Friday, March 13, 2009

Greenbelt Podcasts Numbers 1 in iTunes UK

Sometimes you help sow the seeds, and sometimes, you are lucky enough to be around to reap the harvest....

Such is the case with Greenbelt Podcasts

As of around 3 A.M. Friday 13th March 2009, Greenbelt Podcasts were number 1 in the catagory of Religion & Spirituality in UK iTunes

Above Joyce Meyer, above Worship Central, above BBC Thought for the Day, Hillsong Church and above Oprah's Spirit Channel.

Sitting on the top of the pile is lil' ole Greenbelt

Pride may be a sin, gloating may be a worse sin, but in the words of a very lovely man who just released a very magnificent album with his lil' irish 4 piece combo.....

"Shout for joy, if you get the chance"


When I first started working as a volunteer at Greenbelt, about 5 years ago, my first role at the festival was to pack cassettes (yes) into cassette boxes.
It was a job that was needed to be done, and I enjoyed it.

I also at that time was on greenbelt management group, also a brand new role, so I felt very privileged at that time to be so involved in the festival-making, and at 2 very different levels, both, in their own ways as important as each other.
Being part of 2 different teams, each with their place in the melting pot that goes to make up one very special event.

You get to talk to people you are working with, and, being the creative person that I am :-0 -
offer up ideas and solutions to issues that come about....
Now this of course can get you into trouble....... nice trouble...... in that sometimes, you get overheard, and actually listened to...... (not always of course, but when you are the quiet soul like moi, you kind of get used to being ignored sometimes....)

Now, at that time, all the talks at the festival, by wonderful speakers from all over the world, would get recorded, copied to CD and cassette, and be put on sale within a few hours in the GB shop.
Issues arose, like over-production of amounts of cassettes and CD's, (too many unsold and therefore wasted resources), some talks getting missed off the list to be recorded (John O;Donohue whole talk forever lost to the ether...) and no mp3 versions....

I wanted to be able to go to the greenbelt website, and listen again to talks I had missed - I ddint want to wait weeks for a CD to be delivered - I wanted it when I wanted it.

So, that year, I persuaded the good folk who needed persuading, to allow a trial of mp3's to be created at the festival the following year - with a borrowed PC, and the goodwill of the CD duplication team and many frowns, hums and hahs and scepticism from other places, myself and another volunteer spent that weekend of the festival trying to make it work.
I also was in charge of the recorded talks team that weekend, and built a new CD/cassette delivery system for the Talks Shop (which I helped manage to get seperated from the main shop)

I was a new boy in charge, I didn't like it, and other people didn;t like it.
It was hard graft, long, long hours.

My missus and 1 year old saw little of me at that festival.
This is how it is for many other volunteers who choose to do what they do, because they believe in the festival, and without them, it would not be...... well, it just would not be.

So, we move on, and now all talks are available within hours of them ending right on the (newly revamped) Greenbelt Talks site - and soon, very soon, selected ones will be available to buy, remastered and edited, as audiobooks in the iTunes store (look out in the next few months for announcements).

And, this brings me to podcasts, and where we are at, top of the stinkin pops, on iTunes....

Thanks go out, major thanks to Gill Hewitt and Paul Northup, both people who allowed me to bother and hassle them and give support and grace to the vision. Paul also for writing the scripts for the podcasts, overall producing them with my assistance, and staying with the concept and helping bring it forth.

Also to others along the way who have encouraged and shouted up that this was a worthwhile project, to Pip Wilson, Martin Wroe, Andy Turner, the Thistle crowd, Ivor, June, The whole talks team, mp3 team, recording guys, Harvey, also to Phil and Nathan in the GB office and James and Drew on the techy side

I don't know what it feels like to win an Oscar, but this is my itunes oscar winning speech.....

oh, most of all thanks to my mam and dad, missus and kids, and everyone who knows me, and of course, God (nearly forgot !!!)

(raises pretendy Oscar and bows......)

1 comment:

Awareness said...

Bravo John!

Working on a DREAM....and its a beautiful one too....Terrific news. I can see you smiling from way over here.

And may I add one thing....because of your determination to work on that goal, I have been able to have a sweet taste of the spiritual thinness of Greenbelt in my own home across the pond. I really appreciate it.

thank you....