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

(Click Here) for the podcast version of this article

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 . . .

Why Not Use This To Get Started With Your Podcast?

(Click here) for the podcast version of this article

Okay, this is the last time I am going to talk about this for a while. I have been directing most of the last few articles at you beginners out there and this one is too. I have been talking about ‘mypodcast.com’ a lot and I will probably mention it several more times in the near and distant future, but I cannot tell you how easy it is to use. You will just have to experience it for yourself.

If you are a beginner podcaster, or advanced, and you want to get started with your own podcast, don’t let anything hold you back any longer. You can get started in the next half hour simply by going to ‘mypodcast.com’, signing up and start your very own , FREE, podcast from their site and you will be on and people can start listening within a few minutes of the time you click the “publish” button. What could be easier? (NO, they’re not paying me to say this!)

I know it sounds too easy. I know it sounds as if I want you to go there so I can make money off of your visit. The truth is, if you want an easy and inexpensive way to get your podcast on the web, I know this is one place that will work for you. It is simple, fast and easy. It works and does not limit you to only being on their site. You can also transfer your ‘cast’ to iTunes if you want.

Is this the only place you can go? No. Is it the best? I can’t answer that. I only know that it is easy and inexpensive and you can turn out a very good quality simple podcast. If you think you need a bunch of pricey equipment to try out your idea, think again. All you need is a microphone attached to your computer and you are ready. Try this if for no other reason than to find out if podcasting is for you.

By the way, stay tuned to this site. I am planning some changes in the very near future and I am excited. I hope you will like them, too.

See ya next time . . .

Right Time – Right Place

You know, sometimes, things just happen for the best. It is like last Friday (very,very early in the morning), when I really wanted to show how well I felt the things I talked about in “Podcasting Quick Tip #3” worked. The problem I had was finding a place I could quickly get my demo out and available.

Now, admittedly, I didn’t search high and low for a place to host my simple little example podcast production, but I did have a few places that were free, or at least inexpensive, and quick and easy to use. Although I had my mind set on a few places, I was not happy with them when I tried to use them. Some wouldn’t let me do an upload from my computer; one wouldn’t let me do a podcast at all, (for what i thought was a really stupid reason) and some had a delay and I didn’t want to wait.

And then it happened. I just happened to notice one of the Adsense ads on my site. Knowing that you can’t (and shouldn’t) click on your own ads, I looked at the address for it and typed it into my address bar. It came up and I began to check out the site. It was “mypodcast.com”.

At first I wasn’t sure whether they would let me upload my file from my computer, but I did like the fact that they had simple downloadable recorder that worked with their site which would really expedite the process. Becoming just a little bit desperate, I figured what the heck, I can re-record it and just not have the additional production on it until I found a better place. I signed up for it and downloaded the recorder program.

Through the FAQ’s I found that I could not only use the recorder program but they had a simple way of uploading my file from my computer and that would allow me to demonstrate my little production using the equipment and software I had talked about.

I uploaded my short little production and almost immediately it was live and available. I was quite pleased with the quality and the ease of accomplishing the end result. By the way, in a few short steps, you can transfer your podcast to ‘iTunes’, (see the FAQ’s for the “mypodcast.com” site for the details.)

If you’re looking to get started with your own podcast, and you would like to get started soon, this is a great place and it is free at the present time. All you really need is a microphone and you are ready to get started. (Click here, to listen to this read as, episode #0002.)

See ya next time . . .

Example of Podcast Quick Tip #3 . . . (Hear How Well It Works)

Sorry about not being here earlier for you, BUT, I was trying to get a new thing started right here and tried several different programs before I actually decided on this one.

I wanted to present to you an example of what I talked about in Podcasting Quick Tip #3 and this was the first place I found that I liked the result. (Plus, it is a great place to get started with your own podcast and, of course, it is free.) The name of the site is “mypodcast.com” and it is very nice. They even give you a simple recording program to get you started. All you need is a microphone or a way of entering you voice into it. You can also upload files from your computer. That is what I did. I made this little production of reading my Quick Tip #3 and used only the equipment and software I talked about in that Quick Tip. Go to this link and give it a listen, “podcastnorm.mypodcast.com”

I am pleased with the result so far. Now, remember. I only wanted to give you an example of what could be done. I intend to keep on doing a regular podcast, although I haven’t decided how often yet. I may read my blog for those that want to listen while you do something else. I may be doing some interviews or other similar things. (Why, shucks, I may even go on a little bit of a rant if I think the subject deserves it.) As you all well know, the possibilities are endless.

I hope you like the presentation. Click here to go to the podcast.

See ya next time . . .

Podcasters Should Pay Attention to the Details? (Honestly, It Won’t Hurt.)

Do you believe it is really true what they say, “The devil is in the details?” I don’t and I have some pretty strong feelings when it comes to paying attention to the details.

Since I have made just about any mistake you can make when it comes to recording, whether it be live or in the studio, I think I can speak a little more knowledgeably and forcefully on this subject. (After all, I have been doing this in one form or another for over thirty years.) I can hear some of you now, saying, “So What?!?” . . . (Well, you’re entitled to your opinion also.)

If anyone thinks that everything can be done “on-the-fly” when it comes to recording for a broadcast, podcast, or anything else for that matter, that person is sadly mistaken and is going to have some disappointing “setbacks” and some rather excruciating “learning experiences”. Now, what do I mean by that? I mean, they are going have some important recordings that will only be able to be used as ‘learning experiences” because the only thing they will be good for is saying, “I won’t make that mistake again”, or, “I wish I would have been better prepared for this interview, (or studio time, etc, etc)”.

There absolutely has to be some pre-planning and some thought given to what it is you want to accomplish. Even things that are ‘spur of the moment’, or casual in nature, still require a little fore-thought. There still needs to be at least some semblance of a plan. At the very least, when you have a direction you want to take in your monologue, teaching time, interview, conversation, or dissertation it is easy enough to take a few detours along the way and still end up where you were headed. (Sometimes, those detours take you to the place you really wanted to be in the first the place and because of your forethought, you got there). Please understand, I am not talking about a script (althought there are times that is a good idea, also). I am talking about even the simplest plan to follow.

After you’re finished and it is time for editing, there are a few things you need to check as far as what the final product will be. Is there good balance between transitions from speaking to music or breaks. Is the level between two or more speakers relatively the same. When you listen to your recording, are there places that cause you to be irritated or distracted, (such as noises, poor levels or glaring level mistakes). Believe me, if they catch your attention, your audience will catch them too, and they may be distracted enough to turn you off permanently.

I have always believed it is worth the extra effort to pay attention to even some of the smallest details, both pre and post production. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced veteran, paying close attention to small details can make an enormous difference in your final product. As I said in the title, paying attention to the details won’t hurt (and it definitely won’t cramp your creativity). Besides, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much better your product can be and amazed at how many people will be pleased to tell others about you and your effort.

See ya next time . . .

Beginner Podcaster . . . ?

Everything begins somewhere. If you’re a beginner podcaster, you need a place to start and today’s world makes it easier than ever for you get a good start on your chosen subject or subjects.

There is hardware and software — some inexpensive and some not — that can turn out just about any quality of production you desire. Free stuff is available, whether it be information or programs or sites, and it is easier than ever to be syndicated.

There are so many people out there in the world that are creative in many differing ways and their ideas for podcasting (both audio and video) cover the spectrum from “the ridiculous” to “got to have it daily”. I am quite amazed at how much diversity really is available. Some of it I like and some of it is absolutely useless. (Oops, there I go getting opinionated again.)

If you are a beginner, it doesn’t hurt to do a little research on the history of this popular medium called podcasting. You don’t have to let that keep you from getting started, but it is always good to know the roots of your chosen interest. This will help you understand where it came from, but more importantly, it will help broaden your vision for the future. This is a relatively new industry and it is looking to go forward and not repeat the mistakes of the industries that preceded it and yet take the best things from those predecessors and build on their positives.

If you think it is easy to turn out a quality product without forethought and effort, you can rest assured that your stay in this arena will be short. Whether you offer daily or weekly broadcasts similar to radio or TV, or information on your favorite handy tip for around the house, you will soon recognize that quality is going to become more and more important. People want to listen to a good sounding program or see a good looking video product. That is why you will want to experiment with different hardware and software to find what works best and easiest for you. Spending a little time with some demos could possibly save you a bundle in the long run, when it comes to investing in those products you want to, or will, use. Reading about or listening to some veterans’ thoughts on the type equipment that can work best for your situation is always a good investment.

It is work (although it can be a lot of fun) to turn out a product that will cause your audience to want to return again and again. That is why it is so important to enjoy what you are doing. When you’ve had a rotten week and the world has crashed down around your shoulders, your podcast can be a sanctuary for you. It can be the place you forget about all of the problems and stresses and just enjoy doing whatever it is you do and offer people a place to come and enjoy that very same thing.

Beginning at the beginning seems to be a good place to start BUT it doesn’t have to hold you back. Spending some time studying and listening to the veterans will make your advancement take place more quickly because you won’t have to stumble around in the dark, looking for the right equipment and software to turn out your best product.

Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Podcasting (Solutions)That is why I do highly recommend this book, Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Podcasting (Solutions). It is a wealth of information and really is a “Complete Guide to Podcasting”. If you are a beginner in podcasting you won’t regret the investment. The same holds true if you are an advanced podcaster. It is a good investment!

See ya next time . . .

‘Free Stuff’ vs. ‘Pay Stuff’

Everybody likes ‘free stuff’. I am no exception for, you see, I like ‘free stuff’ too. There will always be ‘free stuff’ available and it should be that way. ‘Free stuff’ is good, but, not always the best. ‘Free stuff’ is sometimes free because it has little or no value or, it’s free because the info is somewhat outdated and only useful to attract your attention to newer ‘stuff’. At other times, some ‘stuff’ is really good and very valuable but it is free just because the person that makes or owns it wants to give it away no matter how much value it has.

Now, even though I say free stuff isn’t always good, I do have a great resource spot you need to check out. It is free and, even better, it is good. It is made for beginners in podcasting as well as helping the experienced podcaster make his/her podcast even better. You really should give this place a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. You can find it at, studio.odeo.com/create. If you want to create something new or just listen to others let loose their creativity, this is a ‘must do’ place. (Besides, it’s f-r-e-e, so what do you have to lose.)

I was introduced to this site by a very good friend of mine named, Christer Edwards. He is a very knowledgeable internet marketer and educator. (You can, and should check out his blog at www.christeredwards.com. It is full of great! information, and, by the way, he has a vast amount of technical knowledge and skill and is more than willing to share it.)

Now, getting to that ‘pay stuff’. When someone has something they (or we) perceive as valuable, we are willing to pay for their knowledge or product. If we don’t perceive it as valuable, we may find their asking price too high or their knowledge lacking in some fashion. Either way, we as the customer (or audience) make the choice as to how much value is placed on the product(s) in question which determines its monetary value and “staying power”.

This is also the way it should be. The question now becomes, “Who and what should we be willing to pay for and how much is that information or programming worth?” If we are making our product available for free, does it contain value for those that receive it even though it may have a sort of ‘hook’ attached to it? When it comes to podcasting, it is my personal opinion that ‘value’ is a very “key word”.

See ya next time . . .

“Podcast Solutions”by Michael Geoghegan and Dan Klass … This Months Book Review/Recommendation

Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Podcasting (Solutions)(click on the pix to get it quick!)

This is my recommendation for the book to read for the month of February if you are a beginner looking to get started, or simply like would like some great info for making or improving your podcast.

I realize there are a lot of books on the market for podcast beginners and advanced users. I think this book is well worth the investment whether you are a beginner or an old pro, (maybe even a young, old pro). Because there is so much in this great book I just want to tell you a little of what it contains. Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t be metioning more about it later, it just means I want to tell you a few things about it at this time and hope you will pick it up as a valuable resource you will be able to refer to on a regular basis. These guys KNOW what they’re talking about.

From the pages of this book you will harvest a wealth of information on things like:

  • How to use “podcatchers” like iTunes, iPodder Lemon, and iPodderX
  • Secrets of creating the perfect podcast
  • Expert advice on how to design a successful show
  • How to set up an effective studio in which to record your podcast
  • Includes the complete “Podcast Studio Buyer’s Guide”.
  • Everything you need to know about recording, editing and encoding
  • Everything you need to know about uploading your podcast
  • Information on using music “legally”
  • Attracting sponsors, advertisers and other evenue sources for making money with your podcast

Michael Geoghegan and Dan Klass are pioneers in podcasting. (You can find out more about them by clicking the links in “Podcasting Quick Tips #2” This book a not just something you will want to have for one read. It is something you will want to refer to often even though podcasting is a technology that is changing rapidly. This book is jam-packed with great information and I like the way they offer the important information and yet keep it simple and straightforward. They present it in an understandable way and that is a BIG plus for those that pick it up to get a great headstart on podcasting even though they may be absolutely new to the technology.

Now here’s another thing about this book I really like. It comes with a CD, (worth the price of the book by itself), packed with useful programs, although mostly trial versions, for getting started in podcasting. Even though some of the programs are trial versions they will give you a good feel for the programs BEFORE you invest your hard earned money and that can help you get started on a shoestring and move up as you progress or start up without having to go at the programs ‘cold’.

All in all, I guess you can tell I like the book. I would rate it at least four and a half stars.

See Ya Next Time . . .