885a Protecting My Listeners and Surviving at the Same Time

Warning: This is not an official photo episode, but rather some background on what’s going on in the world of independent podcasts. So if you’re here for the photography, please skip this episode.

I’ve hinted at it before, but here’s some more background. As independent podcasting is under immense pressure to include more and more detailed audience tracking (that’s you who’s being tracked), independent podcasters like me are getting more vocal because they have to.

The last thing I want to do is sell out to big ad tech in podcasting and throw my audience under the bus by allowing in more and more tracking of what you listen to, how much you listen to (down to the second) and where you listen to. If you’ve ever wondered why after searching for something you got ads for the same article everywhere, that’s what big ad tech does. And your podcast listening information should be your thing. It should be private. But big ad tech is trying to take over all control and integrate podcasting into this follow-you-around advertising scheme.

I won’t let that happen, I won’t sell out my audience. So I’m leaving my ad agency Midroll, who used to be awesome. They let me have a say in what I advertised on the show, how I advertised it, where I placed it in the show and above all, they allowed me to protect my audience’s privacy by not forcing me into their hosting and tracking.

This is changing at this very moment.

More and more podcasters are forced to choose

* either switch the show to a new hosting platform that includes all the bells and whistles to track the audience

* or leave Midroll and forego all sponsorship earnings connected to it in the future

I’ve made my choice. My audience comes first. You come first.

Starting in January, I won’t be with Midroll anymore. No audience tracking. No big ad tech.

While this is a tough decision from a finanicial standpoint, it’s the only one that feels right to me.

That’s why I want to thank all of you patrons (and everybody who’s thinking about becoming one) for your continued support.

There’s a good chance the show might change from January on. If I don’t find a way to replace the income I had through Midroll, I will have less resources (aka $$$) to dedicate time to the show. But if that’s how it has to play out, then so be it. At least I can look myself in the eye.

What can you do to help? Support your favorite podcasters, so big ad tech has less leverage to force our hands. This is the biggest assault that independent podcasting has seen and Patreon is cuurrently the biggest factor to help (if you’re in Germany, a monthly “Dauerauftrag” would be the best choice, ask me for more info). And if financial support would be a stretch for you, then that’s fine too. There are more ways to support the show. Every bit helps.

Thanks for your attention.




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808 Wildlife, Models and New Zealand

The last piece of Chris’ new mirrorless studio camera puzzle is solved, the English translation for the wide-angle book has started, Daniel has a question on model releases, Chris will come to visit New Zealand and that’s not the biggest piece of news: Chris just received confirmation that he will co-host THE most amazing and very exclusive wildlife photo tour to witness the Great Migration in the Kenyan Masai Mara in a Hemmingway-style setting in August. And he can bring just a hand full of people to join in the photography. More on that about nine minutes into this episode.




Why Pocket Chris Has to Go

Photo by Andrew Branch

Now that many of you are updating to iOS 11, you’ll notice that a few of your older apps don’t work anymore because they don’t support 64 bits. The Pocket Chris apps are among those.

It wasn’t an easy decision to let Pocket Chris go, but unfortunately a necessary one. Making Pocket Chris was a great exercise in which my brother Peter and developer Johannes did an amazing job, pulling their graphics and tech expertise together while making it a fun to play with app that at the same time was also a great little teaching tool for your pocket.

While for some apps the move from 32 to 64 bits is relatively easy and doesn’t require more than a recompile and new upload to Apple’s servers, that’s not the case for Pocket Chris. In fact we’d have to start pretty much from scratch. Not only doesn’t the app support any kind of auto layout, which nowadays is pretty much essential due to the variety of screen sizes, the assets (e.g. the images and screen elements) are too small for current display resolutions and would also have to be re-done.

While I’d love to get my hands dirty again and bring Pocket Chris up to the current standards, there is simply no business case for it. The cost to rewrite Pocket Chris would go into the thousands of Euros and the experience from the first versions and the sales figures that go with that makes it clear that most of that would have to come out of my own pocket. Pretty much the only way most app developers make money (or at least break even) these days is by either going freemium and have a compelling in-app-purchase model or by going with a subscription model. To execute any of those models well and right, I would have to make Pocket Chris my full-time job and give up other things in the process.

So I’m a bit sad that I have to say good bye to Pocket Chris, but at the same time I’m happy for the great experience that making Pocket Chris allowed me to gather.

PS: I’m certainly not out of ideas for future apps from the Top Floor universe.. so if you are an iOS developer, ping me if you’d like the opportunity to work with me for fame and glory (but unfortunately not a lot of money)