There’s been a reasonable amount of snow in Toronto over the last few days, and I was getting caught up on podcasts yesterday while shovelling my driveway. A show I found myself a couple of episodes behind on is one of my favourites, Marketing Over Coffee with Christopher S. Penn and John Wall. I hit play on an older episode marked as unlistened, put on my gloves, and zipped my jacket up over my iPod. Within a second or two, I heard the beginning of another favourite podcast, Six Pixels of Separation with Mitch Joel. Hmmm, that’s weird I thought, I must have started the wrong file. I took off my gloves, unzipped my jacket, and looked at the iPod. Well, the iPod seemed sure that it was playing Marketing Over Coffee even as I continued to hear Mitch talk. While I puzzled I wasn’t paying close attention to exactly what he was saying or the musical intro to his show, but then I heard another familiar voice — that of Chris Penn.
I then realized what had happened — I was listening to Chris’ recent appearance on Mitch’s show, which Chris and John had apparently decided to put in their podcast feed. In fact, I’d already heard this episode on Mitch’s show, so I had to find another podcast to listen to.
While I understand the idea of a “crossover” podcast episode like this, I do have mixed feelings about the practice for a couple of reasons, particularly in a case like this.
For one thing, Marketing Over Coffee and Six Pixels have very similar subject matter, and there are probably already a reasonable number of people who subscribe to both shows, like me. I’m not really sure it was necessary to replicate the exact same file twice on my iPod, or for me to have to figure out that I was in fact listening to the right show even though I had heard this audio before. And for those who weren’t familiar with Six Pixels, it would probably have been even more confusing to hear this Mitch guy was introducing Marketing Over Coffee and this crazy guitar-driven theme instead of Mellow G by Fonkmasters.
Also, one of the things I like about both of these shows is that they are released weekly on a fairly predictable schedule. In fact, I would say these two shows have been among the most influential in me deciding to release the Media Driving schedule on a regular weekly schedule myself, since my previous shows were generally more infrequent. Having already downloaded and listened to this exact audio, I would have much preferred to hear something new from Chris and John.
With all possible respect to Chris and John (who are ordinarily as savvy as they come about this kind of stuff), my recommendation in a case like this would have been for them to record a short promo alerting listeners to the interview on Six Pixels and release that a Marketing Over Coffee episode, presuming they weren’t intending to do a regular episode that week. OR failing that, if they decided they really wanted this episode to go out on their feed, they need look no further than Mitch himself to hear what I’d say is a better practice for doing crossovers. Mitch’s most recent show is also a crossover, in this case from Joesph Jaffe’s Jaffe Juice. While I was still a little put off by the fact that I downloaded this audio twice as well, (since I also subscribe to Joe’s show) I will commend Mitch for putting his own introduction in the front of this audio explaining that this was actually an episode of Jaffe Juice. When I heard this introduction, I at least knew I hadn’t played the wrong file.
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