Feb 9, 2008

Does Radio Free Alcatraz mean The Alcatraz Podcast?

I heard about the Alcatraz Podcast on either Mac break Weekly or TWiT. I liked the idea so much I emailed myself a reminder to google it when I had the time, but when I tried, I couldn't find it. So, I emailed Alcatraz last night to ask where it was:

When I google "Alcatraz Podcast" you're show is not coming up. Nor does it come up in Itunes. I would consider changing the title to reflect what it is: Alcatraz Podcast. What the heck is "Radio Free" anyways?
Ranger Craig Glassner wrote back:
We have not actually released our first program yet (as a podcast) as we just yesterday got management approval to do so.

There is a rough edit of the first episode available on our website (here) - it's just a "raw" MP3 file, and it isn't quite done yet, but it is there in case you would like a sneak peak.

There are several reasons we are going to call our podcast "Radio Free Alcatraz". First, it was the name used by John Trudell when he was doing radio broadcasts over Radio Pacifica (KPFA) from Alcatraz during the historic occupation by Indians of All Tribes (that saved the tribes). So there's the historic context.

But we also felt that "Radio Free" was a pretty good description of what a podcast was. It's like radio, but unlike radio you listen when you want - so radio free, so to speak.

As soon as we get another episode or two together we are going to set up the RSS feed and start promoting it on various aggregators like iTunes (for example).
Of course there are holes all in this plan. Releasing an mp3 before the rss is set up is fine for a press release and to drum up interest. But it's better to give me the rss now so I am ready when the new stuff comes. Right now, I've been to the site, searched on itunes and google, and found nothing. When the rss is ready, I'd have to (a) somehow find out about it and (b) go hunting for it again. Meh. I do not buy the name arguement. Yes it has historical context, but it only means something to those who know what that context is. The podcast should have a general name that clearly identifies what it is. The show itself will have enough history (hopefully). And the whole "radio free" as another word for podcasting is just not good. I don't have a good argument for it other than tv shows and radio shows don't choose the title of the show based on the medium they serve it on. So why would you do that for podcasting. The show should be the plain "Alcatraz Podcast," easy to google and find on itunes.

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