The Dead Robots' Society

Writers on Writing


Hey, everyone. First off, HAPPY NEW YEARS! I hope everyone had a safe and merry holiday season. 2008 was a rocky year for a lot of people, and 2009 isn’t started off too well either, but I’m hopeful that things will pick up soon. Don’t rain on my parade.

Anyway, as we said in last week’s episode, we’re going to start removing some of our older shows from the RSS feed. I love having every episode of the podcast available for people to download easily through their downloader of choice, but sadly the cost of having that available is just too much. So, to make sure we can continue to be able to afford the show and the site and the forum, we’re going to begin the process of culling out older episodes beginning this Saturday. If you’re a newer listener to the show, and you’re currently listening to older episodes or you wish you’d done so already, go ahead and make sure you download the first twenty or so episodes now. Next week I’ll remove ten more, and then so on. Our plan is to keep a constant supply of the ten latest episodes available at all times. That would cover about two and a half months of content. Not bad. Certainly better than some podcasts I listen to.

But, all is not lost! If you’ll notice, at the top of the site there is a new link below the banner called “Archived Episodes.” This link leads to a page where you can directly download all of the episodes that have been removed from the feed. Now, you might have some questions…

First, what’s the difference?

The difference is that the feed and your aggregator delivers our shows to you automatically, whereas the page links have to be downloaded manually. They still sound the same, and the still contain all the meta data they had as a podcast. All that’s changed is how you get it.

Second, why are we doing this as opposed to just keeping the shows in the feed?

Here’s a little peak behind the curtain. Our podcast feed is hosted by a company called podHoster. We pay them a monthly fee, and in return they host our episodes, wrap them into an RSS feed, and send them out for us. Since podcasts are sizable files, our fee goes mostly toward the bandwidth required to send those files out to everyone. The more episodes we have them host means the more money we have to pay. The website, though, is hosted by another company. We pay that company their own fee, and that fee covers our server space and the bandwidth used for when people visit the site, visit the forums, etc. Now, since bandwidth for a website is usually much less of an issue than the amount of space you need to host things, we get a huge amount of hard drive space for little cost, which means that we can post up a lot of data for people to download at no extra cost. And since these are older episodes, the bandwidth required to make it available is negligible. And there you have it. I hope that helps people understand how these kinds of things work.

Now, right now I’ve loaded up our first thirty episodes, but I won’t be removing all of those from the feed this week, so don’t panic. As I said, I’ll only be removing the first twenty this week. As time goes on you’ll see more episodes get listed on the page as they’re taking from the feed, and eventually it’ll be a regular part of the show, as it is for most podcasts.

Anyway, that’s it. We appreciate each and every one of you who listens to the show, we value all of you, and we hope you understand not only what it is we’re doing, but why. Thanks for understanding. And, I hope all of you has a great (or, at the very least, better) 2009.

Take care.



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