Why Is Podcasting Sometimes Like A Tree Falling In The Forest???

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There is an old saying people use and it goes something like this: If a tree falls in the forest, does it make any sound if no one is there to hear it?”

That’s a good question even if it does sound a little dumb. If the falling tree does make a sound and no one is there to hear it does it make any difference whether it happened at all? Will anyone even know or care that it happened?

I think we all know the sound is there, it just takes someone to be there to experience it to be sure of the fact, or at least, share the experience with others so they will know that it happened.

I think that’s the way it is with podcasting also. There are many existing and brand new podcasts being put out every minute of everyday. Some are heard and some are out there just waiting to be heard. Some are great, some are good and other’s … well … they’re there, but … who knows why? (Sorry, sometimes those editorial comments just kinda slip out.)

If the sites and sounds are there but no one is there to see or hear them, that’s as if they aren’t there at all, isn’t it? No one knows about them. No matter how good or bad they may be, without an audience, they are just background noise that is ignored and goes completely unnoticed. To a beginner, that can be somewhat discouraging. To an advanced user, it is a challenge. The challenge to both being how to get someone, or many someones, to hear and see the sites and sounds and share the experience with others.

Now, I don’t want to go into a big discussion on how to get or grow an audience at this point, but I will say this. The better the quality of the material and the way it is presented, the better chance it has of being recognized in a positive way and becoming a successful venture.

Why would anyone care if their podcast is successful or not? Isn’t it enough that they produce it and it is there for someone to listen to?

You don’t have to look very far to see the answer to the first question. Podcasting, whether audio or video, is becoming one of the most important means of communicating ideas between people. Some are there just to make us laugh and some are there to help us understand what is going on in the world around us. Even others are there to inform us of our favorite past-time, hobby or interest, or, educate us in any number of subjects. If someone produces one and no one knows it exists, the information is sitting there with no audience and no hope of becoming effective or successful in any way. So, simply producing one doesn’t mean that the information it contains will ever be heard or seen.

It is important to remember the reason why you want to produce yours if you want to see your audience grow. What is the reason you wanted to do one in the first place? Was it to communicate an idea or raise the awareness of some injustice or concern? Was it to make people laugh at certain situations, or, themselves? Perhaps you wanted to generate an income, or help others generate one, and you use the medium to sell the products, share the information and the process. Whatever the reason, there must have been something about it you thought was important enough to spend time in producing it.

At some time or other, you will want to be sure that the message you have for others is going to be heard. There are ways to accomplish this and we will discuss them along the way over the next few weeks. In the mean time, just remember the reason a podcast can sometimes be like a tree falling in the forest is because no one is there to hear it.

See ya next time . . .

Beginner Podcaster — What Path Will You Take From Here?

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Okay, so you’re a beginner podcaster and you are ready to get started. That is a great thing and there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t. There are so many different types of podcasts that you can choose from and … since it is your decision … what will you decide? What kind will you pursue? In this matter of your choice, it could all be in the name (or type) you choose. Will it be audio or video or both? Whatever you decide, it could well be quite dependent on whether you call it a podcast, webcast, netcast, video blog, audio blog or any number of other things. (At least that is the buzz around the industry these days).

As for me, I want to take a slightly different approach in the very near future. Actually, I really think it will be very much like it is right now but, I am going to be organizing things a little differently and I want to be more sytematic in some ways. I want you to be able to start at the beginning and go right through every article and so you can “Get Started Right”. (How many times have I said that in the last several weeks? Does anyone besides me really care? I thought not.)

I haven’t decided yet, but I am planning to re-do some things and subjects I have hit along the way. This will mean I am going to repeat some earlier subjects, at least as far as my plan for weekly podcasts is concerned, and I intend to combine several things to make a longer podcast. Instead of the 4-6 minute casts, (audio blogs), I am planning for at least 30 minute versions and a little more sophisticated. I will only be writing blogs once or twice a week, at least on this site, (which I have already started), and trying to put together a couple of more for other subjects I am interested in. All in all, it will keep me quite busy.

You see, we all come to crossroads in our journeys through this life and I think I have reached one personally. I have spent a lot of time over the last several months trying to help people that are brand new to podcasting get a good start. It has been my intention to help you get a good start without spending a lot of money, at least to begin with, until you can decide what it is you want to do and how you want to do it. With just a little forethought, you can take your idea and set it up, record it and see if it is something you can do and do well and then, after you have done a few, you can find out if you still enjoy doing it.

Not only can you can get started easily, but, with today’s technologies, you can also do it cheaply (I guess you could insert the word, free) and you can do it as professionally as anyone. As you pursue your podcasting dream, remember that quality is going to be extremely important in the near and distant future. Does that mean you have to sound like everyone else? Of course not. It means that you should consider a few things before you jump in. You need to consider what type and the expense of the software and hardware you will use. If you have questions about this kind of stuff, don’t worry, there has been and still will be plenty of suggestions available here and links to other places I can point you to.

There is no substitute for good information and you know as well as I that there is plenty available. I hope you will take advantage of some of the things that will be available here and the places I have, and will, mention. In no way do I claim to know it all, but, I do recognize good information and leadership when I see and hear it.

So, go ahead and get started. If you will take the time to read some of the things I have written over the last several months and visit some of the sites I have mentioned during that time, I know you will get started right. I’m not worried about that and I do know you will be ahead of the game if you do.

Your future in podcasting is in your hands now. Where you go from here is your decision and choice. Just don’t be afraid to listen to input from some of the pros out there. Even if you don’t think so now, you will appreciate their input later. Their experience will help you advance more quickly along the path you choose to follow.

See ya next time . . .

“Good as any and better than many . . .”

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It was several years ago when I used to race stock cars on Saturday night at the local track in the area where I still live. Now, I have to admit, it was quite a while ago, but, I still remember it as though it was yesterday. A good friend of mine, Peter M, who was also a racer, put little sign on the dashboard of his stock car, saying, “Good as any and better than many.” I thought it was a great thought and, I guess, since I still remember it, you could say it was indelibly stamped on my mind. That’s the way it is with some things — they’re just unforgettable. Another interesting thing about the saying is it applies to more than racing. (Oh, I guess you knew that already, huh?)

I remember when I was racing, there were people that just wanted to show up and be seen on the track in their cars with people that raced and won. They didn’t have the desire to do well and probably lacked the money to run at the front. It seemed as though they were content to just show up and say they were racers so they could possibly be thought of as important or special people simply because they ran with “the big dogs”. The truth be told, they were the people we were lapping every few laps and, in a twenty lap race, they would finish as many as six laps down. To me, that’s not racing. That’s just driving around in a circle, getting in the way of those that are trying to win the race or accomplish something other than just showing up and being heard or seen.

When I could afford to do it, I loved racing. I still do and would still race if it were more affordable to run competitively (and I do stress the word, ‘competitively’). You see, I just don’t like to go and try to run second or worse in a race. I want to be at the front, fighting for the lead. I want to have the opportunity to finish first. I want to win!! I don’t want to just be seen on the track running with the others, I want to be leading the race and taking the checkered flag, if possible.

Yeah, that pretty much seals the deal on my competitive nature when it comes to racing. To tell the truth, that pretty much seals the deal when it comes to podcasting and other things I do, too.

I have a tendency to take what I am interested in, and do, very seriously. Now honestly, I try not to take myself too seriously, but, I want to do the best I can at whatever I put my hand to do. You see, I feel that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well and it is worth taking the time it takes to do it right. To me there is no reason to do something if a person can’t put their heart and soul into it and do it well. It just seems like such a waste to me. I mean, why would anyone want to take their most precious commodity –their time –and spend it on something important to them, and yet do it half-heartedly?

That’s why I believe it is so important to get started right and to take the talent and equipment you have to work with and use it to turn out, or make, the absolute best possible product you can. Otherwise, why waste your time and the time of others?If you are always trying to do your best, sooner or later, your best will come out.

Does that mean that everything I turn out is flawless and mistake free? No, but when it does happen, I learn from it and try not to let it happen again. I have made recordings and never heard the mistakes until it is too late to do anything about it. Once I put it out on the net and it is there for a while before I notice it, I leave it out there in that form for a while because I figure many people have already heard it and formed their opinion, but, it will definitely bother me until I fix it.

I fervently believe in the addage, “Strive for excellence, not perfection.” Striving for excellence will inevitably allow you to turn out a great product. Striving for perfection could absolutely drive you crazy. I have noticed many don’t recognize, or at least they find it easier to overlook, certain mistakes if everything else is done right, (or, at least, the mistakes don’t seem to stand out quite so much.) If I notice an overlooked mistake of my own or someone else’s, I have to admit it bothers me every time I listen to it. To some, it won’t make any difference. To others, it will constantly stand out to them and I am sure they will form an opinion of my work (or your’s) based on that imperfection. Unfortunately, I cannot blame them because I feel the same way, also. I guess that’s the price I have to pay for being put together the way I am, and, if I expect it of others, I should expect it of myself. (Remember, we are talking about striving for excellence, not attaining perfection.)

So, how do you feel about your podcast or production? Is it something you work at to make better all the time, or, is it something you just throw together time after time and hope that people will be impressed by the fact that you show up with the rest of them? I hope it’s more than that. I hope you are doing everything you can to make it, “Good as any and better than many.”

See ya next time . . .

What To Do In Case Of Being Uninspired…

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It happens to us all at some time or other. You just flat run out of things to talk about with your podcast, or, at least you think you do. You struggle and strain your brain, trying to come up with something worth talking about, but it seems the harder you try the more blank your mind goes. No matter what you come up with, nothing seems to germinate into an idea worth spending any amount of time on.

So, what do you do . . . ?

You begin to write. That’s right, you take the first things that come to mind and do your darndest to expound on them. You work at them until one of them catches fire within you and you begin to notice that it has captured your interest. After that, the rest is following the flow. Yes, you heard me, “you follow the flow.”

So, what does that mean? It means, you have just forced your way through a bout with ‘podcaster block’ and the creative juices begin to flow once again.

Sometimes, it takes forcing yourself to think about subjects you want to talk about, write them down and then, after you have some fresh ideas before you, your mind begins to work on those ideas. Somewhere along the way, your mind takes the hint that you aren’t going to stop bothering it until you have something to focus on so it begins letting the ideas flow. (At least that’s one way of looking at it.)

If that sounds strange, maybe you haven’t actually experienced it yet. But don’t worry, you will. “Writer’s block”, “podcasters block”, or whatever you want to call it, does happen and it happens to everyone, (somewhere in their journey through this life).

When I run across those times that I just don’t have the ideas readily available, here’s what I do.

  1. I take the time to write down some titles of some subjects I want to talk about.
  2. After I have written down a few, I go back and begin writing a sentence or two to remind me of the specifics I want to talk about.
  3. After I have written down those ideas, I walk away from them for a period of time. That’s right, I walk away from them and let them gel a bit.
  4. Either a few minutes, or possibly even a day or so later, I go back and read over them again.
  5. I take the one that captures my attention and begin to write more about it. If it doesn’t begin to flow, I save it and go back and grab another one and do the same.

As I continue reading and writing on them, I find I have several good ideas, and possibly, even a few finished articles. Then I go do the same thing all over again. Usually, I find I have enough to keep me busy for a while. Some of them even get combined together to become one article.

If all of the above things don’t seem to work, I go check out a few of the sites I like to frequent and see what they are talking about. In doing this, I hope to get inspired by an idea or two, or, at least a new angle on an old idea to discuss. With all of the available information out there, I know there just has to be something I haven’t been able to think of and it helps to get other people’s input and viewpoint. Their input may or may not be exactly what you want to talk about, but, it could quite possibly be something that inspires you in a whole new direction and gives you an abundance of things to talk, or write, about.

See ya next time . . .

You Can Do This

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I’m sure you already realize this, but, podcasting can really be a lot of fun. If it isn’t going to be fun, then you might as well hang it up right now, before you get started. If it becomes a drugery to you, you won’t make it for long because there are going to be days that you just won’t ‘feel’ like doing it. Once that “feeling” settles in, it gets harder and harder to make it happen. When that happens, you no longer look forward to doing your podcasts or any of the preparation it might take to ‘get ‘er done’ and it’s for sure, you won’t want to take the time it takes to do it right.

Let’s take a look at some of the things we’ve been talking about over the last several weeks. We’ve talked about things to do, and think about, to get a good start in podcasting.

In doing that, we’ve talked about several things I think are important:

  • First and foremost, don’t be too proud to get input from others that are already successful at podcasting
  • Check out other sites for their information and possible affiliations, etc
  • Decide which equipment you want to use (Its okay to start cheap if you want)
  • Decide what software you want to use. (Will you use free software or will you pay for it?)
  • What is your focus going to be? (What is the subject, or subjects, of your podcast going to be?)
  • What length format you will use? (will it be minutes or hours?)
  • Who will host your podcast? (Free hosting or pay hosting?)
  • How often will you be creating a podcast? (Once a day, week or month?)
  • Who is your main audience going to be (Do you know who you are trying to reach?)
  • Have a long term and short term plan for your podcast (Planning helps insure your success)

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to give the beginner podcasters an edge over others who are unwilling to listen to voices of experience. Do I think I know all there is to know simply because I have been doing it for a while? Of course not! I talk a lot about technique, paying attention to details and numerous other things because I think they are necessary for turning out a good product.

I think it is important to do all of those ‘things’, but always remember this. I am, in no way, trying to discourage anyone from pursuing their dreams or trying to mold them in a certain way so that they can fit into the mainstream of the ‘status quo’. I just want all of you to be the very best you can be and think further down the road than one audio or video podcast. This is not because I want you to be like me. I simply want you to understand that there are many people that have knowledge of podcasting and recording and editing. You can cut down your learning curve by taking some time to listen to their input and see if what they know will help you accomplish what you want. None of us are trying to remake you into something other than who you are. We just don’t want you to make the same mistakes we did. (Perhaps it was in those days when we thought we knew it all.)

There are so many reasons why it is necessary to learn as much as you can about properly recording and editing audio and video for podcasting and other purposes. A very important one is that it is becoming increasingly evident that the internet is becoming a place where more and more people are visiting first to check out differing products and desired information. It is still a blossoming industry and all of its potential is still being recognized. Why not be a leader in it instead of an ‘also ran’?

You see, I believe that everyone is endowed with certain characteristics and talents that are theirs to pursue and build on. I really like the creativity expressed by those that have turned out some very interesting videos and some really great audio podcasts. Some of us wish we had your talents and I personally call upon you to continue expressing your creative pursuits. That’s what is so great about podcasting. You are relatively free to present your ideas in your own creative ways and get the message to hundreds of thousands easily and relatively cheaply.

Now that you are ready to really begin your podcasting adventure, I only have one short statement to make as you move on to getting started. YOU CAN DO THIS!

See ya next time . . .

To Get Started Right … The Choice Is Up To You

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Life is full of choices and entering into the podcasting life is no different. Have you really thought about who you want to reach and what you want to accomplish with your podcasts? There is nothing wrong with beginning with a single idea and trying it out, but you also need an expanding vision of the possibilities. Along the way, you may find your focus and direction change a little –maybe even a lot– but it becomes more clear.

If I may, I want to speak to you from my personal experience on this subject. When I first started with my pursuit of podcasting, I had an idea of what I wanted to do and I had a lot I wanted to say. I wanted to share the things I have learned over a lot of years of working with live and studio sound. I have also spent a lot of time during those years recording groups and individuals, capturing them live. Most of what I have done in the recent past can be edited later, but I only get one chance to capture it. Many of the things I have done, and do, are for broadcast, both live and captured live and edited for later broadcast.

I learned a long time ago, whether recording or podcasting, the more your do it, the less you find you know. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I’m not saying that experience and knowlege don’t mean that much, but, the more you learn the more you know there is to learn. I have always been a person willing to share what I know if someone is willing to listen. Still, everyday is a learning experience for me. I don’t know everything there is to know, but I am thankful that there are others that are willing to share their knowledge with me. Technology is changing at such an abrupt pace that it is difficult to keep up with everything.

The more I’ve done, the more I have changed my approach, but not necessarily my direction. I haven’t departed a long way from my original vision but, over time, I have expanded and honed it to take in more things that I, at first, thought I didn’t want to do. I have begun to focus more on a method to teach what I have learned and know. What you choose to do with my knowledge is up to you. I simply share what I know and have learned an hope that it helps one, or many of you, advance toward your goals for podcasting and that you can avoid at least some of the pitfalls.

Now, getting back to you and your podcasting; do you want to take the idea you have and make it an everday thing or once a week? How about once a month? We can talk about those options more fully later, but they are options that must be considered very early on.

You have to choose how you want to get to where you want to go. If you think you can just get on the mic and start talking, you will find your dream may be short-lived. Understand, your short sightedness may work well if you are the only one listening to your production, but, if you want to grow your audience, you need to have a strategic plan for your podcast.

In the end, the choice is up to you. You choose what you want to say and how you want to say it. You even choose whether you want to take ‘the time it takes to do it right’ or just throw it all together and hope for the best. You see, ‘flash in the pan’ podcasts, whether audio or video, can be wonderful for the moment, but they seldom last any length of time. Your choices will affect the way your podcasts will be looked at and thought about by those that frequent them. Choosing to plan, whether short term, long term or both, is the best way to better assure yourself of extended success.

See ya next time . . .

When It Comes To Podcast Quality, Equipment CAN Make It Happen

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You’ve probably already noticed, but there is something different about the podcasts I do now. But, before I talk too much about that, I’d like to talk about another difference in what I am now doing and that is, the direction I want to take as we journey forward together in the near future.

Over the last few months, I’ve spent a lot of time talking about ways for beginners to get started in podcasting without making a large financial investment –(refer to Starting a Podcast ‘On the Cheap’)– and I still believe you can do that. If you don’t remember too much about those articles you can check them out, but, let me give you a quick overview refresher of at least one of those articles.

I have mentioned several ‘On the Cheap’ start up softwares and equipment many times in the past. If you remember, one of the most important and inexpensive things we talked about was the software program, ‘Audacity’. If you spend much time researching podcasting in general, you will find many people talk about this free recording/editing program in their books and podcasts. There is a reason why that happens. It is because it works and works well. I tend to use it most of the time for editing my podcasts because it is quite easy to use and because I am already familiar with it.

There are a few programs out there that do more than ‘Audacity’, but if you’re just beginning, or even if you’ve been around a while, you will find it does a great job. It is very easy to use and to get started with as well as being cost free. In a very short period of time, you soon find it is easy to move on to use some of the more sophisticated options it offers. In fact, I plan to spend a little time talking more about the use of ‘Audacity’ in the very near future.

You see, I like a program that allows me to get started quickly with the basics and then easily allows me to work my way into the options necessary to make my recordings, and edits of those recordings, better. This is the way it is with ‘Audacity’. Oh sure, I know there are some other programs out there that are great programs but, in my opinion, some of them are not as easy to get started with. They seem to be a bit too sophisticated and require too much ‘reading of the manual’, often causing a more than a bit of frustration, just to get started. This only leads to early termination of peoples’ productions because, it is just too hard to get started. (Personally, I like easy and I know I am not alone in that consideration. Easy is good.)

Also in those earlier articles, I often mentioned how easy it is to use some simple equipment you probably already own. Whether it was a small, hand held digital voice recorder or a good sounding headset mic, I still firmly believe you can turn out a ‘decent’ recording with relatively inexpensive equipment. The important thing about the recordings you make is the quality that your equipment can capture and reproduce. If you don’t have a relatively clean and good sounding master recording, it is a pretty good bet your final product is going to have poor quality sound also.

So, where is all this leading? I have added a new piece of equipment to my toolbag and I just love it. I think it has added yet another bit of quality to my recordings and podcasts. (I’ve also done a few other things I will discuss in the future.)

I finally decided to step up and try one of the portable, handheld devices for capturing audio and making it quite easy to load into my computer. The one I decided to buy was the H-4 by the Zoom corporation. I’ve been using it for about three weeks and I am quite pleased with the quality it turns out. I have to admit, it took about an hour or so to get comfortable with how it worked with its menus and things, but, I was able to get started with it relatively quickly. I’m still learning how to use all of its capabilities but haven’t mastered all of them yet and I’m not trying to learn it all in one day. I just take it one step at a time.

This little unit can do a lot. I list some of its features here:

  • 2 track mode for stereo recording
  • 4 track mode for multi-track recording
  • Built in X/Y pattern stereo microphones
  • High Z inputs for guitar and bass
  • MP3 recording up to 320kbps
  • WAV recording up to 24bit/96kHz
  • USB audio and mass-storage interfaces
  • XLR inputs with phantom power
  • Up to 2GB SD card memory capable
  • Can be hand-held or tripod mounted for versatile ease of use

Believe me when I tell you, it can do a lot of things and I have only scratched the surface of its capabilites, but the thing I like about it is the quality of the recording it can turn out. I can record and save it as an MP3 file or a WAV file. This makes it great for quick loading into ‘Audacity’ for editing because ‘Audacity’ directly accepts both of those files. It can also be used as an interface for direct recording to the computer.

I made the choice to step up my equipment and thought long and hard about just how I wanted to invest my money. This seemed to give me the most versatility and portability for the price. I like the part about it being portable and able to set it up quick in any situation I choose. I will tell you more about the progress in the coming weeks. So far, it is wonderful.

See ya next time . . .

Get Started Right … Five Great Places to Visit, Listen and Learn

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When it comes to listening to other people and learning from their expertise, I have several favorites I often frequent. Not only do they help keep me very up to date on what’s going on, but they also keep me on the cutting edge of the direction podcasting will take in the future. Believe me when I tell you, I know there are a whole lot more than these five sites that can do this and we will talk about more of them in the very near future, but, these are good places to go. Especially when you consider what my theme for this month is — ‘getting started right’.

So why do I choose these places? Well, I have to be honest; I just simply like them and what they have to say. I learn from them and they have proved to me over time that they know what they are talking about. They are right there at the forefront of the wave of this movement called podcasting. With people like this leading the way, it makes our journey much easier than it would be without them. These are not the only people out there that are leading the way but it is where I choose to start today.

So, who are the people and where are the sites? I’m glad you asked that question. I’ve been waiting here to tell you.

The first person and site I want to introduce you to is, Leo Laporte. (I know, I know; you’ve heard me mention him before.) This time, I want you to really go and check out his site named “Leoville”. He is top notch and many of you probably already know him from his TV shows a while ago, “Screen Savers” and “Call For Help”. This site I give you today is one I have shared with you a couple of times over the last several months. “Leoville” is a good place to go for stuff from Leo Laporte. One trip here and you will have plenty of stuff to look at for a while and you will find a lot of great information, sources and links. Now, remember — not everything is free. But the good stuff is hardly ever free. Just remember, some of his stuff is free, but the stuff he charges for, whatever it costs (which isn’t really that much) you will definitely get a lot for the price.

The second person I want to mention here is Paul Colligan. He is very podcast oriented. The site I mention here is the easiest to remember. It is “paulcolligan.com”. This is not his only site, but, when you go to this site, you will see just how much is available. Paul is definitely a class act, too. He talks about improving your podcasts and has really good info and links to other helpful people and sites. He, along with others, talks about how to monetize your podcasts and offers exceptional material on how to do so. I know you will come away from your visit to his site with a wealth of ideas and information on how to improve your podcasts and make money with them also. His is another site where not everything is free, but there is plenty there to wet your appetite.

The next place could actually qualify for three or more. I mention it to you, in particular, because it is a great place to get great input and direction. the site is called:

Gigavox.com. This is a place with a wealth of podcasts to listen to and glean good direction for making your podcast better than ever. When you visit this place, you will notice that they have three choices of places to get podcasts of differing types. You really can’t go wrong with spending a little time checking out what they have to offer. I list the main things here.

  1. IT Conversations
  2. Open Source
  3. Podcast Academy
  4. “The Levelator” software
  5. Gigavox media Platform

See, I told you there is a lot there. Aw heck, just go there and check it out. I know you’ll like it.

Next on the list is Michael Geoghegan. His podcast, “Reel Reviews” is very popular and he is co-author of a book I have, and still do, highly recommend, “Podcast Solutions”. He and his co-author, Dan Klass, cover all the important information on how to get started with their ‘Complete Guide to Podcasting’. You will find just about anything you want to know about podcasting technique, equipment, software and legalities in this book. That is why I highly recommend you read it and use it as a guide to “Get Started Right”. It is well worth the price. It also has a CD with different trial versions of software you can try. This by itself is worth the purchase price.

The next person on the five favorites list is someone I find fascinating. He is more oriented in marketing and teleseminars, but works a lot with Paul Colligan.

Alex Mandossian is remarkable when it comes to getting his points across. He is well suited for his craft. You will be hard pressed to find a more influential person in the field. As I stated earlier, he is more marketing and teleseminar oriented, but, he does do other things and is good at anything he sets his hand to do because he strives to present his expertise and products in the best possible way. I think he does a great job and I always find him interesting. He has great guest speakers also. Alex and Paul Colligan have several projects they work on together and they have co-authored a book called, “The Podcasting Bible”. Pick up a copy. I know you will find it worthwhile.

I know I only promised you five but here is a place I just cannot quit talking about. I have an extremely high opinion of the site, “www.mypodcast.com” Not only is it easy to get your podcast recorded and uploaded, but, it is free, (at least, so far). How can you beat that? I am particularly pleased with the way they offer quality reproduction and availability of a person’s podcast and I just simply can’t get over the fact they do it all for FREE! If you haven’t checked them out, please do. You will, no doubt be impressed, too. Remember, it is FREE for now so why not take advantage of it. It is just another way I think you can . . . “Get Started Right”

See ya next time . . .

Get Started Right . . . Just How Serious Are You?

(Click Here) for the podcast version of this article

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the last few days while I couldn’t really do any writing. (It was just too hard to sit in front of the computer and suffer through the minimal eye strain pain. By the way, the surgery on my eye went very well. Next Wednesday, I get the other eye done.)

I have a lot on my mind about podcasting and where I want to go and what I want to accomplish with it. The big question is, “How serious are you about podcasting and where do you want to go with it?”

I still firmly believe there are ways to “test the waters”, so to speak, without spending a lot of money and I do think you should practice and experiment before you make a major invesment in equipment. However, there is point we reach when we have to decide where we want to invest our time and money for the best return. Of course, you understand that I’m not talking about investing in Real Estate or the stock market don’t you? I am talking about the investment of yourself and your most precious commodity — time.

I know I have spent quite a bit of time in the recent past trying to suggest ways to get started in podcasting with little or no investment of money, but there comes a time when we all have to make hard decisions. Some of those decisions can only be made by you. You are the final judge when it comes to your ideas for podcasting and the way you want to present yourself, or your podcast. How you want your final product to turn out will ultimately determine how much of a monetary investment you’ll need to make.

Please don’t be offended by what I say next, but, seek out good input for your podcasting ideas. Don’t just go to your friends, especially those that don’t want to hurt your feelings, but seek out some who will tell you honestly what they think and that will offer some constructive criticism. (Don’t deceive yourself about your podcasting ideas or talents like some singers trying to get on ‘American Idol’ do, but remember that a little reality check is not a bad thing. That’s why I ask you right now, “Just how serious are you and can you accept constructive criticism, both positive and negative. That doesn’t mean you won’t, or can’t, do what you want, but it does mean that you may have to work at the craft of communication a little more than you thought.)

Does that bother you? If so, you will have to evaluate whether it will hold you back or make you more determined than ever to go forward.

Personally, I am growing a little weary of all the things I want to go and listen to sounding like a radio program. You see, I like listening to people talk about things I am interested in, or things that catch my interest, but I don’t always want to be listening to a radio show.

Probably one of the things I dislike most is the really loud or distracting interruptions that totally kill my interest. Some call them commercials and I don’t really have anything against them in general, but I do have a real problem with major differences in volume and feel when it comes to listening to a program.

Please understand, I am just as critical of some of the productions that are turned out by people I know and work with at times. I just simply don’t agree with the “grab their attention by blowing them out of their seats” mentallity that permeates much of the broadcast industry these days.

After all is said and done, that is why people appreciate their mute buttons, DVR’s and Tivos. The commercials are so loud or distracting that they simply don’t want to be forced to listen to them anymore. Perhaps, (and this is just my opinion), the people that make commercials could work a little harder at getting their point across without being so obnoxiously overbearing. (Yes, I know this is a touchy subject, but with the monetization of podcasting at the present time, and in the near and distant future, it is something that should concern all of us and we should consider what the effects will be on our podcasts.)

For myself, I am looking at ways to present audio books, possibly have interviews and also just generally discuss things that interest people. I do struggle with presenting all of the above with a ‘radio show feel’ and I would like to try some different ways or types, but, as always, figuring what is best to do is the challenge.

Some things read like a book and I think should be presented like a book. Other things are simply conversations and should have minimal, if any, interruptions. This means we may have to foot the bill on our own presentations because no commercial spots really fit the format. This brings us to interesting propositions that I heard about from one of my favorite educational and informational people, Leo Laporte. He asks for donations and also charges a minimal fee to have access to some of his stuff. I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about that now, but it is something I want to discuss later.

The important thing at this point is to consider how we can best present our ideas and only spend what we need to spend on the equipment and software needed to do so.

So, here are three things we need to think about to turn out the best possible product we can:

  1. Consider just how serious we are.
  2. Consider what it will take to best present our subject.
  3. Spend what is necessay to “Get Started Right”.

If you take the time right now to plan and figure a little, it could make a great big difference in how much it takes to get started with your podcasting ideas and turn out a great product you can be proud of.

‘Get started right’ and the rest may not be easy, but it will be worthwhile.

See ya next time . . .

April is no time for Foolin’ Around

(Click Here) for the podcast version of this article

Well, another month has gone by and what do you have to show for it? Have you started actually doing your planned podcast? Have you laid out your plans for the near and distant future? Where will you be in relation to your plans thirty days from now?

I am going to pursue this month according to the way I planned it. I am going to produce my weekly podcast using the articles I write during the week and I am going to go back and organize my previous posts in a little different way. You will find, at least for starters, that any music I use will be original music so that I only have to pay myself for the usage. I am going to try and find some interesting people to interview in the near future and I fully intend to offer information that will help you either get started in podcasting or take your own podcasting to the next level.

Now, I have to tell you that the next two weeks are going to be a bit of a challenge for me. I have all of these plans for this month and I am going to have eye surgery over the next two Wednesdays. Nothing major, but, it is going to be interesting. I only hope I come out of it with better eye sight. As it stands now, I do struggle a bit and it happened relatively quickly.

Here is my newest schedule for everything, (at least, I hope this is how it goes.) On Tuesdays and Fridays I hope to have new entiries on the blog– more often when I can. I plan an extended podcast based around the blog subjects once a week, probably released on Saturday. Of course I will still be doing each of the articles in audio podcast form, individually, for those that would rather listen than read.

This is no April fool’s joke. I really am intending to do this. I also am working to get a couple of other podcasts going. I hope to mention more about them later on this month. Stay tuned for more ‘stuff’ that should be happening soon, right here on your source for podcasting resources, www.podcastnorm.com.

See ya next time . . .