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Monday, January 28, 2008

Small Business Guide to Podcasting

Podcasting, in essence, sends your own radio show over the Internet. Despite the name, your audience doesn't necessarily need an iPod to receive a podcast. They can listen to podcasts on a computer or on most MP3 players.

Podcasting works by delivering online audio content via an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. Fortunately, you don't need to know much about RSS or audio files or even iPods to become a podcaster. Turnkey software and Internet resources make podcasting inexpensive, easy and accessible to all. There are three simple steps to creating your own business podcast:

1. Create an audio file.

2. Add your file to an RSS feed.

3. Post your podcast on your Web site and on podcast directory sites.

Here are the steps for creating your own podcast:

Record your podcast

A computer microphone and some readily available software is all you need to get started.

Resources: Audacity is free software for audio and recording. Use a low-cost service like FeedForAll to create your RSS feed. To reach a wide audience, submit your podcast to iTunes or Podcast Alley.

Reach your customers

Regular, interesting podcasts can keep you in front of your clients. Tell them via email that your podcast is live and let them know that they can receive it automatically and listen any time.

Resources: Ipodder, PodFeeder and Doppler deliver podcasts to subscribers at no charge to you or them.

Show your authority and expertise in your business

Use of regular podcasts can promote your company's expertise and enhance your image as a thought leader in your field. But if you hope to be heard by the masses, you'll need to submit your podcast to directories.

Resources: FeedBurner helps publicize and optimize your podcast to maximize distribution.

Deliver content that's customized and flexible

Your podcasts can feature product info or tutorials, interviews with executives, talk shows, commentaries, or other information designed to engage your customers.

Resources: For more ideas on how you can use podcasts, visit Podcasting Tools.

Put a personal face on your business

The very nature of podcasting is up-close and personal, allowing you to talk one-on-one with your customers. You can use your own voice, tone and passion to communicate your message.

Resources: Besides Audacity, Mixcraft software can help you record your podcast and sound more professional.

Finally, here are a few more tips and tactics:

- Be concise, relevant and on subject in each show. Most podcasts are six to seven minutes long, although some are more like traditional, 30-minute radio shows.

- Use your podcast in conjunction with your blog. Both should be consistent with your brand.

- Avoid advertising in your podcast and stay away from a hard-sell approach.

- Be consistent. Decide on a podcasting schedule and stick with it.

Article Source: http://www.articlerich.com


TV writer/producer Lou Bortone is "The Online Video Guy," who gives small businesses the tools for creating their own online video content. Lou helps individuals, businesses and non-profits produce compelling video blogs, podcasts and TV programs for the Internet. Be sure to visit www.theonlinevideoguy.com and pick up your FREE Special Report "7 Secrets to Boosting Your Business Using Online Video!"

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pod Casting : Podshock

Podcasting as a phenomenon has sky rocketed from something that geeks did a year ago to mainstream. A google search yields 124 million hits—putting it at par with it’s sister phenomenon “blogging”. In fact, podcasting in many cases is used exactly for that purpose…audio/video blogging. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Podcasting uses the same technology that most bloggers use to get exposure—RSS. RSS or “Rich Site Summary/Real Simple Syndication”(choose your poison) is essentially used to broadcast the blogging contents. The RSS is versatile enough to accommodate image, data, video or audio files. Essentially podcasting is an audio file in the RSS feed's enclosure tag. The RSS version 2.0 supports the current Podcasting specifications and is the widely used format.
The podcast audience gets the latest stuff of their interest on their media player. It’s time shifted and place shifted, so they can listen to it at the time and place of their choice. This beat radio and even streaming radio. The technology works with all contents-music as well as audio blogs. It’s the latter use which has garnered the most interest.
In general, the entry fee for the podcasting is low. All one needs is a decent quality microphone to ensure quality recording. Of course, one can get fancy, with audio editing software, sound effects, and such, but ultimately if the content is interesting/useful one can build a loyal audience. Think Craig’s list Vs. the-fancy-shmancy-flash-site.
So why bother with podcasting? Taking the blogging analogy ( www.insurgentjg.com ) further, the podcasters are a pioneering bunch. The main stream talk radio shows have not got into the act just yet, just like the main stream media does not use the blogging format(as much as it should)—leaving the field open for podcasting enthusiasts. While a lot of content may not be polished, some of us are looking for “Reality” version of things. The anonymous blogger writing from her basement can(and sometimes does) command a loyal readership that would make the editor of New York Times blanch. Similarly, the podcaster can have an audience rivaling political commentators and MTV DJ’s. It’s all about the value the podcaster provides to the audience. The meritocracy of internet ensures that only the cream rises to the top.
What is required to Publish Podcasts(Podcaster).
Some simple steps and you are on your way to be a podcaster:
1. Record your audio content in a file and post it to your website.
2. Generate an RSS feed containing a link to the audio file in the enclosure field of a RSS 2.0 compliant feed.
3. You are ready to promote your music/thoughts/ideas to the rest of the world.
What is required to listen to Podcasts (Podcastee):
Three simple steps for web surfers to listen to podcasts:
1. Download a News aggregator or RSS reader which is RSS 2.0 compliant. If you are blessed with an IPod or similar device, even that may not be necessary.
2. Insert the URL of the podcast feed into the news aggregator or podcast management software.
3. When new items appear in the category of your interest, you can analyze the narrative and listen to what you really find interesting.
Podcasting as a field is new enough that it’s still not that difficult to get exposure. A microphone, some diskspace on a server and talent is all you need to get going. Unfortunately the exponential growth of the medium and potential for marketing and advertisement ensures that the cacophony of spam may drown your podcasts. Now is the time to create that loyal audience. Happy podcasting!
For more information about podcasting visit http://www.podshock.com
Podcasting as a phenomenon has sky rocketed from something that geeks did a year ago to mainstream. A google search yields 124 million hits—putting it at par with it’s sister phenomenon “blogging”. In fact, podcasting in many cases is used exactly for that purpose…audio/video blogging. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Podcasting uses the same technology that most bloggers use to get exposure—RSS. RSS or “Rich Site Summary/Real Simple Syndication”(choose your poison) is essentially used to broadcast the blogging contents. The RSS is versatile enough to accommodate image, data, video or audio files. Essentially podcasting is an audio file in the RSS feed's enclosure tag. The RSS version 2.0 supports the current Podcasting specifications and is the widely used format.
The podcast audience gets the latest stuff of their interest on their media player. It’s time shifted and place shifted, so they can listen to it at the time and place of their choice. This beat radio and even streaming radio. The technology works with all contents-music as well as audio blogs. It’s the latter use which has garnered the most interest.
In general, the entry fee for the podcasting is low. All one needs is a decent quality microphone to ensure quality recording. Of course, one can get fancy, with audio editing software, sound effects, and such, but ultimately if the content is interesting/useful one can build a loyal audience. Think Craig’s list Vs. the-fancy-shmancy-flash-site.
So why bother with podcasting? Taking the blogging analogy ( www.insurgentjg.com ) further, the podcasters are a pioneering bunch. The main stream talk radio shows have not got into the act just yet, just like the main stream media does not use the blogging format(as much as it should)—leaving the field open for podcasting enthusiasts. While a lot of content may not be polished, some of us are looking for “Reality” version of things. The anonymous blogger writing from her basement can(and sometimes does) command a loyal readership that would make the editor of New York Times blanch. Similarly, the podcaster can have an audience rivaling political commentators and MTV DJ’s. It’s all about the value the podcaster provides to the audience. The meritocracy of internet ensures that only the cream rises to the top.
What is required to Publish Podcasts(Podcaster).
Some simple steps and you are on your way to be a podcaster:
1. Record your audio content in a file and post it to your website.
2. Generate an RSS feed containing a link to the audio file in the enclosure field of a RSS 2.0 compliant feed.
3. You are ready to promote your music/thoughts/ideas to the rest of the world.
What is required to listen to Podcasts (Podcastee):
Three simple steps for web surfers to listen to podcasts:
1. Download a News aggregator or RSS reader which is RSS 2.0 compliant. If you are blessed with an IPod or similar device, even that may not be necessary.
2. Insert the URL of the podcast feed into the news aggregator or podcast management software.
3. When new items appear in the category of your interest, you can analyze the narrative and listen to what you really find interesting.
Podcasting as a field is new enough that it’s still not that difficult to get exposure. A microphone, some diskspace on a server and talent is all you need to get going. Unfortunately the exponential growth of the medium and potential for marketing and advertisement ensures that the cacophony of spam may drown your podcasts. Now is the time to create that loyal audience. Happy podcasting!

Pod Cast Marketing – Is it effective?

In the marketing world it's a new day each day and creativity is a must for any winner. You have to be innovative and make sure that your clients or customers are kept up-to-date with your ideas. A normal day usually starts with a search for answers. More often than not the question is how can I grow my business? How can I gain market share? The answer is pretty simple and everyone in this competitive marketing world knows for a fact that innovation is crucial for conversion of your prospect customer base as your clients.

So is pod casting an answer to do this efficiently? Will pod casting do the miracle for you? Let's learn more about pod casting and answering the above questions for you.

The traditional marketing tools such as radio and television have proven time and again that they are most effective to propagate your product or service. Once you have identified your target audience it's as simple as choosing the channel and the program to communicate your product or service with. The large reach of these mediums tag hits and have huge success rate. The traditional and strong marketing methods still prevail, but with the advent of mobile computing and devices like palm pilots and I-pods have reinvented the definition of mass marketing. These internet enabled, handheld devices have revolutionized the way marketing looks at new media.

And the amazing part of this innovation is Anyone Can Use This!

Pod casting is the process of sharing audio/audio content from WebPages to potential customers. Now that the hand held devices have taken off the restriction of a fixed desktop or a laptop now pod casts are becoming the buzz word in marketing industry. .

Pod casting uses an XML based technology called RSS. An RSS file is the most used file to pod cast your content and consists of date, time, titles, and other information about the content that is being downloaded into the pod cast device. The way this works is very simple. Your pod cast content is placed on the web already and when users login to receive the RSS feed your content is moved into the I pod or other players of customer's automatically. This way you can reap the benefits of this innovative and economical communication solution.

There are lots of websites, which currently allow you to pod cast. This doesn't cost a lot of money and the visibility you get is very high and so pod casting is soon turning out to be a very effective way of communication to a set of preferred target audiences.

Pod Cast Marketing – Is it effective?

In the marketing world it's a new day each day and creativity is a must for any winner. You have to be innovative and make sure that your clients or customers are kept up-to-date with your ideas. A normal day usually starts with a search for answers. More often than not the question is how can I grow my business? How can I gain market share? The answer is pretty simple and everyone in this competitive marketing world knows for a fact that innovation is crucial for conversion of your prospect customer base as your clients.

So is pod casting an answer to do this efficiently? Will pod casting do the miracle for you? Let's learn more about pod casting and answering the above questions for you.

The traditional marketing tools such as radio and television have proven time and again that they are most effective to propagate your product or service. Once you have identified your target audience it's as simple as choosing the channel and the program to communicate your product or service with. The large reach of these mediums tag hits and have huge success rate. The traditional and strong marketing methods still prevail, but with the advent of mobile computing and devices like palm pilots and I-pods have reinvented the definition of mass marketing. These internet enabled, handheld devices have revolutionized the way marketing looks at new media.

And the amazing part of this innovation is Anyone Can Use This!

Pod casting is the process of sharing audio/audio content from WebPages to potential customers. Now that the hand held devices have taken off the restriction of a fixed desktop or a laptop now pod casts are becoming the buzz word in marketing industry. .

Pod casting uses an XML based technology called RSS. An RSS file is the most used file to pod cast your content and consists of date, time, titles, and other information about the content that is being downloaded into the pod cast device. The way this works is very simple. Your pod cast content is placed on the web already and when users login to receive the RSS feed your content is moved into the I pod or other players of customer's automatically. This way you can reap the benefits of this innovative and economical communication solution.

There are lots of websites, which currently allow you to pod cast. This doesn't cost a lot of money and the visibility you get is very high and so pod casting is soon turning out to be a very effective way of communication to a set of preferred target audiences.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Politics and the Internet

Can, and will, the next generation of politicians exploit the communication mediums available to them? Will the new communication mediums have the power to influence public opinion? Will politicians be the victims of technology, or will they use it to their benefit? Will one party benefit from the use of the technology more than another? All reasonable questions, considering the role technology plays in today's society.

The staggering distribution numbers, through channels like iTunes, YouTube, or podcasting websites, indicate that technology could play a critical role in the upcoming elections. Technology could be the deciding factor in the 2008 US Presidential race, and while distribution has never before been as accessible as it is to today's politicians and political candidates, politicians have far less control over the news and media than their counterparts in previous years.

The curious need not look any further than YouTube to find the latest political constituents being haunted by their own words and dogged by their past missteps. Today's politicians have far less control of the news media and messages associated with their candidacy.

The Internet and technology is positioned to play a huge role in elections. Whether that truly occurs remains to be seen.

What Will Technology Affect?

Fundraising
Raising revenue for a political campaign is one of the biggest hurdles the candidates have to overcome in order to make a successful political run. We saw this when Howard Dean initially soared to fame as the result of grass roots Internet donations filling his coffers. Yet technology was also Dean's downfall, as the result of the "Dean Scream" video getting excessive play time on the Internet and other broadcast media outlets. The recorded spectacle is said to be what led voters to abandon this overzealous candidate.

The Power Of Political Pundits
With podcasting, everyone is a journalist, regardless of their credentials or credibility. Technology has given self-proclaimed political pundits a pulpit from which they can spread their message. How much these political pundits will be able to influence political campaigns and election results is still unclear.

Never Say Never
Political videos of nearly every 2008 presidential candidate can be found on YouTube. In many of the posted videos, candidates are engaged in old speeches, contradicting their current political positions. Politicians have yet to learn that their words may come back to haunt them, and it appears that many politicians have ghosts from years past that can be found in the YouTube video library. Older political videos are causing problems for candidates whose positions have changed over the course of their careers. The accessibility of the audio and video clips, and wide media distribution, is breeding distrust amongst voters who support candidates who have had a change of heart.

Pushing A Cause To The Forefront
Evident in the hit movies "Fahrenheit 9/11" by liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, and "An Inconvenient Truth" by environmental evangelist Al Gore, these films not only brought in millions of dollars in revenues, but both movies also received Hollywood accolades and raised attention for the issues featured.

Technology appeals to a specific demographic: the affluent, the educated, and the young. And while a YouTube video may not sway the Grandparents in the crowd, the youngest voters are listening. Does technology have the power to change the face of politics? The youth in America are not currently an active voting block, but that younger generation will age, and it's only a matter of time before technology plays a critical role in elections.

Indie Artists Should Podcast

Independent artists have long struggled to gain recognition and attract an audience. Without the backing of a major label it can be very difficult for independent artists to obtain radio play time, that is, until now. Podcasting a revolutionary new medium, has opened new distribution channels for independent artists. Podcasting is the process of distributing audio files using the RSS format and has become very popular with the younger generations.

With the use of technology, independent artists have a unique opportunity available, using technology they can significantly expand the exposure of their music.

Why should a musician podcast?

1. Distribution Channel
The power of distribution is no more evident then when looking at the iTunes Music Store, with independent podcasts garnering millions of downloads. Notoriety has been gained and celebrities have been made. Independent artists who produce podcasts should include iTunes tags in their podcast feed and list their podcast in the iTunes Music Store. A listing in the iTunes Music Sore will significantly increase a podcaster's exposure.

2. Gain Interest and Fans
Independent artists can attract listeners by creating a podcast with a music sampling.

3. Send Demos
Indies always searching for the brass ring or wanting to be signed by a big label can use podcasts for their commercial demos. Artists can promote their podcast and direct agents and labels to the demos as an inexpensive means to get signed.

4. Get Gigs
Night clubs looking for entertainment will listen to podcasts to find bands or artists who target their demographic. Clubs will have an idea of what to expect from the artist. Musicians might find themselves with additional booking as their podcast becomes a marketing tool.

5. Promote Gigs at Establishments
Establishments will be more willing to sign artists who will bring new listeners to their club. Musician can use their podcast to provide additional promotion for any booked events. The additional publicity might be the deciding factor, if the club management is torn between booking two artists.

6. Build a Community
Developing a community is critical to an artist's success. Podcasting and consistent communication with loyal listeners will help encourage and strengthen a musician's fan base.

7. Sell CDs
Shareware has long been a staple in the software community, adopted as a marketing method, to allow users the opportunity to sample software prior to making a purchase decision. Independent artists can use podcasting to sell their CDs. Sample music files or single songs that are given freely will encourage listeners to purchase a CD with additional songs.

8. Reinforce Listener Loyalty
Loyal listeners or "groupies" who listen to podcasts will share the podcasts with friends and extend the bands reach.

9. Announcements
Podcasting can be used as an additional vehicle to announce new songs, albums, interviews or other information relevant to the independent artists performances.

10. Cross Promo Opportunities
Bands who have a similar genre can exchange adverts in their podcasts and increase both of their fan bases. Quid pro quo promotion that costs little but can result in huge returns.

Independent artists have a unique opportunity available to them. Podcasting is a fairly new medium that has far reaching distribution opportunities. Independent artists were once restricted by geography, playing at local clubs to increase their base. Podcasting has no borders.

Producing a podcast can mean the difference between success and failure for an independent artist.

Indie Artists Should Podcast

Independent artists have long struggled to gain recognition and attract an audience. Without the backing of a major label it can be very difficult for independent artists to obtain radio play time, that is, until now. Podcasting a revolutionary new medium, has opened new distribution channels for independent artists. Podcasting is the process of distributing audio files using the RSS format and has become very popular with the younger generations.

With the use of technology, independent artists have a unique opportunity available, using technology they can significantly expand the exposure of their music.

Why should a musician podcast?

1. Distribution Channel
The power of distribution is no more evident then when looking at the iTunes Music Store, with independent podcasts garnering millions of downloads. Notoriety has been gained and celebrities have been made. Independent artists who produce podcasts should include iTunes tags in their podcast feed and list their podcast in the iTunes Music Store. A listing in the iTunes Music Sore will significantly increase a podcaster's exposure.

2. Gain Interest and Fans
Independent artists can attract listeners by creating a podcast with a music sampling.

3. Send Demos
Indies always searching for the brass ring or wanting to be signed by a big label can use podcasts for their commercial demos. Artists can promote their podcast and direct agents and labels to the demos as an inexpensive means to get signed.

4. Get Gigs
Night clubs looking for entertainment will listen to podcasts to find bands or artists who target their demographic. Clubs will have an idea of what to expect from the artist. Musicians might find themselves with additional booking as their podcast becomes a marketing tool.

5. Promote Gigs at Establishments
Establishments will be more willing to sign artists who will bring new listeners to their club. Musician can use their podcast to provide additional promotion for any booked events. The additional publicity might be the deciding factor, if the club management is torn between booking two artists.

6. Build a Community
Developing a community is critical to an artist's success. Podcasting and consistent communication with loyal listeners will help encourage and strengthen a musician's fan base.

7. Sell CDs
Shareware has long been a staple in the software community, adopted as a marketing method, to allow users the opportunity to sample software prior to making a purchase decision. Independent artists can use podcasting to sell their CDs. Sample music files or single songs that are given freely will encourage listeners to purchase a CD with additional songs.

8. Reinforce Listener Loyalty
Loyal listeners or "groupies" who listen to podcasts will share the podcasts with friends and extend the bands reach.

9. Announcements
Podcasting can be used as an additional vehicle to announce new songs, albums, interviews or other information relevant to the independent artists performances.

10. Cross Promo Opportunities
Bands who have a similar genre can exchange adverts in their podcasts and increase both of their fan bases. Quid pro quo promotion that costs little but can result in huge returns.

Independent artists have a unique opportunity available to them. Podcasting is a fairly new medium that has far reaching distribution opportunities. Independent artists were once restricted by geography, playing at local clubs to increase their base. Podcasting has no borders.

Producing a podcast can mean the difference between success and failure for an independent artist.
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