• Welcome to my Observations

    Online observations of public relations, marketing, advertising and social media; the occasional frivolity; and The Rundown show notes. Jump in, the water's fine.

    Please Note: Everything posted on this blog is my personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of my employer or its constituents.

  • My Pinterest

  • LinkedIn

    View Luke Armour's profile on LinkedIn
  • Archives

  • Categories

  • The Rundown Podcast Live

    The Rundown

  • RSS Media Bullseye

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • Creative Commons

  • The Show Player

  • Pages

  • January 2007
    S M T W T F S
  • Meta

Podcasting suggestions, advice from a guy who doesn’t podcast

mic.jpgSo I’m not a podcaster. I’ve participated in a few podcasts. I’ve recorded things on my computer, but never made a podcast. I’ve never even recorded a Skype call. So you might be wondering what qualifications I have to make suggestions or give advice about said medium.

Well, first of all, I’m not going to, because Donna Papacosta already podcasted the concept I was cooking up and going to write about, so there! (I’ll be coming back to this.)

Secondly, I listen to a lot of podcasts. And to me, knowing what one likes or doesn’t like about podcasts really gives that person ample qualification. Plus, I was in a band for over six years, engineered two full-length CDs and still record my own little ditties occasionally, so I know a little bit about recording equipment.

Tertiarily, this is my blog. I don’t have to have authority, experience or knowledge, I just have to have an audience. Which I’m sure I’m losing at about 6 readers per word at this point. Hey, isn’t that the point sometimes when you’re blogging? Isn’t that the blogosphere motto: Don’t have any facts, figures, or knowledge, but write vehemently about stuff you don’t understand.

Gosh, I’m snarky today. Sorry I’m so cynical, but you’ve got to tell me you’ve noticed. It’s either an echo chamber or it’s a blind rant…no, wait, those two things aren’t mutually exclusive, sometimes it’s a complete echo chamber of ranting blindly. You wouldn’t know it, but I do love the medium. I love the whole shebang, bad and all.

Anyway, I’ve been listening to many, many podcasts since I first discovered them, oh…late 2005. Some good, some bad, and they’re getting better. I started thinking I’d write up a little top ten on what my suggestions would be to future or newbie podcasters. Things that people wouldn’t ordinarly think of without a little recording experience. The beauty of the medium is that the barrier to entry is so low, right? But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things you should think about first.

However, in traditional I-used-to-live-in-New-York -and-then-I-moved-to-Canada-so-long-ago- I-forgot-how-to-carry-my-own-illegally-concealed-firearm fashion, Donna Papacosta came out with this great podcast on January 10th titled Insider’s Podcasting Secrets: 10 Things Every Podcaster Should Know, which is a cumbersome title and not one I would have used, but it’s straight forward and to the point. It was also featured on the Feedburner site, which must mean something because I know what Feedburner is and therefore what Donna has achieved must be important.

No, for the title of this post/podcast I would have chosen something with a little more panache. Something like, “Ten Ways To Cast Your Pod Appropriately” or “Don’t Screw This Up: How to avoid making your podcast the laughing stock of the entire freakin’ world,” or even “Podcasting suggestions, advice from a guy who doesn’t podcast.” But it’s Donna’s show, so she can call it whatever she wants.

This is a must listen – I’ll repeat – This is a must listen! Put your eye right up to the monitor just so you get it – this is a must listen for the podcast novice or anyone who has ever thought that maybe they would podcast or even participate in one just once. Even if you’ve done 10 shows, listen to this podcast. Her advice is simple, to the point, and very important. My big argument about podcasting is, yes, content is king, I’ll gladly put up with the occasional poor audio quality of a presentation because I know it’s going to be worth it. Better yet, next episode I might be able to actually hear something. It all evens out. But I have – those of you with weak stomachs might want to skip to the next paragraph break – but I have unsubscribed – YES, I ADMIT IT, unsubscribed to podcasts because they were the audio equivilant of fingernails on a chalkboard.

Oh, wait, that is audio. Bad metaphor.

Anyway, it was terrible to listen to episode after episode and no amount of “great content” can stem the flow of unscribes to that malodorous effluent. Yes, I had to look those words up.

One thing Donna doesn’t cover is sound effects. And this might seem a bit advanced, but it’s the only original thing I can come up with that she hasn’t covered. All I’m asking for here is a “ding” a “ping” or a “bong.” A musical trill, the sound of a drill, a reverberous gong. Arpeggio, just so you know, three notes of a chord. A puff on a flute, a little horn toot, a boat horn on the fjord. The point is, sometimes a little musical umph (technical term) can help separate segments of your show. I hate to brag, but one person who does this really well is Donna Papacosta. Just short little anythings can help tell your audience that something is changing. Visually, we’d see paragraphs indented in print or a super-bright flash in a video. Aurally, we need the help. So if you’re introducing an interview, ending an interview, going to a new segment, or having a flashback of an earlier show – help an ear out. And I like them short. I love FIR, but I can’t stand the musical introductions to their segments…too long. You could listen to Inside PR for the jingle I wrote for the Inside PRoper English segment…funny how they only used it for two shows…

Now, go listen to Donna’s Trafcom News podcast #48.


I have the Power of 150, you insignificant noisemakers, you

No, wait, I wrote that incorrectly. I am one of the pr/marketing bloggers that made it into Todd And’s The Power 150: Top Marketing Blogs. In fact, I’m lucky number 100! Take that Steve Rubel of Micropersuasion! Oh, wait, he came in at 15. Take that Kevin Dugan of Strategic PR and The Bad Pitch Blog! No, shoot, both of his blogs beat me at 24 and 45, respectively. Who else, ah, have at thee, Shel Holtz! Crap, he’s 28. I’ll bet I beat that good-for-nothing Todd Defren – let’s see…curses! He soundly beats me out at 34. Ha! I beat eSoup, whatever the hell that is.* I guess that’s some consolation.

Todd rated these blogs using Google PageRank, Bloglines Subscribers, Technorati Ranking, and the ever subjective Todd And Points. I’ve got to admit, when I set up those other 234 Bloglines accounts and subscribed only to my own blog and The Daily Dilbert, I felt kind of stupid. But it’s all paid off now.

Seriously, I think what Todd has done is really quite amazing. You can read his original post here. If I weren’t so busy faking podcasts and writing about the important pr/marketing issues that made me of the the Power 150, I’d have thought of something equally as clever and subjective. Something like “The Chainmail Armour 200,” “125 Blogs in Shining Armour,” or, perhaps, “The stuff I try to cram in my head every week from smart people on their blogs 2.1!”

Honestly, Todd, thanks for taking the time, for enjoying my shambles…uh, rambles, and for contributing so joyfully to this social media space. Congrats to the other 149, yes, even those of you from 1-99.

*note: I’m just kidding. Well, I wasn’t, but I wanted to know what eSoup was really all about, so I visited the site and it looks really good. Sharon has some impressive things on both eSoup and her own website. So, no hard feelings, Sharon, I just…I went for the funny line, okay? Please forgive me. I mean, eSoup? It’s a punchline in this context. How’s that for a tagline? eSoup: simplify, organize, punchline