Podcasters Defend Podkeys Service
While Marcus is seeking legal redress for what he refers to as a new form of Internet extortion, Podcasters happy with the redirection service provided by Podkey arent hesitating to come to its defense. One such comment demonstrates the possibility of a user having registered with Podkey and then forgotten about it: "From my own experience, I have to say, my dealings with George have always been on the up and up," Podcaster Kevin Devin wrote on Lamberts blog."I too had created a Podkeyword for my Podcast WAY back in late 2004. Interestingly, I had actually forgotten about Podkey until iTunes hit with their Podcast directory, which ended up including two different listings for my feed. The Podkey one, and my actual."When Devin discovered the listing, he wrote, he discussed with Lambert what the impact would be of deleting the keyword altogether. Devin planned to have Lambert redirect what was listed under the Podkey feed to another special feed that contained only a single "special" Podcast providing listeners information on what was happening. This way, Devin wrote, listeners would receive notice in his own voice as to what was going on and could then be redirected to his actual feed, which he preferred to use. "Additionally, it would be simple to include in that special feed the tags to tell iTunes NOT to list that feed," he wrote. While it would have created an interruption of service similar to what Marcus experienced, thats just what happens when a service such as iTunes collects data from numerous directories, Devin said. "That act by Apple is what has caused most of this problem ALONG WITH our own willingness to list ourselves with services like Podkey," he wrote. "I have no doubt that had [Marcus] asked [Lambert] to do the same thing for him, for all of his keywords, the results here would have been far different than what is happening now," Devin wrote. Click here to read about Podcasting usage tools from Audible. As it is, Lambert runs the service free of charge, on funds that flow out of his own pocket. "I went and did something, I was volunteering," he said. "They took my free service and now they called it extortion, hijacking. And to be threatened to be sued, and harassed why would I ever want to do something for people on the Internet again?" Beyond the profane response to Lamberts alleged wrongs, calmer minds are pointing out that the heart of the problem is this: Once the wrong RSS feed gets into a directory, its extremely difficult to find out and to fix it. "I have that problem with one Podcast where some of the listings point to a staging server and not the real server," wrote Dan Bricklin, well-known blogger and the developer of VisiCalc. "I think in the early days someone subscribed to the staging server while I tested out the Podcast series and some list picked that up and other lists copy from each other. "This is a big problem. Its not like Google where things are somewhat self-correcting as people point to the one the owner points to," Bricklin wrote. "Once this points wrong it just perpetuates itself and you cant fix it. In this case, the RSS feed owner [Podcaster] got into a bad situation." Yahoo declined to comment on this specific incident but provided a statement about the general issue. "Yahoos goal is to help grow the industry by providing a valuable service that brings Podcasters and listeners together," the statement said. "We are committed to working with the community to help identify solutions for broad industry challenges like this." Check out eWEEK.coms for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.