What does it mean to bring "craft" to podcast hosting software?

Isn't it all just making an RSS feed? Maybe with some fancy features around ads or analytics?

I’m keeping this entry short this week. We are still working very hard to get a beta version of the Timber hosting software ready for a few podcasters that are excited to partner with us, but we’re still maybe 4-6 weeks away from that milestone. Remember that you can join the beta list (and receive the beta user discount) by signing up here: https://timber.fm/timber-podcast-hosting-beta-signup/

Craft in hosting software?

I was explaining to someone recently—someone who has been around the podcast world enough to have tried more than a few different podcast hosting solutions—that Timber is aiming to appeal to the segment of the podcasting market that reveres craft.

“That’s fine,” she said, “And I get that you’re trying to bring that out in the stories you publish, but what will that mean for the hosting software? What features will you have that show that’s who you are?”

So then what I said is, well, I fumbled about during that conversation. But afterwards, classically, I realized that I should have turned the question around. It’s not about what extra stuff you will get. There’s a race in podcast hosting to add features, and we’re not joining that race.

It’s quite the opposite. By approaching software design as craft, we want to make the software disappear, and in that disappearance, inspire a bit of joy. And by not "moving fast and breaking things" like so many others.

They joy of not worrying that you’ll lose your show summary by accidentally hitting the back button.

The joy of not being pissed when the fancy text formatting you used in the episode description doesn’t appear in the Apple Podcast app.

The joy of not getting weird errors when you change your email or feed url.

The joy of not having to hit up support because the website is saying something about a 502 error.

We want to provide those joys.

Snow craft

Finally, shout out to my old friend Paul Hanis from McCarthy Alaska who just won the annual snow carving competition. I think he would have a thing or two to teach me about patience, experience, and craft. Check out his sculpture that had a Jack and the Beanstalk theme!

Here’s Paul’s facebook post with more images of their amazing work.

Thank you so much for spending some of your morning with me.

—Jon Christensen