[Hpr] Vote on removing non HPR shows.

Ken Fallon ken.fallon at gmail.com
Thu Oct 11 02:29:12 PDT 2012

Speaking as a HPR Admin, we will facilitate whatever the community decides.

The following is Ken's personal opinion and can/should be challenged

Changing the release schedule

As a community member I disagree strongly for the following reasons (in no particular order)

As stated before we have made a commitment to our listeners to release five shows a week. Each time we stick to what we do we cement the idea that HPR is a regular trusted community that stands by what it says.

I already get complaints from people that we produce too many shows (See Fab's OggCamp interview). We are already telling people to delete the show not the feed. To make that easier for people, hosts will soon be asked to fill in a short summary of their show. That will be automatically converted from text to speech and added to the front of every episode.

It doesn't fix the problem of people not wanting to hear recycled material on the HPR feed.

Two additional shows a week, means that someone needs to prepare (check the audio, add intros/outro, add show notes add ID tags, update the queue list, email the new hosts, etc etc). That can be done ahead of time but posting needs to be done every day. That means you are committing someone to connecting to HPR from where ever they are to confirm that all the feeds are working, that each episode has been published correctly, that each show can be played from start to finish, that the website is rendering the show notes correctly. They will need to do this even if they are on Vacation, on a business trip, are abroad, are on a unstable Internet connection. Even if we automate it (more on that later), the *responsibility* has increased and the checks and fixes all still need to be done. We do this every week day but I for one am not willing to commit my weekends as well, many of which already are full with editing or recording HPR shows.

A five day a week release schedule means that the show numbers are predictable. Monday show ends in a 1 or a 6, Tuesdays 2 or a 7, etc. This is incredibly handy when you are barely awake.


While it may seem like a easy thing to do, virtually all parts of the automation are in fact very difficult. There is only one show that I know that has automation end to end, and that is cchits.net. John "The Nice Guy" has been interviewed twice on HPR and he will tell you how difficult a task it is. But he has it easy :) 

The audio he gets is professionally recorded and the metadata is published in a known repeatable format from a small variety of sources. HPR's is not. He also doesn't have to deal with a complex queuing system see the presentation here http://www.roaringpenguin.com/files/download/remind-oclug.pdf. 

That said anyone that want's to help please feel free to join the hpr dev list at dev at hackerpublicradio.org and the git site https://gitorious.org/hpr-scheduling-system/. We also have the small issue of not having anywhere to run these scripts as there is a delay in getting a dedicated vps for us on the BinRev servers.

Keeping the feed filled

I have so many topics that I want to talk about I have a tough time understanding people that don't. I think it's probably that you think that the topic will not be interesting - fear not this will never happen. And if you fill in the summary field and it's added to the start of the show, then it's up to the listener to decide if they are interested or not. 

Interviewing people, organizing interviews with other people. Seriously one of these days I will be starting a "tech from the train" series where I ambush commuters and ask them about their gadgets, why they picked them, the good the bad. 

You can also help by looking back at the http://hackerpublicradio.org/correspondents.php contributor page and send an email to one of the hosts that you like but that has been dormant for a while. We could even discuss scheduling based on the last contribution date, giving them a higher priority to shows that hosts have set as a "low" priority.

You could also organize a theme month, getting shows in about the RaspberryPi, Python, Cows, who knows.

Anyone struggling with lack of topics please call into the HPR community news and I guarantee you that I can find something that I'd like to hear you talk about. 

Regarding Syndicated Thursday. 

In hindsight it should have been called something else as syndication suggests we will carry *all* the episodes of the feed which is not the case. It was intended as "A chance to showcase other Creative Commons works. We try to expose podcasts, speeches, presentations, music, etc that you may not have heard." In short it is a way to promote a sample of some other projects and in fairness this has been the one feature that I have had the most positive feedback on. 

We should probably have released only one SELF episode while providing links to the rest. The OggCamp interviews were different in that a HPR host (me) recorded them for HPR. While the 2011 release was a long and drawn out disaster, the 2012 was tighter in that there was a week reserved for those shows as agreed on this list last year. I think that if a HPR host takes the time to go to a fest to represent HPR, it is the least we can do (for the host and Interviewee) to allow the shows to air ASAP. 

If there are other shows in the queue with a "High" priority they should supersede anything in the Thursday feed. 

I'm open to new names.

TGTM News Tech Edition. 

Strictly speaking the content is not generated for HPR so it would not classify as a dedicated series like LiTS is. The shows we put out from the Full circle are edited specifically for HPR yet are still in the Thursday feed. So at a minimum TGTM News should be moved to the Thursday feed. Other shows like KnightWise are also in the Thursday feed but we don't carry all their shows either. Therefore I suggest carrying TGTM News on the Thursday feed and scheduling them as per the Thursday rules, releasing the most current show at the time. While it feels like I'm stabbing a friend in the back, I have to admit that I don't listen to the HPR edition of TGTM News as I am already subscribed to the main feed.

Promoting other Projects

While we can still promote other shows on the Thursday feed, we can also do more to promote other projects and shows. 

I have a script from Linc of TLLTS that puts random banners on the website.

As we will be automating the addition of the podcast summary to the front of the show, we can also add promos to the end of shows. This can also include information from the script we wrote for http://thelinuxlink.net. This could speak the list the podcasts and show title/summary if available of any show that has released since the last HPR show.

So the makeup of a show might be
<optional important announcement><blip><show summary><intro>< main show><blip><promo><blip><recent podcast releases><outro><optional pokey segment>


That was a brain dump, so forgive the crudeness of the message. Again that was my personal opinion so take it with a grain of salt. 


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