Thursday, February 26, 2015

Finally: The Podcasts

Over the seven years I have been posting on this page I have been told many many times to take this page to market and I have never wanted to change the nature and character of my stored memories of life at the end of the road, as I live it. Even now when I have taken on a whole new full time project this page has been my refuge, a quiet hour each day on the porch or on the couch playing with pictures and words, not thinking about 911 or all the myriad home chores that lurk in daily life. I thought for a while, I feared, that Key West Diary might have to take a back seat. So far so good I have put up a new essay almost every day, and I hope that on those few rare occasions when I have resorted to "re-runs" I have not offended. I have to figure not everyone has read (and remembers) all 3800 photoessays logged here since June 2007. And some days I have simply run out of energy to put words to screen, or have no photos to use so I have reprinted old favorites.

When I was approached to do podcasts I was leery as I am entrenched in the school of radio where I lived and worked for a decade. I got out of radio news because journalism was a nut I had cracked and when I have mastered a skill I get bored. Also news was becoming less hard core which I did not like, and I did not want to participate in the dumbing down process I saw underway in broadcasting. I still enjoy listening to the radio and I bought a life membership in Sirius when satellite radio appeared. Thus podcasts I approached with some wariness. However it seems this is the way people like to listen nowadays.

As with all stuff online the podcast market is creating niches and followings and this is where I need your help, and I trust you can come through for me. iTunes is supposed to have the first four podcasts ready on Monday morning. Jack Riepe kindly agreed to share some stories with me and if you have read his best seller Conversations With A Motorcycle then you know why his stories are worth hearing.

Scooter riders know Orin O'Neill from his widely read and respected webpage Scootin' Old Skool and he too has agreed to be interviewed for which I am very grateful.

And that's just the start.To get the space on iTunes these interviews deserve I need something back from my loyal readers. My producer sent me these instructions to post here to help get the word out Monday morning and to create a space for the podcast. Over the years this page, thanks to you, has received nearly 1.5 million hits and put my diary in the top million webpages worldwide which frankly astonishes me. I have as you know no marketing skills of any kind and the concept of search engine optimization is about as alien to me as small talk at a party. And as I have previously confessed I have no small talk ability whatsoever. So I am confident if after all these years I ask you will respond and I thank you in advance.

Here is how you do it...Monday morning, if Apple posts it promptly!

1) Go to travelandsafety.com/itunes

2) Click on "View In iTunes"

3) Click "Get" in the "Price" Column (far right) next to the episode you want to check out

4) Whenever you’re ready, click "Ratings and Reviews" (directly under the title in iTunes)

5) Click "Write a Review" and enter yours in the Window that comes up. Give it some 5 Stars too.




I am doing the interviews because I enjoy the informal give and take of these conversations, but also because I have my own history of traveling and apparently managing to stay safe. The picture above is the wife and I with dogs sailing Central America studying the instructions that came with our portable hand laundry machine. We later graduated to a bucket and plunger when the hand wringer, built in the First World, broke. Simplicity became our watchword.

My more recent travels I have logged on this page of course but I have in the past ridden motorcycles all over the place, including Africa, crossed the Panama Canal (bits of it actually with the motor off and sails up).

I also took the Great Siberian Railway across the Soviet Union as as a young man.

I have been stopped in an embarrassing number of countries for speeding. Adventures all, but none looming quite as large as this one right now. Wish me well and I hope to see you on the...podcast!