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Tricks of the Podcasting Masters

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the pod-masters dept.

95

aceydacey writes "Tricks of the Podcasting Masters is a good read if you want to find out the who, what, when, why and where of the podcasting phenomenon. It is not a technical re-hash of the hardware and software tools of podcasting, but rather a discussion of the creative side of podcasting, its history, personalities, techniques, tricks and motivations. It is a good read for anyone interested in creating and promoting a podcast, and also for anyone who is interested in the inside scoop on what makes podcasters do what they do." Read on for the rest of Ron's review.

The authors are both well known pioneers of the podcasting genre. Rob Walch is the host of the popular Podcast411 show, and during the year a half this show has run, he has interviewed over 150 podcasters, including Adam Curry and almost every other luminary in and around podcasting. Mur Lafferty is the host of the Geek Fu Action Grip podcast, famous in Science Fiction circles, and the I Should be Writing Podcast, for aspiring authors.

The book excels in offering detailed advice to podcasters on how to improve and market their shows. Many of the big names in podcasting are quoted at length giving their advice, and the authors give candid, sober counsel that is not sugar coated with what the aspiring podcaster wants to hear. The theme is that doing a great podcast is hard work, and if one is willing to invest the time and effort, the book has plenty of helpful hints. This advice is of a practical nature including time management, how to stay motivated, and how to talk in front of a microphone and not sound like a robot. Podcasters will appreciate the pragmatic advice on how to script and edit a show, and how to relate to an audience effectively.

There is a lot of material on how to market and promote a podcast, and some of this advice is surprising, including innovative ideas on how to reach out beyond the podcasting community to the wider society, local media and unrelated internet activities. For some podcasters, this will be the most valuable part of the book.

The authors have both succeeded in turning their podcasting into at least part time careers, but their advice on monetizing podcasts is among the most sober and straight shooting I have ever seen or heard. They very carefully share all the revenue generating methods and ideas they have come across, and how to best exploit them; but they nevertheless give the grim statistics about how few podcasts will ever actually turn a profit, much less allow a podcaster to quit his or her day job.

There is a large section of the book devoted to detailing sixteen different genres of podcasting, such as audioblogs, comedy casts, educational, gaming, religious and spiritual, interview casts, music, news, politics, radio dramas, Q-Podders (alternative lifestyles), science fiction, sex, tech, sports and the written word. Four to six podcasts of each genre are highlighted including quotes from the shows' hosts. There is also coverage of the legal and ethical issues involved in podcasting , such as music licensing and laws concerning wire tapping that might come into play when conducting interviews by phone.

Utilizing the authors actual experience as consultants, the book is also a good resource for corporate podcasters who are using podcasting to market, promote or enhance existing businesses or information media. This is material not found in any other podcasting book I have read.

Much of the allure of the book is in the feeling of being on the inside, seeing what it is really like to be a pioneer in a hot new internet phenomenon. As such, this book will not age as quickly as other podcasting books that focus mostly on how to pick and use specific software and hardware podcasting tools. On the other hand, if you need detailed help on using such tools, this book is not the one for you.

On balance, I really enjoyed this book. If you have an interest in podcasting, either as a listener or a podcaster, you probably will enjoy it also. If you are not already interested in podcasting, this book might or might not stimulate you to look into it further, but at least you will find out what all the fuss is about.

As an exercise in full disclosure, I should confess to hosting two podcast series of my own, the AwareTek philosophical podcast, and the Python411 podcast about the Python programming language."


You can purchase Tricks of the Podcasting Masters from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Huh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15518989)

What next, a review of "Recording Your Voice for Dummies"?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519090)

a technical re-hash of the hardware and software tools

Shopping list:

[1] pee cee or em eih cee
[1] ex pee or oh ess ex

Re:Huh? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519725)

Why?

Do you need a book like that?

Slashdot (1)

Strider817 (952386) | more than 8 years ago | (#15518992)

Wait... You mean there is more to promoting your podcast then having it as your linked page on Slashdot?

Yawn... (-1, Troll)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519006)

More non-techie people who've suddenly discovered "the magic" of streaming audio over the Intarwebs (yeah yeah, "Podcasting" is different, it "notifies" you of updates), going all gaga over it, publishing books about the "phenomenon" and raking in millions from PHBs and "blogophilics".

/call me a cynic, mod me a troll, it's happened every time I've been critical of "podcasting" in the past.

Re:Yawn... (1)

Foogle (35117) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519052)

You're not a troll, you're just a karma whore. I'm almost surprised that the "mod me down" line actually still works on moderators here.

Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519082)

I'm not a KW. Just a regular /.er who doesn't like to KW, and who consciously tries to contribute +vely (or very occasionally troll for the fun of it :) ) to a discussion. And sometimes when I'm in a bad mood, I just post critical posts --- all Mind you, without KWing.

Thank you for listening.

~GillBates0

Re:Nope (1)

Foogle (35117) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519152)

Are you kidding? You used the standard karma-whore approach: "Mod me down. See if I care!" It's the most naked and bizarrely effective form of moderator reverse psychology. There is absolutely no way I'd believe that you posted it without the hope that some moderator, upon reading the phrase, would do the exact opposite.

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519221)

Naah dude, I was just trying to point out that I have been modded down in the past. And I do realize why you might think that amounted to using the "reverse psychology" approach -- which I rightly agree works on some mods.

But I reemphasize, I had no intention of KW'ing then and will (hopefully) never ever.

Re:Nope (4, Funny)

mctk (840035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519241)

Mod me down, but you're totally wrong.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519056)

Now, is there any podcasts other than the wonderful snippets from the Onion that's worth the bandwidth? I was convinced that podcasting for what's its worth was all noise.

Re:Yawn... (1)

Plugh (27537) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519611)

Well, since you asked for podcast recomendations... I particularly love Free Talk Live [freetalklive.com]

It's an Anarchocapitalist/Libertarian podcast. I hang out on their forum [freetalklive.com] a lot, it's pretty good as far as forums go, which means it's only 80% drivel (instead of 95%+)

FTL is also on the radio; on Saturday nights they have about a dozen affiliates [freetalklive.com] . It's pretty cool to call in to a podcast with essentially zero phone screening and find yourself on the airwave in a dozen cities across the US. And yes, they will talk about literally anything. New Years' eve they always ask for extremely wasted people to call; that's always funny. They usually also ask for people who vehemently disagree with the hosts. The arguments get pretty heated, which can be fun.

Podcasts worth a Listen (1)

doublem (118724) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520018)

Hometown Tales [hometowntales.com] Because every town has one.

Bad Cop, No Donut [sympatico.ca] A weekly summary of North American Police Abuse

Crap From the Past [crapfromthepast.com] Music from the 70's and 80's that FUN to listen to. "A graduate course in Pop Music"

Polyamory Weekly [podcast.net] Polyamory Weekly: a show about polyamory, or ethical non-monogamous relationships

Not safe for work, but Distorted View [distortedview.com] is a twisated, sick summary of the day's dumb news stories and the host's lack of money.

Re:Yawn... (3, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519065)

What irks me more is that all of a sudden "streaming audio" is "podcasting", as if the iPod had anything to do with its inception.

Besides, let's face it...the majority of it is people talking about stuff they know nothing about.

Oh...no wonder you get modded down :D

(/obligatory poke at slashdot posters)

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519089)

Am I the only one that discerns between "streaming audio" and "podcasting"? Take issue with the moniker all you like, but when I download an episode and transfer it to my portable media player to listen to on the train, there's nothing "streaming" about it.

Re:Yawn... (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519680)

No, you're not. Obviously, SA isn't podcasting. But the MP3 format has existed for...what? Nine years? I've been downloading "podcasts" by various people for maybe seven years.

Audio compression, streaming audio, and portable digital music players all existed long before the iPod. I'm getting tired of everything getting iThis or PodThat stuck to it as if Apple invented it all.

The iPod is like the Sony Walkman: it's not the first, it's just the first to make it big.

Re:Yawn... (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522991)

I've been downloading "podcasts" by various people for maybe seven years.

True, but what has made it mainstream, and caused someone to give it a specific name, is that the audio files are now enclosed in a standard subscription format that popular audio players can parse and automatically download new episodes when they become available.

Re:Yawn... (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519355)

Besides, let's face it...the majority of it is people talking about stuff they know nothing about.

See that's where I think I've gone right. I may not know a lot about some of the subjects, but I talk to people who do.

Re:Yawn... (1)

TheSkyIsPurple (901118) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519563)

Podcasting is not dependent on streaming.
The fact that you can play back an MP3 stream while downloading it incidental to its purpose... that is, downloading it for later playback... possible on some sort of audio device, say, an iPod?

Re:Yawn... (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519700)

...or any of the other MP3 players that existed prior to the iPod? Or any of the myriad programs that replay compressed audio, like WinAmp?

Why does the late-comer iPod get the credit?

Re:Yawn... (1)

TheSkyIsPurple (901118) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526530)

May not have been the first mp3 player, but was the first one everyone and their mother heard of.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519599)

Ahhhhh I get it! The unwashed masses have found out about podcasting and have taken to it with gusto. Therefore all self-important, superior slashdotters must look down on it and claim it to be rubbish so as to elevate themselves above the hoi polloi. Sad.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15520088)

What irks me more is that all of a sudden "streaming audio" is "podcasting", as if the iPod had anything to do with its inception.

Besides, let's face it...the majority of it is people talking about stuff they know nothing about.

It sounds like you're the one talking about stuff that they know nothing about.

A podcast is a collection of files, typically audio in MP3 format, published via an RSS 2.0 feed so that users can subscribe to it.

So, podcasting does not depend on streaming, iPods or even audio content. People are already podcasting .pdf files and video.

Re:Yawn... (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521355)

Agreed. I had to search for a post on a similar vein before I posted "what the hell does this have to do with iPod's" post. (Wow, mp3 + mp3 player!)
By the way, you are not allowed to call it slashdot posting. Actually, all internet discussion is henceforth to be called "nogging", "nogposting", or "nogreading". I mean, hey, I discuss stuff on the internet.

Re:Yawn... (2, Informative)

timster (32400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519091)

Please understand that you get called a cynic and a troll because you are cynically trolling.

I think it's important to understand that the Internet is still new, and we haven't figured out everything that will work on it yet. I find it, well, cynical, when new innovations come about and people say "it's just moving data from place to place and we could do that on the Internet in 1972".

Today, there is a new and remarkable movement of radio shows being distributed on the Internet, and it's called "podcasting" -- get over it. Yes, the technical details aren't particularly special, but neither were the technical details of the weblog or the Internet store or the search engine or the wiki or whatever else. The interesting part is the content and the social framework around that content.

Even if you despise amateurism, many people out there in the world are finding podcasting a convenient way to subscribe to established professional radio shows. So what, exactly, is your beef with it?

Re:Yawn... (1)

thisjustin (878053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519400)

To be quite honest, I've only ever listened to one Podcast consistently, the CBC Radio 3 podcast. It's a podcast of Canadian independent music. But this one podcast was enough to convince me of the value of podcasting, it's a shame there apparently aren't other podcasts out there with enough quality content to convince the rest of you. I generally don't listen to the radio, at least not for music because most of it is crap. This podcast allows me to hear good new music, legally.
I think just as in blogging podcasts with consistently quality content are useful. What sets podcasting apart is the medium, I'm not interested in listening to an audio transcription of what someone could otherwise place on a blog, especially for technical topics, but the ability to disseminate new independent music in a nearly ad free format is quite powerful. It's just a shame there isn't more quality content for what could bring an end to radio "playing what we want to hear".

Ha ha ha ha ha ...that was some funny crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519461)

Ha ha ha ha ha ...that was sooooo funny GillBates0

I feel exactly the same way.

What's so damn interesting or technologically challenging about including an MP3 file in an XML file anyway?... Wow I'm blown away. Of course I also think Bloggers are gay too.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15520520)

Maybe people wouldn't "mod" you a "troll" if you left some "quote marks" for the rest of "us".

python411? (0, Flamebait)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519019)

python411? It's sounds like overkill to me. I learned Python overnight ... it's so frickin' easy to use! If you can't figure out python, you're in the wrong profession.

Re:python411? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519059)

If you can't figure out python, you're in the wrong profession.

I can't figure out python, and I'm in the rodent removal and relocation profession.

so you are right I suppose - but maybe for the wrong reasons.

Re:python411? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15523573)

Eh... a python might help in your job as well.

Podcasting is old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519022)

Now everyone is into this ball and string thing. Heh heh, you have no idea where the ball is going...

Full disclosure (2, Informative)

Grackle (570961) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519043)

"as an exercise in full disclosure" you should disclose that your disclosure is actually a poorly disclosed plug for your two podcasts ... :-D Nice book review, though.

Oblig. (3, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519063)

1. Read lots of 'blogging' references.
2. Find & replace 'blog' with 'podcast'.
3. Find a publisher.
4. Profit

Yes, I understand that there are differences between blogging and podcasting -- but not that many in the long run. One could easily recycle so much 'blogging' material for 'podcasting' that I frankly see little need to discuss podcasting.

And pardon the apostrophes for 'blog' and 'podcast' -- it's just that I hate both terms and resist allowing them into my personal dictionary. Now get off my lawn.

Re:Oblig. (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519098)

One word: pogcasting.

Re:Oblig. (2, Funny)

spezz (150943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519544)

One word: pogcasting.
You think? Pogs [badfads.com] went out with OK Soda and that Soul Asylum album everybody had. I don't think anybody really wants to listen to a radio show about pogs. But hell, I've been wrong before.

Re:Oblig. (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519920)

yeah, but this isn't radio, it's pogcasting.

also, plogcasting sounded bad.

Re:Oblig - not even close (2, Insightful)

MythoBeast (54294) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520222)

This post was obviously written by someone who hasn't spent a lot of time parusing podcasts. Although there is a great profusion of podcasts which are analogous to blogging, the majority of the types of podcasts out there are much more diverse. Some of them compare better to your typical radio music program, published over the internet. Some are more like articles for New Scientist, or take their direction from shows like Cosmos. Others are purely informational, like the ones that provide the morning news, weather, or Slashdot headlines. Suggesting that podcasts are just audio blogs is like suggesting that newspaper articles are all there is to writing.

More importantly, your audience is EXTREMELY different. Podcasting is more of a unidirectional format, whereas those who read blogs get off on being able to comment back at the people. Podcast listeners listen throughout the day, using it as background noise, or as a way to make their car trips more palatable. Most of them use Podcasts to make themselves more productive. Blog readers, on the other hand, use blogs as a way to release tension between things their doing, more as a leisure activity. These two are of a significantly different mindset, and they are attracted to a significantly different presentation of content.

The differences are quite profuse when you get down to it. Even the methods of monetization are very, very different.

Also, this post suggests that most of the material in this book is recycled, which also conveys a complete lack of insight into the creators of the book. Rob Walch has been studying the finer points of podcasting pretty much since its inception, and has provided as much of the information as possible in his podcast. If you want to call it recycled, then it's a compilation of the author's own materials from the Podcast medium into a book. I can't speak for Mur Lafferty, because he was previously unknown to me. I suspect that he was largely responsible for the composition and phrasology in the book, while adding what he knows about podcasting to Rob's already voluminous knowledge.

Re:Oblig - not even close (1)

elfasi (301055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522803)

Mur Lafferty is a she, a good author and a pretty fine podcaster.

Re:Oblig. (1)

No. 24601 (657888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520570)

And pardon the apostrophes for 'blog' and 'podcast' -- it's just that I hate both terms and resist allowing them into my personal dictionary. Now get off my lawn.

Personally, I love the terms. I think it's a sign that the outrageous cyberpunk literature of the early 1980's wasn't so outrageous after all. I mean if you think about it, the Internet, particularly the Web, really is allowing people to talk to more people than they could without this technology. Words like 'blog', 'podcast' just go to show that seemingly inaccessible tools (try explaining to someone in the 50's how one can go about broadcasting to the entire world from one's living room) have really become available to the 'layman'.

Save $4.50! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519125)

Save yourself $4.25 by buying the book here: Tricks of the Podcasting Masters [amazon.com] . And if you use the "secret" A9.com Instant Reward discount [amazon.com] , you can save an extra 1.57%! That's a total savings of $4.50, or 22.83%!

Save $17.99! (2, Funny)

Gospodin (547743) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519327)

...and don't buy it at all!

Re:Save $17.99! (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523746)

Best slashdot book review ever.

How many are "streaming"? (2, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519145)

Most of the folks I know just download the MP3s in one shot, put them on a player and listen to them on the commute. The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs [blogs.com] was good for a couple of weeks... and there's the excellent JavaPosse [javaposse.com] for keeping up with the latest Java news.

But anyhow, I never "stream" these recordings; I just download them for offline listening.

Re:How many are "streaming"? (1)

dave1212 (652688) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520943)

You seem to be unclear on what podcasting is.

No streaming occurs.

If you've subscribed to a show with an application that supports RSS enclosures, the files are downloaded automatically. Not streamed. Downloaded to your hard drive, in full.

The folks you talk about are pretty much doing the same thing, only they're missing out on having it delivered to them. It involves a bit more work for them; they have to go find the actual mp3 files and download them. Podcasting lets you not have to worry about checking for updates to your favourite feeds.

It's simple RSS with enclosures, not streaming.

She's Trolling Down The River. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519159)

All you need to do to have a 'good' podcast is to TROLL TROLL TROLL until lots of people listen to you just so they can debunk you, then you sell advertising.

FOX News Podcast?? (0, Flamebait)

doublem (118724) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519975)

So when't the Faux News Podcast going to come out?

Re:FOX News Podcast?? (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523222)

Why would they need a podcast? They've got an entire news network.

And for the record, what you need to make a good podcast is the ability to read a script without sounding like you're reading a script, or to pull shit out of your ass without sounding like you're just rambling. No matter how self-righteous you are, in the end, people only want to listen to your blog to be entertained, so at least TRY not to be a complete and utter amateur.

Re:FOX News Podcast?? (1)

doublem (118724) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523820)

Why would they need a podcast? They've got an entire news network.

Because it's yet another way to fearmonger to the masses of course!

Quick Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519169)

This isn't a troll, so don't flame. My question is....do people really listen to this stuff? While I could understand the value of being able to have the latest npr radio broadcasts automagically updated to your ipod (or insert whatever service), I do NOT understand why anyone would sit around (walk around - whatever) and listen to some random person talking into a microphone in their basement/room about whatever. I'm sure there are high quality individual podcasts, but, like blogs, I think the majority of it is masturbatory garbage (like the selfpromoting article/review submitter). Then again, people seem to like to read random people's blogs and I don't. So maybe I just don't get it. I'm a huge geek and I love the power of the Internet for selfpublishing and independent thought, but it seems to me that this proves less useful than a blog/website - as it is harder to judge the initial quality/content (though I guess subsequent podcasts would make that effort pay off).


I dunno. Could someone just let me know of some of the things they listen to via podcasting and why?

Re:Quick Question (2, Funny)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519189)

I'm sure several people will respond to you saying that they, in fact, listen to podcasts. Someone might even claim that they got one or more of their relatives hooked on them. This will thus prove that everyone except you (and me) listens to them.

Re:Quick Question (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519393)

Well speaking from my own experiences, my podcast/downloadable audio file averages about 700 - 1000 downloads each episode (fortnightly episodes). It's not huge but enough people listen to make it worthwhile.

Re:Quick Question (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523058)

It's not huge but enough people listen to make it worthwhile.

How do you measure worthwhile? If you're trying to make a buck by selling advertising, or even subscriptions, then I guess you've got some sort of absolute measurement, but if you're an amateur, you're probably as much motivated by your own interest in the topic and podcasting in general, and the number of listeners, while ego-boosting, is probably not that important to whether you keep going, right?

Re:Quick Question (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15527493)

Well I consider it worthwhile if the podcast is being listened to by my target audience. No I don't make any money from it, as the entire aim of the cast is to keep people informed about what is going on in the Australian FOSS community. If I didn't think people were interested then I wouldn't be doing it.

Re:Quick Question (1)

Colgate2003 (735182) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519615)

I am a podcaster who doesn't listen to many podcasts.

Yes, I have a couple of dozen shows in the "Podcasts" section of my iPod, but almost none of the are true podcasts. I listen to NPR, BBC, CBC, and other radio content, time-shifting it using podcasting as the delivery method.

The only true podcasts that I listen to are well-produced, well-thought-out shows that I consider radio quality. Some of these really do not have a place on the radio. Some are really well put together but are purposely not polished enough to be radio-style productions. Others just do not have the wide appeal required for broadcasting. These are the few podcasts that I think justify the attention the medium is getting.

Most podcasts are terrible, but here's a question for you: what fraction of the TV shows out there would you say are worth watching?

Re:Quick Question (1)

rolofft (256054) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520278)

It's more like Netflix than TiVo. I listen to podcasts for my specific interests: homebrewing, basketball, running, short stories, technology, and The Onion Radio News. If a particular podcast isn't good, it's just a click to unsubscribe.

Re:Quick Question (1)

DataCannibal (181369) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522483)

You are spot on. Sturgeons law to the Xth power applies to blogging as well as podcasting: around 99.9% of it is crap. I listen to usually podcasts. Strangely enough, or maybe gley given not so strangely given the overall quailty of the radio proagrammes that they produce a lot of these are from the BBC others from Amercican PBR stations and only one is a kind of home-made-in-the-bedroom podcast, although that is very entertaining and of high quailty as well. I'll leave you to google for the links and to guess which podcast comes from whom:

In our time
From our own correspondaent
The World Tech Podcast
LugRadio
Go Digital
eTown Podcast

I occasionally download other podcasts but it's question of time. I generally can't manager to listen to more than these six.

Yawn is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519223)

Podcasting just requires too much investment of time for little return. I don't see it going anywhere.

With blogs, you could quickly get an idea of whether you like the blogger or not. With videos, you get immediate visual satisfaction and also similarly a quick idea of whether its total crap or not.

With podcasting, you have to listen to some nerd mouth off, with no idea of whether its worth it, pain in the ass to skip around. Like radio, only its worse. Podcasting is DOA.

Re:Yawn is right (2, Interesting)

jj00 (599158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519452)

...Podcasting is DOA

I'd have to disagree with you. I listen to a bunch of podcasts - some are about technology, others are about recent events. I like to keep up with this stuff while driving to/from work. The good ones will give you more in-depth information on a topic.

You figure which ones are worth listening to just like you figure out which tv shows or movies to watch.

Re:Yawn is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15519604)

It's just like any other "new" medium - a shit ton of noise that you have to dig through to find some good stuff, but when you do, it's really great.

I hate using the term "blog," but for some reason "podcasting" works for me - I don't know, I have no idea where the line gets drawn. I'm on Slashdot, so everything's relative in terms of how lame something is. =P

I do host a show for writing and filmmaking, so a niche market, and half the time it's really just myself and my co-host holding a discussion on whatever it is we feel like and hoping maybe someone who hears it has something to add and answer a question we may have, or having sit-down interviews with some of our favorite authors (two done already, a third coming soon). Or talking about seeing some kid get kicked in the face at the public park.

One thing that I'd probably want to know more about podcasting would be advertising/marketing. I really don't care about making money, but it would be nice to bring together like-minded people to hear the show and maybe stir up discussion, or get the word out to where new or more popular literary authors and filmmakers would be willing to talk to us.

At the end, most people who get into podcasting do it for selfish reasons. The ones who actually admit that right off the bat are the ones who tend to last longer.

http://misnomer.libsyn.com/ [libsyn.com]

I bought the sister book in the series (0, Troll)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519281)

Tricks of the Livejournal Cutters, and it was very eye opening.

Do Podcasts Suck? (0, Flamebait)

pawn63295 (964760) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519323)

Well im not gonna beat around the buch any here so ill just come out and say it. Podcasts suck worse than blogs which suck worse than tampons which suck worse than bleeding vaginas

Re:Do Podcasts Suck? (1)

davido42 (956948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519374)

Clearly, you haven't heard the Krimson News podcast. ;-)

It sucks way less!

http://www.krimson-news.com/ [krimson-news.com]

You need to read a book now? (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519338)

Geez, I wish I had known that when I first started out almost a year ago. Look let's boil it down to it's simplest. Grab a mic, grab audacity and grab a blog that has enclosure tags enabled in its RSS feeds. There ya go you're podcasting.

For the rest of it, it comes down to common sense. Do some research, make sure your sound levels are okay, and whatever you do, don't expect to make any sort of money from it(though if you do thats a bonus).

What I Do [localfoss.org]

Podcasts are not profitable, but podcasting can be (3, Insightful)

Colgate2003 (735182) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519433)

I'm a podcaster, both personally [bostonbehi...scenes.com] and professionally [mos.org] .

At the recent Podcast Academy at Boston University, one of the big messages that I heard over and over was this: You won't be able to quit your day job and podcast full time. What you may be able to do though, is quit your day job and tell others how to podcast.

For better or worse, there are many individuals, organizations, companies, and even governments getting involved in podcasting. Many of them feel that they need consultants to guide them along the way. If you can put a moderately popular show together, the money may come from helping others to do the same.

Re:Podcasts are not profitable, but podcasting can (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521279)

You know who made money in the California Gold Rush of the 1850s? People who sold supplies to the miners.

Financial Rule of Thumb #62 (1)

Mille Mots (865955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523389)

This is from my work-in-progress, 'Financial Rules of Thumb That Will Make You Filthy Rich!':

Rule #62: When people you've never heard of start selling books telling you how to get filthy rich in a given market/niche/opportunity/etc., all of the good, easy money has already been made.
As an added bonus (really a naked attempt to get you to buy my forthcoming opus, 'Financial Rules of Thumb That Will Make You Filthy Rich'), I'll share this Corollary to Rule #62, with you:

Corollary to Rule #62: Frequently, there is never really any good, easy money to be made in the market/niche/opportunity/etc. addressed in the books mentioned in Rule #62. The real market/niche/opportunity/etc. is selling books about non-existant opportunities written by unknowns with tantalizingly simple, yet incomplete, methods for easily getting filthy rich. See 'Financial Rules of Thumb That Will Make You Filthy Rich.')
YMMV. HTH. HAND.

--
Ask your bookseller to stock 'Financial Rules of THumb That Will Make You Filthy Rich' today!

Simple - Just Ask a Ninja (3, Funny)

Se7enLC (714730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519562)

What is Podcasting?

It's like a factory that produces apple pies for whales, that's the simplest way I can describe it.

Ask a Ninja [askaninja.com]

Step #1: Ignore things like this. (1)

Dr. Molf (586917) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519590)

I consider myself a successful podcaster. I started a show, put it up on the web, and now I average about a thousand downloads a week with listeners in 20+ countries. My trick? I did what I wanted to do and said - screw it when it came to everyone else. I don't listen to other people's podcasts. I don't check out the competition. I submitted myself to all the podcasting search engines. Save all your money on dumb books like this and follow these steps: 1/ make a website & email address so people can write you 2/ make sure you get listed on iTunes 3/ update regularly and keep your filesizes small. Boom.

Here is the Value of Podcasts and Podcasting! (3, Insightful)

Ursus Maximus (540370) | more than 8 years ago | (#15519666)

Podcasts allow good audio material on very specific subjects to reach its audience, even when the prospective audience is very small, and not in one geographic area. If the number of people in the world that is interested in your specialty or passion is only 1000, then a for-pay radio station, magazine or book is not economically feasible.

Podcasts are basically Radio Shows on the Internet (Like Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh or Dr. Ruth), but what makes them special is how the Shows are delivered to the user.

Podcasts are like Magazine Subscriptions. With a magazine subscription you register for a magazine (podcast) and then every so often the publisher (podcaster) will send one to your house (Granted with podcasts the aggregator goes out and fetches it. Now after the Magazine is delivered, it sits in your Mailbox (aggregator) until someone removes the Mail and puts it on the Kitchen Table (iTunes). You then decide when you want to read that magazine (Daily Source Code) or some other magazine or you can just throw it away because it no longer interests you. You can also cancel any subscription at any time.

Now there are a couple of key differences between Podcasts and Magazines.

With Podcasts, you only receive those you have subscribed to. There are no unwanted L.L. Bean or Victoria (XXX) Secrets Magazines cluttering up your mailbox. Actually that is one of the great points of Podcasting (so Far) it is Spam Free - oops I mean Junk Mail free. And Talking about Free - Podcasts are Free - Yup they don't cost a dime or even any Frequent Flyer Miles.

Many people find particular podcasts very valuable. Podcasts empower individuals to reach a global audience, no matter how specialized or small.

Podcasts give complete control to the audience, the individual listener, who can choose exactly which content to listen to, with no spam or irrelevant material included.

Millions of people enjoy podcasts, especially the time-shifting aspects of podcasting. One can listen while driving, jogging, exercising or whenever.

Sure, audio streaming on the net is old news. Before blogs, written journals on the web existed. Before the printing press, books existed. It's a matter of scale and an issue of technology empowering millions of people to do what only a few did before.

Ursus Maximus

Re:Here is the Value of Podcasts and Podcasting! (1)

KingOfGod (884633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520126)

Ok, now, it seems that you know a little bit about this 'podcasting'. So, please enlighten me - What exactly justifies "podcasting" material instead of writing an article about it? Firstly, I dont have to decode your crappy teenie voice when I read your vaguely interesting material. Second, I can understand you clearly despite what ever country you come from. And believe me, I've tried this 'podcasting' phenomena. I've tried listening to some 'podcasts' about all kinds of stuff. I could never understand half of what people said, and wished there was a transcript.

So, once more - Why cant you lazy 'podcasters' just fucking write an article instead of this 'free radio' bullshit?

Re:Here is the Value of Podcasts and Podcasting! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15520224)

I have limited amounts of free time with work, two kids, spouse, house, dog, bills and on and on. Podcasting enables me to listen to things I don't have time to read. Particularly on my hour-long commute. I can also listen while I am working. I am a former journalist and I value the written word. I am not a big fan of blogs because of their lack of quality writing and ideas. A decent podcasts takes a little more work that just typing. It takes editing, which is sorely lacking in most blogs.

Re:Here is the Value of Podcasts and Podcasting! (1)

KingOfGod (884633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520656)

Ok, you see, to me it seems to be the opposite.
A 'podcaster' will not say something twenty times to make it sound right. A 'podcaster' will just say what's on his mind, without any preparation, and get it done with. Maybe cut a little here and trim a little there, but it's always going to be the same crappy quality microphone recording the same crappy voice and stupid material with his very slow and hardly understandable, localized pronounciation. I would much rather either have the material in written form, and
a) Get the material onto my laptop or
b) Print the material out
so I can read it while I'm listening to music on my mp3 player. Without any localized accent to decipher. Without any distruptions in the flow I like to take in information.
Actually, if someone cannot express himself in written form properly, they probably should not be expressing themselves at all. But whatever, I'm just old fashioned.

Also, typing on a computer allows you to edit any place in your written material at any damn time you please, so editing will be a lot faster and more correct.

Trust me on this, 'podcasts' only survive because of the hype they generate, and the people who eat up the hype. "XML Served mp3 iPod podcasts by blogger on the web 2.0"

Re:Here is the Value of Podcasts and Podcasting! (1)

Ace McKenzie (982265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15527946)

For thousands of years, before the invention of the printing press, humans were illiterate, although certainly as intelligent as today. The human brain, or mind, is wired to receive information in a spoken form. When we read, we are actually speaking the words, albeit silently, to ourselves. Podcasting lets the podcaster skip the middle man and talk directly to his listener's brain. I will grant you that most podcasting is poor quality. Either poor in technical quality, poor in content, or poor in presentation, or any combination of those three. If the subject is of interest to us, then we can forgive poor technical quality (up to a point), and if very interesting to us, then we can forgive poor presentaion, so long as the content is good. Podcasts, like blogs, generally accept listener feedback, and can be influenced by constructive criticism and suggestions.

Written articles take time to read, while sitting at the computer, which some people don't do very much, or do not like to do. An alternative is to print out the article, which takes some time and effort. Then you have to find a time and place to read the article. A podcast, however, can be listened to in a variety of situations where reading is impractical, inconvenient, or dangerous, such as while driving.

Although many people prefer to listen to music, some like to learn something when listening to the radio, which is why talk radio has a certain following. However, talk radio at times can become repetitive, shrill, and not very entertaining. This is where podcasts come in. You can select what you want to listen to, at your convenience, like tivo.

As for the crappy quality podcasts - I usually recognize within a minute or two something that is of no interest to me, or of such poor quality that I cannot continue. The solution is the same as on tivo - delete it.

Re:Here is the Value of Podcasts and Podcasting! (1)

KingOfGod (884633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15528089)

When we read, we are actually speaking the words, albeit silently, to ourselves
... In our own voice, at our own speed of comprehension.

This can be directly metaphored to the technology behind XML. If you recieve an XML file, you decide how you want to interpret the file, how to represent it and what else to do with it. If you, however, recieve an image (ie png, jpg), the image can only be represented in one way.
Hint: "image" is metaphor for podcast. "XML File" is metaphor for plaintext material.

Also, you should not make assumptions about how any person on this planet interprets data served to him in any format, be it visual, kinetic or audiovisual.

Written articles take time to read, while sitting at the computer, which some people don't do very much, or do not like to do. An alternative is to print out the article, which takes some time and effort. Then you have to find a time and place to read the article. A podcast, however, can be listened to in a variety of situations where reading is impractical, inconvenient, or dangerous, such as while driving.

Which is exactly the reasons for not listening to a podcast while doing something which requires your undivided attention. You can NOT absorb any information if all your focus is directed elsewhere.
I've tried listening to podcasts, and found myself abandoning them after 40 seconds because I couldnt sit still doing nothing but listening, or percieve the material while doing something else.

Also, some of us read faster than the time it takes for someone to pronounce the text, which makes it much easier to find time to read something rather than listening to it.

Try this experiment: Ask someone who is good at non-interactive lecturing speak about something which interests both you and the lecturer, and record it (Without you knowing much about the subject beforehand and without listening to the lecture while it is being recorded)
Now, listen to the record while doing something else which requires your undivided, constant attention. Then check if you percieved any of the information from the audio recording you just listened to.
If your result is different than what I would expect it to be, please notify your local PhD's.

Re:Here is the Value of Podcasts and Podcasting! (1)

aceydacey (973258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15528783)

Wow, Ace, you said that really well. I think you correct! Ron

Who has time to read? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15520288)

I listen to Cranky Geeks when Im on the crapper:
its called multi-tasking.

As someone who commutes from work either by car or train,
podcasts on my mp3 player is a great.
Of course, if your high school is next door, you probably dont have this problem.

The medium is the message (1)

aceydacey (973258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520413)

There is a lot of difference between the spoken word and the printed word. Each has its good points, but they are different. I never understood this until I began podcasting and listening to podcasts.

Sometimes it helps to read about a subject, and then hear about it, to go back and forth. Universitiy professors have understood this for hundreds of years.

Counter-intuitively, it works extremely well for learning programming concepts. Read about the concepts, use the concepts, listen to a lecture about them, then read some more, then do, then read-listen do, read listen do.

It works. The human mind is not a static, works-best-only-one-way device. Maybe Marshual Macluhan was on to something after all.

Python411 [awaretek.com] learn Python, a podcast series

One key element... (2, Insightful)

Lumilux (981976) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520006)

Most podcasts that I've listened to all sound "amateurish" because of one thing that's missing: background music. Yes, it may seem cheesy, and yes, it may be difficult to find properly-licensed material, but soft background music could really improve some of the bland 'casts out there.

Re:One key element... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15520377)

It's not hard to find properly-licensed material at all. Very early on the Podsafe Music Network [podshow.com] sprang up, designed to allow podcasters to find music that they can use freely.

The music is not by Top 40 artists, but there is a huge variety and some very good quality. In fact, there are quite a few podcast music shows which just play music selected from this site!

I'm guessing most podcasts don't have music in the background mostly because they haven't yet got to grips with audio mixing, don't really have the time necessary to polish their product and search through the music available, or believe that it somehow detracts from their message :)

Re:One key element... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15521505)

Although it's very true and I was going to fully agree, I just had two opposing thoughts at least:

1) Leo Laporte's podcasts are considered professional. They have intro music, but many podcasts do too. Talk radio too, and it is still automatically placed above podcasting quality.

2) College radio (late night, the kind that has lots of silent pauses, poor scripting, hesitation noises like "um," and "like", informal interviews, and cursing) seems to be at a midpoint in quality between commercial and your run-of-the-mill podcasts.

Just some thoughts. I think even commercial radio rarely has background music. My painful realization is that most of the music we hear on the radio, which is no doubt considered a professional medium rather than amateurish, is contained in jingles --read, ADVERTISEMENTS.

Real radio plays copyrighted music instead of having the "talk-radio" nature of podcasts. In contrast, music-only podcasts aren't common. Instead, you have streaming websites for music, which defeats the timesharing value of podcasting.

I think some connections may be drawn from here or more ideas. Have fun!

I enjoy kawaiiradio.com, www.di.fm and Winamp's listed streams. I know there is nothing to really learn because these are just music, but I still prefer streaming over podcasts.

And podcasts go belly-up, or voice constant fears of dying off, or having little growth. Real radio doesn't. So those are big no-no's in podcasting lore.

Re:One key element... (1)

fczuardi (574719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525962)

There are many sources for properly-licensed tracks that can be used on podcasts, I recommend the recently released CCHits [cchits.org] , where the top tracks are promoted to the homepage on a Digg-like style and uses tags for categorization. More references to other sources can be found at this Content Curators CC Wiki Page [creativecommons.org] .

Honesty is a funny thing... (1)

hyfe (641811) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520144)

From end of review:
As an exercise in full disclosure, I should confess to hosting two podcast series of my own, the AwareTek philosophical podcast, and the Python411 podcast about the Python programming language."


Full disclosure?! You sir, are going to be a good politician some day. Using a term which still has good connotations due to not being misused enough yet, and spinning your own shameless commercials as doing the readers a favour. Bloody hell!

Not that I think there's any wrong with plugging your own stuff at the end of a review, but for god's sake, be honest about it and avoid the self-sanctimonius crap!

like a rolling stone... (1)

aceydacey (973258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520667)

Hey hyfe, Well, I tired anyway ;-))) Ron http://www.awaretek.com/ [awaretek.com] the technology of beign human...one voice crying the wilderness... i don't feel like a politician...

Re:like a rolling stone... (1)

hyfe (641811) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520722)

Just to make it clear, as you probably understood (since you didn't swear at me:), my comment was more out of general frustration than than any specific gripe with the review (which was well-written).

Whatever gets you through the night... (1)

aceydacey (973258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520825)

That's totally cool... I totally appreciate your lack of beligerance towards me despite my self serving tendencies.

Please pardon my regression into late 50's early 60's jargon..since I wrote that review of Rob Walch's book about the podcasting phenomenon, I have learned that it is a fact that Bob Dylan will release his latest album (first in almost five years---the last was released on September 11, 2001) and, for the first time I can personally recall, he has also released the name of the album in advance. It will be called Modern Times. That's ironic given Dylan's 5 decade long journey into the past prior to this release.

I'm happy.

...and just a little bit scared...

Ron Stephens http://www.awaretek.com/podcasts/index.html [awaretek.com]

is this serendipitously synchronistic, or what?

Re:Whatever gets you through the night... (1)

hyfe (641811) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522315)

I totally appreciate your lack of beligerance towards me despite my self serving tendencies.

Lack of belligerence? I told you to the stop the sanctimonious crap for gods sake, if that's not being belligerent, what is?

How do you sleep at night? (1)

Ursus Maximus (540370) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523406)

Oh, in that case,

I wish that for just one day
I could walk inside your shoes
Then I could see what a drag it is
To be you...
http://www.awaretek.com/ [awaretek.com]

How much can a book help? (1)

Schezar (249629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520216)

I'd like to think that we (GeekNights [frontrowcrew.com] ) sound fairly professional. It's not difficult or expensive to put together the equipment and have pro-sounding audio: the trick is in having something worthwhile to say and saying it well.


Well means good pacing, good language, and a conversational tone. You have to get used to hearing your own voice and speaking without immediate feedback from your audience. I don't know how much a book could help with these things.


Just practice and practice, podcast and podcast. We've done some 130 hour-long shows, and you'd be surprised how quickly you get used to being "on the air."

Re:How much can a book help? (1)

Mille Mots (865955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523431)

We've done some 130 hour-long shows
Would a 130 hour-long podcast even fit on my iPod? I mean, I have the 60GB iPod Photo and all, but...130 hours? Did you stay awake the whole time? If so, how? I bet you could write a book, 'Secrets of the Successful Marathon Podcasting Masters!'

Man. 130 hours? That'd take me around five and a half days to listen to. And you say you've done more than one? Amazing!

--
J'adoube

podcasting is the shiznit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15520316)

For those of you who think podcasting is lame, isn't popular, or whatever, you're very wrong. There are currently tens of thousands of podcasts, with well over a hundred thousand episodes out there.
You could say podcasting is a rehash of streaming radio, but that's about as true as TV being a rehash of movie theaters.
There are podcasts on just about every single topic imaginable. There're comedy shows, education shows, music shows, morning-zoo type shows, audioblogs...the list goes on and on.
And to say 'no one listens' to podcasts is totally ignorant too. The real popular shows (and I'm not talking about repackeged radio shows, available for download) like Dawn and Drew have hundreds of thousands of listeners. Tons of shows have around 10,000 listeners. But more often, the listenership is a few hundred to a few thousand. But the point is, that's not 'nobody'
I'm a podcaster myself, with a fairly popular comedy show. I've been podcasting for just under a year now. And let me tell you, it's not just some tiny, one-forum-community thing. It's big.
Being an avid podcast-listener myself (around 50 podcasts I've subscribed to), i'm going to say my favorite type of show is Comedy. There's sketches, jokes, jerk-ness (humourously, that is), spontaneousness, etc etc etc.

My point is, podcasting isn't some tiny thing that's got no potential and no entertainment value. It's a medium for anyone with an internet connection to be able to reach out and give the world whatever it is they want to give. In the same way, it's a way for everyone else to take that piece.
Think TV where everyone has a chance to do it, but you can choose what you watch, whenever you want to, but with no commercial breaks, and no cheesy actors. But just audio. Yeah.

Value of Podcasting (1)

FuzzyHead (86261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520598)

I've found that Podcasting is ONLY valuable to time shift or location shift things. I deal with a podcast that delivers the messages of our church to the web. For all I know I may be the only one subscribed. However, it's these kind of circumstances that really bring podcasting out.

If I was to start a podcast, I would have to think about what kinds of things would I be competant to talk about. Think about a radio show people would listen to. Would they listen to an uninteresting person talking about the finer points of string theory or someone interesting and competant in computing.

Re:Value of Podcasting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15521893)

well that's the point fuzzy. for every topic there's a listener. if one person's interested in it enough to make a show about it, there's probably other people interested enough to check it out.
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