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Explanation
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OK So I admit being an overly sensitive self-involved nut job but I choose this moment to elaborate.

I had a ‘skype call-in show’ today and nobody called. To be perfectly frank, it hurt my feelings. Before I go further, let me disclose a few things:
1) I shouldn’t be writing this because it is TMI for those who would love to see me fail.
2) I’m in a highly emotional state which means my perspective is likely completely warped which will cause even further embarrassment when I snap out of that mood and remember that I posted this.
3) People who dislike me or find themselves at odds with me will no doubt find some ammunition here. Surprisingly, Scobelly’s transparency of yesterday was a bit inspiring.

It’s very rare for me to type something like this because these are the thoughts I generally save for Yeast Radio. Even if they were not suitible for Madge’s voice I could use my own but still via Yeast.

Maybe it’s the first time, but I just can’t express this vocally. Or, perhaps, I just don’t ffeel like it. I’ll skip the unpleasantries and get to the point:

I haven’t checked my stats for around six months. Last time I checked YR audience was literally about 1/20th the size of insanefilms’ audience. That’s great for insanefilms of course, but where I really put my art is in yeast radio.

This is my own fault and mine alone. I have had publicity in many national periodicals and shit like that. I have a lot of name recognition in the podcasting community, yet my audience has not grown. I imagine it hasn’t shrank either but again, I haven’t looked in six months.

Maybe you feel I am ungrateful if you are a podcaster with a tiny audience. I stand in solidarity with you and I hope (some day but probably not in this post) to explain exactly how.

Whatever. The point is that I sabotage my own show by antagonizing the audience. OK so i think i found the point of this post. To explain why I do it (antagonize the audience) anyway. I zeroed in on this subject when, after one of my hundreds of times feeling sorry for myself on YR for having too small an audience, a listener commented. He said, paraphrasing, “If you showed your audience some LUV, then maybe you’d get something in return.”

OK, so here’s the thing: Aside from a very small percentage, I don’t know a single thing about my audience. I dont’ even know most of their names, let alone even the slightest hint of their personality or what they look like in the most general sense. Yet, my audience knows *everything* there is to know about me. Often times, due to my poor memory, they know more about me than even I do myself.

Yet, I am expected to show my audience some LUV?

I’m just working this out in my head now, but this seems to me about as fair as having to buy $100 worth of Este Lauder crap in order to get a two dollar totebag with “Este Lauder” printed all over it anyway.

For me it goes back to the expectation people (in my experience in America) have about artists. Artists are a step above the welfare mother in this society. We are expected to work for free- to entertain for free- to please, even if we receive nothing in return.

So yes, I am being paid, and paid well for what I do and that makes me very lucky. But Podshow is paying me, not the audience. I don’t ask the audience for money or gifts. (OK sometimes I do- but I always take it back when people actually start giving me shit). I’ve said many times on my show that since I get paid to do this, it doesn’t seem right to take extra money from the audience when they could instead give it to a podcaster who relies on donations as is only podcast income.

I’m just explaining it the way I see it- perhaps someone in the audience can perhaps give me a better understanding of his/her perspective as fan.

I realize this is a bit paradoxical as I write this. I complain about the give/take nature of my audience’s relationship with me yet I use the same logic to explain why I don’t ow my audience anything. OK- forget the Este Lauder analogy. I still stand by my main issue: You know me. I don’t know you.

So that’s about it.

I actually did do a show tonight, but I’m not posting it until I stop feeling sorry for myself. To be honest, I did the show because I am obligated to do so, not because I wanted to. I wish that wasn’t so. Hence the hubris that is “Day without Yeast.”

UPDATE: Now I’m over it, so I go to upload my show and there’s a downtime at the PDN due to upgrades. So Amy Mac comes on my screen with her show, “Fit Life,” which is actually a very good podcast, despite Amy’s Geekbriefien sudden neck jerks. Nevertheless, a good show worth watching. But anyway. She opens by announcing that she is sponsored by cover girl.. Funny I thought, since she’s apparently not wearing make-up but that’s not really a big deal. But, it would make sense for her to wear the product. So then I get to thinking… Cover Girl… sounds familar. I look in my make-up kit and sure enough the foundation that I *always* use is Cover Girl. So I actually wear the stuff in my (Madge) videos yet they sponsor someone who doesn’t actually wear the make-up instead. The reason I wear it, btw, is because it’s easy to put on and remove, and it smells nice. It’s as inobtrusive as foundation gets. Whatever. They should sponsor me.

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19 Comments to “Explanation”

  1. adbak says:

    I think part of the problem that you had with no one calling in last night was that you started at 1am CDT on a Wednesday night. This week is bad for college students who have finals, too.

    You’re right that a significant amount of people don’t call in out of fear of being antagonized on a worldwide podcast. That has been a deterrent for me.

    Another factor in the lack of feedback is that in your earlier shows (when YR first started) you posed questions to the audience, to which we would respond. I would find an example but YeastRadio.com appears to be down.

    As far as the problem with you not knowing us, being on Facebook can be a great facilitator.

    Hang in there, Madge, we’re all rooting for you!

  2. Andy Melton says:

    Ok, Mary! First of all I have to bitch at you. You complain that no one called into your show BUT MARY, IT WAS 2 AM here in the EST time. Also, to the best of my knowledge the only time you mentioned having a call-in show was on Twitter 20 minutes prior. Granted, I was up however was not able to call because people were in the bed. I was also writing my own post similar to this one! And sadly, yes, I did see Scobelly’s post and decide to my own. Eek. I need a shower after admitting that one.

    For me I have always felt as though if I expect to have comments on anything I post wherever it is or whatever it is. I think that the content that I am expecting comments on has to be something that engages the audience. Something that either they will have more questions about, something that they will want to learn more about. Something that is so important that they want to contribute their feelings or thoughts on the subject. Unless I am able to do that with my content I do not expect anything in return because otherwise what is the point in them contributing?

    Also, I consider a lot of what I do to be a discussion of sorts and unless I am able to actually get the ball rolling for a good discussion there is going to be NO discussion, which happens quite frequently.

    When I started out two years ago (November 10, 2005) I started out not worrying about getting feedback immediately because I had been listening to podcasts for several months before then and many of those people (yourself included) were complaining (and I don’t mean in a bad way) about not getting comments. So I knew starting out it would take a while to start getting comments. But again, I knew that if I did not engage my audience I would not get anything in return.

    Now. Next up. The LUV thing. I think that can mean a lot of different things. I think when you are bitching about not getting comments I think you also need to leave some comments. Yes, you have left the one on my site now which I am extremely appreciative of. But I have noticed that over the past couple of years you complain about not getting comments yet to be quite frank, I do not see you leaving comments on other blogs or podcast websites. Granted, I may simply not listen to the shows you do….but that’s just what I see. ALSO, I do realize that you give feedback on Yeast Radio and have played some of my audio in some of your mashups which I think is really cool but at the same time it’s kind of as though you are in your own little world when it comes to giving out the LUV.

    Anyways. That’s enough out of me. I probably didn’t make no sense. Being your friend (and I do consider you a close friend) for the past two years has been great and I truly hope it’s still there for two more years…10 years, etc down the road.

  3. Steve says:

    Wasn’t it you who was telling your gentle audience not to take things too seriously? “It’s the internet, it doesn’t mean shit!”. So true.

    I deal with internet idiocy every day. It’s through you that I learned how to better handle the crazy, demanding people out there.

    I think some people want to make it more about them, but surely that’s not the point. You are funny and entertaining, but most of your audience is not.

    Oh and giving 20 mins notice for a call-in show on Twitter might be pushing your luck.

    As for being nice, nobody wants to snuggle up to Madge for a cuddle, apart from Mr Zeeche, but because she’s a mean fucking dyke.

    Actually, it’s probably because he really cares about the character in the story that mirrors your real life.

    Who puts their life out there in the way that you do 5 days a week?

    I think you’re being too hard on yourself, as usual. But you know that.

  4. Points taken. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that regardless of whose fault it is that nobody called, It left me wholly incapable of doing a show and enjoying it.

    Another thing that set me off was reading a headline from newteevee (or something) that read something like, “iTunes top picks of the year: Ask a Ninja and The Onion.”

    Maybe that’s what REALLY got me depressed enough to turn the site off for a day.

  5. and ANdy- btw- I leave comments on other people’s blogs about as often as I feel inspired to do so. But you see, I don’t listen to or watch very many podcasts or vlogs aside from news/political stuff. If I didn’t do that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the world. Dawn, from DND, for example is the same way. She doesn’t listen to any podcasts and she doesn’t comment on blogs any more than I do. But see she has Drew to do all that. I choose to spend most of my computer time making content or researching. If I were on AIM all the time, and twitter, and commenting on every qpodder’s podcast, I would not be able to put out as much content as I do. That is simply not an option. I make stuff. That is my role in this podcasting space. My job is not to encourage others and leave LUV for shows I have no time to listen to even though I like the host and the show.

    That was a point I wanted to make in the post but didn’t.

    I don’t even have time to listen to my top priorty shows such as:
    Democracy now
    bicycle mark
    the economist
    in our time
    meet the press (yes, shut up)
    iht.com
    etc.

    my passion comes first: making stuff. I’m not doing this to make people happy. If I listen to your show, then I owe you some feedback, IMO. Whether it’s in the form of commenting in my show (as I do with yours) or leaving written feedback is irrelevant. But I don’t see why I owe comments/LUV to people whose shows I don’t listen to or watch.

    What I’m trying to say is (in my Meltonian writing style) is that artists deserve to get paid for entertaining. Comments/feedback/emails- that’s all payment. But the payment is owed by the customer, i.e. the listener. Audiencing is often expected to be mutual in the podcasting space and I’m not sure that I agree with that.

    I hope that makes sense w/o being too bitchy.

  6. Andy Melton says:

    The problem with iTurds is that it truly sucks because dumb asses subscribe to dumb ass content and make the numbers go higher.

    I stopped looking at my stats months ago and frankly, I could care fucking less. I will occasionally notice the numbers when I go into FeedBurner to do something with my feed but that’s probably once every 6 months or so. I don’t care anymore —- that’s just me though.

    Ok. Shutting up before I write a HUGE ass comment like before. However, I have to say I kind of like this discussion…although, it needs to happen when more important topics are discussed. Such as, I dunno…the world is ending because we all suck! Oh and no, your response is fine. I dished it out and should be able to take it and you weren’t even bitchy.

  7. Steve says:

    I can relate to the iTunes thing.

    I used to get seriously pissed off when other people’s work got recognition where mine didn’t. Or when I spend months producing something for people tell me is amazing but doesn’t get much attention, while other people seem to obtain massive exposure and unconditional praise for something that’s clearly mediocre.

    My world is vastly different to yours, but in both being wildly popular is seldom a reflection of creating something good, rather the quality of the marketing (shudder!).

    I decided that the only worthy statistic was the money coming in. That’s a bit weird with you, as your income isn’t related to your performance. As far as art goes, that’s great, otherwise you could face the same problem as with those stupid awards ceremonies.

    Irina Sultsky obviously gets that. She seems happy, maybe because it’s not the only thing she’s getting. Ho ho. But seriously, I think it’s because she gets the recognition, if not the paid employment.

    If that’s not it, maybe you still need to work out what it is that could make you happy, have a realistic goal and aim for that.

    (Or it could just be that time of year, of course).

  8. normy says:

    please plug yeastradio.com back in – site’s broke.

    In and meantime resume your day-job mary, give us shows, we own you.

    Norman

    Ps: some of us would have called in but we don’t own phones or skypes not everybody on the internets is a billionaire, some of us are meat-workers. I like listening to your shows while hanging pigs on hooks and when there aint no show i get angry with the pigs.

  9. Normy- meat is murder.

  10. Andy Melton says:

    Normy, Norman Augustinus? Who cares! I now know where I can get some ham! Maybe a special deal, like…free?! There’s you a sponsor, Richard!!!

  11. Steve says:

    LOL @ Cover Girl update. That’s so true. After all, East Coast lesbians often suffer from a 5 o’clock shadow, it takes an excellent foundation to cover that up.

    I think I will adopt Norm’s blogside manner in future comments. Very funny.

    Glad you’re over it, Mary.

  12. James says:

    If it is all about the art then does the audience size really matter, or does the problem with the size have something to do with podcasting being your job? I’m not sure how you see it, but I would rather have an audience of 100 who are dedicated listeners than 10,000 listeners who turn the show off after five minutes. Then again, I don’t make a living off of podcasting so what do I know?

  13. Ninja says:

    Richard – I think you are one of the most creative people I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to. Maybe you do have less listeners. Maybe not. Who knows. (I am only frustrated that I am still about a hundred of your shows behind at the moment.) If there are parts I don’t like – well I ff. Why not? That’s the beauty of a show I can download and control. I especially love your mashups.

    I think love of audio is a taste that you either have or don’t. It is definitely not and likely never will be as popular as video. I am one of those listeners and podcasters who absolutely love audio. And I am fearing that all of us queercasters out there are going to become discouraged and deny the world our art – but I for one think we need to persist. All I can say is that I am a fan of supporter of your art. I remain a

    Ninja

  14. @James- The problem is an economic one re: audience size. I really don’t want to be more specific than that but I hope you catch my drift.

    @Ninja- I think you are right. Thanks.

  15. Thomas Lopez says:

    Same thing everyone else must have said, I didn’t read the comments.

    It was late, I had a bad connection and was a little intimidated…but I think that’s the fun of the show.

    Just my 2 cents.

  16. Andy Melton says:

    Thanks for updating. Yes, they should definitely sponsor you. I could record their jingle for you! “EASY, BREEZY, BIG BEAUTIFUL COVER GIRL!”

  17. mikeypod says:

    i get where youa re coming from with this post. I am too tired to write more.

    I am glad that you said what you did about not being able to listen to other podcasts, I am like that much of the time as well. I feel guilty about that, but perhaps my role too is to create, not to listen.

    i got the camera today. thanks for sending it.

  18. Shawno says:

    I saw your post that night on Twitter and thought about calling, but Skype tends to not work with my audio equipment.

    And most of what gets featured in iTunes is crap. Everyone knows that.

  19. I don’t even know if you would accept my call if I tried on Skype, as I feel like I like these shows you do, this person Richard/Madge whom doesn’t really know me, probably never followed any link to find out any more about me, rarely (if ever) replies to any email or twitter with any kind of attachment, serious message, link, picture, text or mp3..

    I sometimes wonder will you quit podcasting one day, turn around and call us faggots for believing in you!?

    I, and I’m guessing most of us don’t really expect much in return, your show is that return, but the occasional acknowledgement (as do you seek) is all we ask. A bit more of that, and you might get a bit more of it in return.

    Your Skype session had 20 mins notice, not enough! It was daytime here in Melbourne, Australia, but I wasn’t able to plan to be in a suitable situation to take part on Skype.

    Take a tip from Cheryl who can make a show using Skype without any callers, she just calls someone in a dodgy call center trying to steal her money, and it’s fucking funny! She often makes a show from nothing.

    Maybe try putting a poll on the YR website for feedback, get the general conjecture on a topic, and don’t ask if Cheryl is a whore.. we all know that answer, don’t ask stupid questions if you want serious feedback!

    Want a gift? Put a PO Box Postal Address on your front page! I would rather to send you something personal (not a dildo) than give you money to be honest! I’ve been looking for the perfect gift/s to send you, the next hurdle would be where do I send it too!? Make it easier, and I/we might try harder!

    Make it easier by taking 10mins to set up a fucking Paypal button for payment on your front page for tips!

    Don’t make people feel like absolute shit when they comment, you could just say ‘whatever’ or ‘fuck off’ or just not comment on those items, but you sometimes verbally beat the shit out of them… It wont help for people being inspired to try again, unless they’re completely removed from emotion in their feedback, or don’t follow-up ongoing feedback.

    In short, little actions could give you just a little more in return!

    PS I. Fuck iTunes, they moderate comments, the Australian store has persistently blocked my attempts to give really smart funny feedback towards PNSexplosion podcast, I think because they don’t listen to the show, they don’t understand the context of my feedback!

    PS II. I did get a comment published about YR, long ago.. in the Apple iTunes Australia Store, if the link below doesn’t take you to it, you can change the the Australian store at the bottom of iTunes Store (Home page) within iTunes program. First, try this link in case it does work: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=73331085

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