AppleVis Revamps Podcast, Discontinues Open Submissions

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Update #2: Please see this further follow-up comment from a member of our Editorial Team for their personal response to the reaction of some to this decision.

Update #1: Please see this comment from a member of our Editorial Team for clarifications and answers to user-submitted questions about this change.


After a great deal of thought, evaluation and discussion, we have decided that we will no longer be accepting unsolicited submissions for our podcast.

Please know that this decision has not been taken lightly; we only wish to ensure the best-possible listening experience for users, and that any podcasts we post are of the highest possible value and interest to our community as we move forward.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every community member who has previously submitted a podcast. We truly appreciate your time, effort and desire to inform and help the AppleVis community.

Blog Tags: 

69 Comments

#51 To David and the team

I think David's response was very well-written and I think helps to let us in on at least part of the decision. I do believe Brandon's right though, having to write rejection emails does kind of come with the territory, nasty bit of business that it is. I know about doing it because I run an internet radio station and I've had to write people emails saying that either their test broadcast had issues that they needed to work on, or that their style of show wasn't right for the station. It tore me up, so I totally and completely understand what David means. I do still believe we're not being told the entire story, and in some ways, I guess I can understand why because reading between the lines I can kind of tell that some personal feelings may have been hurt, or possibly the amount of rejections was exceeding the number of accepted ones. I guess all I can ask the team to consider doing is, give it some time and think it over. If you guys do ever need another person on the team to evaluate podcasts for quality, or if you need someone to help write emails to perspective people, there are a lot of really talented people out there waiting to help, all you have to do is ask. I suspect that you'll probably get a lot of angry responses after this whole sad bit of business happened. I am going to be very honest and say I don't like it at all. I think taking away the ability to give people a chance to submit podcasts takes away from the charm of the podcast. Obviously you guys did it for reasons you truly believe were good, and I respect it. I don't like it, but I respect it if that makes sense. I can only hope that you guys do offer the ability to submit podcasts again at some point. Once you give people the ability to do something, and then take it away without much explanation....well, it kinda pisses people off as you've planely seen. I'm not even expecting any kind of a vote or anything, after all you run the site, it's your baby and nobody's changing your decision. I just think it takes away from the experience and it makes it not as much fun. I know the decision wasn't made in haste, but you have to understand how it comes across. Because we had no warning that this was even an issue, it came as a great surprise to a lot of people including me. I'm just trying to let you guys understand why people were so nasty. In the future, let me please, please recommend that if you're going to take away a feature that you know a lot of people are going to like, please give us some advance warning if possible. You might get some nasty responses, but I think people would be abit more forgiving if they understood why, or if they had a chance to use the particular feature one final time. I'm sorry about all the nasty comments, but I think people are just writing out of frustration. They don't understand why a feature that they love so much is, for no reason they understand is just taken away with very little explanation or warning. It's an unresolved thing, and people need closure.

#52 I think that there should b a

I think that there should b a preapproved list of people not on the editorial team that should b allowd to post podcasts, people. Who the team know are dependable and reliable . There are people who edit their own podcasts so the the team doesn't have to do the work of editing and put up with rejections. I would make a list of the most useful podcasters and let them go on submitting podcasts. I for one want to demonstrate Noatikl 3. I haven't yet because of quality issues, but you can bet that when I make it, it will be of the highest quality. I'm not wanting to do this podcast so I can hear my "melodious voice," as one poster wrote, but to actively promote the app, since the devs rewrote the app from the ground up just to make it fully accessible. I take a little pride in the fact that I've done multiple podcasts on apps people hadn't even heard of before and wouldn't have touched based on the description in the app store. al_ I really want to promote this app, because I know the effort involved to make it totally accessible. They could have been selected for a golden apple award had I done the podcast already, but I didn't because of quality issues. Those are now resolved I think, but now there's nowhere to put it unless the editorial team creates a list of podcasters that make acceptable material available. By acceptable, I mean that the editorial team should not have to edit the podcast at all. They should be able to listen to it and then put it up. Anyone putting up unedited podcasts should be rejected because they didn't take the time to polish their work. So, to recap, the team could create a list of podcasters they trust to make good quality podcasts I'm sorry you guys have to bput up with flaming and bashing. It's not necessary, but I also understand the feelings" those posters had. I have them myself,, but there are no excuses to bash anyone, period. This calls for a little maturity. y

#53 A few thoughts on david's response

Hi david. First of all, if you as a person got anything accusatory, hurtful or offensive from my comments, please accept my apologies. Yes I have been knwon to be a bit hot headed, that's just who I am. I recognize that writing letters of rejection is hard, but let's be honest. You yourself said, you had sent a letter off, and got a better produced podcast according to your constructive feedback. so you are helping others, but writing them over the days and months really is difficult, I get it. May I be so bold as to bluntly state that perhaps you are tired of writing so many as the backlog of podcasts came in? i agree that though you did notify everyone as soon as you felt possible, saying something beforehand might have gone a long way to ease a few wounded feelings. I don't know how many people are on the editorial team, but perhaps you need to branch out and have a pretty large number of editors? Granted everyone has a life other then this, but having so many perhaps the work load can be eased out between a few. say you, david could evaluate someone's podcast, Toonhead, could say ok all this woman needs is her volume normalized, I can do it, then after he has, he himself goes over it, thereby taking part of your work and passing it to someone else. I admit my example is a bit simple in it's demonstration, but the idea I think is that there's nothing worse then as someone said having the ability and taking it away. I respect you all said no to a tonof podcasts, I haven't submitted because my own quality standards aren't met let alone a site like this and their rigorous ones. Reading between the lines, it does sound like maybe there might be a bit of unrest in the team itself. I'm not trying to grasp at straws or ask you to reveal any more then you already have. Bottom line: If you put all the eggs in one basket, and then it becomes to full to carry, are you surprised? I agree to revisit the issue later on, maybe see how your own podcasts go, because maybe you'll find editing even your own things takes more time then you're willing to put into it. I thank all who submitted podcasts, whether professionally sounding or not, you did what we needed, showed up how to use our devices better. Here's hoping this comment thread can cool off a bit and cooler heads will eventually reign.

#54 Guys, just leave it I guess

App Developer

Guys

I'm not trying to come off as rude or anything, but I would just leave it alone because the applevis editorial team doesn't seem to care about what you guys think. They just say the same thing over and over.

So, what's the point? If they don't care, they don't care. THat's their own problem, because in result, they'll most likely just lose people in this community.
That's to bad, but, if they don't listen, what can we do about it?

After all, they do manage the site and its there decision.

#55 A solution to the problem

I understand that some people like listening to podcasts regardless of if they are professional quality or not if it means they can learn something and some people only like listening to professional quality podcasts even if that means missing out on some topics. That's fine. everyone has there own opinions and preferences. I believe everyone should be allowed to make and post podcasts. There are several reasons why some people may not be able to produce professional quality podcasts. Some of these reasons include speech impairments and not having access to professional podcasting hardware and software due to lack of funds. However, people may still have some mics, equipment and software that they can use even if it is not the best. People try as hard as they can and that's what counts. If some people don't want to listen they don't have to. There will always be people who do want to listen and for them podcasts from everyone who makes them should be continued to be made available. I also understand that the Applevis editorial teem have reasons why they closed podcast submissions and that they don't want to clearly explain why. There could be several reasons why podcast submissions were closed including the teem only want podcasts from them being posted from here on in, they no longer have the time to review all submitted podcasts, they are running out of storage space for podcasts and any number of other reasons. I believe I have come up with a compromise that will make everyone happy. We keep the original podcast section of the site the way the teem made it. People who only want the professional quality podcasts can go there. Then, the editorial teem makes a shared podcast section on Applevis and sets it up in a way that the teem is not responsible for the quality or hosting of the podcasts. This new shared section would work like this. Users who have a podcast they want to share with the Applevis community would post a title, description and link to there podcast. This link could be for dropbox, google drive, 1 drive, sendspace or whatever the poster likes using. Then people outside the editorial teem who wish to continue posting and listening to maybe not the best sounding but still informative podcasts can go to that new shared section. This would give Applevis community members the ability to share podcasts with other Applevis community members but would ease the strain on teem members by moving the hosting of user submitted podcasts off of the site and making the podcasts not affiliated with Applevis so any imperfections in the podcasts would not be Applevis's fault. Teem members and non teem members pleas post in the comments what you think. Thank you for reading.

#56 An idea for aspiring podcasters

Though it is a slap in the face to those who have submitted podcasts here, I don't entirely disagree with the Apple Vis decision. To be the person that makes the decision of what podcast gets posted and which one gets rejected is not something that can ever be done without ruffling feathers. Here is an idea though. Read It is a mainstream community site that allows users to post things on any topic you can imagine. A Red It community can be created specificly for the types of podcasts that commenters on here are concerned about. Also as far as I can understand, Read It allows users to vote on submissions allowing those that gain the most interest to get featured at the top. Just an idea.

#57 podcast

I never had problem listening to the podcast made in here. I may had not like the topic but it was good to know that I could learn something here. I am sad that applevix took this action. Well I do not see any point for us to talk about this since they will not change their mind. What will be next? We will not be able to suggest apps?

#58 I..

I agree with the comments above I also think this is a bad idea. I still want AppleVis to be a great resource for other blind people out there with Apple devices.

#59 What is a community powered web site

On the front page of AppleVis, the description of the web site to those who come is:
"A community-powered website for blind and low-vision users of Apple's range of Mac computers, the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV and Apple Watch."
A community-powered web site. In looking up community, I found the following:
A group of people interacting by electronic means for social, professional, educational or other purposes.
Furthermore, one might say community-powered is about distributed or shared contribution and/or input. I'd call into question how Applevis could classify itself in this category when it begins to shift towards an elitist or top-centric model for information distribution.
My point is this, What has made Applevis great over the years is that it was a great resource for accessibility information on apps, how-to guides, how-to podscasts, debates over accessibility features/plans/goals, and much more. If you take the community out of any of this, that piece loses its value. As you begin to take pieces at of the whole, your house begins to fall down.
At time there is a situation or place to rebrand yourself, to shift directions. Maybe this is your goal. I'd offer up though that transparency is a cornerstone to making this work, something we haven't seen from any of the Applevis team.

#60 Mixed feelings, but here are my thoughts anyway

To both applevis editors and users who read this thread,

First off, thank you for taking the opportunity to read this thread, as well as my comment. I think we need to take the time to first off, be thankful that such a resource exists, and that we have such a place to exchange invaluable information that will aid us in the use of our Apple devices. I'm not telling people like a parent to learn to say thank you. We're all adults here, we can be thankful without being asked or told. I also believe that a good deal of the comments here bring up valid points, so I'll offer my two cents and hope for the best. I just wanted to begin with a positive note.

First and foremost, I do think it is a bit sad for removing the ability for users to submit podcasts to applevis. The various voices gave the website that encouraging, supportive community kind of feeling. I'm not saying that the forums and app discussions don't do that as well, but the podcasts take a great deal of time to record, edit, upload and download, so a great deal of time is put into something that as an end result will achieve its ultimate purpose, to help other members of the applevis community. When I first came to this website, I loved the podcast, forum, and the Zello channel. I still love the website, as it is a great resource, and the community feeling is still there, but the community can also get involved to help keep that team feeling strong. As I always say, don't be a part of the problem. Be a part of the solution instead.

With that said, I do think the limiting of podcast producers will limit us users to only the apps *they* choose to download, and only to the time they have, as I'm sure their lives are just as busy as ours. For the users who have the time to record and submit a podcast, they will have no other choice but to host it on either their own site, sound cloud, audioboom, or any other media platform. Some might say, well people were doing that before Applevis came along, so they can just go back to do it again, but there may be users who interest themselves only with the podcast, and will miss out on all the other important information. For a community like Applevis, I don't know why someone would not want to just stick to the podcast, because a site like this is awesome. However, in other cases, I only subscribe to the podcast because the site may be inaccessible, or there may be a fee to access the extra information. That's pretty much the main reason I think that limiting the podcast to only a certain number of people will not be as broad of a perspective as it used to be. This isn't negative feedback, just some honest thoughts.

I've recorded and contributed some podcasts to a few sites, Applevis included. In the beginning, I wasn't good at editing, and other than a good microphone, some editing software and a digital recorder should I need to go portable, I don't have professional equipment, nor do I have the training in extensive audio engineering. I have, however, made the effort to improve, and I believe I'm a pretty decent audio editor. I host a podcast of my own, and I'll be starting a new radio show this Friday. What I have isn't perfect, but it is what it is. I think if users were given a choice, a compromise could have been reached. On one hand, if assistance was needed to edit podcasts, you could have reached out to many people, including myself, who would be more than willing to help. I'd even go so far as to set up a private folder, like on drop box, for instance, where edited podcasts would be stored, and Applevis community team members would still have the final say on what podcasts could and could not be submitted. Users can also edit their podcast to make the job a bit more easier. If a user wants to record a podcast and needs help editing, they can contact people and send the file to them for feedback. See? There are things all of us could be doing to lessen the load. I'd hope that someday the decision could be reversed, because if it ever was, I'd be more than willing to help both the team and users edit their podcast. I have a busy life too, but I have no problem donating a few hours a week if it's going to help a thriving community. It's also a shame when the person recording the podcast doesn't have the finances to pick up a decent microphone software, yet has just as much insight to offer to the community in the form of a podcast. I recall one occasion where I actually recorded a podcast on blind cool tech for someone else. They wanted to do a podcast on an app, but didn't know how to go about doing it. Their English wasn't the greatest, and they didn't know how to properly record and edit a podcast. Though this particular podcast was done in my early years of editing, and there is definitely room for improvement, I still did it, and gave the person full credit for discovering the program, and since it was a voip chatting program, I even got them on the call and included them in the podcast. I firmly believe where there's a will, there's a way, and if we all want these podcasts to be able to be submitted, we could help, but we also could have been given a choice.

Applevis does give some helpful tips for those interested in submitting a podcast. I know, because I've submitted some myself, most notably the Netflix Podcast, which I had planned on doing a revised podcast due to the changes that have occurred in the app's useability ever since the podcast has been recorded and submitted. There have been podcasts where I've listened to and become frustrated because the person kept messing up, and it's not the mistakes that bother me. It's the fact that the person cannot make the effort to edit these mistakes out so that when the podcast is uploaded, they will be truly satisfied that they have given clear, concise information. There will be occasional stumbling blocks, and you can't completely edit everything because it would sound very unnatural, but the users that record these podcasts can try their best to make the information flowing as fluent as possible. What I always do is when I make a mistake, I leave a second or two of silence so I can edit around that mistake, then say what I had intended to say again. I can honestly say I have done my absolute best to edit all the podcasts I've submitted. If someone can't, or doesn't know how to edit, post on the applevis forum and ask for feedback. All really isn't lost.

I, as well as several other members are slightly disappointed about this recent development, but I also realize it takes time and effort, and money to put into a site like this. One must stop and ask the reason for the site being up in the first place. My feeling is that Applevis is meant to be an amazing resource, so that I can see being a reason to keep podcasts at a certain audio quality, but quantity of the podcast is also very important. I strongly feel that Applevis is an amazing network, where people offer a wealth of information, and podcasts are a very popular method to obtain that information. When we allow others to submit podcasts in an organized way, it broadens the spectrum for those who are looking for an array of topics to plunge into. Its that strong community, that thriving network, the amazing wealth of information that sets Applevis apart, and while I don't want to see user-submitted podcasts go away, I also don't want its legacy to be tarnished with negative feedback and unnecessary bashing. I really, really wish there was something I could do to help. Like I said, where there's a will, there's a way. Please contact me if you need any help. I'm morning_song on twitter, and you can email me at morningsong24@gmail.com. I'm also a busy college student with a full-time job as a housewife. Yep, hubby keeps me pretty busy over here, but I always take time out of my day to help people as best as I can. At this current time, I'm spending 4 hours a week helping someone with their Hadley high school program, I record voice scripts for another radio show, and if people in the area need help with voiceover on their IPad, I always find a spot in my schedule to place them in so I can help. If nothing can be done and we are set in stone, then I'll walk away slightly disappointed, but with hope that if ever something becomes too difficult to handle again, you can reach out and ask for help. After all, that is what a community is known for.

With all that said, let's continue to push towards a supportive community who will be their for each other, inform each other of anything they may need assistance on, and support those who have come for the invaluable information for which this site was created. Let's continue to insure that Applevis as a community thrives and remains strong! Cheers to Applevis!

#61 my archery equipment is aimed at the decision makers

You've got a big huge Bull's-Eye for me to hit with the arrow I'm about to release!! On the back of that arrow is a big huge flag of approval!! I know it was a hard decision to discontinue accepting podcasts from us, but I see it this way: I expect quality podcasts that are informative. I don't have the equipment to produce them, so a podcast from me would not be what I would want to hear, nor would I want others to hear it. Having to reject podcasts and to put up with the nastiness resulting from doing so, even though your intent is good, should not have to be dealt with. It only adds stress to your work, needlessly. I think of this as being a magazine editor having to reject submissions from authors. If they aren't what you are looking for, or if they are not up to your standards, then you have to reject them, and shouldn't we understand this? I had a podcast rejected, and the notification was not worded harshly. I had no problem being rejected based on the reason given. I support your decision, which will insure the quality of Applevis, fully.

#62 A commentor said:

A commentor said:

I think of this as being a magazine editor having to reject submissions from authors

If this is true ... well so magazines are not community-powered, they're editors powered.

I think AppleVis is slowly shifting towards this paradygm. This is not only because the podcast thing.

And if this is the case it's ok for me.

They should however assume this new strategy, as a kind of magazine accepting eventual contribution from selected readers or other colaborators.

Again, may be they are not even consiously aware of this shift, but it seens to be happening.

And agaim, this is perfectly ggood ... they just need to push this clearly.

I personally think this would be dangerous for them but this is my opinion and I don't want them to take it, instead they should do what thei think is right but always be transparent.

AppleVis editorial team is great. They would be able to do a very cool magazine - style portal ... and relieve the comunity to build or look for other comunity resources.

A good thing is to know and do what you want. A bad thing would be not know what you want. The worse thing would be know but not do what you want.

#63 Bad Call to stop reader submissions

I'm sure you have your reasons and like the NSA, you are playing it cagey about telling us why this is in our best interest. I have learned a lot about Apple products from this site so I hate to see user submissions come to an end. I no longer see the need to stop by daily and see what's on AppleVis. My loss.

#64 Bad Call to stop reader submissions

I hate to see reader submissions go It doesn't help that you are being cagey about why. I no longer see a need to stop in daily on AppleVis to see what people are saying and check for new podcasts. My loss.

#65 unclear of your meaning

If you are saying that Applevis is heading oward not allowing user content, this is not true. We are still able to submit app reviews. There is also the forum for opinions and feedback.

#66 concerning Jesica Brown's solution to the problem

I think that this is a possible solution. About the only concern I would have is this: Malicious people could spread a virus through the links they provide.

#67 concerning Ken Downey's comment

I'm thinking that one way to make the job of editing easier, yet still please at least some of the visitors and regular users of Applevis would be for the current team of podcast creators be increased to include those contributors who, over time, have been proven to submit podcasts of the necessary quality and appropriate content. While the reviewing of such podcast material from listeners would still take time, this would weed out those who submit unsatisfactory material. Possibly, over time, the list of podcasters would grow, providing that the standards remain met. A team of evaluators might be set up for this purpose. As for quality, this example may be an exageration, but I hope my point is understood: I do not want to hear a podcast that was made by someone who made errors when using their iPhone during a proposed podcast that was made in a living room with a TV in the background while the podcast is made on a portable cassette recorder. I expect the podcaster to know the app, the iDevice being used, and have the equipment necessary to create a good podcast in an appropriate area in which to record the podcast.

#68 to those who are so negative

Remember that the decision was made to no longer distribute recordings by site users. We still have the other avenues of submission of information dealing with apps. If you find a great app, submit a review of it. As long as we still have ways to contribute, why complain? Also, to those who have been saying that the Applevis team doesn't care, I'll ask you this: Why does Applevis still exist if they don't? If any of you have ever been on a team that makes decisions that affect others, you will know that decisions are often been made based on factors that those who will be affected do not need, or even should not know. Keep this in mind before you bite the heads off of those who have made this very difficult decision that affects us all.

#69 Very Disappointing

I have enjoyed the content on this site for five and a half years, and because of the many podcasts, I have learned to use apps I never would have discovered otherwise. I understand the need for quality control, but with this decision, Applevis just lost a lot of the community input that made it so unique. This may make things easier for the Applevis staff short-term, but it's a loss for the community as a whole. Very disappointing.

Pages