After posting when we hit the one million, two million, and five million marks, I totally spaced out during the late spring (I think) when we hit ten million, so here's my announcement that I've just noticed that we're past eleven now, so you can consider this post as we head into the holiday season a reflection on what's going on and where we're headed.
We've made the transition, for the moment at least, to recording consistently every other week, whereas for most of our existence it was every three weeks. We need to keep doing this if we want to adhere to our every-week release schedule, absent the insertion of the occasional bonus offering of some sort to allow us a week's respite from our regular programming.
Speaking of bonus offerings, keep a watch out for our listener survey within the next month, as we're curious whether people badly want us to bring back the Aftershows, or Precogs, or any other ideas we've drifted away from, whether people like our guests, topics you all still want us to cover, etc. We are still intensely concerned with trying to make this thing the best it can be given the constraints of our time and cosmic injustices.
We have a couple of big-name philosophy people à la our previous Chalmers and Churchland episodes in the queue, though I prefer not to announce anything until it's actually recorded. We've been less lucky in securing more non-philosophy celebrities, and found that bringing on less-than-world-famous rock stars and comedians and authors doesn't actually bring us even a slight bump in ratings, though we've enjoyed all the guests we've had. So we're still trolling sites like this for potential guests but are not holding our collective breath for a call from Ricky Gervais.
However, with a new music podcast planned to begin in 2016 I will be mining further my small-but-expanding network of musical luminaries, so keep your eye out for more specific news about that. This would be the first in a long-discussed network of Partially Examined Life podcasts, the other one we've been in negotiations with being a launch as its own podcast of our Philosophical Fiction group's discussions (listen to clips here). If you have a philosophy-related podcast or were thinking seriously about starting one, feel free to reach out to us to see how we can help you gain an audience, advertisers, etc.
One advantage for our new junior partners and their listeners is being able to make use of our now-vast Citizen network, with over 2,000 members currently and a steady increase in numbers. We appreciate all of your support, and have no doubt that most folks just want to help us keep making these podcasts and get access to current, ad-free episodes and the back catalog of episodes that now exist in iTunes-land only as "PREVIEW," but we will soldier on in trying to increase the experience, offerings, and participation in our innovative Not School infrastructure, and to continue to post bonus content on our Citizen feed to enrich your PEL experience.
Despite Seth's absence from the past couple of episodes, he is still engaged behind the scenes with our network and advertising and all that, and will reappear hopefully by episode 130. Wes is currently adding more options to our merch (which we were happy to launch on our store this year), and Dylan as our IT guy along with his brother Josh will be helping us to launch new portions of our website related to podcasts in this new, probably-going-to-happen network. All of our energy levels are still high, and we're gratified to now be making as much money off of this thing as we did TAing back in 1995…. In other words, still not enough to quit our day jobs, but enough to enable us to plan more in-person trips, produce more projects like my soon-to-be-released-on-our-store Songs from the Partially Examined Life album, extend production help to these other podcasts, keep trying to push forward with a PEL book (we've had some troubles this year agreeing on something we can all actually accomplish, but we do have an interested publisher, so we're crossing our fingers re: 2016), and most importantly, not feel like this very time-consuming though joyful activity is unsustainable.
Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for listening and keeping philosophical!