Category Archives: Site News & Updates

ESPN’s Award-Winning Podcast Producer,Jay Soderberg, Joins BlogTalkRadio as Head of Content

[New York, Monday November 17, 2014] BlogTalkRadio is on a new mission to help podcasters create engaging content and make money for their hard work. Jay Soderberg, a former leader of ESPN’s podcasting division, has joined the BlogTalkRadio management team and will take a leading role shaping the company’s content portfolio as its new Head of Content. Soderberg will be focused on cultivating and expanding BlogTalkRadio’s already large community of podcasters who collectively produce tens of thousands of hours of topical content each month.

“Podcasts are quickly becoming the audio content format of the future. I’m very excited about the opportunity to help shepherd this outstanding host community toward the exciting vision for podcasting that we are shaping at BlogTalkRadio” said Soderberg.

Jay, also known as Pod Vader, has 23 years of experience in the highest echelons of radio and podcast production. He launched and ran ESPN’s podcasting efforts for 8 years. His radio journey began at NPR and Christian Science Monitor Radio where he developed his expertise with the best-in-class processes for the editing and production of top-quality audio content. Applying these skills, he later became the mastermind behind many of ESPN’s most successful podcasts, including Fantasy Focus and Football Today. His six awards include podcasting’s highest honor, The People’s Choice Podcast Award, which he earned in 2009 and 2012.

“In our quest to find our Head of Content, we sought to find a leader with hands on knowledge of the craft, who intimately understands and identifies with the aspirations of podcasters, and sincerely cares about the success and wellbeing of this great community. I believe we’ve found the perfect fit with Pod Vader” said Andy Toh, GM and Chief Architect of BlogTalkRadio.

Bob Charish, Chief Revenue Officer and Co-Founder Bob Charish added. “BlogTalkRadio was among the first platforms created for podcasters, and we a very excited to now be taking the company to the next level. We are extremely happy to welcome Jay and his long track record of successful podcasts to his name. I know that with Jay’s help our community will thrive.”

About BlogTalkRadio
BlogTalkRadio helps podcasters create, distribute and profit from their content. Founded in 2006, the BlogTalkRadio platform is a unified platform that enables the recording, live streaming, syndication, measurement and monetization of conversational format podcasts featuring guests and listeners from any geographic location, with nothing more than a laptop, a microphone and a broadband internet connection.

Introducing the New Host Experience

People come to BlogTalkRadio in order to share their ideas and build a personal brand. We want to help our hosts to shine, to create better shows, easier. Several months ago we began designing a new experience to help you produce better shows and build a bigger audience.

We interviewed hosts, analyzed usage metrics, and we watched how people use BlogTalkRadio. The results helped us clean up the host experience.

What’s new?

A dashboard designed for Hosts

http://my.blogtalkradio.com/tools

dashboard-stats

When hosts sign into BTR they’re really focused on their show activities. When listeners visit the site they’re interested in accessing their favorite content quickly. We wanted to find a way to clarify the experience for both types of people.

For listeners we made some changes to make the site much more like other media properties:
- We moved Followed Hosts updates to the homepage
- Universal features (settings & messages) were still available under the user menu

Hosts will get a whole new dashboard that focuses on the most important information about their show.

FAQ
http://blogtalkradio.desk.com/customer/portal/articles/1342537-tour-of-dashboard-home-page

A new focus on stats

Stats are really important to hosts. They a tangible the reward for all the hard work of producing a great podcast. Looking at our traffic logs we discovered that hosts are going to pages to see their listen numbers. Premium hosts are looking at their stats page and hosts with a free plan were clicking a link on their dashboard to see the total listens.

We also hear our hosts mention stats in virtually every support ticket or forum discussion. We are listening guys :)

The new dashboard puts key stats front and center. We’ve added a free chart for recent shows and highlighted the summary numbers.

Keeping up with the audience

In watching hosts use BlogTalkRadio we observed them bounce around a lot, navigating to each recent episode. We realized ya’ll were doing this so you could see the fresh interactions from your audience. The only place you were notified of new comments or listeners was on each separate episode page.

We already had a solution to this problem on the MyBTR dashboard: The Network. We decided to take this feature and clean it up to focus on the audience. It’s a single place where you can see whenever someone comments on an episode, or starts following you.

Scheduling Just Got Easier

scheduling

Creating an episode is a lot of work. Writing titles, descriptions and tags, booking guests, uploading audio. Anything we can do to make these tasks easier will allow hosts to focus more on what matters: The Content.

* The new scheduling form requires fewer fields. Title, date and description are all you need.
* The new tags picker makes suggestions based on other popular tags
* We fill in the startup audio, visibility and category to save time
* The new signal strength meter will let you know if you’re on the right track
* Example titles & descriptions provide tips for creating a unique episode

FAQ and help about scheduling a show:
http://blogtalkradio.desk.com/customer/portal/articles/1344422-new-episode-and-scheduling-tour

Built In Promotions

scheduling-social

The best way to build your audience is spreading the word through your social network. Sharing to Facebook and twitter are very effective ways to get people to listen. We’ve added these right into the scheduling screen to make it even easier.

What’s Next?

The new design breathes fresh air into the host experience. In addition to making important information more accessible and features easier to find; It’ll allow us to fulfill hosts requests faster. Here are some of the exciting features on the way:

* Folders & search for audioclips
* New Badges & Players for hosts to promote their show
* More interactions in the newsfeed
* And … something super special is coming in early 2014. 

A Homepage Worth Talking About

Over the past few weeks we’ve been steadily making big changes to the homepage. We’ve scoured the site to find the best of the best broadcasts, created fresh new artwork for our top hosts, and added personalized content.

Today we’re unveiling a brand new look that ties it all together.

btr-homepage-launch

Today’s Best Episodes

Our editorial team has scoured our site for the best new episodes and put them front and center. You’ve gotta hear this:

 btr-homepage-picks

Shows I’m Following

We’ve added updates from hosts you follow right on the homepage. Never miss an episode from your favorite shows.

btr-homepage-following

You Might Like

If you’re like us then you’re probably busy and sometimes you just need a recommendation. We’ve got you covered with suggestions based on your listening habits. The more you listen the better the picks will be.

btr-homepage-recommendations

We’re super excited to share the new homepage with you and we know you’ll find something you love there.

See it for yourself now

The New BlogTalkRadio Portable Player Is Here!

The BlogTalkRadio Portable Player enables you to share your show with more listeners on your site, blog and social networks. We’re happy to unveil a brand new version of this player with a  number of enhancements to help you further grow your audience of listeners. 

The player features the slick new look & feel of our recent redesign.  It also displays the images that you’ve attached to your show, just like the player on your BlogTalkRadio show page. 

Here’s what the new player looks like when embedded:

A big reason why we’re changing the player is to allow your show embeds to work on mobile devices, which typically use a built-in player instead of Flash or HTML5. This means your listeners will be able to listen to shows on their iPhone or Android phone as well as their desktop computer. 

To embed your show, you just copy your embed code right from your profile or episode page (depending on which you’d like to embed):

playerembed-episode

If you need more guidance on how to embed your player, you can find information in our help center: Portable Player FAQ

New Host Goodies on BlogTalkRadio

This morning, we released a few nice improvements to BlogTalkRadio that we’d like to share.

Direct Connect

We’ve added a new feature to the Studio that we’re calling “Direct Connect.” Direct Connect is a new way for hosts to call in to the studio. We’re testing it out as an alternative to Skype. Hosts who have used it already have found this method delivers better sound quality. Try it on your next broadcast and let us know what you think.

Next time you enter the studio, you’ll see a new button next to the Skype button. Click this button to use Direct Connect to host your show.

studio-directconnect

Secure Login

Our login page page now uses SSL encryption every time you log into BlogTalkRadio. Most of you will see no difference when you log in. We just wanted to let you guys know that we’re vigilant in protecting your data and want you to be secure when connecting directly with your audience.

Bug Fixes

We also squashed a few bugs around social media connections and mixed in some design tweaks to the studio.

Enjoy!

A Sneak Peek at Our Shiny New Site

BlogTalkRadio will have a fresh new look this year, and we’re giving you a sneak peek at what we’re working on. In the coming weeks, we’ll be introducing a sleek new design and tons of awesome features for our listeners and hosts, making your experience even easier and more enjoyable than ever.

The new design will include:

1. Fun Browsing Made Easy

First thing’s first. The images atop the home page represent a selection of newly streamlined categories. You’ll be able to hover over them to more easily explore your favorite content right away.

Our new homepage will also highlight the best shows on the network so you instantly see what everyone’s talking about.

We’re extremely proud of our incredible shows and want the world to know about them. We’re expanding the main navigation to give hosts more exposure where it matters most and listeners get immediate access to the best of the best. The “Live” menu will display what’s live on-air, while the “Explore” menu will display what’s Popular, our Best Of, Staff Picks and Featured Hosts.

We also added new section headers to help you find your way around.

2. Cut to the Chase

We’ve made search results and show pages clearer, so you’ll be able to quickly scan and find the shows you want.

Search Results

3. Simplified, Visual Categories

Our original category list was overwhelming, making it tough to dig through favorite topics. We pared it down to the essentials: 20 main categories, with subcategories where needed. What’s more, you’ll be able to enjoy a visual categories menu for at-a-glance browsing.

Blog Talk Radio Sports

4. Faster Site
With thousands of shows live on-air each day, how fast our site loads makes all the difference. We’ve rebuilt old pages with new technology to improve the site’s speed. You’ll see how much easier it is to explore and listen to your favorite shows.

Stay tuned for the shiny new BlogTalkRadio!

Let us know what you think of the new look in the comments below and visit our community thread to tell us what other great features you’d like to see on BlogTalkRadio for the rest of 2013. Leave your feedback.

BlogTalkRadio’s New Integration With Facebook Gets You More Listens!

Exciting news for BlogTalkRadio hosts! Your listeners will now able to connect their BlogTalkRadio accounts to Facebook and begin automatically sharing the BTR shows they are listening to on their Facebook timeline, in addition to seeing what their Facebook friends are listening to on the network.

What It Means For You

As a host on BlogTalkRadio, your show will now gain exposure to a much wider population and be more easily discovered by new listeners, in addition to boosting engagement with your current audience.  BUT for this all to happen, you need to communicate this new feature to your current listeners.

How To Get Your Listeners On Board

Let your listeners know that they can now easily share their love for BTR hosts like yourself with their Facebook community and discover new hosts from their friend’s Facebook timelines by connecting their BlogTalkRadio accounts to Facebook.

Instruct your listeners to go to BlogTalkRadio.com and click on the “Connect using Facebook” button at the top of the page and follow the prompts.  You can encourage your audience to do so when you are on air, through your social networks, your blog or even by email so they can easily share your show with their Facebook network.

Read up on this FAQ we prepared and share it with your listeners so they have all the facts.  Then, sit back and get ready to be discovered by a whole new audience of listeners!

Why We’re Excited

It has been amazing to read the recent successes of other companies such as Spotify, Pinterest, Vevo, Fab.com, Foodspotting that have integrated with Facebook to drive significant traffic increases and engagement with content on their site.  We are very excited to be working with Facebook on this update and help our hosts get the exposure they deserve!

Need More Info?

We did a special BlogTalkRadio University show all about our new integration with Facebook. You can listen to the archived show here.

Recent BlogTalkRadio Site Improvements

Over the past few months, we’ve been working hard to improve the site experience for our hosts and listeners and we’d like to share some of these exciting updates with you.

Our Site Loads Way Faster Now!

We’ve made some major upgrades to our hardware and are using new database technology in order to speed up the page load time on the site.  Right now content and images on our site load faster than ever before.  These improvements will allow our hosts to give their audience a much better listener experience!

Find Shows Easier & More Quickly Than Before

We’ve switched to an entirely new search engine technology to increase the speed and accuracy of our content search, meaning your search results will return much faster with the most relevant content.  It will now also be easier for listeners to find relevant hosts to tune in to!

More To Come!

These updates for the most part will benefit our non logged in users, but we are also busy at work on improving the speed of the site for our logged in users in addition to further enhancing our search engine capabilities.  Stay tuned for some more exciting developments on the site!