Okay, I’m really really into podcasting. Why? Because I think they have some uses that blogs can’t cover. Portability being chief among these. Basically, it’s another way to have a conversation with an audience. If you’re a marketer, this is almost a no-brainer. If you’re a geekhead, this is a way to share knowledge and information in a group setting, without requiring even more reading.
Sometimes, you want to read. Like Manuals.
But other times, you might want to have someone executing a step by step method of procedure. Can you imagine a tech remoting into a data center, getting ready to upgrade a server, and she’s listening to her trusty iRiver device. She pushes play and hears her coworkers’ pre-recorded steps for execution. It sounds like Mission: Impossible, only without the steps for “shoot this guy; make a copy of his face; put on the mask.”
CEOs can give messages to senior management. Vendors can get their clients subcribed to weekly product podcasts. (I’ve got a million, kids!)
Most folks get nervous about doing a podcast because of the technical stuff. Well, here are a few hacks to get someone who might not be 100% techie into putting their voice into digital media for sharing purposes. The best part is, most of them are cheap or free:
Podcast RECORDING Hacks
Quick definition partly copped from Wikipedia: Podcasting is the distribution of multimedia files (audio or video), using a syndication method like RSS or ATOM, for download and playback at a time convenient to the listener/viewer.
- Odeo– Take an inexpensive microphone (built-in or a $15 jobber from RadioShack.com), plug it into your computer, poke around the audio settings, and you can use Odeo. You really can’t get much simpler than that. I could probably end the hacks right here, really. It’s an easy solution for desktop recording. How about MOBILE recording?
- K7.net– We mentioned this the other day regarding Adam Weiss’s voice reminder hack. You can use the same thing but talk just a little longer and you’ve got a podcast. Is there a timelimit to the messages? Here’s another hack. Record the time limit’s length as segments, tie them all together using Audacity. The only trick there is, it’s a Seattle number.
- AimPhoneLine.com– I saw this at Lifehacker, and I thought: well there! That solves the local number. (I admit I didn’t look for non-US numbers, but I’ve got a sidebar hack for that, too: can’t you SKYPE to it?). I haven’t tried out the length, but again, just record little bits and blend them. I now have two new internet phone numbers in a single day. Weird.
- SkypeCasts– Skype just launched a great tool for this called SkypeCasts. I think this thing will really rock the boat in the “record it easy” marketplace. Hey Odeo- what do you think?
- Cheapy Digital Recorders– You can get an inexpensive digital record for under $100 US, and those might be a good starting place for something you can shift from your device to the computer for pushing into a Podcast.
Even if you’re not interested in podcasting, these services all offer something of interest to busy productivity types looking to use other tools to get things done. Don’t have access to the keyboard? Use a phone in service for a message that translates directly to MP3. Need to leave lots of people the same message? Email them the file. We can go on like this, but I need your help.
What Did I Miss?
I’ll admit that I didn’t exactly scour the internet to see other examples of similar services. Do you have some favorites that I missed? Let me know. Load up the comments with your thoughts, opinions, and your variations on the theme. That’s what you’re here for, tough guys!
–Chris Brogan recently launched New Media School, a video podcast that takes a tongue-in-cheek look at podcasting, while still attempting to be marginally informative.
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