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Podcast patois

Yes, I had to look up patois, but I couldn’t pass up the alliteration. This is just a quick post regarding a thought I’ve had about podcast conversations.

We enjoy the podcast because of the subscription, right? I mean, why else would they have become such interesting tools? These audio comments that rode in on the RSS wave have only a few things that separate them from streaming audio and downloadable content, am I right?
So, here we have a subscribable audio file that gets automatically downloaded to my computer and I can listen to it whenever I want, not just when it happens to be on. I get to choose, I get to decide – and best of all – I don’t have to do it standing near my computer. We love the portability, we love the timeshifting. Audio content that we like, when we like it, where ever we like it.

But there are some problems. Most of us subscribe to many more podcasts than we can listen to – even in our daily commute. So we have to wait until a business trip or a vacation stuck on a plane before we can get caught up. At times this means listening to three or four episodes of one podcast two or three weeks after you listened to the last batch. And, worse yet, if you subscribe to a long podcast that is produced daily, you can get really behind. It’s February 27th and suppose you’re listening to six episodes of a podcast that is produced every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from earlier in the month. That’s two weeks worth. Well, they are throwing around phrases like, “as we talked about on Monday’s show” and “We referred to that on Friday.” If you’re not careful, it can get pretty hard to keep track. I listen to podcasts that don’t even count their shows, so they can’t even tell you which show number it is. And that’s what I’m asking for.

Timeshifting has made old broadcast terms meaningless. Hobson and Holtz talk about this every once in a while. “Tuning in,” doesn’t make sense any more, for instance. Also, “rewinding” since nothing is being rewound. Talking about “Monday” or “yesterday” on a podcast is confusing and also needs to be changed.

I’m proposing we think about this. If podcasting is a viable tool for PR professionals now and in the future, we need to eliminate error possibilities and make them easy and simple to absorb. Count your shows, refer not to “Wednesday’s show” but even “last show” or better yet “show #45.” It’s a little thing, but it’s the little things that can easily be improved upon.

Some of my favorite podcasts have just recently started counting their shows…a sure sign that I’m on the right track. Now to get it one step further and quit talking about days of the week as if I’m listening to it when they’re producing it, because I’m not. I’m sitting in traffic, enjoying the company of podcasters and basking in their new podcast patois.

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One Response

  1. Cell phone company Sony Ericsson said on Tuesday (March 2) it was teaming up with Google Inc. to incorporate the company’s Web search and blog features into its mobile phones. The pre-loaded blog feature enables callers to upload photos by selecting the blog feature instead of e-mail or picture messaging. Callers are automatically linked to Google’s Blogger application.

    Check out the article on: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-03/01/content_4243559.htm

    Including podcast searches in this emerging use of technology could link the media/public to podcasts/videocasts of news releases or special announcements. It could be a useful PR tool for rumor or crisis control.

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