My Thoughts On WordPress Weekly

As I continue to produce the WordPress Weekly show every week, I’m beginning to notice that some of the greatest aspects of the show are not being put to good use. There are two main reasons why I continue to produce WordPress Weekly. The first is that I’m continuing to learn about the software by interviewing those who know more than me. I also love talking about all aspects of the software and the community around it. The second reason is that unlike any other WordPress based podcast, Talkshoe provides the tools for you, the listener to engage in the show by calling in and being part of the discussion. Don’t get me wrong, the chat room built into the show is a good way to be part of the live audience but actually calling in and having another voice on the air is even better.

Since I’ve switched the show to Tuesday nights, live participation has plummeted. I thought it would have been better since it’s not on a Friday evening, Tuesday evenings are boring, etc. However, I had more participation on Friday evenings than I’ve ever had on Tuesdays. This is disappointing. The way I see it, I bring on guests to the show to learn from them but I also bring them on because it gives you the opportunity to call in and talk to them in person. Due to the busy nature of the guests, it may be damn near impossible to communicate with them, WordPress Weekly gets rid of that barrier, giving you a chance to say what it is that is on your mind to the guest, with no middle man or filter, minus the expletives of course. But people don’t seem to be taking advantage of these opportunities. Some in the community jokingly call me the voice of WordPress but I don’t solely want to be the voice of WordPress. I want to be that person who makes it possible for other voices to be heard. I’m holding up my end of the bargain but the other side, not so much. This has me thinking whether doing the show live is worth the trouble.

Maybe Tuesday evenings are terrible nights for everyone. It doesn’t help that the last season of LOST is on at the same time. So, I’m thinking about making a drastic move.

I’m now setup at work on a schedule of 30 hours or less, 4AM – 10AM. While I hate being tied to the house during the weekend, I feel that doing the show early enough on a Saturday or Sunday negates the risk of having to reschedule the show due to life getting in the way. So my idea now is to possibly move the recording day and time to either Saturday or Sunday between 1-3 PM. It’s the weekend, it’s early enough to not get in the way of anything and I have a hard time understanding why participation would be even less than a Tuesday evening.

I know the show has an international audience and the day and times may not work out for everyone, but this is a game I can not win. I have to do the show when it’s best for me or else there is no show. If I can’t find a way to increase live participation on a regular basis, I’m going to stop doing the show.

Of course, I’m keen to hear how the proposed date and time sound to you.


32 responses to “My Thoughts On WordPress Weekly”

  1. I’ve got a weekly dinner meeting on Tuesday nights which is why I don’t make the Tuesday night one.
    Don’t cancel the show! Maybe put out a poll asking everyone what day works best?

  2. @Michael Torbert – I’m keen to hear about the proposed day and time before I go asking everyone what time and day works for them because really, it’s the time and day that works best for me that matters. Right now, I’m thinking early saturday or sunday afternoon is something I can easily do, but I wonder if other people can do that as well.

  3. One thing is sort of bothering me…How can I talk to someone in person if I call your show, it is impossible to talk to someone in person through the telephone, the only way to talk to someone in person is……you guessed it…having that person in front of you.

    I tend to download my podcasts and put them on my mp3 player/digital voice recorder and listen to them on my way to work (I take transit).

    I have a hard line approach to things (like that guy who got his plugins removed because they had to be activated via e-mail which then got bombarded with daily marketing e-mails, If you had him as a guest, I would call the show and call him an idiot for that).

    I also don’t like my own voice. There is a plugins podcast, Lorelle was on it, was she on your podcast? Anyways, I don’t think the plugins podcast is live. 79% of WPW I listen after the fact because of my schedule (and I am in Eastern Time Zone).

    Nothing personal but WPW vs. getting paid in my job and not getting fired…guess which one I would pick?

    I will come back when I have free time and download it and listen to the episode on my home-work or work-home streetcar then subway then bus ride home.

    If you keep moving things around then that 79% will go to 99% or 100% that I won’t be there live.
    You can’t please everyone. why don’t you make a submit form for people to ask questions for the interview? there are so many podcasts that are NOT live.

    p.s. I want my wptavern t-shirt, I have mentioned this a few times, here is one more :)

  4. I like the idea! It’s hard to make the Tuesday evening time slot for me. I do the SitePoint podcast every other week at 7pm on Tuesday so it usually runs over past 8pm. I like the Saturday/Sunday approach and am sure I could attend more shows at that time.

  5. I used to love the Friday night shows because I would be just sitting back, relaxing, and unwinding from the week. Then, I missed a few episodes because I was moving to a new place. When I finally got settled in, the show had changed to Tuesdays, which definitely doesn’t fit my schedule.

    I’m a fan of Sat/Sun though. If you move back to Fridays, I’ll probably miss the shows because I’ll be watching “Caprica.”

    I still listen to each episode sometime during the week though.

  6. Tuesday nights are my trivia nights at the bar, although last night I stayed home to watch Lost.

    Saturday from 1-3 is a decent idea, I think. That’s my badly-hungover time. Can’t speak for others though. ;-)

  7. I’m with Justin. The Friday night timeslot was great for me – the work week was over, and I could kick back and relax and enjoy both the recorded show and the after-show.

    It’s a bit more work for me to make the Tuesday timeslot, but I’ve been trying to get it worked in the past few weeks.

    I think the weekend slot should work out, just not sure which day is better for everyone. I could probably make it either day.

    If you pick Sunday, you might want to make it at 3pm, as folks who attend church may not be home for a 1pm show start.

    Just my thoughts…

  8. The old time was 02:00 for me which was a little late. The suggested time is19:00 and that is a much better time. Am I correct to assume that EST is New York during winter and not Coral Harbor?
    Personally I have a bunch of podcasts that gets updated on Wednesdays. Would be good to have one to listen to on Mondays also.

  9. I love your show. It’s one quite late for people who live in Europe, so I enjoy each episode by downloading the mp3, which I’m doing right now. Obviously live participation is desirable, and sometimes I think I wished I could have called in to ask something. Anyhow, I hope you can find a suitable time in your busy schedule to run the show.

  10. I have just started enjoying your WordPress Weekly episodes by downloading them onto my Ipod and listening to them on the way to and from work. Believe it or not, you’re beating Bob and Tom right now for my 30 minute commute to work.

    Right now my weekends are extremely packed so I can’t say that I would be able to make a live show on Saturday or Sunday either, at least not until April. Once summer comes around I can picture myself on my laptop in the backyard listening to your show :)

    Another problem that I have is I work an 8-5 job and then I get home at night and work on my sites; I tend for forget to listen to the show live.

    You have to do what’s right for you, but I love the resource you’re providing, even if I can’t listen to it live.

  11. The suggested times turn out to be 6am ish for me. Not the best of times. But in the end its your podcast, and whatever suits you is fine with me. I can always listen to the mp3s.

  12. I actually never was around in the chat or called in for the show but would hate it to go away. I always listen to the show on my iPod and love it.

    For me there are two main reasons why I didn’t make it to the chat so far. One is the time difference to Europe (I’m asleep) and two as a student Friday nights are working time ;-)

    Love the show Jeff and will be listening no matter what day you’ll have it on in the future!

  13. For me… Just like the reason behind dropping my co-hosting duties, I am busy as all heck. Day job + consulting + personal projects. I really wish I could be there.

  14. I would experiment with the show first before just disappearing. I think I’m going to aim for Saturday afternoon at 1PM starting in March

  15. Your decision to make but I would think most people would be out doing things on a Saturday afternoon especially during spring and summer.

  16. I understand you dilemma — I’ve done live shows in the past (and actually just started contributing to another one last week) and getting the timing right can be tough.

    If I could offer any advice, it would be to consider Sunday evenings. I know you have to be at work at 4 AM, which totally puts you at a limited time to start — but I know that when I worked for TUAW, the participation we had week after week on Sunday nights at 10 pm Eastern always blew my mind. And I know that the shows on Talkshoe before us at 9 often did well too. Weekend afternoons can be just like weekday nights — but for whatever reason, Sunday evening seems to be a decent time for people to tune in. Or maybe at TUAW we were just really, really lucky.

  17. Your suggested time is on Friday at around 5am for me I think. There’s no way I’d be out of bed by then. The current time slot is on Wednesday around noon which is awkward as I have been coming in and out of my office needing to talk to me. The original setup was Saturdays at noon was the best for me and why I always tuned in then as I’m generally chilling out coding around that time.

    I thought the Wednesday mid-day time was going to kill my participation dead in it’s tracks, but I had a massive life-change at about the same point you changed the schedule, which meant I was free at that time of day, albeit still a little busy. I’m a late sleeper, so the crack of dawn on Friday morning would rule me out entirely unless I totally rearranged my weekly activities.

    EDIT: Rebecca’s suggestion above sounds good to me.

  18. Jeff: I’m thinking that the dilemma is partly with the show being live. While that is a huge benefit for on-the-spot learning from subject matter experts…you’ll never satisfy everyone, especially since you’ve got an international audience.

    My vote, for a day and time, would probably be Thursday evening or Sunday early evening.

    As I mentioned in my tweet a few moments ago, I’m willing to step to the plate and assist helping you carry on this great show you have.

  19. James is right. With listeners all over the world, and everyone having different and changing availability, you’ll never satisfy everyone. People will either have to adapt to the time you set or just listen to it on iTunes.
    Pick the time that works best for your schedule and we’ll do the best we can to make it to the live show.

  20. Big fan of the show, but I tend to listen after the fact (not live). Been meaning to get in on it during the live show though…

    My vote would be to have it during weekday work hours (if possible). Like between 11am and 4pm mon-fri would be good. I think most people listen to the show while they’re working, at least I do.

  21. The friday slot was perfect for me too! Tuesday nights doesn’t work for me since I’m one of those “international” listeners and I’m expected to work on wednesdays… Daytime sundays will also rule me out as live listener… Afternoon US-time on saturdays could work as an alternative to the friday evening spot…

  22. Whoa, whoa! “Stop doing the show!” That’s crazy talk Jeff. I love your show. I just started listening within the past month, but am listening to the previous shows. You ask good questions, you are at an experience level with WordPress that is comparable to many in the audience.

    I can appreciate your desire to do a live show, hear other voices and have lively discussions, unfortunately this is 2010. People use DVR’s or Hulu to watch their favorite television shows. Podcasts are so popular, because they can be downloaded and listed to at anytime and anyplace. You have a global audience cutting across multiple time zones. Only a fraction will be able to participate with you live. Besides, I’m not too crazy about the sound quality of TalkShoe. The volume levels of your guests are usually much lower than your’s and the audio quality is not as good. I listen to a lot of audio podcasts from and Cnet and they use Skype, which I think will give you better audio quality.

    I do not think you should worry about being “live” so much. It’s the content of the show that draws me. It “what” is said that is much more important to me than “when” it is said. Sure, try to have a somewhat regular time slot, but let it be flexible so you can fit your life around it. Also, I’m sure it will be easier to find times to do the interviews which I really like. Have a text chat and encourage users o email questions and asks guests if they would be willing to answer some emails the week following a show, then devote some time at the begining or end of a show for the mail bag an dread people’s email.

    It’s great show. Keep up the good work.

  23. @Ed Gray – Thanks for the kind comments Ed. I’ve been thinking about it since I published this post and I’m slowly changing my mindset about the show. While I love the live audience and that is what I really like about Talkshoe and the show in general, probably 90% of the audience listens to the show after the fact. What I think I’m going to do is cater to this audience with the show rather than with the live audience. I can do a little of both but if I concentrate on content for the people that listen after the recording is over with, I think the show will be better and I’ll have a better handle on how to produce the show overall.

  24. I’m in Australia so with the timezones there is almost no night of yours that makes it easy for me to tune in live.

    But I do listen to the episodes on my iPhone, sometimes a week or two later.

  25. If you know the topic or guest ahead of time (a week or two) you can ask listeners to email or post questions they would like to be asked so that you can be sure to ask about what listeners want to know.

    Also, you might want to try what Leo Laporte does with some of his podcasts such as TWIT and TWiM and have a pool of rotating guest hosts that appear on a semi-regular basis. This way you can have others on the show, but they dont have to necessarily make a weekly commitment and then when you want to take a break, maybe one of them can fill in for you.

    When I started using using WordPress I would not have there would have been enough content to make a weekly podcasts, but the community is so active, there is always something new, whether it is a theme, plugin, WordCamp, or a new development within WordPress/BuddyPress/Automattic. It shows no signs of letting up in the near future.

  26. Personally, I was fine with the Friday night show. Unless I have plans to go out that night or am going out of town that weekend, I’m around to listen to the live show. Tuesdays just happen to be a night I’m always gone for the evening.

    Seems like the best thing is for Jeff to do what works for his schedule. We’ll never find a perfect day or time, with listeners all over the world and with varying schedules. :)

  27. I finally get to listen to the show live, usually I have been downloading the show onto my Iphone and listen on the commute to work the next day. I look forward to today’s show. Keep up the great work Jeff


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