The XboxEra Podcast and a Community Questions Conundrum

Hey everyone!

Following the last mammoth episode of the podcast (an action packed 2 hours and 45 minutes, I can assure you!) you may have heard us touch on a couple of things that we want to hear from you on.

Weekly or Bi-Weekly?

First off, the cadence of the main XboxEra Podcast.

We do the podcast biweekly for a couple of reasons.

One, timezones are a bitch so having a two week gap allows us to juggle this with enough notice for everyone, and two, also reduces the impact on our families (@Shpeshal_Nick and I both have families and little people to take care of).

However, as we’ve grown, we’ve heard from more and more people that they’d like us to move the podcast weekly.

So first up - let’s hear from you all, which would you prefer?

How often should we record an episode of the Xboxera Podcast?
  • Weekly
  • Bi-weekly

0 voters

But that’s not the only thing we need to make some changes to!

Community Questions

Originally, this segment of the podcast was to really put our community front and centre, and that’s still something that is incredibly important to us.

However, as we’ve grown, the number of questions that we get submitted has grown dramatically. This has resulted in many occasions when doing community questions takes longer than the covering the last couple of weeks gaming news. While humbling, it’s getting a little bit silly. :wink:

Out of the ideas we’ve had below, what route do you feel is best?

How we do Community Questions going forward:
  • We reduce community questions to Patrons only.
  • We reduce community questions to Patrons and Forum users only (Bye Twitter!)
  • We create a new community live show, streamed where users can interact with us directly.
  • Something else - leave a comment below!

0 voters

Let us know your thoughts on this so we can start planning on what we do next!

<3 XboxEra Team

1 Like

weekly and livestream to answer questions once in a while. patron only questions on the weekly podcast too. just a few of the best ones.

1 Like

Weekly, try to scan through questions pre-show so there are not 89 questions asking if Xbox is buying Sega. Limit questions to forum and patreon

2 Likes
  1. Weekly
  2. Patreon and XboxEra gaming forum

I would like to make a suggestion with the questions…instead of saving them for the end, implement them into the segment/topic that the question fits into.

4 Likes

Weekly podcasts would be great, but I know it can be a big time commitment.

If possible, I would suggest cherry-picking a few questions ahead of the podcast. If not, then limit it Patrons and Forum users.

1 Like

I went with Biweekly due to the understanding that you all have day jobs and families to look after but also I feel 2 weeks of news makes it more likely for interesting topics to cover, plus whenever there are major news stories, like the Bethesda acquisition, you have done an ‘emergency’ podcast to cover it.

In terms of questions, a community livestream every now and then does seem like a good compromise, so we all can get in our questions :grin:. You can also try and preselect the best ones beforehand that way you know roughly how long the segment will take.

I know people here might not agree, but I would actually direct more focus to the Twitter so you guys can increase your discoverability. People are more likely to find the community through Twitter than they would elsewhere, since more engagement would increase your visibility.

You can still pre-screen questions and filter out repeated topics and acquisition talk, but I feel like Patreon focus and Twitter traffic will be better off in the long run. @Sikamikanico

2 Likes

As a first step I would reduce it down to one question per person. Second ditch Twitter BUT make it as a disclaimer on Twitter thus you drive people to the forum which is only good and do it every week.

Like: “Get your questions answered and join the forum”

Anyways I thought it was kinda weird that Twitter questions where first and the forum only second. Shouldn’t it have been the other way around? :smiley:

Now if this won’t solve the issue make a first serve first get model. By that I mean limit the community question section to let’s say 45 - 60 min and once the timer is over pic the best question of the remaining once. Thus people with great questions don’t fall under the bus :smile:

Regarding bi - weekly or not I’m splited.

It really depends how this will impact the current system.

A community show could be fun too. And would switch bi weekly. Thus you will limited the main cast to patrons and interesting questions.

1 Like

Questions being patron and forum only will drive engagement here as well so it benefits you more in the long run.

3 Likes

Just make a announcement on Twitter when it is time for questions and direct people to the forum. Engagement and growth at the same time :wink:

3 Likes

What I would recommend is all questions have a cut off date and are audited in a document so there is less overlap. Live is a good idea too.

If you can do weekly, amazing.

I’m a new listener and still getting used to the format, but I voted weekly. However, I understand it’s a huge time commitment so biweekly would totally be fine by me. I think the podcast is a little on the long side, and curating the community section would probably significantly help with that. All that to say, all the work on the podcast is greatly appreciated. Just try not to burn yourselves out, health and family come first.

2 Likes

Time to weekly! Cadence will help growth. Also I say for now, prioritize questions as patrons, then forum. If there’s too many to get through, forum is just luck of the draw. Patrons guaranteed to have questions read. Use Twitter to link people to the forum.

3 Likes

Ok, I voted how I wanted to but I have some other suggestions to help lay out some of the issues.

For doing a weekly show, you could do it by having one of the main cast hosting the off week show with other guests, staff from xboxera, journalists, Rand Al Thor (my personal choice) or whomever fits with the show you want to make.

It can be the off week show is rotated between all three main cast so that you can record at a better suited time to them specifically with potentially more local guests. So Nick could bring on a Aussie dev from 9 lives or Half brick or whoever. Sik could have better luck trying to get UK guests for those off shows by being able to work the time on only his availability and not having to work in US and AUS time zones. Figments could get Greg Miller and ask him why he loves State of Decay 1 and not 2.

So many more possibilities open up but with the downside of it may not have as many listeners as the current fortnightly show but that can grow as you build up, just as you have done with the original show.

Every second week can be the show as it currently is, Fig, Ed and Sik going across the news of the week and if there are topics from the previous week that have already been covered that you want to throw your two cents in on, you do that in a condensed format of a few minutes and do not explain the original story! Just say your thoughts, point to the episode with the original topic and move on.

The off week show can also be where you can have the single host with guests bring up questions that have been submitted but were lost in the maze of submissions or that have relevance that week.

On the questions themselves, to cut off twitter is a tough call. I think you need a impartial third party outside of staff or hosts to go through with waders and pruning shears to pull it back to manageable levels. Hell, I will do it if needs be but you can consolidate so many of the questions asked by looking beforehand and changing the question to be “this question was asked in a few ways by users x, y and z and the questions is…” as you still allow someone to know that they matter, that their question was not ignored and it doesn’t have the passover of “this person asked this but we already talked about it 3 questions ago”

Keep the rumour mill to the original show with all 3 as it works better to keep a format that is winning together, if you spread the pickle too thin, then you will run out of pickle and nobody wants salty toast… sorry. Hungry.

I apologise if this is rude. I really enjoy the show and this site and my patreon bucks will keep flowing in even if this is a post that dies.

2 Likes

I dont really mind bi-weekly, sometimes I feel there isnt enough “juicy” news to get through if its weekly, thats not to say I would mind weekly of course. But its a lot of work especially with timezones, I would rather you had time to make one solid podcast a fortnight rather than rush to get out two. At least for now.

And as @Biggzy says, you still give yourselves the option to knock out an emergency podcast for big news.

Also I misclicked on the poll, Questions to forum users and Patreon seems fair, I don’t normally have time to interact with live shows, so from a personal point of view, I’m not bothered, plus I can imagine that is more work to get people all together.
However the idea of taking some time beforehand to vet the questions, or rather compile common questions to a single and introduce it as “a”, “b”, “c”, “d” and “e” all ask “What happened with XBL GOLD???” To help trim things a little.

1 Like

This is my answer too! Spot on.

A live show once in a while where we can interact would also be very nice, and fun!

3 Likes

My suggestions:

  1. Cut Twitter. Patreon and the Forum are much more important for the site. Instead use the Twitter to redirect people from there to the Forums.
  2. Weekly Podcasts are nice, but it is also a big commitment. It doesn’t matter much what we have to say if it would impact negatively in your lives. So yeah, it is better for it to stay bi-weekly.
  3. I don’t think you are obliged to answer every single question. My suggestion would be:
    • Answer every single question the Patrons have. It can be annoying, but at least they are supporting the site.
    • Limit the questions asked in the Forums to only one per user and select the best out of them. There can be some stupid questions that don’t add much to the podcast. It is not nice for the people who are watching it, and I don’t think anyone is that much eager to receive an answer for a bad question after 2 weeks. Give a shoutout to every user who interacted even if they did not receive an answer so they don’t feel left out. It depends on the volume of the questions, of course – if there are not that many during that week, go ahead and answer them all!
      • Sometimes there can be repeated or similar questions. Maybe group them together and mention all the users that asked them at once.
5 Likes

The selfish part of me wants Weekly but Biweekly I think allows us to cover more important stories without much filler plus it will be easier for you. I can listen to you guys nonstop but quality over quantity.

I love the Q&A Panel the most and I LOVE the super long Q&A parts. I think more filtering process, which I understand may take up alot more time. If you allow a whole day for questions to pile in and then each of you chose like 5-10 of your favorite questions it will generate more unique questions while not overloading you to try to answer so many questions.

2 Likes

Biweekly please, it keeps the quality higher by ensuring there’s actually news to discuss. I also like that it often gives stories a little time to develop and you guys time to see how it plays out, or to see what’s actually important a week later, rather than just recapping anything that happened because you need to fill a weekly podcast. I don’t want an audio version of an RSS feed, I want interesting perspectives from the hosts.

As to questions, I voted Patrons and Forum but don’t really care much about the source, I think the main thing is filtering and quality of discussion the questions can generate. Set a question budget and then take all Patrons + best selections from Twitter and Forum until you’ve hit your budget. Prune the redundant ones (“who do you think MS is going to acquire” doesn’t ever need to be asked again.)

2 Likes