We've been thinking a lot about how we can turn what Vermont Edition airs live each weekday into a better podcast listening experience. And now it's time to fill you in on the changes we're going to make.
Up to this point, we've had a single web post for everything airing during a given show. There was also one big podcast audio file that would include the multiple segments from that day.
Well, the headline and most of the copy tended to just highlight the first topic we were talking about. And a lot of times, if you were looking to listen to a segment that aired later in the show, you had to fast-forward through the full podcast audio.
Our changes aim to make each segment easier to find and listen to. Each segment is now going to be its own standalone podcast and web post – so it's own headline, description and separate audio. That means things will look a little different in a couple of places.
The podcast feed
In our podcast feed, no longer will there just be one long episode for each day. If we do two segments, there should be two episodes, each with a clear headline and the respective audio.
Now sometimes we only cover a single topic during the broadcast hour, in which case there will be one episode – but at least you won't be wondering if a totally different interview might start playing two-thirds into your listen!
A related change is on the Vermont Edition page of the VPR website. The very top of the page will now be updated daily with a quick list of information about upcoming show segments.
There will also be individual posts with more information about each of those segments. Those posts will live on that same Vermont Edition page, below the header.
Our thought is that just because things are airing during the same broadcast hour, it doesn't mean that they need to live together online – especially if it makes some segments harder to find. This change also should make it easier for you share what you've heard and enjoyed.
There may exceptions, like if we air content that already exists in some form on the VPR website. We wouldn't necessarily make a separate Vermont Edition podcast segment or post in those cases – but that's where the top section rundown becomes helpful, because we'll link to where you can already find it online.
Making your voice heard
What about getting your voice into the live program? If you're accustomed to contributing comments to be considered for our on-air discussions, we are working on exactly how to make it clear which topic will be that discussion segment that listeners can join.
For now we plan to note it right before the first paragraph during the time leading up to the show, and we also plan to designate it in that top section of the Vermont Edition page.
And it's important to clarify that we do welcome comments on all of the segments we cover, because we really want to hear what you think or what you're still curious about. We just want to manage the expectation and be clear with which one of these multiple segments on any given day is the one we are designating for a live discussion during the noon hour and are looking to include listener calls or comments.
We've also been experimenting with editing our audio after the show. It makes sense for us to repeat our phone number for a broadcast listener during a live show, but not so much for a podcast listener. That's why we're editing parts of the show to make for a better podcast listening experience.
While the podcast won't be exactly the same as what airs during the noon hour, we do think it will make your listening more enjoyable as you get to the heart of each segment.
This will be a learning experience for all of us, so we really want your feedback. Does this make it easier for you to find the interviews you were looking for? Is there a snag in your routine that we didn't foresee? Please let us know!