If you're looking for technical tips, "Podcasting 101" isn't the place to be. In this session, we won't cover the techie topics of bit rates, microphones or RSS because there's plenty of information on the Web for that. In this session, we'll discuss ways to use podcasts, or audio blogs, to build community.
What are podcasts? Well, people have been putting audio on the Internet for years. But recent developments in technology have made it possible to subscribe and to automatically download audio files. A host of podcatching clients, including Apple Computer's iTunes, allow you to subscribe and listen to a podcast at your leisure.
What sets podcasts apart from blogs and video blogs is their portability. Even if you don’t own an iPod or another MP3 player, you can save your shows to CD-ROM and play them in your car, at work or on the run.
So, what are some of the uses for podcasting?
- Duke University is experimenting with Lectopia (formerly iLecture), which "allows instructors to record a lecture's audio and video components and make them available as digital files for download via the Web."
- EarthCore is a podcast-only novel.
- The Godcast Network hosts a bevy of religious themed podcasts. One of the most popular is the Catholic Insider with around 2,400 subscribers.
- IBM is podcasting for its investors. National Public Radio and the British Broadcasting Corporation are podcasting, too.
- Locally, the News & Record has four podcasts in different genres: local arts and entertainment, local news analysis, sports and video games.
According to USAToday, "Like blogs, podcasting is another step towards the Internet being the great equalizer.
"It's another way that the idea of 'watch-when-we-tell-you-to' broadcasting is going away, being replaced by the 'watch-when-you-want' model. Wait and hear."
In this session, participant input and discussion are the keys for exploring ways to use podcasting to open dialog in communities.
As technology analyst for the News & Record, I have the flexibility to mix developing content with my support role for newsroom technology. My podcast, The Beat, tries to lift the curtain on how we report news and tries to give listeners a chance to get to know the newspaper's writers, editors and photographers in a different way. I also produce two of our other podcasts.
You can reach me, Herb Everett, at firstname.lastname@example.org.