Back on April 8th I posted this rant:
"I was a HUGE fan of the show builder lite technology when it was owned by Gigavox. This technology was purchased by Podango, and shortly thereafter they broke it. It's a damn shame, and someone should look at this software and come up with a competitor. Is there anyway Doug Kaye can buy it back?
Keep in mind, this is not a comment on the Podango hosting soultion. This is the beta software "Show Builder Lite." You can sign up at Podango, and they will help find you sponsorship. I know people who use that and love it. That's fine. I'm talking about the DIY solution "Show Builder Lite."
This software allows you to make "dynamic" podcasts. I can upload an intro and outro, then when its time to do a podcast I record one file, and save it as a wav file. I upload it and the software "Stitches" the intro, the body, and the outro together, tags it, and uploads it to my server. It also allowed me to add sponsor spots. It was very, very, VERY cool. The best part is when a sponsorship ended, I could upload a NEW sponsor, and it would update all 33 of my past episodes. This was called SMART delivery.
In the process of integrating the Show Builder Light software with their current system (and hence this is where the problems started) the Smart Delivery feature (in my opinion – the ONLY feature) quit working. I used to work for a company that created software for the newspaper industry, so I understand about launching new software into a system. Believe me if your updated software takes down the Chicago Tribune, you're not going to have them as a customer for long.
If I was Podango I would've:
Set up a duplicate system (not cheap, but it you can't put people's shows in jeopardy). Then integrate the show builder lite system into your duplicate system. This way it is safe from hurting your customer base.
When you get it to work, you roll it out to people for a controlled "Beta" test. You find any bugs, and eventually you roll the stable software into the live environment. It appears they used their live environment as a testing ground. The result is if I change my sponsor I have to go into each and every episode and click on "republish." I completely appreciate their offer to go in and do this for me, but they are missing the point. Your system has been broken since February, and its still broken. Consequently, I've changed to a "Premium Version" of my podcast to monetize the Logical Weight Loss Podcast.
I also completely appreciate that I paid 0.00 to use their technology. I offered to pay for their service if it would mean I would get a working solution. They are very kind, and the are doing their best. However they couldn't provide an ETA back in February, and two months later I've got not updates, and the system still doesn't work.
I will watch their site for the day when I hear "It's safe to get back in the water," but for now I have moved one of my two podcasts that used their system. Once my sponsorship is over on that 2nd show I will be moving that show off their system as well (unless the system is fixed). The shame is by the time they get it fixed, anyone who would've paid money for it will have left. Are we sure Doug Kaye can't buy it back?
To the best of my knowledge there really isn't any competition in this field yet. There is www.castmetrix.com but I believe they only offer their technology to networks. Pity. I interviewed them back on show #89"
I received a reply from Lee Gibbons the CEO of Podango on 4/25/08
It took some time for me to come across this negative feedback (Dave's note, I never copied podango on this post). Sorry about that. More so, I am sorry to hear you reached the end of your (or should I say our) rope, at least as far as having had frustrating problems with one of our products.
We are working to remedy the issue you outlined and others.
You asserted that we broke GVAL. It might be helpful for you to know that the GVAL codebase was more brittle and immobile than we expected it to be based upon our due diligence, and we were contractually obligated to move it from the domain it was sitting on. Moving the system introduced instability that we have largely resolved. There are still some issues that remain. We will fix those too.
Unfortunately, those issues are painful for users, and until we get them fixed, I can't fault you for your frustration, nor for the energy with which you blast us here.
The biggest challenge we face with the GVAL code and making these fixes is that the timing of the acquisition has not aligned well with our other strategic initiatives, causing us to not put adequate resources on the legacy version of the technology… yet.
We remain committed to resolving these issues. I look forward to being able to report to you that we have them fixed and hopefully, thereby and thereafter, regain your full trust.
I'm very happy to hear this. While I have moved Logical Weight Loss to a new payment model, I still amd using their system for Weekly Web Tools (an eternal optimist I guess). I look forward to the day when the potential of this system is reached. I will keep my eyes open.