Two TV shows really set the bar last year for their use of podcasts to connect with fans: Sci-Fi’s Battlestar Galactica (season premiere tonight!) and ABC’s Lost. In the Lost podcast, I remarked this spring that “this podcast tells you about connections that even the most die-hard of Lost fans wouldn’t have caught. (OK, maybe the die-hards catch these things all the time. But I never do. So I like the podcast.) Great example of how a broadcast network can add value to a show.” The last episode of the podcast, in July, was a recording of members of the cast at ComicCon, answering questions from fans and providing a few details about what we’d see in Season 3.
So imagine my surprise when iTunes told me this morning that the feed is no longer working:
So on over to ABC I went, where they still talk about the podcast, but the click-throughs don’t work. It appears to be dead.
Meanwhile, there’s a link to a spiffy new video podcast! Great! Except, um, guys: where’s the feed? I can’t find it.
This reminds me of a comment I made at PME last week: publishers are inexcusably confusing in their use of terminology. Podcast is not just a video file, it’s something you can subscribe to. Linking to a podcast that simply opens a file in a Flash player on your site is absolutely not a podcast.
Well, well. Turns out if you go to iTunes, you can subscribe to it. Hey ABC — don’t hide this stuff. For anyone who cares, the URL you can subscribe to is here. I’m now subscribed, I’ll let you know how it is.
Update: Turns out it may just have been intermittent server problems at ABC, the original podcast appears to be working (albeit with no new content since July).