Takeaways from the Great Facebook Outage of 2021


PodMov Daily: Tuesday, October 5

Episode 513: Testing, One Two-sday

Takeaways from the Great Facebook Outage of 2021

Between yesterday’s outage and ongoing whistleblower testimony, podcasters on Facebook have a lot to process. What’s the overall takeaway? Focusing your efforts (and availability) on one centralized platform is risky business. From Pat Flynn on Twitter: “As I always say, ‘Should have built an email list.’”

This Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp incident was more than a mild inconvenience or snow day. Podcasters may now see the urgency in creating a standalone website entirely separate from social media. If this were to happen to Spotify or Apple, far too many would end up losing listeners and revenue.

Over the summer, podcast subscriptions brought the issue front and center: A third-party app isn’t the place to build a lasting brand. On a different note, the Oculus VR headset went down as well, causing a life-and-death struggle against time. Lastly, Spirit Halloween may have been yesterday’s true winner.

For Better Stories, Leave the Inverted Pyramid Behind

Without realizing it, many of us tell stories using the ‘inverted pyramid’ structure we were taught in school. It’s an “elderly news-story construction, which puts the most boring/trivial details at the bottom,” says Holly J. Morris of the NPR Training team. There's a better way to sustain your listeners’ attention.

“The classic inverted pyramid is the ‘Florida man’ story,” Morris explains. “You can stop reading after the bit with the alligator/lawn mower/nudity/beer, because the rest is going to be arid details from the police report.” With its even base, an inverted trapezoid structure introduces compelling material throughout. 

For any podcast genre, treats at a steady pace will make listeners more likely to finish an episode. “At every turn, the reader is rewarded with another grippingly bizarro fact or idea. The very best stuff is distributed, not front-loaded,” Morris says. A trapezoid starts strong and serves your audience until the end.

For True Fans: Standup Comedy “Your Host & MC”

Every week on Your Host & MC, Scott Edwards celebrates 40+ years on the fringe of show business. It’s a podcast for true standup fans, with classic legends and fresh talent all on one stage. As a club founder, Scott shares the mic with the best working and retired comics.

Along with standup sets, you’ll hear interviews with the famous — and not-so-famous. Kick back with Dana Carvey, Jerry Seinfeld, Paula Poundstone, Bob Saget, and many (many) more, telling behind-the-scenes stories you won’t hear anywhere else. 

Episodes drop on Sundays, plus bonus shows every other week with fresh standup material. Ready to get back in the audience? Your Host & MC brings nonstop jokes from the greenroom to your living room. Listen, subscribe, and meet your new favorite podcast.

We look too much to museums. The sun coming up in the morning is enough.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Swap meet: This Thursday at 10:30 am CT, Lauren Passell will bring her cross-promotion wisdom to PMU. The Tink Media founder plans to cover finding partner shows, creative ideas for working with them, and tips to improve your campaigns. The live session will be held free on YouTube.
  • Model student: Borrowing a brilliant maneuver from another podcast producer is more like flattery than stealing, jokes Rob Rosenthal of HowSound. He dissects an episode of The Experiment by The Atlantic, specifically its “theft worthy” interview questions and clever writing tricks.
  • Heavy pedal: Smart Passive Income’s Audience Driven Summit is coming up next week, October 12-13. The free deep-dive event will focus on audience service as a means to growth, featuring guest experts like Espree Devora (WeAreLATech) and Neil Patel. Details and registration here.
  • In class: The inaugural Humanities Podcasting Symposium is coming up on October 15-16. Featuring Radiolab co-host Latif Nasser, the free, virtual program of discussions and workshops will focus on using podcasts for teaching, learning, and scholarship in the humanities. Register here.

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