You, Podcasting, and You

I felt the need to write you about podcasting, and why I think it’s a wonderful idea. When you hear pod now… what do you think of first the Pod People or an iPod? podcasting was originally derived from iPod and broadcasting,but that’s only because the iPod has had a significant influence on how we view portable media.

What is podcasting?

Podcasting is like broadcasting, only not live, yet updated. The difference is feeds, like I’ve discussed before, allow for a multiple of ways to let you know when a show has been updated. Shows can be automatically updated to your computers as well as transferred to your portable media device via feeds. Podcasting is also interactive in the since that what’s discussed on a show can be elaborated on with links and posts on a website. The most beneficial thing is, unlike radio, you can listen whenever, yet it stays current.

Who is podcasting for?

Not everyone obviously. For me, sometimes when I’m walking to class, I’d rather hear the news, or someone talk about something interesting besides music. Obviously there’s more time for when I’m walking in between classes, but that’s why it’s more popular for portable media devices. I recommend that everyone should read or at least follow the news. Podcasts are a great way for you hear them without having to read. I’ve listened to several podcasts in the past few weeks, and am very optimistic of their potential.

What is the typical podcast show?
Generally shows consist of all types of news, such as tech and political news. But they aren’t limited, there are music shows, as well as a random mix. The shows I’m currently listening to range from random comedic jibber jabber, to technology and Internet news. Most shows range from 5 to 40 minutes. There are no commercials.

Podcasting is interactive?

All of the podcasts have website, generally complemented with blogs. So if they talk about a news article, or a website, they will generally post a link in the corresponding show entry. This is great if the show mentions something that you find interesting and would like to check out. Another point is that sometimes it’s cooler to hear than read. To listen to a brief about news or websites, rather than looking or reading for yourself can help in distinguishing whether or not you would like to follow up or not. I think often times when I post about things on the Internet people skim, and usually don’t follow up. I can talk about something in greater detail in a shorter time than it would take you to read. Additionally podcasters ask for listener input all the time, and often have message boards, and e-mail address for you to add input or news.

So how can you get started with podcasts?

I recommend ipodder.org, and podcastingnews.com. Both have directories of available podcasts to listen to, and links to what’s new in podcasting. For downloading podcasts, I recommend ipodder. It will automatically download shows to your harddrive, or portable media player based on a schedule that you decide on.

My final question is, if I started a podcast, how many of you loyal readers would listen. You could guarantee that my podcasts would be 5-15 minutes in length, and I would have a show every 3-7 days. I would include news, internet happenings, funniness, and music. I would especially require listener input. I am also going to try to have interviews with interesting people. Not initially famous, but interesting. So, please post a comment if you would be interested in a podcast by me. It would make me happy if you were.

Additionally, Pirate Radio will continue this summer via a podcast, so please listen and check out that website for further details.

UPDATE 4/29/05 – I need to emphasize that you don’t need a portable media device. All you need is a computer. The number who listen via computers is almost half, of total listeners. And secondly, my show would be humorous, and I would play music too. Think of just listening to a radio show that you’ve recorded.

Bloglines: Feeds Unleashed

I think it’s time to inform everyone of something we call feeds. I’m sure you’ve seen them, and maybe wondered what the big deal is. Well feeds are used for distributing content across several types of platforms. The most common type is an aggregator. A program that runs on your computer, and notifies you when content has been updated, and displays it within that program. I’ll get a little more into feeds later this week. Now onto Bloglines.

For people familiar with Livejournal. What’s the most common thing people like about Livejournal? The friends view. It enables a view of all your friends blogs in one column and shows the latest entries. What if I told you could do that with any feed? Well you can. Bloglines provides a similar feature that you can use with anything that produces a feed. It even makes it incredibly simple especially for reading Xanga, Livejournal, and Blogger blogs. You simply enter the user name. For other things that produce a feed you can enter the feed link, such as the one on WyomingJarbo.com.

Helping you understand with questions:
Why? Well I read several things on the Internet a day. Most of them produce a feed. Why visit every website when I could go to one place.

Well, what’s the difference than just remembering all the links? Well not only does it remember all the links to the blogs, it displays them in context as they are updated. Like the Livejournal Friends view.

There are tons of great features to make it worth it too.

  • The most notable are being able to put all your feeds into organized folders. So you could label a folder Friends, or News, depending on what the feed is from.
  • Links to the actual article. Many blogs enable comments, and if you want to comment on the article, you just click the title to go to the actual post so you can comment on it.
  • It lets you know what’s new immedately. If someone has updated, you’ll see it instantly… in one place.
  • Completely web based.

Here are a couple of features that threw me over the edge in coolness.

  • Listserv e-mail capabilities. Do you subscribe to a listserv? Do you hate how those e-mails go to your e-mail address and clutter it up? Well get this… Bloglines will create an e-mail address (as many as you need) something like jarbo234870284@bloglines.com. You can subscribe to the listserv with that e-mail address and read it in Bloglines. You can even respond to the listserv within Bloglines. Great for keeping stupid listserv e-mail out of your account.
  • UPS,Fedex, and USPS tracking. Enter your tracking number into Bloglines and it will let you know if anything is updated.
  • Notifier. If you are uber anxious to know what’s new, you can download a notifier to your computer to let you know the instant something is updated. You can even choose what you want to be notified about.

There are tons of other features too. I suggest you join and check it out. If you have any questions let me know. But this is how I’m reading your blog these days.

Bloglines.com

Sightseeing On Your Butt

Google Maps has really got a boom of attention since it was released. Several people have posted “Memory Maps” which are satellite photos of where they used to live, or places they remember. A lot of fan sites have popped up too. The coolest thing is you can instantly link someone to what you are looking at. There’s even a blog for the coolest images, caught from space. Check it out.

Google Maps Sightseeing Blog

Show Me Your Pictures!

Instant messaging is a great tool. However sometimes it’s limited. Sometimes I want to show people pictures, without e-mailing them or posting them to a webpage. Direct connect on AIM is kind of behind the times.

What is there to do? Well, you could download Hello. Hello is Picasa’s “sidekick” of sorts. It’s an instant messaging program designed primarily for showing pictures to people. There are no ads, and it’s free. I’m not suggesting that you replace your instant messaging program with this. You can upload photos in a jiffy, and all pictures recieved are automatically resized, and/or saved on your computer. Much better than regular instant messaging. So check it out, and show me your photos. My user name on Hello is: Jarbo .

Hello.com