Yesterday I put the last few touches on the new Howell Creek Radio website. I also moved all past episodes, comments and show notes over to it and removed them from this site. Any attempt to access a podcast-related web page or MP3 file will now redirect you to the new location.
First things first: if you’re in any way subscribed to Howell Creek Radio, or if you were depending on your JDueck.Net RSS subscription to keep you informed of new Howell Creek Radio episodes, you need to read this announcement to make sure you don’t miss anything, because new episodes will no longer be appearing at the address1.
I’m really proud of the new site. Although it’s not exactly a triumph of design2, I’ve put a lot of effort into making it look good, and into the finishing details that make a difference in its actual use. You can now play episodes right from inside the browser on smartphones and tablets. It serves extra-crisp graphics to Retina displays and it also plays very nicely when you add it to the home screen on an iOS device. Finally, I’ve done lots of coding and updating behind the scenes to ensure that I’ll never have to shift things like this again3.
You can also subscribe to the podcast via email on the new site, which I almost feel is the best method of all, surprisingly enough. The emails themselves have been redesigned and look really nice, and with them I include a list of interesting online reading that I’ll update every month.
The podcast began as a kind of cathartic writing experiment in 2008 and quickly became my favourite creative outlet. Due to the way podcasting works, it’s near-impossible to accurately count subscribers, but episodes are now downloaded several hundred times per month, using 30-40GB of bandwidth. At the end of 2011, Jessica and I agreed this project was worth watering and growing just to see where it would take us. The new site gives it room and stability enough to be sure the experiment won’t end prematurely, and we’re excited to see where it goes from here.
I will say, the archives of this site look pretty decimated without the podcast episodes; in a way, though, it also feels cleaner and more focused.
This site will be including an audio player and link to the latest HCR podcast at the top of the front page as soon as I have time to design and code it; but new episodes won’t be appearing in this site’s RSS feed anymore. RSS subscribers of JDueck.Net will need to subscribe using the new site as well if they want to continue getting new episodes. ↩
I had planned to code the new site in HTML5 from scratch, but the latest Textpattern comes with a really well-coded responsive HTML5 theme already in place. A raft of tweaks and small changes was all it needed. ↩
In particular: although the MP3 files are now hosted on libsyn.com, the site provides a permanent URI for the file at
howellcreekradio.com. This way I can change hosting services in the future and point the URI wherever it needs to go. The podcast RSS feed itself is also self-hosted and no longer relies on a flaky third party to keep subscribers in touch. The full plan of nerdery, which I did not precisely follow, is available in a PDF. ↩