Pods and Vlogs and Traffic


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My daughter has just lost her IPod!

Why. . . Because I have finally figured a way to listen to:
. . . . . MP3's
. . . . Podcasts
. . . . Vlogs
. . . . and stay productive

For a while now, I have been living a life of quiet desperation. I have just not had the time to listen to all the recordings of live meetings, information, shows, training, live calls. . . . . . .

I have been longing for the days of scripts, PDF files, that I can download, quickly scan to find what I need, or nuggets of wisdom, new information or methods. I have been feeling very sorry for myself, because I have been missing out on a whole new segment of new information.

The problem that I have with these podcasts is that in most cases one has to listen to around 40 minutes or more of audio to find that “gem" of information, that new method, that new way of doing things. Problem is that there is also a lot of useless nonsense that one has to listen to. The end result of this is that I have downloaded numerous live discussions, numerous marketing calls, numerous training sessions. . . . and they have all been collecting dust on my hard drive.

Until now. . .because I have become tired of being screeched at by the “pod people" and have finally joined their ranks. I am now also “hearing voices from the alien mothership.

If you've seen the classic camp remake “Invasion of the Body Snatchers, " you know what “pod people" do when they find a human who has not been replaced with an identical alien born of a pod: point and screech open-mouthed at the non-pod person.

See Christine Boese's article on CNN headline News for information on the “pod" people http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/12/08/podcasting/

So what is this podcasting, anyway? The word ”podcast” is a concatenation of the words IPod and broadcast. Podcasting is online audio content that is delivered via an RSS feed. The underlying technology used for podcasts, called RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is capable of containing any type of media including audio, video, graphics, and more.

Many people liken podcasting to radio on demand. However, in reality, podcasting gives far more options in terms of content and programming than radio does. In addition, with Podcasting, listeners can determine the time and the place, meaning they decide what programming they want to receive and when they want to listen to it.

Listeners can retain audio archives to listen to at their leisure. While blogs have turned many bloggers into journalists, podcasting has the potential to turn podcasters into radio personalities. . . unfortunately not all of them are good and in many cases not well prepared either.

Vlogs are just like blogs or podcasts, except that content is recorded as video instead of text or audio.

All you need to get started is podcasting software. Once you download and install the software, simply add one of the feeds you may want to listen to, e. g. CNN's podcast feeds. The podcasting software will automatically check for updates and download the files to your computer so you can load them onto your MP3 player. I personally like ITunes, for reasons pointed out a little way down, but are many others. Some desktop options are:

  • iTunes (Windows/OS X)
  • Juice (Windows/OS X/Linux)
  • jPodder (Windows)
  • iPodderX (OS X)

    Some web-based options are:
    Audioblog.com(http://www.audioblog.com) - phone your podcast in!
    ClickCaster.com(http://www.clickcaster.com) - excellent audio.
    Odeo.com(http://odeo.com) - most popular.
    Podomatic.com(http://www.podomatic.com) - fun light-hearted approach.

    Some other podcasting resources:
    Podcasting Tools - http://www.podcasting-tools.com
    Podcast Alley - http://www.podcastalley.com
    PodcastBunker - http://www.podcastbunker.com
    Podcasting News - http://www.podcastingnews.com

    Podcasting does have a number of market opportunities though:
    Apple is advocating the use of podcasts for education.
    Of course it does involve the purchase of IPods and servers though!. It's a free market, I think.

    What about:

    1. Self-Guided Walking Tours - Informational content.

    2. Music - Band promotional clips and interviews.

    3. Talk Shows - Industry or organizational news, investor news, sportscasts, news coverage and commentaries.

    4. Training - Instructional informational materials.

    5. Story - Story telling for children or the visually-impaired.

    I am very curious to see how this market evolves and whether this publishing medium will evolve into daily use. Currently, only the technical crowd has endorsed podcasting as a new audio medium, but the potential is real and the process is not overly complex.

    However, back to my life of quiet desperation and why did I join the pod people?

    I was watching my daughter adding a number of songs to her IPod the other day. Suddenly something clicked in my mind. You see, I spend a number of hours weekly on the highways and byways on my way to clients. During this travel time, I used to listen to my favourite radio stations. Then I got clever and cut some CD's of downloaded podcasts to listen to, whilst wending my way to clients. But cutting CD's also take time.

    When I looked at my daughter's IPod. . . . I am sure you know what happened. Now I am one of the “pod people", whilst traveling to client meetings. Traffic has now become one of my productive times as well.

    Leon Williams Copywriter http://leonwcopywriting.com

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