Recent events in the world of podcasting and social media have highlighted the importance of keeping track of the places where your content has a presence. We live in an age where it makes sense to go to the places where you can find an audience rather than simply try to drive people to your content in the walls of your own site.
Web destinations like MySpace, Facebook and YouTube have become primary and secondary points of presence for millions of content producers. The iTunes store has also evolved as a very powerful point of presence since they launched their podcast directory in 2005 and more recently with their introduction of Apple TV. The iPhone is coming soon too.
The fact is that it pays to be wherever the audiences are so that your content gets the maximum exposure possible. It is very important to note that it also pays to keep tab one the places where your content is represented. One day a particular point of presence might be attractive. But changes occur. And when they do that point of presence might not be so attractive anymore.
Here are some important things to monitor:
Comments: Many places where you will syndicate your content have a comment function. Some allow you to moderate those comments while others don’t. Make sure you know what people are saying about your content. Are the comments fair? Are they relevant? Be familiar with the features provided that allow you to control the conversation around your content on other sites.
Advertising: What sort of advertising is presented around your content? Many content destinations start out with no advertising then may inject random AdSense links or image banners into pages. Does the advertising around your content take away from your message? Find out if you have any control over what advertising is presented on your pages.
If you are hosting your media on a free site check to see if they are injecting ads in your media. Some free media hosting sites will inject pre-roll or post-roll advertisements into your content. If present, do these ads match the tone of your content? Do the messages in the ads compete with the messages you are trying to send? Find out if you have any control over ads that may be placed in your content.
Freshness: Most secondary points of presence for podcasts will use your RSS feed to keep your profile up to date. Do these sites continue to represent your most recent content? In recent months some major podcast destinations have stopped updating feeds on their system. The result is that people may show up there and think that you have stopped producing content. If you see this happening contact the maintainers of that particular site. Also make sure that there are no problems with your source RSS feed. If the problem is not on your end and can’t get resolved consider trying to have your feed removed from the offending directories.
Feed Ownership: When you add your feed to another system make sure you know what they do with it. Sometimes your feed address gets converted to an address that reflects the domain of the service rather than the domain that your original feed is hosted on. This means that people subscribing from the new feed are now driving traffic to the other site. Check your profile page to make sure that the RSS links point to your original feed.
Content Hijacking: Sometimes sites will begin importing your entire feed to their site in order to place ads around the content and make money from your hard work. Many of these sites are run by spammers. If you find entire posts from your original content or your entire feed on other sites take a few moments to see how they are using it. If you’re not happy with the way they are representing your content then contact them immediately.
These are just a few issues to consider when cultivating alternate points of presence for your media on the web. Being aware of these issues and addressing them will allow you to continue to make the most of the syndication options available on the net.
If you have more detailed questions or concerns then RawVoice can help. Feel free to contact us to start a discussion on these or any other issues related to distributing your content online.