I've taken a complete break from Japanese football since the season ended, paying little attention to the Club World Cup, where Hiroshima acquitted themselves well, and the Emperor's Cup, in which Kashiwa defeated Gamba Osaka in the final on New Year's Day, and to the few people who entered their email address in the comments section apologies for not getting back to you yet, but rest assured I will.
Here's a summary of responses, along with comments from me where necessary:
Please enter your country of residence:
Japan (21) / Australia (6) / UK/England (2) / Ukraine / France (cheers Clement!) / Switzerland (cheers Seb!) / Portugal / Canada (cheers Daniel!).
Good to see we have such an international audience, though next season I'd like to increase our listenership and reach into the rest of Asia.
How did you most often listen to, or download J-Talk?
Through the J-Talk blog (21) / Through iTunes (13) / Through archive.org (0).
When did you begin listening to J-Talk?
From the preview episode (15) / From early in the J.League season (9) / From about halfway through the season (7) / Towards the end of the season (3).
Not really surprised by this, as my twitter followers increased steadily throughout the season, I presume as word-of-mouth about the pod spread.
How many episodes of J-Talk did you listen to throughout the season (there were 40 in all)?
All of them (7) / Almost all (6) / Around half (14) / Just a few (7) / One or two (0).
The average length of an episode (with a guest) was 55 minutes. This was...
far too long. (2) / a little too long. (10) / about right. (21) / not long enough. (1).
This was the question I was most interested in, as I know some of the longer podcasts (the last two of the season were 80 minutes each) might have turned some people off. By a 2 to 1 margin respondents said the average length was about right over a little too long, and aligned with responses to the next question I will try to cap episodes next season at 60 minutes.
What is the ideal length for future J-Talk Podcasts?
Under 30 mins (3) / 30 to 45 mins (9) / 45 to 60 mins (21) / Over 60 mins (1).
The one respondent who selected "Over 60 mins" was from Australia... Hello Tony Dee?!
Before moving on I'd like to publicly thank (in order of appearance) Sean Carroll, Alan Gibson, Brendan Wimsett, Dan Orlowitz, Steve Barme, Barry Valder, Jon Steele, Paul Williams, Dave Phillips, Scott McIntyre, Clement Delestrade and Angus MacLeod for taking the time to appear on the podcast. Each guest brought their own unique insight and opinions, and all contributed to the success of the podcast.
What would you like to hear more of on J-Talk in 2013? (33 responses)
More varied guests (6) / Player/manager interviews (17) / More J2 coverage (6) / More on Japan's national teams (2) / More on Japanese players in Europe (2). Apologies to those of you who would've liked to provide more than one answer to this question.
This was another question I was especially interested in the results of. I should firstly hold my hands up and say I failed to provide enough coverage of Japanese players in Europe throughout the season. This is something I'll have to weigh up when the podcast gets going again, as I may have to knock it on the head completely (apologies to the two respondents who selected that option!). If I can only manage it in a half-arsed manner then its probably best not to do it at all.
I was expecting a majority of responses to be adding interviews to the podcast, and as it turns out I was right, but there are a couple of potential hurdles to clear, the main one being whether or not I can get a press pass for the 2013 season. Along with that is the fact I rarely attend non-FC Tokyo games, so I might find it difficult to provide a wide enough range of interviewees, and that would almost certainly not be a weekly feature of the podcast.
Finally, most of you asking for more J2 coverage are Gamba Osaka supporters...??!!