Well, you can pretty much ignore the rambling missive below, because Iain Lee contacted me and made it clear it was an honest mistake and that he’s changing his podcast name. He was professional, gracious, and personable, and I greatly appreciate how he handled it. I don’t care so much that it happened in the first place, what matters is his response, and it was top notch.
Thanks to Iain for being understanding and for his great response.
I started Pocket Sized Podcast in December of 2010. I chose the name because it reflects both the topic of the podcast, which is Apple’s mobile devices, as well as my goal (which I occasionally achieve) to keep it to 30 – 40 minutes in length. I like the name, and I like the image of the iPhone slipping into the jeans pocket that I came up with to accompany it.
That’s why I was disappointed to find that Iain Lee is going to start his own podcast and called it “Iain Lee’s Pocket Sized Podcast.” Please do not visit that link until you’ve finished reading this. You’ll see why I’m asking that below.
I don’t think I’m a superstar, and I don’t think that I’m even a moderately well known podcaster, but I do take this podcast seriously and I am working to grow it and to improve the quality of it for my listeners. I also would like to make it attractive to sponsors at some point. Therefore the integrity of the name of this podcast matters to me. It matters to me anyway, on general principle, and pride in what I do.
There is already name confusion going on, and Iain’s podcast hasn’t even started yet. I’m getting referrals to my site showing up in my logs from a forum discussing Iain and his upcoming project. I’m getting search result referrals in my logs from searches for “Skype pocketsizedpodcast”, which is Iain’s Skype handle for the podcast. So it’s clear that the situation has already confused potential listeners of his, and I’m sure it would confuse anyone who came across mine after hearing of his, or vice versa.
I have emailed Iain about the matter, and I’m going to assume until I hear otherwise that this was all done in good faith and he meant no harm. If that kind of response isn’t forthcoming, I’ll contact his management and the team that did his branding for the podcast for him, as I suspect they’re probably the ones that dropped the ball on this rather than Iain. I suppose they should add a Google search to their checklist for future clients if indeed that’s the case.
I don’t want an internet war. I don’t want to start name calling. I have no reason to believe Iain purposefully took a name that he knew was already in use. I certainly don’t want to believe that he did, because that would be majorly uncool of him, to put it mildly.
By now my listeners should know that I’m not in this because of an ego, and I’m not a person who feels entitled or like this thing is my birthright. But I do feel that when someone else in the same space is working hard on something and trying to build it up honestly, the respectful and, honestly, more logistically sound thing to do is to find another name or at least communicate with the existing podcast owner about it.
I like Pocket Sized Podcast. I know my listeners do to. I want to continuously improve, change what’s not good about it, and keep doing what is. And I want people to think of this podcast when they hear the words Pocket Sized Podcast, as they should, because it was here first.
I know my listeners are smart enough to know this already, but please do NOT go to Iain’s web site and start making derogatory remarks or send disrespectful tweets his way. It won’t help, and if I can’t come out of this having handled it professionally, I’ve already lost. I have no reason for a beef with anyone over this unless it actually becomes clear that it was intentional to ignore that this name was already in use by an existing podcast.
What you can do if you honestly already feel like supporting my podcast is to go to iTunes and rate the podcast and leave reviews for me. Just put what you feel, no reason to embellish or exaggerate. I wish I didn’t have to mention that if you’re a person who feels that Iain deserves the name for his podcast, please don’t take it out on me by giving me negative ratings and reviews. I seriously doubt that Iain would appreciate his listeners being negative any more than I would appreciate mine doing so.
You can also like this podcast’s Facebook page, follow the Google+ podcast page, and generally just let people know about the podcast. Recommend it to others. I don’t honestly know how much it will help, but I can promise that it will at least gift me with encouragement, which I could use a little of at the moment.
Thanks for being a listener. Thanks for taking the time out of your day each week to digest what we’ve put together as a team out of nothing more than sheer love of podcasting. Thanks for all the feedback you’ve sent, the comments, the participation, the appearances on the podcast, and everything else you’ve done for this podcast. And thanks for generally being a cool bunch of people. Getting to know my listeners has been an extremely enjoyable experience, one that I plan to continue under the name Pocket Sized Podcast for a long time to come.