic downturn, but you wouldn’t know it just by looking at FanimeCon.  I’m beginning to wonder if they’re beginning to outgrow the San Jose Convention Center area.  (Then again, where would they go?  Moscone?  Perish the thought…)  Still, despite the increased crowds and hectic pacing, the FanimeCon staff were able to put on what I still consider a wonderful anomaly in the con milieu – a convention that has the large size and event roster of a big convention, and yet also has the small-town friendly feel of a smaller convention.  The staff were  friendly, if a bit disorganized.  Oh sure there were some frayed nerves, but still everyone managed to remain at least civil, and I once again detected none of that ‘tude you see at the major conventions.  This year saw a dramatic increase in the number of activities (videos, panels, etc.), with events often running throughout the night.  There were definitely more late-night events this year than last year, a conscious effort on their parts, and I commend them for it.  The sheer number of events, coupled with the fact that we were staying off-site, meant that I couldn’t see nearly as much as I had wanted to.  (Pro tip: really, I mean REALLY, consider staying at an at-con hotel.  Being in the center of it all has its advantages, chief of which is that you don’t have to travel very far to get to any given event.)  I’m still trying to wrestle together a panel to do our usual review of the event, but scheduling conflicts and general laziness have prevented anything from gelling.  Soon, hopefully…

Third: my panels at FanimeCon.  Unfortunately my podcasting panel happened to be scheduled at the same time as several uber-popular events.  Oh well, nothing you can do about that.  But the several attendees that were there found it very valuable, and I’d like to take this space to thank you for attending.  Remember, all of my materials, including slides and links to the products I talked about, can be found on the Podcasting talk page.  My photography talk was also plagued with rather low attendance, but for a different reason: it was literally a last-minute addition to the schedule, and in particular didn’t make it into the printed program guide.  It was also at 9 PM.  But once again, those few hardy souls that attended seemed to get a lot out of it (and once again, I thank you for your attendance).  Extra-special thanks also go to my partner in crime Dave “Paradox” Fayram for helping me slap a reasonably coherent presentation together at the very last moment.  I’m working on a page with links to my photo presentation and the products/services mentioned therein.  I’ll post the audio from that presentation shortly.

Fourth: my panels at Anime Expo.  As previously announced, I’ll be doing the same song and dance at Anime Expo as well.  Both of my presentations are on Sunday, July 4.  My podcasting panel, “Anime Podcasting for Beginners,” is at the ungodly hour of 9 to 10 AM, in LP 3.  My photography panel is at the somewhat more sane hour of 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM in WS 1.  (Note: this is different from my original announcement.  They changed both my time slot and room assignment.)

Fifth: the podcast.  I’ll be honest with you.  I don’t think I’ll be able to put anything out before AX (with the possible exception of the FanimeCon wrap-up/review I mentioned above).  Things are just too crazy right now.

Sixth: finally, you probably already noticed this now, but I’ve made a few tweaks to the website, starting with an all-new logo.  In addition, the main page will always have a link to the latest podcast episode at the top – this should make it more convenient for those of you who listen via the web (and there are a fair number of you) to access the latest episode.  Finally, I’ve set up an account at Anime-Planet, which is a website that lets you track your anime and manga consumption, and gives you recommendations based on the series that you liked.  It’s pretty cool, and you should definitely check it out.  If you join, feel free to friend me up – I’m on as dburr.  Since I’ll be updating this site regularly, it’s a good indicator of what I’m watching at the moment, so I’ve put a Anime-Planet banner on the site, and removed the “What’s Donald Watching These Days” and sidebars (which were woefully out of date and inconsistent at that).  To replace those sidebars I’ve added several more RSS feeds, including the top anime DVD’s at Netflix and Amazon (although for some reason, the Amazon feed isn’t sorted while the Netflix one is.  Haven’t figured that one out yet.)

So that about does it for now.  Hope you folks are having a fine summer, and are enjoying the summer con season.  Definitely check out our Convention Survival Guide episode if you haven’t already – the tips contained therein might save your life! (Or at least make your con experience much more enjoyable and stress-free.)

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