Where’s It All Going?

May 19, 2008

Sorry I haven’t written in a while.  We’ve been crazy busy!  We just did a soft beta launch…which means we are controlling access and rolling out features and bug fixes almost daily while people help us test things out.  If you’re interested in helping test PodGlo then Click Here and request a Beta invite.  Mention that you came from our blog in the message section. 

We attended PodcampNYC again this year.  In fact we were a sponsor of the event.  It was great fun and we had a more mature product to show off.  My partner, Peter, and I are both technologists so sometimes we get carried away in the technology and forget that people aren’t at the same level that we are when thinking about micropodcasting.  The big thing we learned at PodcampNYC is that we need to simplify our message.  This is why when you first go to PodGlo you see, right in the middle of the screen,

“PodGlo lets you create micropodcasts {short, recorded audio thoughts} on the fly…from anywhere. It is quick, simple, and fun.”

Followed by:

You can:
  • Create micropodcasts easily using a web-based recorder or phone
  • Create audio conversations around any topic
  • Get a fully interactive PodGlo widget for your site
  • Listen and reply to micropodcasts directly from email or SMS (text message)
  • Share your micropodcasts by email, SMS (text message) or Twitter.
  • Quickly download MP3’s of micropodcasts
  • Subscribe to, play and reply from within RSS Readers (like Google Reader)

We also added a lot of Join links because it is what we want people to do the most right now.  It’s probably still a little off, I think, but we will continue to tweak the message so please feel free to leave suggestions.  Also, we are working on what I call the flow.  This is how we guide you though the site to show you how simple it is to create micropodcasts and our super-advanced widget that is fully interactive and bi-directional.

Another interesting thing that happened last week is that I used Twitter to communicate with a user in London and he helped us troubleshoot our web-based recorder.  Turns out he was using the GB (Great Britian) version of Firefox and we hadn’t taken that into account yet for our international users.  It was the first time that I am aware of that anyone has used Twitter to debug a web application/service.  How cool is that!  I can tell you the user loved it.   You could feel the excitement when we got it all working for him.

I can promise you that I will be writing here a lot more.  We are finally emerging from the heads-down, code as if nothing else matters phase into the ‘hey, customers let us help you’ phase.  Also, please don’t judge us to harshly just now on our ‘flow’.  This is a new-born baby and we are just starting to try to get up and totter about.

Talk to you all soon!

– Doug Kersten

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PodGlo at PodCamp NYC!!

April 18, 2007

Well we did it! We went to Podcamp NYC and demoed PodGlo! The response was amazing! It was a tremendous amount of work and I have to thank so many people for getting us there. We helped by sponsoring the event and I can say it was the best conference I have ever been to.

There was a time when it looked like it wasn’t going to come together. We had to deliver a new server to our data center the night before and the prep work took forever. When we finally got the server into my SUV and were packing up everything else my wife decided we needed to move the car forward to get the back door open, since it was blocked. She jumped in the car and in her excitement hit the gas a little to hard. Did I forget to mention that the hatch in the back was still open? Well the brand new server rolled out of the back and bounced up the driveway! We were in shock! I have a two year old son and his reaction was to jump up and down laughing, clapping his hands and saying, “Big Boom! Mommy! Do it again! Do it again!” I wish I had a picture of everyone’s faces. My wife was terribly upset, of course. We had to literally put it back together, bending pieces back into shape with a pair of pliers! I took the server back inside and double-triple checked everything and guess what? It all worked great!! As my partner now says he is a true believer in SuperMicro servers. They are built like a tank.

I drove out to our data center in Long Island. I told Chris (thanks Chris for being there!) we would be there at 9AM and we showed up promptly at 10PM (after picking up Damian in New York City, thanks Damian!). I dropped the server in and did the prerequisite testing and, after some minor tweaking, everything came right up! By the time we were done it was midnight. I jumped back in the car with Damian and we headed to the New Yorker Hotel, where I had wisely booked a room. Damian helped me bring our booth gear into the hotel and up to the room, with the help of the concierge.

We had ordered some really nice polo shirts with the PodGlo logo. We really wanted to look sharp. Anyway, when we were checking into the hotel they disappeared! Where did they go? Well the security guard later looked at the video tapes of the lobby and determined that this little, old 70 year old lady, smaller then the height of the containers our booth was in, walked casually behind the containers and swiped our shirts!!!! If anyone out there sees a nice, light blue polo with a PodGlo logo over the left breast pocket worn by a little, old, white-haired lady let me know. There are only 6 of them in the world so they should be easy to spot! Did I mention that the security guard contacted me at 2AM to let me know the details? Shortly after 2AM I was finally able to go to sleep.

The same day I woke up at 6AM and went downstairs to the conference area. People were there and busy already. I rolled all of our stuff down and prayed for my helpers to show so that we could get set up in time. We only had 45 minutes before people started to come in. Luckily, everyone who promised showed. We got the booth together in no time but then a nightmare! Connectivity to the Internet was terrible. “No problem”, I said and proceeded to whip out the development server and switch I had brought along for just such a situation. I hooked everything up, powered up the server and…it failed to boot! Catastrophe! I was depressed. All the work we had done and we couldn’t show what PodGlo could do. Yes, we had nice cards and posters that we could explain it with but to really get the impact, the WoW! factor like I got the first time I tried blogging or using the Internet or using email or sending instant messages (or twitter for you youngsters), was to actually see it working. I about called it quits. It was one of those discouraging times in the life of a startup. I had only a few hours of sleep in the prior 48 hours so that didn’t help much either.

Luckily, my wife had put together over 300 PodGlo Bars (Hershey bars she wrapped with the PodGlo logo and some cool PodGlo nutritional information). I grabbed a PodGlo Bar and boom, I had some energy again. I kept trying and finally, like magic, the Internet connectivity started to work! We don’t need a lot of bandwidth but we do need some. We are a web-based service after all. We started demoing and were demoing like crazy all day. I didn’t even get time to eat. I ended up having half of a pastrami sandwich that took about 4 hours to eat. It was great though! We were living off of adrenalin and even Peter, who wasn’t feeling well, was demoing like crazy!

It finally all ended at 6PM. We packed up and I headed over to Slate for the after-party. I even ended up getting there late (8PM or so) but I had a lot of fun and even played a little pool and some ping-pong. My partner has started calling me a mule. I am assuming that it is because I worked like one (it is amazing what you can do when you are inspired!) rather then I act like one. Although I have been known to be a little stubborn at times.

By the time I got home it was midnight and I crashed and slept about 14 hours straight. I really want to thank everyone; Ken – for dropping by to help, the data center space and the booth, Damian – for the work you have done and helping me get that booth there, Peter – for being a great partner and sticking in there, Ali & Scott – for asking people if they wanted to know about PodGlo and when they said yes promptly saying, while casually pointing at us, “Well you have to talk to them.” Also, to Ali & Scott for the very long and interesting micro-podcast that they left (they know what I mean and it’s undeletable!) , Elda – for helping us get everything set up and for the excellent support (and birthday gift!), and the great people at Podcamp NYC!

Most of all, everyone who left us your cards and contact information, we will be in touch so be patient and you will be hearing from us. Now we are off on the next stage, getting this beta launched and getting all of you volunteers out there access to the PodGlo Micro-podcasting System!!!

– Doug

PodGlo at Podcamp NYCPodGlo Bars!