Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Podcast perspective - Feedback and suggestions for the future of Sidepodcast

Published by Mr. C

A couple of weeks ago, with almost uncanny timing, we received some unprecedented feedback from two separate sources regarding our debut unto the podcasting world. At the time we were busying ourselves with all sorts of projects, but we took the information on board and referred to it when figuring out our 2008 plans.

Now that we've had a moment to catch breath, it seems only courteous to respond.


First up was a post entitled 'F1 Podcasts: Do You Listen To Them?' from BlogF1, which detailed Ollie's thoughts about Formula 1 podcasting this year. He raised a couple of points worth looking into further, most of which relate to how bad we are at promoting some of our own features.

For example, Ollie suggests:

What would be awesome - if possible - is if you could split a podcast up into chapters, much like on a DVD, and the chapter list with short description be included in a universal format somewhere within the audio file that makes up a podcast.

Damnit, that is possible and we've been doing it since the very first show. The iTunes / iPod ecosystem allows for DVD style chapters within individual episodes (known as enhanced podcasts), but they won't be available if you're using an alternate aggregator or listening to the audio on this site.

Creating the enhanced part of the show often takes a considerable amount of extra time, yet if listeners don't know about it then we're literally wasting hours of work each week. Promoting these extras must be a priority this year.

A second point raised by Ollie related to our phone-in feature:

As far as I’m aware though, calling the number isn’t free, where as a typed comment is. So again, we come back to the humble blog.

I was gutted when I read this because you can phone us for free using Skype (username sidepodcast), but we simply haven't been doing a very good job of promoting that fact.

Listener interaction is really important to us, so we'll be doing more to encourage two-way conversations in future.


The second post of interest was entitled 'F1 season review: podcasts' from doctorvee, which reviewed some of the best F1 podcasts from last year.

Of interest, the key point I took away from doctorvee was that he favours the weekly podcast over all of our other audio shows, saying:

...because I really like it when Christine and ‘me’ have an opinionated discussion, but the more factual and newsy elements of the podcast are not my cup of tea.

If we were to take our download statistics at face value we'd see our shows appear in the following order of popularity:

  1. F1Minute
  2. Sidepodcast TV
  3. Mini series
  4. Weekly audio

Statistically, the weakest link is the audio show that goes out each Sunday, yet this is doctorvee's favourite show. Of note, this also happens to be the show that generates most listener feedback.

Forward thinking

With the help of the two posts mentioned above, we've managed to glean a fabulous insight into Formula 1 podcasts from a listener's perspective. We have a much better idea of what we're doing compared to this time last year and we've got some great things lined up for the future.

If you have any thoughts on what you have / haven't liked so far, or what you'd like to see more / less of, please do let us know in the usual places.