After much promotion and delay PodShow finally launched a revamped directory today. All kinds of stuff going on that I assume is aimed at the new podcaster. Not really sure of the target demographic, but my guess is the My Space crowd. Anyway, I had a few minutes to look around and noticed something interesting. Not only do you have to dig and dig to find an outbound link to the actual content producer’s website as in this picture:
The aptly titled “Check out the show’s site” link doesn’t go to the Reel Reviews homepage but to a PodShow produced page for the show. OK, Apple does something similar, maybe PodShow should just put “Check out our page for this show.”
The next one takes the cake though. When you get to the page you can subscribe to the RSS feed by hitting an orange XML button. Easy right? Sure as a user it is no big deal. As a content producer you will find something disturbing. PodShow builds its own RSS feed for your podcast with all your content, using the information your RSS feed provides and removes much of your info in the process including all the copyright details.
As a comparison, here is what my RSS feed for my content actually looks like.
That is not an innocent mistake. Someone had to plan which RSS channel elements to pull and which to ignore. The cast and crew at PodShow have been around long enough and, frankly, dealt with the issues of RSS feeds enough times to know better. I expect you’ll hear more about this.
And yes, I know I didn’t include any hyperlinks.
Update: My friend Paul Colligan feels people may be too quick to judge. My words, not his. My answer is simple, posts like these are how things get fixed. (I am confident this will get fixed.) It is the way of the blogosphere baby. And to point of fact, it is not a line of code, all kinds of stuff is stripped out of the RSS feed as well as the webMaster being replaced by firstname.lastname@example.org. Everything else about the feed would make you think it was mine, come to think of it, why wasn’t mine good enough?
Update 2: Looks like lots of people are talking about PodShow+ tonight. I had a few free moments and finally figured out how to find the equivalent page to the one I referenced above for a PodShow contracted podcast. (You do have to dig.) I was curious if, as some had suggested, the copyright tag issue was just a system wide “hiccup.” On PodShow podcasts (DnD, DSC etc.)the copyright tags are in place: © 2006 podshow.com. They have plenty of great folks over at PodShow that know better – what happened?
Final Update: (Hopefully) Order has been restored. The feed icons now link directly to the content producer’s RSS feed. PodShow did the right thing. Thank you. The “Check out the show’s site” buttons are still misleading but we will patiently wait and see what they do with those. They are smart guys and I have faith it will all work out in the end. As for the explanation that it was just a “bug”, I still don’t buy that. I can’t imagine a bug that scrapes a feed, parses it and rebuilds the content injecting some of the host’s data and then serves it from their own URL when it should have just been a simple hyperlink, but then I am not a programmer. Let’s let bygones be bygones. I wish PodShow and their entire team the best of luck with the new site.