Episode 13: What Is A Podcast?

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In this episode I thought it might be interesting to review the meaning and history of podcasting as described in Wikipedia.

A podcast is a form of digital media that consists of an episodic series of audio, video, digital radio, PDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. The word is a portmanteau of “(i)Pod” and “broadcast.”

The Merriam Webster Tenth International Collegiate defines “podcast” as: a program (as of music or talk) made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet.

A podcast’s distributor maintains a list of audio or video files in a series on a server as a web feed, and the listener or viewer uses special client application software, known as a podcatcher, to access this web feed, check it for updates, and download any new files in the series. This process can be automated so that new files are downloaded automatically, which may seem to the user as if the content is being broadcast or “pushed” to them. Files are stored locally on the user’s computer or other device, ready for offline use. Podcasting contrasts with webcasting (Internet streaming), which generally isn’t designed for offline listening to user-selected content.

As discussed by Richard Berry, podcasting is both a converged medium bringing together audio, the web, and portable media player, and a disruptive technology that has caused some in the radio business to reconsider some of the established practices and preconceptions about audiences, consumption, production, and distribution. This idea of disruptiveness is largely because no one person owns the technology; it is free to listen and create content, which departs from the traditional model of “gate-kept” media and production tools. It is very much a horizontal media form: producers are consumers and consumers become producers and engage in conversations with each other.

The term “podcasting” was first mentioned by Ben Hammersley in The Guardian newspaper in a February 2004 article, along with other proposed names for the new medium. It is a portmanteau of the words “pod” —from iPod— and “broadcast”. Despite the etymology, the content can be accessed using any computer that can play media files and not just portable music players. Use of the term “podcast” predates the addition of native support for podcasting to the iPod, or to Apple’s iTunes software.

Many people and groups, including Dawn and Drew of The Dawn and Drew Show, Kris and Betsy Smith of Croncast, and Dan Klass of The Bitterest Pill contributed to the early emergence and popularity of podcasts.[9] Former MTV VJ Adam Curry, in collaboration with Dave Winer, a developer of RSS feeds, is credited with coming up with the idea to automate the delivery and syncing of textual content to portable audio players.

From its humble beginnings to its rise as an instrumental agent of change, particularly in the broadcast arena, podcasting’s mainstream acceptance has been documented and preserved for generations to come.

Podcasting, once an obscure method of spreading information, has become a recognized medium for distributing audio content, whether for corporate or personal use. A podcast is similar to a radio program with key differences: listeners can tune into their favorite shows at their convenience and listen to podcasts directly on any device that can play audio files.

The first application to make this process feasible was iPodderX, developed by August Trometer and Ray Slakinski. By 2007, through the evolution of internet capabilities, along with cheaper hardware and software, audio podcasts were doing what was historically accomplished via radio broadcasts, which since the 1930s had been the sources of radio talk shows and news programs.

In August 2004, Adam Curry launched his show Daily Source Code. It was a show focused on chronicling his everyday life, delivering news and discussions about the development of podcasting, as well as promotion for new and emerging podcasts. Daily Source Code is believed to be the first podcast produced on a consistent basis. Curry published it in an attempt to gain traction in the development of what would come to be known as podcasting, and as a means of testing the software outside of a lab setting. The name Daily Source Code was chosen in the hope that it would attract an audience with an interest in technology.

Daily Source Code started at a grassroots level of production and was initially directed at podcast developers. As its audience became interested in the format, these developers were inspired to create and produce their own projects and, as a result, they improved the code used to create podcasts. As it became known how easy production was, a community of pioneer podcasters quickly appeared. Despite a lack of commonly accepted identifying name at the time of creation, Daily Source Code is commonly believed to be the first podcast to be published online.

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This podcast was recorded and published using Mobile Podcaster. Mobile Podcaster is an iOS application for iPhone and iPad that lets you record podcast episodes and automatically publish new blog posts to your WordPress site, which are then automatically made available on iTunes for subscribers to listen. Learn more at MobilePodcaster.com.

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Episode 12: 4 Ways to Monetize your Podcast

Are you interested in earning money online? Have you ever considered monetizing your podcast to make some extra cash? It’s a very popular option that many podcasters take advantage of today, so let’s learn how it works.

First, let me say that monetization is not for everyone. In fact, some podcasters are adamantly opposed to pushing products on their audience for they feel it interrupts the conversation and compromises the intent of the podcast. Others, however, see monetization as a great way to leverage their audience and make some money to support the podcast. Producing a podcast is, after all, a lot of work and shouldn’t the host have the opportunity to earn some compensation in return?

Promote affiliate products
The simplest way to make money with your podcast is to promote a product or service through an affiliate link. For example, I know my listeners are interested in smartphones and podcasting, so I signed up to be an affiliate at Amazon.com. In my podcast, I can promote the Glif smartphone tripod mount and instruct my listeners to visit mobilepodcaster.com/glif to find the right model on Amazon.com. If the listener (you) visit my link and buy something on Amazon, I get a small commission on purchase of between 4% and 8.5% depending on my monthly affiliate purchase volume. Other programs pay out a flat fee, such as Bluehost at $65.

Sell Advertising
Another potential method for making money with your podcast is to sell advertising. The success of advertising depends greatly on the size of your audience since advertisers aren’t going to want to invest in your podcast if you only have a small handful of listeners. Conversely, if your podcast has a big following, you can expect advertisers to approach you. Set up a advertising page with a form on your website so that potential advertisers can contact you specifically for this purpose.

Promote your own products or services
If you have a product or service to sell, your podcast may serve as a great platform to promote it and in turn can earn money when people buy. You can think of the podcast as a means to generate awareness, or you could use your podcast as a set of tutorials for your product, thereby generating consideration for your product. The best part of this strategy is that you earn a greater percentage on every sale, 100% in fact. I use this approach on this podcast and it work very well to promote my Mobile Podcaster apps.

What monetization strategies have you tried? What are some other tactics you’ve considered?

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Episode 11: Podcast Production And Distribution Workflow

Welcome back to another episode of Mobile Podcaster. Today I want to talk about the process for podcasting and what is the right workflow for your podcast. There are many options and the right solution depends on many factors.

There are potentially a lot of steps involved in creating and distributing a podcast. Of course, as with anything, over time you’re going to get better at the process and discover what exactly works for your situation.

There are many things to consider when looking at the overall workflow for your podcast. It’s not as simple as just recording some audio. You need to consider planning, set up, recording, editing, publishing, and distribution of your podcast.

Episode 11: Podcast Production And Distribution Workflow

This podcast was recorded and published using Mobile Podcaster. Mobile Podcaster is an iOS application for iPhone and iPad that lets you record podcast episodes and automatically publish new blog posts to your WordPress site, which are then automatically made available on iTunes for subscribers to listen. Learn more at MobilePodcaster.com.

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Episode 10: How Long Should I Make Each Podcast Episode?

One of the most common questions about podcasting, is about how long each podcast episode should be. There are so many factors that determine the appropriate length for your podcast, including podcast format, your audience, and your own personal capacity.

This podcast was recorded and published using Mobile Podcaster. Mobile Podcaster is an iPhone application that lets you record podcast episodes and automatically publish new blog posts to your WordPress site.

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Episode 9: Why Should I Podcast?

In this episode I explore three reasons why you should consider podcasting a valuable component of your online marketing mix.

This podcast was recorded and published using Mobile Podcaster. Mobile Podcaster is an iPhone application that lets you record podcast episodes and automatically publish new blog posts to your WordPress site.

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Episode 8: How to map out topics for a podcast series

It’s important that if you podcast on a regular basis to do some preplanning work and map out the topics that you want to discuss over the course of your podcast. This really helps you in terms of knowing what’s coming so that you don’t have to do so much work on the fly. It also helps for your listeners because they have some expectation and anticipation of what’s ahead.

I like to map out a series of subjects I can blog about over the course of the next few weeks or months. It helps keep me organized and energized. There’s nothing worse than sitting down in front of the keyboard with nothing to say. Do yourself a favor and get organized first. For example, here’s a quick mindmap I just put together that I’m going to use over the next 10 blog posts on Mobile Marketing. It took me about 5 minutes to create this in MindNode and now I have a plan.

mobile-marketing-mindmap

This podcast episode was recorded on my iPhone and automatically uploaded to this website and iTunes using the Mobile Podcaster iPhone App.  For more information visit http://www.mobilepodcaster.com

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Episode 7: Why podcasting is such a valuable marketing channel

Podcasting is a wonderful marketing channel that is widely misunderstood. I love the fact that for free you can basically have your message heard by potentially tens and even hundreds of millions of people.

I think most people shy away from podcasting because they don’t understand the potential reach. The tools are not as well understood as blogging, so that is probably another reason that it’s not as widely used by marketers.

This podcast episode was recorded on my iPhone and automatically uploaded to this website and iTunes using the Mobile Podcaster iPhone App.  For more information visit http://www.mobilepodcaster.com

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Episode 6: Shortcomings of podcasting on iPad or iPhone with Audioboo

I have been podcasting on my iPhone and iPad since January 2010. I have used Audioboo in some situations but overall it does not satisfy many of the requirements I have, such as length of recording and ability to submit my podcast to iTunes.

This podcast episode was recorded on my iPhone and automatically uploaded to this website and iTunes using the Mobile Podcaster iPhone App.  For more information visit http://www.mobilepodcaster.com

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Episode 5: How to Publish a Podcast on WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular places for podcasters to host their podcast, since it already has many of the necessary tools built-in, plus some great plugins that make it so easy.

First, you want the self-installed version of WordPress available at WordPress.org. You can get a great hosting deal at Bluehost.

Next you need to install a podcasting plugin to manage your podcast. I prefer the BluBrry PowerPress Plugin, which allows you to publish your podcast on your website and iTunes.

Personally, I like to podcast from my iPhone or iPad and find it frustrating to log into my computer and transfer files and publish new podcast episodes. I use my Mobile Podcaster to do this.

This podcast episode was recorded on my iPhone and automatically uploaded to this website and iTunes using the Mobile Podcaster iPhone App.  For more information visit http://www.mobilepodcaster.com

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Episode 4: How to Publish a Podcast with your Mac

Recording a podcast on your Mac is pretty simple really. You want to use an application called Garageband.

When you open Garageband, you’re given the option to create a podcast episode. Select that option and when your new file opens up, you can start recording right away. Just click on the Record button at the bottom.

Garageband also allows you to add some music to the beginning or end of your recording.

Once complete, select Share and either send to iTunes or Save to Disc as MP3. you’ll want to then upload this MP3 to your website. I use WordPress along with the BluBrry Powerpress Podcasting Plugin so that everything is accessible to my listeners and I can publish to iTunes.

This podcast episode was recorded on my iPhone and automatically uploaded to this website and iTunes using the Mobile Podcaster iPhone App.  For more information visit http://www.mobilepodcaster.com

These two videos show you some of the equipment I use to podcast and a demo of Garageband for recording and editing your podcast.

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