In this Episode: Alervant writes in about the sexual harassment of a PC. Ryan4Flan writes in about players making unsolicited dice rolls. And David in Tampa chimes in on the flaw of organized play.
Replying to @The_Gekko_State about podcasts, I am reminded that I have to take issue with @Stu ‘s depiction of Apple over the podcast category changes. Yes, the changes definitely do not do us TTRPGers any favours. They are not the bad guys. I was hoping when the whole category thing started that we might persuade them to add subcategories like Actual Play etc., but you have to think about who might have been lobbing for the changes. Apple did not make this decision in a vacuum. Podcasting has seen a massive increase over the last couple of years, but it’s not us nerdcasts that have driven the podcast into mass culture, not even audio recasts of Critical Role.
No, it’s true crime podcasts, like Serial and their ilk, produced by professional journalists working full time, and of course media organisations. Look at the changes that have been made and you can see who wanted them - the “big boys.” The threat to fancasts is the media establishment, who are changing the podcast landscape and may indeed at some time push us out of the picture. They are working with those companies that wish to topple the Apple directory as the main way to find ‘casts.
It currently doesn't matter which alternative podcatcher you use, most of them swipe their data from the Apple directory, and believe me, this is a GOOD THING. Because professional media companies are trying to balkanise podcasting. Hosting startups offer services to bill your listeners. Amazon are offering media companies deals if they put their podcasts exclusively through Audible. Spotify are buying up podcasting hosting companies like they are on special offer. Even my beloved BBC are producing podcasts that can only be distributed via their Sounds app. As more professional content providers get into the game, and are offered top billing on exclusive platforms, Apple has had to respond to making it easier to find those shows, not ours on their open, RSS based platform.
Its dog eat dog out there, but currently Apple manage, and provide to us podcasters, a free to use discovery platform that is open to all and based on standard like RSS. It’s a service they don’t NEED to provide, they started it to get people using (and so buying) their iPods more, back in the day. Now that any old phone can access the directory, there is little if any financial advantage to Apple keeping it going. But they do, and unlike Google and feedburner, they still CARE about it and improve it.
If the itunes podcast directory ever shutters, we smallfry are fucked.