What Do Boy Scouts And Podcasting Have In Common
Always be prepared. It is the Boy Scout motto but preparation is also critical to the production of a successful podcast. You might want to start by first listening to a variety of podcasts to get a better idea of the variety of formats and styles that exist within the medium.
Also it's important to brainstorm and come up with several possible topics to cover in your podcasts. A good source of material could be any kind of new developments or interesting news about your company. You might want to go over any press releases that you've recently issued for ideas. Also are there any innovative products or service features that distinguish you from your competition? This should be the springboard for your outline. Do some research and try to see if you can tie it into something newsworthy. Keep in mind who your target audience is so that the message is relevant and as well as engaging to them.
Try to keep in mind that you'll want to share just enough information to pique your visitors' curiosity in order to get them to tune to the upcoming installments of podcast series. You want to make your podcasting engaging without going into to too much or too little detail. You want to maximize listener retention, and as you can imagine, getting new listeners is a challenge so you surely don't want to loose them once you have them.
How do you Structure your pod cast?
To make sure you cover everything you want without being redundant you should develop an outline of just what you'd like to include in each podcast, as well as a basic outline of the series.
1) You need an outline of your potential pod cast ideas
2) Create an order for the shows starting with a basic introductory show that explains who you are and what your show is about and then schedule your regular shows from there
3) You'll need to create an outline for each individual pod cast
This should include an:
b) 2 or 3 important points
c) Summary with contact info
Remember that the content of your podcast is critical, and the outline it will enable you to be sure you don't lose your audience. How long your podcast will be is directly related to how much news you have to share and the extent to which you can keep that news fresh and exciting. Frequency of updates is also an important issue to address. This will likely depend on your industry, the and the number of new developments, or newsworthy happenings. Keep in mind though that most people are probably listening while in their car. You have a finite amount of time. If you produce a 45 minute podcast it had better be well edited and put together. It probably easier to be brief, and divide a much longer show into shorter more regular 15-30 minute broadcasts.
Whether creating your own podcast or outsourcing it elsewhere it's important to keep in mind that preparation is the first step in creating a successful podcast.
Kidcasts From The Wide To The Wee Screen
Podcasts, which allow viewers to download video material into their iPods to watch at their own convenience, has always been a secret weapon for harassed parents looking for a way to entertain bored and listless children. Think long road trips, or the typical meltdowns at restaurants, doctor's clinics, or grocery lines. Bring out the iPod, and suddenly, the kids have something to do leaving Mommy and Daddy to go about their task without fear of the Tantrum from Hell.
The cartoon industry has caught on. Today, there are podcast videos specifically for children, which are either delivered for free with advertising, or can be downloaded for a minimal subscription rate. For example, Radio Disney has been sending cartoons-on-the-go, taking this billion-dollar family entertainment company from the widescreen to the wee screen.
Tinkerbell would've been proud.
Other cartoon characters to jump on the pod: Kedou the Bear, and his adventures (or misadventures) of growing up, Buck Howdy, and 123 Listen to Me. Many smaller, independent cartoon companies that otherwise may have had difficulty breaking into nationwide television are also bringing their shows to the web, for easy download.
The advantage of podcasts for kids go beyond acting as a babysitter. The educational content of many of these videos can be replayed again and again, wherever the child may be allowing for the repetition and reinforcement that young learners need. It doesn't even have to be about the ABCs or the 123s: there are nursery rhymes, vocabulary builders, even simple documentaries on the trip to the zoo.
Podcasting has also unleashed a whole new (and very young) generation of directors: kids are starting to make podcasts as well, and sharing their files on podcast forums and parenting sites.
It's not surprising, then, for a nine-year-old to say that he's just aired his first mini documentary. This tech-savvy generation, as at home with the PC as with their paper and crayons, can easily use the software used for making podcast videos. It's an excellent way of encouraging them to use their imagination, and if several kids are involved in a video, it also teaches social skills and important values like discipline, concentration, and problem-solving.
One podcast made by a group of twelve year olds was part of a history project they did for school, and centered on the historical buildings in their area. While it's not going to win any Oscar awards (yet), it did inject a little excitement and fun into an activity that most kids would not have found particularly interesting.
Sometimes, the podcasts consist of the school plays and performances of the kids, allowing relatives from around the country to watch their child sing, dance, and possibly walk around the stage in a funny vegetable costume. So far, the feedback on this feature has been overwhelmingly positive. Children love being able to say that they've been on TV, while relatives are thankful to have access to the videos compiled by the schools or parent-teacher associations (some of them even include behind-the-scene footage!).
The podcasts have become a new way for children to explore, and enjoy, the world.
Is Your Business Ready For Podcasting
Everyone seems to be making and listening to podcasts nowadays. At the beginning, podcasting seemed to be associated with the so called computer geeks. These days however, it is not uncommon to see podcasts from businesses and corporations trying to widen their horizons and get a hold of a larger market. As podcasts inherently surpasses the limits of traditional broadcasting and advertising, they present a feasible alternative to businesses as a means of making their presence felt all over the world.
Could podcasts possibly be what your business needs? In order to help you answer that question, it may be helpful to first understand what a podcast can do for your business. The most obvious thing would be promotion. A podcast can serve to promote your business just like advertisements do. This application in itself covers a wide range of possibilities. You can do virtually anything on a podcast to promote your business. Diverting from the usual advertisements, you can use most any content and format to promote your business. One such example would be to offer in-depth information to your customers. They need not be overtly self-promoting but the whole effect would be to make the consumers aware of your business. If you are an educational institution for example, you may give weekly tips to students or to parents. For medical-related business, podcasts may focus on different health issues. In this way, you not only promote your business but you also provide a service to your customers. What better way to advertise your services?
An internal application of podcasting is for training. Podcasts are fast becoming a viable alternative for companies to provide training and information to their employees. Business executives often have a huge amount of work to be done at such a short period of time. With podcasts, they have a more portable way of perusing information. All you need to provide is an MP3 player (a laptop would work just as well) and anyone in your company can have access to training materials and other documents anywhere, anytime.
Of course, as with most any other commercial endeavour, using podcasts for your business will cost you some money. You need people to create podcasts on a regular basis. These people would have to know some of the technical aspects of recording and podcasting. Then you need your talents - people who would actually be recorded for the podcasts. You will have to analyze the cost benefit relationship before deciding to start a podcast for your business.
There are some ways to offset the cost of creating a podcast. If you are making podcasts for your customers, you may opt to charge a small fee for each download. You can also choose to provide a subscription service wherein the listener will receive the podcasts in their emails regularly for a fee. Of course, this might be not be the best option as people prefer not having to pay for podcasts.
Whatever you decide to do, the bottom line is to create podcasts that will serve their purpose. Be it for consumer awareness, added customer service, or employee training, your podcasts should have relevant content packaged in an appropriate manner. Even if you shell out money for this project, the returns may be more than what you expect!
To See Is To Believe The Rise Of Video Podcasts
With a user base of well over 20 million listeners, Podcasting may very well continue to gain popularity as video podcasting latches on. Video podcasting is like being on television, only your podcast is available through the Internet, at any convenient time to just about everyone who goes online. Just as audio podcasts cover a vast assortment of topics, video podcasting presents many possibilities to its user, for both sender and receiver of the message.
Even those experienced podcasters only need to incorporate the corresponding visuals to their audio script and use a camera to record it instead of an audio recording device, to start making their own video podcasts. Video podcasting is made even easier, as this type of broadcasting does not involve any particular software for server distribution, nor does it have technical limitations as to the format of video encoding.
Resources available online for a low price or for free have made the creation of video podcasts quite simple. Anyone who seeks to promote his or her business or simply make his or her own face famous through podcasting will only need a digital camera or web camera to record the video, plus some free downloadable software for recording and editing the actual video. Also needed are free video codecs for encoding and compression of the final video, and free software for generating the necessary RSS files.
Some topics that audio podcasts were previously made about may effectively benefit from a video upgrade, such as travel, video game tips, technology updates, and even relaxation trends. A how-to video podcast also seems logical and possibly much easier to follow than an audio-only version. Meanwhile, budding filmmakers can start making a name for themselves, as they find an audience by making independent movie podcast projects. As the technology becomes even more and more available, a greater possibility for podcasting as a commercial venue lies ahead. Businesses looking to advertise to a greater audience are sure to find ways.
Now, with the rise of mobile video players, it has become much easier for the message to reach the audience even while they're on the go, queued up at a store register, or waiting for a friend. The technology has allowed an optimised take on video viewing on-demand. In addition to that, if you're accustomed to viewing your shows on a typical television screen or want to show your latest download to a group of friends, you can easily connect your mobile media player to your TV and just sit back down.
For more professional audio and video podcasts, you can use Podcasting packages available online, such as the Podcast Blaster. The package includes the professional recording software, over a hundred sound files that may be used for embellishing your podcast, and a podcast manual that will not only guide you in making that worthy podcast, but will also give you tips on effectively promoting your podcast. To know more on how to make your own Podcasts, visit www.podcastblaster.com.
What Is Podcasting And Rss Files
One of the best ways to share files that you've found online is to download a podcast. A podcast is a way that the creators and/or distributors of content can send their online materials directly to the computer of a subscriber. The subscriber can then view or listen to the content whenever they want to.
Podcasting works because of small files called RSS files, which are located somewhere on a web page. This RSS file is regularly updated, usually through an automatic update, with text and links to new media files that are available to be downloaded.
A podcast client accesses the RSS file from the subscriber's computer. Podcast clients are programs that go online to find RSS files for data that the subscriber has chosen to view. Most podcast clients are available for free, and many different ones are available to suit any unique need.
A download happens when the client downloads and views the file that is being offered at the feed's web site. The client finds links to media files that are included in the RSS file, and then it downloads those files, storing them on a subscriber's computer until the user wants to see them. Podcast files can be comedy shows, music mixes, or radio shows. Subscribers are often able to download parts of regular shows and play them on a home computer.
Downloads can be applied to any kind of file. The RSS file that allows generally audio and video files to be downloaded can also be tailored to apply to any data file. Some experts believe that podcasting may be used to distribute software updates, as well as demonstration programs, and go beyond simply sharing media files. Users would just have to subscribe to a feed with a podcast client. This could be a way to update users about anything.
Many possibilities for file distribution are provided with podcast downloads. This represents a different way of using the Internet by allowing information to come to users, instead of having users actively go out and visit each site. Podcasting could ultimately change how the Internet works. With broadband access becoming faster and more available, content will have a good chance of being delivered directly to a consumer more easily and more quickly than ever before. This approach could mean major changes for the Internet and make the Web even more integrated with the personal lives of its users.
A Brief History Of Podcasting
Ever wonder about the evolution of the podcast? While podcasting is a comparatively young technology it still has a rather fascinating albeit brief history. The background of the word, "podcast" is quite fascinating and is reflective of the dynamic nature of the Internet community.
Podcasting is a term that was only coined in 2004, combining two words: iPod and broadcasting. Ironically, this definition is somewhat of a misnomer since neither component is completely accurate. Neither podcasting nor listening to podcasts requires an iPod or other portable player. In fact, podcasts can be listened to on any mp3 enabled device including a desktop computer. The name association came about simply because Apple Computer's iPod was the best-selling portable digital audio player when podcasting began. What's more, no over-the-air broadcasting is required either.
Even the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary jumped on the podcasting bandwagon by declaring "podcasting" word of the year for 2005. The term was defined as "a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player." The word will be added to the online version of the dictionary during their next update.
The term, podcasting was coined by journalist, Ben Hammersley, and then popularized by former MTV VJ and media entrepreneur, Adam Curry. Mr. Curry created an Applescript application that automated the process of downloading and syncing audio files to iPods.
Other names or alternative interpretations of the letters, "P-O-D" were proposed, the most popular of which was "Personal On Demand". Technology writer, Doc Searls came up with this phrase back in September, 2004. Terms such as "audio-blogging", audio magazines" and "web-casting" have also been offered to describe this unique form of media distribution.
Other "pod"-derived phrases include "podcasters" (those who create podcasts) and "podcatchers" - the special RSS aggregators which periodically check for and download new content automatically. Podcatching software enables the user to copy podcasts to portable music & video players.
The popularity of podcasting is spreading like wildfire because of the rapid adoption of MP3 players and the desire of consumers to have fresh content. Podcasting has flourished because it gives people more control over what they listen to, and the freedom to take their programs with them with them.
Not since blogging has a technology seemed so unexpected and been so quickly and widely adopted as podcasting. Growth in this nascent industry is expected to accelerate quickly due to the rapid acceptance of the technology by the radio broadcast industry in 2005 and Apple's iTunes distribution. The rising popularity of podcasts is challenging conventional radio's broadcasting model.
While iTunes is less than two years old, roughly 4.8 million people downloaded a podcast in 2005, as compared with just over 800,000 in 2004. And 11.4 million listeners are expected this year, according to research from The Diffusion Group. Already the Apple iTunes service offers 15,000 podcasts and listeners have signed up for more than 7 million subscriptions.
A study by Bridge Ratings in November 2005 with radio listeners in ten national markets showed that approximately 20% of users who have ever downloaded and listened to a podcast do soon a weekly basis. This group downloads an average of six podcasts per week and spends approximately four hours a month listening to the podcasts they download.
This study projected even more dramatic growth in the industry in the future. According to Bridge Ratings, by 2010, podcast audience growth is expected to reach a conservative 45 million users who will have ever listened to a podcast. Aggressive estimates place this number closer to 75 million by this date.
How does this affect you?
With podcast listening rising exponentially, podcasts offer you a very powerful tool for promoting your products or services. The great thing about podcasts is that they are relatively easy and inexpensive to create. Podcasting can help ensure a closer relationship with your target audiences by providing them with engaging, informative and frequent updates about the goings on in your industry. If you have a website then there's no reason you shouldn't have a podcast available as it's not difficult to set up and can bring a significant increase in traffic to your site. So in short podcasting should be a vital component of any online marketing campaign.
Podcasting How To Make A Video Podcast
Although Apple had nothing to do with the podcasting technology, the iPod and podcasting quickly became linked. With the advent of the iPod Video, podcasting entered a whole new level. Now, more than the usual audio broadcasts, aspiring film makers can also share their work with the world.
So how do you go about making your own video podcast? To make it easier on you, use a digital video camera. If you have an analog video camera, it is still possible to convert the footage to digital format but it adds another step to the process. So assuming you have a digital video camera, what do you do?
First, take great footage. Of course, making a film is not simply shooting. Create a concept and make it good. When you have finalized your ideas, it is time to shoot. When taking your shots, bear in mind your target media - the iPod. The small screen will not be able to display too many details so it is a good idea to get close when shooting. Do not use the wide-screen mode but use the standard mode instead. Optimize bandwidth and battery power by shooting several short segments instead of one full-length film. Edit! Small screen viewing will not show text clearly unless they are large enough. Also bear in mind that fast motion and high contrast might not show very clearly on the small screen.
Now that you have your video, it's time to compress it. This needs to be done so that the video will be optimized for web and iPod viewing. There are different ways you can do this. If you have a MAC, it's no big deal. You can compress and export your video using iMovie HD6 simply by clicking the following: FILE>Export>iPod>Share. It's as easy as that - the software automatically converts the file and shares it on iTunes. For PC users, you can also use QuickTime Pro, version 7.0.3 or higher. Again, simply click Export > Using Quick Time Conversion. The resulting *.m4v file is the one you will upload to your web server. Other options are Sorenson Squeeze and Spasm Software's Podner.
Home Business Exposure On Yahoo
Everyone who has ever been on the internet has heard of Yahoo! If you haven't, then quit reading and go visit now. Yahoo is such a popular site that my website ranking toolbar from Alexa shows a number "1" under website ranking...that's popular. So it would probably be a good idea to get some exposure on Yahoo! for your home business.
Here is a great way to get in at the beginning of a trend. If you've never heard of a podcast, then you should definitely get up to speed on what they are. In brief, they are archived audio files usually in mp3 format that you can download into your player such as an iPod. Hosting those files is called podcasting. People can listen to you whenever it is convenient for them.
Podcasting is in its infancy as of late 2005. Yes, there are a lot of podcasts, but users are very few compared to the total number of internet and iPod users. So how does Yahoo! fit in? Well, one of the things about podcasts is that they have usually been hard to find or search for. None of the major search engines had done much with them as of this writing.
Enter Yahoo! You can now go to http://podcasts.yahoo.com and search for whatever you want. Many of the podcasts are vocal in nature such as instruction or the old teaching tapes. Here is your opportunity - home business is a very frequently searched topic on any search engine, so it is only a matter of time until it is frequently searched on the Yahoo! podcast site as well. You can get traffic to your site by making your own podcasts and submitting them to a site that Yahoo! searches such as iPodder.
This time in podcasting is like the times in the mid 90's when you could easily get great search engine ranking with just a little effort. Your home business can get some great exposure - Don't miss the ride!
Podcasting Case Study Coverville
How can you create a successful podcast? What are the challenges most often faced by independent podcasts? How do podcasts generate revenue? In our case study we explore these questions and the lessons you can learn from the popular Coverville podcast.
What is it?
The Coverville podcast is generally released two or three times a week and is based around a variety of cover songs (reinterpreted versions of previously recorded songs by another artist.) The show generally begins with a brief introduction and overview of the show's theme for the day. The songs are then played with a few details about the song and artist, as fell as some fascinating bits of trivia interspersed in between. The shows are generally about 35 minutes and feature roughly half a dozen different songs. Information about the performing artist and source album is provided, along with information about the artist being covered. While the concept of an all covers show may seem rife with second rate songs, and almost unbearable versions of good songs you couldn't be more wrong. The covers on the show could easily stand on their own as songs and feature diverse and interesting interpretations. For example, a jazz version of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs", or mellow acoustic cover of Sir Mix A Lot's "Baby Got Back", both are unexpectedly entertaining. The show also mixes things up from time to time by having "cover story" shows which features covers that were all originally by the same artist. For example, a show that exclusively features covers of Pink Floyd songs. There's also the occasional Originalville shows featuring the little known originals of songs whose covers became famous. Coverville began simply in September 2004 as the hobby of tireless host Brian Ibbott and eventually grew to an audience of around 25,000 dedicated listeners per show.
Originally Ibbott saw sponsorships as way to offset his operating costs, and was sponsored by few other podcasting related sites such as ipodder. After all since Coverville is a music show that means obtaining licenses, buying cds, and mp3's, etc. Not mention that while more listeners are great it also means more bandwidth which in turn means more money. Also since the Top 100 on iTunes is compiled by ranking the number of subscriptions over the last week it's often dominated by the bigger names. These shows are often something which usually originated in another medium and have been repurposed for use in a podcast. Take for example the Ricky Gervais podcast based on the popular comedian's antics, or the popular LOST podcast which revolves around the happenings on the show. Not only is it already a wildly popular television show but has the financial backing of ABC networks. So what's an indie podcast to do?
Coverville has still has several podcasting related sponsors, as well as a few smaller sites, and larger retailers may not be far off (Coverville was sponsored by Tower Records over the summer.) However, while the larger retailers are still somewhat of an anomaly in the world of podcasting they've begun appearing more and more. Also by joining an advertising network (Coverville has joined the Backbeat Media Podcast Network) they're able to offer a deliver a larger and therefore more appealing audience to current as well as potential advertisers. Coverville has also received the People's Choice Award for Best Music Podcast at the 2005 Podcast Awards which is thanks in part to the number of avid fans the show has produced. In fact in an industry that's largely word of mouth having an active fan base is critical. So with more subscribers continuing to join, fans of the show raving, and higher profile sponsors joining on the future of Coverville is looking very bright indeed. So in short by creating a loyal fan base, gaining word of mouth recognition, and joining with other podcasts in order to attract more advertisers Coverville was able to go from a hobby to a means of revenue.
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