Wednesday, April 16, 2014

An enforced Easter break and general thoughts on Phones Show scheduling

Dear Phones Show and PSC viewers and listeners....(!)

Just a small status update regarding the shows.

PSC records on a Sunday evening and thus clashes with Easter Sunday - I think Ted and I did a show last year anyway, but this year I'll be knee-deep in family, so we're going to miss a week. I'm sure you'll have your own family time and won't miss us too much?

The main Phones Show has been hit a little by several general factors, worth noting:

  • a continued decline in the number of people financially supporting the show, meaning that I've had to take on extra writing work to make ends meet. 
  • the critically poor health of one of my parents, a factor which may well play a bigger role as the year goes on. This factor in particular has to take absolute priority, as I'm sure you can sympathise?
  • a huge number of other online video shows, often with far bigger financial resources and offering higher production values. When I started The Phones Show (as 'The Smartphones Show') in 2006, I was just about the ONLY person in the world reviewing phones in video form. Heck, even YouTube itself hadn't got going properly then. Eight years later, it's so much easier for anyone to review phones and produce video content that there are now tens of thousands of competitors.

In addition, specific to the next show, 225, in which I should be wrapping up my Galaxy S5 review by now, Samsung has essentially shafted all online retailers (e.g. Clove here), and I've been unable to get a review device yet. Immensely frustrating all round. In view of this, Phones Show 225 will be delayed by a week or two - I do have a backup review device source, hopefully delivering something mid next week.

The general factors listed above have caused me to have a rethink of the scheduling generally. I don't want to push out sub-standard shows just for the sake of it. And I also don't want to give myself a nervous breakdown trying to keep up a particular bi-weekly schedule just for the sake of it.

So, in future, Phones Shows will come out when they err.... come out! In busy times, this might be more often than once a fortnight, at other times, the gap will be longer. PSC will carry on weekly, of course.

I've asked several times whether those people who do donate, do so because of the video show or the weekly audio podcast - and the balance has been tipping in favour of the latter in recent years. I'm therefore hoping that my decision to be a bit more relaxed over Phones Show scheduling won't affect donations too much. As ever, donating to the 'Virtual Pint of Beer' club is entirely voluntary - I, and Ted, aim to provide you with quality listening (and viewing) and my hope is that enough people will recognise this and carry on subscribing.

Finally, Happy Easter and best wishes from a very sunny UK!