Thoughts after a strange enough day

Today has been a sufficiently aggravating day. I should not focus on that, though. I should openly give thanks to Blake for adding new subscription buttons for the podcast. Such appears on every page and is as discrete as possible. After an exchange on Twitter earlier I thought it best to simplify things for folks. Blake and I were testing the e-mail subscription in the background for a while and I am happy to report that folks are already using that service. If that makes getting to the podcast easier for you, why not sign up? New e-mails come out only after I post an episode.

One of the big issues tonight is network connectivity. Cox high speed Internet has been anything but. Right now connection speeds are more akin to what I experienced while living in American Samoa. In that part of this country top speeds for an individual run around 24.4-33.0 kbps. For producing LISTen, this makes a huge difference.

As of late we have had to punt in terms of taking calls. Doing such requires Internet usage. Although a prepaid cellular telephone was obtained for use in taking calls we still do not have an adequate bridge to use audio from such. The funds are not on hand to build such and I do not want to go with any suction cup options at all.

Outages are strange things in the Las Vegas metro. I had a less than pleasant experience on the phone with customer service. Although I may be able to get this posted to LISNews the problem remains of having sufficient bandwidth to do interviews. The question on Wednesday around this is if service will be back up to par in time to use Skype for one or two interviews. Both interviews are on subjects that caught my interest.

Are there workarounds to this? I suppose so. The problem is cost. The only other viable option would be to secure a mobile broadband account with a wireless provider. Such would run USD$60 per month for a two year contract term. Right now that is not financially viable. While outsourcing the conduct of interviews to somebody else is possible the problem is getting such into editing. With Internet access being pretty heavily attenuated, how could I even receive such outsourced audio to edit in?

Right now I get to wait. It is all I can do. Hopefully this gets resolved by afternoon tomorrow. For now I get to wait.

What holds LISTen back in some respects? Funding is the key issue. The audio engineer has a regular job. I have as much work as I can get each week but hours have been declining heavily. The slightly unstable job I have is all I have as the gambling inherent in job hunting has not borne fruit yet. Outside the podcast I know I just had to pay out to replace tires on a vehicle due to an incident at the on-ramp from Russell onto the 515. Before upgrading hardware or software there are day to day living expenses that have to be handled.

An ideal scenario in LISTen evolution is for the podcast to be housed somewhere that it is part of the service of a parent institution. Examples of doing such would be creating a Center for New Media or other type unit in which the podcast is produced while teaching is provided in terms of production. We have been working on lesson plans and course outlines to offer such instruction. If a sufficient offer is made it will be considered. As long as Lake Effect Snow is not a local issue we are willing to consider locations. I must note as well that nothing says such work need necessarily remain within United States jurisdiction either.

I recognize that that ideal is not too likely. This is why the donation buttons always seem to pop up. This is why the Lulu web outlet was put together. If funds were obtained from those means I can rest easy in terms of money matters. Right now I am worried about going bald from tearing out hair over money matters. Relatively speaking it would be far cheaper for somebody to sponsor the podcast month by month rather than bringing us under an institution's umbrella. Bringing us under an institution's umbrella would cost around USD$60,000 to USD$70,000 in payroll. Sponsoring the podcast as constituted now would only run about USD$18,000 to USD$20,000. As counterintuitive as that appears, it actually would be cheaper if the production effort remains as presently constituted but with my being freed up to work on the podcast full-time. A podcast is a cost center that does not necessarily "monetize" by itself. In that respect, the seeking of donations and the sale of items through Lulu makes better sense right now compared to being under an institutional umbrella.

Wednesday is another day...

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