James Cridland

Fun with podcast:podroll recommendations

In Podcasting 2.0’s new features, there’s a nice new tag called podcast:podroll. It lives in the ‘channel’, the top bit, of my podcast feed, and is a list of shows that I, the podcast creator, would like to recommend.

Here’s how it looks in the Podnews Daily podcast:

 <podcast:remoteItem feedGuid="396d9ae0-da7e-5557-b894-b606231fa3ea" />
 <podcast:remoteItem feedGuid="d04f3195-25e8-52d9-b87f-969251009f1e" />
 <podcast:remoteItem feedGuid="dc87f50b-8c0d-5980-8f2d-067dde67c7e4" />

It’s relatively simple - simply a list of feedGuid values. That’s a globally unique identifier for a podcast, and never changes. Your podcast already has one calculated for it; it’s visible in, for example, Podnews’s podcast pages.

So, in a player, it might show you “other shows this podcaster recommends”. (You don’t have to use “podroll”, it’s a bit of a silly geeky word). So, here are the recommendations that Todd Cochrane gives on his Geek News Central podcast, for example.

Example recommendations

It’s supported by podcast hosting companies like Buzzsprout and others, and is a good thing, since it’s not an algorithm; it is a personal, human recommendation. In Todd’s case, he’s linking to The Artificial Intelligence Show, which is unlikely to have been chosen by an algorithm.

Yet, of course, not every podcaster has a “podroll”. In my podcast sample in my directory, I’ve only 521 shows with a “podroll”. Would a podcast player really add this code for just over 500 shows?

But, podrolls link out to 1,810 shows. Well over three times as many!

Transistor’s Justin Jackson mentioned last week at Podcast Movement Evolutions, while we were walking somewhere, that of course you could display a reverse-podroll in a podcast interface - so even if a podcast hasn’t got a podroll of its own, it can display a list of shows that are linking through to it.

So - The Artificial Intelligence Show doesn’t have a “podroll”. But its podcast page on Podnews now shows all three shows that recommend this show.

Example recommendations

In one chance comment while walking away from a bar, discovery of other shows has got three times better.

Could support of the podroll feature do the same in your podcast app, too?