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.

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