Update on the 2006 People’s Choice Podcast Awards

Honolulu, Hawaii – July 31, 2006 – /PR Newswire/ — Podcast Connect, Inc., a leading podcast marketing firm and manager of the People’s Choice Podcast Awards at PodcastAwards.com, today announces an update on the progress of the 2006 People’s Choice Podcast Awards.
Over the 15 day period from the 1st to the 15th of July, 3285 shows were nominated from a submission pool of 875,000 nominations. A team of volunteers reviewed, listened and graded over 500 podcast sites and shows in order to determine the final voting slate. Recognized were the top five shows in 22 categories for a total of 110 shows representing a very diverse range of subjects. New categories for this year included the Best Podcast Directory and Best Mobile Podcast. Voting commenced on the 28th of July and will continue through the 11th of August at http://www.podcastawards.com.
Podcast Connect congratulates all of the nominees and looks forward to announcing the winners on the 15th of August and presenting the Awards at the upcoming Podcast and Portable Media Expo in September.
Todd Cochrane, founder of the Awards, explains that the nomination review process was tedious, but laced with anticipation. The makeup of the slate of nominated shows has changed dramatically from last year which is to be expected due to the number of new shows making their debuts in the podcasting space over the past 12 months.
The 2006 People’s Choice Podcast Awards has been made possible by the generous support of fine sponsors, including StreetIQ.com, our platinum sponsor for a second year in a row. The sponsors have donated trophies and prizes to recognize the hard work and creativity of podcasters worldwide. Stephen Malaster, the host of Raising Your StreetIQ, will be on hand to co-present the Awards to the winners during the awards ceremony.
About Podcast Connect, Inc.
Podcast Connect Inc. (www.podcastconnect.com) is the world’s leading innovator in podcast marketing. The Podcast Connect Team has developed itself into a powerhouse marketing arm for the Podcasting Community. Its mission statement is simple: “Podcasters do the work; podcasters get paid.” Its model is based on trust and respect with good moral and family values.
About StreetIQ.com
The mission of StreetIQ.com is to create a marketplace of compelling audio content that empowers investors and businesspeople. Visitors to StreetIQ.com will discover an enormous range of audio content produced by both large media companies and independent podcasters that includes everything from the latest business news to stock talk and from CEO interviews to earnings calls. The audio programs are organized into channels, updated frequently, and tagged for categories, sectors, and stock ticker symbols. Users can listen to the audio programs online or download them to portable media players as podcasts. For more information, please visit the website at http://www.streetiq.com. StreetIQ.com is a wholly owned subsidiary of FinancialContent, Inc. (OTC BB:FCON), which is publicly traded on the over-the-counter market under the ticker symbol FCON.
Todd Cochrane
Podcast Connect, Inc.
Stephen Malaster

What is Podcast Connect ?

Podcast Connect was one of the first podcast consulting companies, and we represent nearly 500 independent podcasters, and over 20 major corporations. We work with motivated individuals that go the extra mile to make sure their podcast are listened to and their sites seen.
We are the administrative arm of the Tech Podcast Network and the founder of Podcast Connect is the CEO of RawVoice Inc a seperate company that manages and runs sites like Blubrry.com, PodcasterNews.com, PodcastPromos.com.
We also are the creators and managers of the People’s Choice Podcast Awards
We are always looking for talent to represent and live by the motto, Podcasters do the Work, Podcaster Get Paid
Todd Cochrane

The slate of Shows for Podcast Awards is Complete

This morning I received the final verification of the grading of the remaining categories, for the 2006 People’s Choice Podcast Awards, and I have in my hands a completed voting slate. I will be entering the voting slate into the database system over the next several hours and later this evening we will post the list to the Podcast Awards website.
Voting will commence on 28 July at 0001 and finish on 11 August at 2359 we will have winners announced in all of the lower categories by 15 August.

The state of RSS feeds in Podcasting

Over the past 7 days my team of volunteers at Podcast Connect, have been reviewing all of the nominations for the 2006 People’s Choice Podcast Awards. This year we had some automated tools to help us with RSS Validation, and recorded site and show grading process.
I have never been so utterly blown away by the sad state of affairs when it comes to Podcasters RSS feeds, and some of the crap we have been sorting through.
1st of 3281 nominated shows the RSS Invalid rate according to FeedValidator.org was a shocking 78%
2nd of the remaining 22% that were valid 96% had glaring errors
3rd With website reviews done on nearly 500 shows. 42% did not have an RSS feed button on there home page, 99% had a iTunes link. 26% did not have a link to the file in there show notes, 21% had less than 2 lines of show notes and 3% of the sites the reviewers could not even find the podcast section.
4th We found RSS feeds over 500K in length with the longest feed having 367 entries. I guess people did not realize that iTunes stops importing feeds when the rss file exceeds 250K
5th Good luck contacting podcasters only 49% had contact information available from either a home or contact page. The remaining shows had absolutely no way to contact them besides the comment form on their websites.
Even more amazing we found of the 3200 plus shows 200 shows that were calling themselves a podcast had no RSS feed, was not listed in any directory, and only provided direct link downloads not surprisingly these shows had low double digit nominations.
This was beyond frustrating to the team and we had a conference call today to talk about it, we were all pretty blown away by the stats. It looks like to me we have a lot of podcasters that are going through the motions yet have not a clue on what it takes to build a successful show.
This was not even a issue last year, it just goes to show you that the more people that are doing shows the lower the bar becomes in taking the time to make sure the most basic functions of a site is maintained. Some of these folks need to pick up my book, and read the fundamentals, and promotions sections. It is beyond sad, and I am beyond disappointed on the state of RSS feeds in the space. There was even one podcast that we reviewed that said you have to use iTunes and you have to use a iPod to listen to a podcast.
The question I have is what does your site look like.

Welcome Podcasters Join Blubrry Today

In all of the excitement of the Podcast Awards, I want to make you aware of a new podcasting site that we launched several weeks ago. Blubrry a social Podcasting community is on line and we want you to be a community member, come over and sign up today. We are pretty excited about the future and will be rolling out a lot more features in the coming weeks.
There are income opportunities as well at Blubrry so make sure you review the terms of service. [www.blubrry.com]

Podcast Awards Traffic breaking last year totals!

Got a message form GoDaddy support this morning, that said hey your busting your smtp send limit, and we wonder what is going on with your box. I called to explain to them that were sending out nomination verification e-mails, they then told me that we have been hitting there upper limit. Well they raised the limit to 15,000 per day and we will see if that is enough.
If it’s like last year I will have to call them later in the week. As expected a lot of people are trying to game the system as it was last year. Duplicate IP submissions are rampant from IP’s that we don’t expect to see duplicate entries, they can submit all day long, but in the end those duplicate nominations all go to the trash can. The new logging is easy to see the abuse, along with the cross check mechanisms we enabled is flagging the bogus entries.
People are also invalidating there nominations by putting the same show in every category.
Overall though I can say I am pretty impressed by the quality of most of the submissions.