As I recall it was 2007 when I first heard about a new internet radio service Blogtalkradio.com. A book promotion company asked if I would take part in a round table discussion on the subject of Book Reviews. A book review is a work of art, it is not the thing that you find on Amazon, “Great book, could not put it down”, Signed by ‘Donald”, ‘authors garbageman’. OK that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it is essentially true.

I was intrigued by BlogTalkRadio and it was not long after that I signed up. I like to talk, so what could possibly go wrong with hosting a program?

The simple answer is “A WHOLE BUNCH”.

I am a quick study and it was clear that a little planning and research goes a long way to success.

So here we are more than a decade later, and very close to 1000 (970) programs in the can. I have had the rich and famous, the poor and infamous, more than a few recovering mobsters, musicians of every genre known to man and some that are not.

In the early days BTR was a fun place. Everyone knew everyone and help was just a phone call away.

For the best part of a year I was part of the Host 2 Host program, teaching new hosts how to use the platform. The company was approachable and transparent. That was about to change.

It wasn’t overnight, but bit by bit BTR changed. The colorful and friendly folks seemed to have a nasty habit of getting fired. The user forum section was closed, this put an end to public griping! And trust me, there was plenty to go around.

Information about future changes dried up, the change was discovered the next time you went to use it and it had changed or been demoted so it no longer worked.

I was one of the very early users, the cost was $29 per month, just about the only thing BTR has not done is mess with the ‘Grandfathered’ users, but after this article I could see that changing.

One of the great features was the ability to actually try and offset the cost of using BTR by allowing them to monetize your program via audio ads. It sounded like a great idea, I jumped in feet first. I was in awe, BTR owed me….

Life went great until BTR lured some idiot by the name of Tavis Smiley. For months it seemed thet BTR was a wholly owned subsidiary of Tavis Smiley.

From wiki…

On June 25, 2013, Smiley partnered with BlogTalkRadio, the world’s largest social broadcasting network with more than 18 million visitors and 40 million listens per month, to launch the Tavis Smiley Network (TSN): Smart talk. Online.

The fool had been fired numerous times, quite why BTR thought they needed him is beyond me. It is not hard to understand that regular hosts were pissed off.

Tavis did not last long, but the damage had been done. Rather than trying to ‘engage’ the existing Hosts and rebuilding trust, they became even more opaque.

The ‘regular’ hosts, the bread and butter of the industry were hung out to dry. I think this puts it in perspective..

To add insult to injury, the latest news is:

You are receiving this email because you are signed up for BlogTalkRadio’s RevEngine. We are currently making modifications to our monetization tool. As of May 1st,2019  the advertising monetization program we are currently using (RevEngine), will no longer be available. Any unpaid accrued revenue will be sent to the PayPal email address on file. If you are still interested in monetizing your show, please contact us at support@blogtalkradio.com

I have some theories based on the survey that I was sent in response to my grumpy email. This is the survey:

Clearly this was designed by a moron. Asking for the email address twice is pure stupidity, didn’t you send the email to me? So you already know who you are talking to.

The only question that got my interest was ‘Are you currently using the live call in feature on BlogTalkRadio’? The implications are obvious, They want to dump the very core product, the idea that anyone and everyone can be a live radio host. This message is… pre record it, edit it, and upload it.

This would save all of the probably expensive VOIP gear that BTR has to deal with the icky live caller issue.

I for one love live programs, warts and all! Editing is just something I do not agree with. The screw ups are what makes the program real.

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