2018 has arrived, and it brings with it gifts a-plenty! We’ve left 2017 behind, strapped to a thermonuclear teddy bear bomb on a one-way trip to Hell. All its friends were quietly dispatched by an army of invisible badgernauts. In its wake, the Joyous Interdimensional Fleet of Happypants Space Wizards brought us a new year of new things. A new website (see the shiny!), a new annual theme, new podcast feeds, new design, and new everything.
And we’re here to tell you all about how 2018 is going to be a year of ch-ch-changes and joy. So strap in, folks. This post is going to be a doozy!
Here’s all the stuff in this post:
- The New Website: Thank Yous and Things to Expect (plus a note for blog subscribers)
- Podcast Feeds: Changes and How They Affect You (Psst…Not Much)
- Our New Annual Theme and the Month of Joy
- Re-Naming Shoot the WISB: We Need Your Help
- The 2017 Listener / Reader Survey: Running Through January; Send in Your Responses!
1. The New Website: Thank Yous and Things to Expect (plus a note for blog subscribers)
Can you see it? Isn’t it gorgeous? We’re not going to take credit for it. It all comes down one group of remarkably generous people and one fantastic web designer.
First, we need to say thank you to all of our Patreon supporters. You all collectively helped us reach our first funding goal, which allowed us to hire someone super brilliant to build this beautiful thing before you. Thank you so much for your support. We literally couldn’t have done it without you. You’re amazing!
Second, we must thank Jade Ivy Monet of Alt Jade Designs for her amazing work on our new site. She not only designed our new page, but she helped us recreate the look of our logo, designed new button logos (forthcoming), and more. If you need someone to help you build a new website, we highly recommend Alt Jade Designs. A+!
So, with this new website, you may notice that things are quite a bit different. Keep in mind that we’re still working on a few things behind the scenes. We’ll announce any major changes when those are finished. If some of our pages are a little rough looking, that’s the reason. But a lot of the website is up and ready. Here’s what you should expect:
- We’re now a podcast “network,” and that means our site navigation has changed quite a bit. Things are a bit more organized to help you find the content you want.
- Our podcasts have “new” feeds (see the next section for more details) to make sure you get what you want in exactly the right place.
- Podcast feeds may go a bit wonky this month as we update all our podcast pages. It’s possible older podcasts may suddenly show up in the feed, both because we’ve adjusted the maximum items available and because of edits to the old posts (to conform to the new website style).
- Some things are still incomplete. We’re working on it. So if you see something that doesn’t look pretty, it’s likely because it’s an older post, something is wrong and we’re trying to fix it, or we don’t know about it yet. If you find an issue, it’s OK to mention it to us.
- We’ll eventually have new buttons for the podcasts on the left sidebar. This will add some flare to things (yes, that’s a reference).
There you have it. Now on to all the other details!
Note for blog subscribers: If you subscribe to the blog itself via the original feed (the one intended for podcasts rather than blog posts), you will need to update your subscription in the RSS reader to this feed. Make sure to do so ASAP, as we’ll start redirecting the podcast feed to the new Full Experience feed starting on Friday.
This feed will also give you podcasts as blog posts, but it doesn’t operate like a normal podcast feed. Use the Full Experience feed (see Podcasts) for podcasts and the above linked feed for the blog proper.
2. Podcast Feeds: Changes and How They Affect You (Psst…Not Much)
Since we’re now a kind of “network” of shows, we’ve made a huge decision to roll all of our various podcasts into one magical place. That means more content and many more options! Doing so means we’re also creating new feeds for everything. What does this mean for you?
If you’re already a subscriber, it means one thing: your podcast feed will be redirected to the new S&F Full Experience feed later this week. Our current “everything” feed is hosted by Feedburner, which gives us very little control and is incredibly clunky. Now, we’ll be able to expand how many episodes are available at a time, how much information is provided in the feed, etc.
For folks subscribed to that feed via an RSS reader, we’d recommend going to the Full Experience page and getting the new feed URL. In theory, you won’t have to do this once we initiate the 301 redirect to that feed, but we recommend it anyway just in case.
For folks subscribed via some kind of podcast directory with its own subscription system (iTunes, etc.), you shouldn’t have to do anything at all. Either we’ll update the feed ON the directory in question (anything other than iTunes that requires manual submissions) OR the 301 redirect will do the trick on its own (iTunes).
We’re also going to release a quick test podcast next week to make sure the feeds are working properly. If for some reason you don’t get a new podcast from us by February, assume something went wrong and contact us ASAP.
The other thing that has changed about our feeds is that you’ll now have the option to only subscribe to the content you want. You can still stick with the Full Experience feed, of course, but if you’re the kind of listener who really only listens to Show X or Show Y, you can now go to the individual show page (see Podcasts in the navbar) and subscribe to the shows you actually want.
For now, you’ll note that there aren’t too many subscription options for everything…yet. We’ll start working on putting everything up on iTunes, Stitcher, etc. this month, and we’ll let you know when those feeds go live (on the blog and on Twitter). In theory, we should have everything up before the new non-test episodes drop; otherwise, the Full Experience feed will still catch everything just fine. If you’re concerned we’ll forget your preferred podcast directory or app, feel free to send us a message as a reminder. We don’t want to miss putting our shows in all the right places!
Now to some happy news:
3. Our New Annual Theme and the Month of Joy
2018 also means we’re ushering in a brand new annual theme: Hope.
We know that 2017 was a difficult year for a lot of folks (for a lot of reasons). While we’re sure there will be more darkness in 2018, we think it’s important to expand our vision of the future to find the light in all that darkness. That’s where Hope comes in. Last year, we focused on Inclusion as a loosely defined political statement (a metaphorical middle finger to certain parties, if you will). This year, we’re focusing on Hope as an even bigger message. That means our content will look at how to find hope, where hope arises, constructing visions of hope in our communities and media, visions of hope and what they mean, and so much more. All through the world of genre, of course. That doesn’t just mean utopia and idealism. It means all of the ways in which hope can be found in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Idealistic visions, practical visions, all of it.
Ultimately, the idea behind a year of Hope is to be a light in the darkness. We may be a small light, but if we can bring a little more joy into people’s lives or do something constructive that makes things just a little bit better, we’ll consider 2018’s mission a success. If you’d like to help us with this vision by being a guest on the show or blog, go ahead and send us a message.
With that in mind, we’re hereby announcing that from now until the end of January, we’re celebrating a Month of Joy. All throughout this month, we’ll have blog posts from our crew and friends of the show (guests, listeners, authors, etc.) about all kinds of things that bring these people joy. It might be a favorite vacation spot, a favorite book or movie, the wonders of pie, or just about anything. The whole point is to share the things that make us feel good, that change our lives for the better, that bring happy tears into our eyes, and so on. You’re welcome to join us on this adventure. Write your own blog post about a favorite thing and share it with us. We’ll do our best to help spread your joy with everyone else!
Expect posts from Alex Bledsoe, Paul Weimer, Sandra Odell, Kate Heartfield, Becca Evans, Stephen Geigen-Miller, Trish Matson, Jeannette Ng, J.A. Pitts, Cora Buhlert, Anne Lyle, Kathryn Sullivan, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Kyell Gold, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Kay Kenyon, Julia Rios, David Annandale, Claudie Arseneault, Mike Reeves-McMillan, Mary Anne Mohanraj, James L. Sutter, Maria Turtschaninoff, Sabrina Vourvoulias, Andrew Barton, Rachel Cordasco, Jen Zink, Cat Rambo, Joyce Chng, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Beth Cato, and just maybe a few more!
We’re so thankful to everyone who chose to participate, and we hope you’ll enjoy their things of joy throughout January!
Re-Naming Shoot the WISB: We Need Your Help
Speaking of changes! It’s been a long time coming, but we’ve decided to finally change the name of Shoot the WISB to something more appropriate to our podcast “theme” / “brand.” For those that don’t know, Shoot the WISB is a reference to Shaun’s old Blogspot website called The World in the Satin Bag. The title comes from a novel he wrote and published online (as a test to see if he could finish a whole novel in a year). The WISB podcasts started at Shaun’s site before being moved over to The Skiffy and Fanty Show. Obviously, it doesn’t really fit into the naming of the main line of Skiffy and Fanty podcasts, so we’re asking for your help to give Shoot the WISB two new names — one for the movie segment and one for the TV segment.
Folks who have already taken our Listener / Reader Survey (see below) may already have voted on or suggested some names. We’ve decided to break that question out of the Survey to give it a bit more direct attention. Here you’ll find our suggestion form (and explanation)(you can also go directly to the form here). We’ll use your suggestions to help put together two polls, which we’ll then share so everyone can have a vote!
The form closes by next week, so get those suggestions in!
The 2017 Listener / Reader Survey: Running Through January; Send in Your Responses!
This is just a friendly reminder that we’re still running our survey. As we may have mentioned, we hope to get as many responses as possible so we can get a sense of what we’re doing right, what we’re doing wrong, and what we can do in the future to make this show even better.
If you have a few minutes to spare, please give us your thoughts here or via the embedded form below. Thanks again for your time!
Onwards and Forwards
And that’s it. Mostly. We’re sure there’ll be more stuff to announce in the coming weeks, but we’re pretty sure this covers everything for now.
So, what do you think? Are you excited for 2018? Let us know in the comments!