Podcasting – Dead or Alive?

A recent Information Week article asks the question – Is podcasting dead?. The article cites that “there is no easy way to sample podcasts without an excessive and irretrievable investment of time” as the reason that podcasting hasn’t taken off.

Let’s look at the numbers to see if podcasting is indeed dying a death. eMarketer estimates that the total US audience for podcasts reached 18.5 million in 2007 and is expected to grow by 251% by 2012. These statistics hardly reflect the death throes of a dying medium but the growth rate isn’t exactly stellar if you compare it to other web 2.0 technologies.Broadcast Yourself

The reason for its slow adoption rate is indeed, as Alexander Wolfe of Information Week suggests, a result of podcast complexity. And this doesn’t only apply to users.

Creating and publishing a podcast is not as seamless or as simple as it should be either. If you’ve read any of my new experiences in podcasting posts you will know of my own frustrations with the technology and I am relatively tech savvy. It seems to me that if you want to podcast you have to be a true propeller head. At this point that is podcasting’s main barrier to entry.

iTunes has tried to streamline the podcast publishing process but even using Garageband to create a podcast on a Mac doesn’t guarantee simple podcast submission.

On the bright side for podcasting, more and more traditional media outlets are using the technology to disseminate audio so that users can listen on the run and users are recognizing the benefits of being able to listen on their terms (coincidentally, one of my first ever blog posts back in 2005 touched on this). Global TV in Vancouver offers video and audio podcasts of its news content.

Podcasting is not dead but its not exactly burgeoning either. As podcasting is promoted more to the mainstream it will become more prevalent (it is slowly gaining popularity, especially in the 35-54 age group) but until producers can create and publish podcasts efficiently and users can access them as easily as turning on the radio, podcasting growth with remain slow.

New Experiences In Podcasting 3

I bet you’ve been dying to find out how I finally managed to get the podcast up last week. It was no easy feat let me tell you….

I got several responses to my request for tips. One very intuitive one was to use iTunes to reduce the size of the file. Choose Preferences and Advanced and Importing (click on custom to set the rate) in iTunes should get you there then Advanced and save as to complete the process. Too simple perhaps – alas the file was too gargantuan.

The final resolution? I ended up using ftp to post the podcast directly on to the website server and then link to it from there. And I claim to not be a propeller head…

Along the way, I also learned that iChat can be very useful for supporting podcasts over the Internet. And received some great tips on how to make the podcast experience better for the user: more juicy stuff for you to look forward to in future New Experiences in Podcasting as I put these suggestions into action (or try to at least).

Internet Networking Hubs

I had the pleasure this evening to present at an event co-hosted by the Professional Women’s Network, the YWCA Mentoring Program and the Downtown Networking Association aimed at introducing mentors and mentees to professional growth strategies to help you realise career goals. My topic: “Building Valuable Business Relationships in the Virtual World”.

As promised, I am going to blog over the next few days about some of the issues I touched on at the event, the first of these being Internet networking hubs.

Internet networking hubs are great forums to expand your business network and extend your reach. Obviously, those you use will depend on what it is you do. For example a photographer would likely use photo sites like Flickr to showcase their experience. Someone in the music industry is likely to benefit more from MySpace than Facebook. And a lawyer might is more likely to join a law forum than a web development forum. It’s up to you which you choose but Internet networking hubs are great places to grow your on line network and in turn your business.

Google AdWords – Which Edition?

*** This is an old blog post – for more up to date info, read this post about Google Adwords. ***

Its easy to get started with Google AdWords. For a small monthly fee your company could take advantage of the Google search engine to advertise to your targeted audience. Perhaps the only challenging part of the set up is deciding which flavour of Google AdWords is right for you: Starter or Standard Edition.

Starter Edition – If you are an Internet advertising neophyte, Starter is the obvious choice and the one recommended by Google itself. It is aimed at companies with a single product line operating in a single geography. The service is simplified to let users easily set up a campaign and device appropriate keywords. Starter comes with analytics and reporting capabilities that are less complex: ideal for someone just getting up to speed.

Standard Edition – is the full blown all you can eat AdWords suite. It is definitely for the more seasoned Internet advertising professional advertising multiple products across many regions. It brings advanced planning tools that lets you put complex ad campaigns into effect and complex reporting functionality that lets you monitor the results. Standard provides a whole slew of other neat add-ons to let you assess keywords and come up with more effective ones.

Both services are simple to sign up for. If you’re not sure which one is best then go with Starter and work up to Standard once you have developed an understanding of the basic functionality.

Viral Marketing Worked On Me

I was recently lucky enough to be selected to receive a free book on guerilla P.R. tactics. In true viral marketing fashion word spread to me of a mini book expo for bloggers via a blog I read regularly called My Name Is Kate (thanks for the tip Kate!).

Turns out (much to my glee) that I’m not even getting a book but an audiobook chip that I can listen to on my Mac or MP3 or phone – just perfect for those days when the beach beckons.

Nothing’s truly free I hear you say and you’re right, it does come with a catch. I get the book for free on condition that I review it in my blog. So watch this space for a review of the audiobook itself called Guerilla P.R. by Michael Levine as well as a description of my user experience with the tiny memory card I am anxiously watching for the postman to deliver.