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


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.


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


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:

Built In Promotions


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. 

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