I am enjoying creating the podcasts and have found that subscriptions and downloads are more than enough to continue (about 400 ongoing subscribers and over 1000 downloads for certain episodes). What began as a mere experiment at the prodding of my web-savvy wife, is now what I would consider a relative success. Thanks to those who are listening and making my preparation of material seem even more worthwhile. I love to teach, so it’s great to have a larger audience (even though it would be nice to interact more in person with the listeners — and you don’t get to hear all the jokes, or the “ah’s” and “um’s” which are edited out).
I have been hosting the individual audio mp3 files for my podcast on archive.org all along. Now the people over at archive.org have been nice enough to establish a “collection” page which gathers together all of my podcast audio into its own independent sub-section on archive.org: Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean Podcast collection page (accessible from archive’s “Podcasts” and “Religion and Spirituality” sections under “Audio”). This does not change anything about the main feed for my podcast and the access through iTunes, which still remain the same (with a new half-hour episode being released bi-weekly).
There are some advantages to this added venue for my podcasts. Let me explain. Currently, I stagger the release of episodes (organized into series) which are broadcast twice a month through my blog and feed (which also gets sent to iTunes). So far I have been releasing series 1 on “Paul and his communities” (completely released) and series 2 on “Early Christian portraits of Jesus” (part way through). Sometime next Fall, I will officially begin posting series 3 on “Diversity in Early Christianity: ‘Heresies’ and struggles” (which deals with things like the Ebionites, Marcionites, “gnostics”, Nag Hammadi writings, and early Christian apocrypha). All of the episodes that have been officially released so far are of course also accessible here on this site under the podcast category.
The advantage of the archive collection page is that it leaves it up to you, the (potential) listener, to get episodes when you want them and to jump ahead a series if you would rather. You can now access some episodes (or series) of my podcast before they are officially released on my blog (in the event that I have them ready and uploaded to archive.org — I’m not a machine;). This means that if you know quite a bit about Paul or the Gospels, and therefore haven’t been listening to the first two series, you can now jump forward (on archive.org) to a future, more advanced series on “Diversity in early Christianity: ‘Heresies’ and struggles”. This also means that if you happen to be finding the bi-weekly process too slow and are often waiting for a podcast to listen to during the commute, then you can move ahead and get them now in some cases. But if you do jump ahead, you may use a couple of years worth of releases up in no time (I won’t be able to officially release new ones any faster than twice a month to ensure consistency over large spans of time).
Another nice thing about my archive.org collection is that it tells you the number of downloads and which episodes were downloaded most in the last week, in the past month, and since the beginning of the podcast (look at the right column on that page and scroll down).
I hope some of you find this helpful. Let me know what you think, or if you have other suggestions.