pseudo podcasting

after perusing a buncha blogs and articles about podcasting (the new deal using RSS feeds to distribute audio MP3s), it dawned on me that it currently takes considerable effort to produce a good quality podcast, and that it’s notably more difficult than blogging. While it’s a very new development, and it will get easier, some challenges will keep it from becoming ubiquitous. Yes, “anybody can podcast” but it takes more technical effort to make it quality.

This entry is an incomplete thought, but some formative ideas that were stirring, while I looked for a quicker way to get a podcast going for myself. The quickest way I’ve found is to use Audioblogger + Blogger + Feedburner SmartCast. All free. No mic needed, just a long distance call for Audioblogger, and a quick edit using Blogger.com to point to the MP3 generated. (refer to article at bottom) My podcast feed is at http://feeds.feedburner.com/djchuangpodcast

Here’s my summary comparing podcasting to blogging:

  1. both are about input (cf. StrengthsFinder), taking in more data and more information than traditionally possible, from more and more sources, now in more ways than ever
  2. aural vs. visual – podcasting is about producing a aural experience with sounds, multiple layers of sounds is possible, but all audio and sounds; blogging is visual, mostly text, sometimes with digital photos, and while you could link it to audio, the main thing is the text
  3. talking vs. writing – podcasting can be music, but most of it will be talk-driven, and that means podcasts may be presentations at a conference or seminar, or someone sitting in front of a golden mic and doing a monologue, or doing an interview, or having a morning gang style banter, and this means “dead air” is not a good thing; blogging is typing and writing, and this allows for more time to lapse, to form the ideas and thoughts before publishing it, even editing easily; so podcasting works great for talkers, and does add a dimension of intimacy, blogging is better for writers and takes out the “umm”s, hem’s, and haw’s, and verbal blunders
  4. listening vs. reading – podcasts are downloaded and listened to by the reader, be it on iPod or a software client, and that means it’s serial audio input, which one has to listen through to catch a sense of the idea presented; blogging is reading, which allows for skimming, skipping sentences or paragraphs, re-reading, making it possible to quickly, or slowly, take in data (and, listening is a good break from reading; listening is good to go in the dark)
  5. consumer vs. interactive – podcast is great for consumers to listen to all kinds of audio feeds; blogging has become more interactive via hyperlinks, comments, and trackbacks; an interplay between podcasting and blogging can happen, but podcasting tend to be heard away from an internet connection, and that’s a good thing, more of a take it and go, great for drive-times (can’t read while you’re driving)
  6. multi-channel vs. mono-channel – podcasts allow for multiple voices and soundtracks to be captured and presented, blogging is primarily solo author, and even team blogs, it’s one author writing at a time; much better to present dialogue via podcasting
  7. producing vs. typing – podcasts need microphone(s) and audio editing software, to get it well-produced, so it takes more equipment, and right now it takes multiple steps to go from the author to the listener -> sound source gets recorded via mic, then the audio needs to be pieced together, then uploaded to server, then RSS 2.0 feed with enclosure points to the .mp3 audio file, then iPodder or Doppler has to subscribe and download it, then it gets into an iTunes playlist, then updated onto iPod, then listened to; blogging can be done with a web browser and internet connection, even a homeless guy can blog from a neighborhood public library

In addition to listening to about a dozen podcast feeds during the past few days, I’ve also surfed onto these links that informed my formative thinking: Podcasting entry at Wikipedia (excellent intro & stash of links), listened to Podcasting session at Bloggercon III – led by Adam Curry [great dialogue!], Radio Journalism Production Tools, Information on Audioblogs, PodFly’s Podcasting How-To, Audio Content and Podcast Usability, How to Podcast with Blogger and SmartCast (and a link to that) [updated 11/22/04: also Podcasting for the Church, Godcast.org ]

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