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Podcasting Continues its Slow, Steady Burn

I’m happy to report, NPR is celebrating podcasts on Morning Edition.

First of all, let me tell you I was caught off guard. I have always felt, anecdotally, that podcasting continued its slow burn of acceptance and usage. But it’s hard to tell as research on it is thin. PEW hasn’t covered it much since 2008, and Edison put out The Current State Of Podcasting 2010, which showed, among other things, that podcasting had emerged from the early adopter phase into a more mainstream community. My guess is, anecdotally, that it’s because we’re no longer counting a podcast as an audio file delivered by RSS – per the definition, but also because tech has gotten a little easier and mainstream media continues to push podcasting as an on-demand distribution channel. See NPR Podcasts, for example.

podcast_logoSo anyway, it was a pleasant surprise to hear an Arts & Life episode featuring “‘Bowery Boys‘ Are Amateur But Beloved New York Historians.”

The authors, from the story:

“We bought Podcasting for Dummies,” says Meyers, “partially to figure out what a podcast was, and also how to record these things.”

The pair doesn’t use fancy equipment, either.

“Bowery Boys” co-hosts Tom Meyers and Greg Young call themselves “home-schooled historians,” and they do extensive research for their show and its related blog. For an episode about Manhattan’s grid pattern, they dug up this map from a book published in 1840.

“I think that for the first episode, we recorded with a spare karaoke microphone that we had in the closet for … other occasions,” recalls Meyers, laughing.

Their story really resonates with me for several reasons. Podcasting – and much of social media – is not about production or gear or even spelling (based on much of it I see), it’s about passion. It’s about sharing your passion with the world – and the technology just helps amplify. To hit any sort of critical mass – and I use the term loosely – you still have to be cogent, informative and entertaining. Why else read/listen/watch?

I’m looking forward to catching the rest of the featured podcasts. In the meantime, what are you doing to share your passion for work or life?


The Rundown with Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson-Part II

TheRundown Welcome to the Rundown Podcast. Here I give and get The Rundown on social media and all things Public Relations and Digital marketing on the web.

Episode 4 of The Rundown Podcast features part two of my discussion of podcasting with communication and podcast rockstars – Shel Holtz (@shel) and Neville Hobson (@jangles) from the For Immediate Release series of podcasts. They recently released the results of their listener survey, which spurred a detailed discussion of podcasting past, present and future…

I also welcome back Ashley Mead in a new segment I’ve dubbed: Calling You – at a Moment’s Notice! Ashley’s got an interesting new hobby that really gives you the perspective from 15,000 feet.

The Rundown with Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson – Part II


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Use your own podcatcher (RSS)

Join the show and send audio or text comments, suggestions and complaints to:

Show Notes

  • 00:00 Music by Me
  • 00:40 Welcome
  • 01:19 Calling You – at a Moment’s Notice! Starring Ashley Mead
  • 04:50 Segue into the podcast discussion with Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson
  • 04:56 Podcasting as niche vs widespread adoption for podcasts
  • 05:55 Podcast Community Catalyst
  • 08:00 Global podcast perspective
  • 08:55 Podcast education
  • 10:41 Podcast technology vs. podcast disinterest
  • 11:44 Audio Blogging
  • 13:57 Rise of Video Blogging
  • 14:20 Big Media – independent podcasters vs. mainstream media
  • 17:24 What is podcasting really vs. what is podcasting ideally
  • 18:21 State of podcasting
  • 19:50 Podcasting is dead
  • 21:51 Where can we find them?
  • 22:22 Break
  • 22:29 Farewell
  • 22:51 Mr. Media rolls us out.

Don’t hesitate to send in audio or text comments, questions, feedback and anything else that suits your fancy. I reserve the right, of course, to play or read any and all of your comments as well as delete them without a second thought. But don’t let that stop you from giving it a shot!

Please let me know what you think via email or leave an audio comment at: +1 206.337.3731.

The Rundown with Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson-Part I

TheRundown Welcome to the Rundown Podcast. Here I give and get The Rundown on social media and all things Public Relations and Digital marketing on the web.

Episode 3 of The Rundown Podcast features part one of a discussion of podcasting with two of my favorite podcasters – Shel Holtz (@shel) and Neville Hobson (@jangles) from the For Immediate Release series of podcasts. They recently released the results of their listener survey, which spurred a detailed discussion of podcasting past, present and future…

The Rundown with Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson – Part I


Subscribe using iTunes


Use your own podcatcher (RSS)

Join the show and send audio or text comments, suggestions and complaints to:

Show Notes

  • 00:00 Face off
  • 00:41 Welcome
  • 01:33 Comments? Suggestions?
  • 01:50 Segue
  • 02:00 Welcome, again
  • 02:20 Introduction of Neville and Shel
  • 05:00 The FIR Listener Survey – why release the survey results?
  • 07:29 Changes to The Hobson & Holtz Report?
  • 08:20 Length
  • 09:05 Podsafe Music – Really?
  • 11:40 RSS vs. iTunes
  • 13:49 iPod vs. iPhone
  • 16:02 Conversation Rules
  • 17:03 Podcast Stats – Downloads vs. Listeners
  • 18:37 Is content still king? (eMarketer study Podcasting Into the Mainstream, March 2009)
  • 21:07 Diversity in audience – why and how?
  • 22:57 Podcast listenership
  • 25:21 Break
  • 25:30 Luke pimps these other podcasts:

Don’t hesitate to send in audio or text comments, questions, feedback and anything else that suits your fancy. I reserve the right, of course, to play or read any and all of your comments as well as delete them without a second thought. But don’t let that stop you from giving it a shot!

Please let me know what you think via email or leave an audio comment at: +1 206.337.3731.

A Podcast Dies a Thousand Deaths…

Death of Podcasting …an unfounded Internet meme lives forever.

At the end of 2008, with the demise of podcasting service Podango (no link ’cause they’re, uh, gone), the “Podcasting is Dead” meme recirculated again. The conversation, this time spurred from a recent blog post by Michael Goeghegan, referring to Podango’s situation and an unfortunately titled presentation he did in 2007.

So on Dec 31, 2008, Joseph Jaffe hosted a live discussion with some of podcasting’s greats to discuss the situation.

The rockstar guest list included:

It was a spirited discussion about podcasting with some really interesting insight. I regret not catching it live and joining the conversation via voice or the chat room. Keep in mind that most of these aforementioned podcasters are marketing and public relations folks (many have been on the cutting edge of podcasting for years), which is important to keep in mind. But there are a few names in there whose primary vocation is podcasting, which is also important to note. Take a listen if you want.

Also, Shel cited two excellent sources (thanks for the links, Shel) including a Pew Internet study “Podcast Downloading 2008” and Edison Media Research’s The Podcast Consumer Revealed 2008, which provide some interesting stats and figures about the consumption of podcasts. Listener and viewership is UP.

The themes I pulled from the 90+ minute discussion, include:

  • There are two types of podcast concepts (I’m stripping these down to their cores): 1) Podcasting as a marketing tool and 2) Podcasting as a distinct medium. The former includes producing content as a positioning tool for your business, consultancy, event, etc. The latter includes producing content strictly for the purpose of generating content. The print equivalents would be 1) producing a glossy magazine filled with interesting, industry-related content, sponsored by your business and 2) producing a magazine filled with interesting content, funded by ads and (possibly) subscription costs.
  • The death of podcasting tends to erupt whenever a business or person decides that concept #2 isn’t working out. Ravenscraft cites a conversation he had with Goeghegan referring exactly to this. It’s both time consuming and, for some, technically challenging to create a podcast. My opinion is that podfading is more prevalent than businesses going under and entrepreneurs giving up hopes on the medium combined.
  • Podcasting shouldn’t be about the technology. When you get hung up on the technology you’re missing the point. Podcasting is a tool, a channel for reaching audiences.
  • The main problem with podcasting today is that there is no easy, standardized method for distribution or subscription. RSS, as the geeks know, is what’s powering both,  and iTunes has come a long way in putting podcasts into the mainstream. A lot of people don’t sync, don’t timeshift, don’t know where to get podcasts.
  • Podcasting’s flexibility is its huge advantage. How can you make it work for you?
  • People ARE making money podcasting. Some are indirectly, by positioning themselves to be experts in their field; but Grammar Girl and Ravenscraft are both examples of people paying the bills directly because of podcasting.

So here are my thoughts on podcasting:

  • Podcasting is – wait for it – not dead.
  • The more niche the content, the better off you’ll be. The Internet has made geography irrelevant, all you have to do is find enough people across the world who are interested in what your talking about. I think that’s a fairly attainable goal. However, it’s easy to forget the Mid-Tail, as the Edison Media (link above) piece reminds us. As a good communicator, one needs to remember who the audience is and be sure the message is on target. It’s cliche as hell, but content is still king in podcasting.
  • That said, your talent has a lot to do with the show, that and production. Don’t skimp on either. I’ve chosen one podcast over another in similar categories numerous times because of the hosts. I’ll put up with a lot in terms of audio production, but there is a limit. Most of your audiences won’t be so forgiving and you’ll only have ONE shot to impress them.
  • Community is HUGE. This goes back to your talent, but you’ve got to make it easy for a community to form around your content. Don’t broadcast, engage. I think the reason the top podcasts on iTunes are typically repurposed mainstream media bits (ESPN, NPR, etc) is because there is already a community of people engaged with that content and talent. In this situation, the podcast is becoming an alternative method for receiving content, most likely because of the on-demand, timeshifted nature of the beast. As the Edison piece indicates, these people are big into social networks, too. I can’t lead your horse to the water more than that. Drink. And that only makes it hard to break through the clutter if you’re trying to do something that’s already out there. Here’s a hint – don’t do that unless you can do it WAY better. I’m still waiting for a short, weekly audio podcast wrapping up the NHL games, highlights and standings. I haven’t looked in a while, but if you know of one, tell me about it.

I LOVE podcasts, they keep me sane, but I have a 60-120 minute commute, one-way, depending on weather and traffic. And I have a lot more thoughts, but I’m hoping you’ll pitch in here. What are your thoughts? Do you listen? Why or why not? How and where do you listen? Do you sync and timeshift?

I’m Going to Podcamp Ohio

Are you?

Podcamp Ohio goes live this weekend in wonderful, wacky Columbus Ohio. In the spirit of unconferences everywhere, it’s FREE, fun and guaranteed to be educational. The 2008 version is the first and I have to applaud the organizers of this event led by Angelo Mandato. I’ve been on the email list for the planning committee and the work they’ve put into this is incredible. I did my share by complaining and offering unsolicited advice. They’re probably all like, who IS this Armour fellow anyway? I’ll be sure to provide more Kudos, I’m sure, after the event, but I wanted to get that out here.

So, Podcamp Ohio, the details as Miss Abby Laner so excellently details them, uh, in detail:

WHAT: A conference that helps connect people interested in blogging, social networks, podcasting and new media. Attendees can learn, share, and grow their new media skills with others.

WHEN: June 28, 2008 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

WHY: You will learn all sorts of really cool things about the various aspects of social media. It’s also a great way to meet new folks who love to do the same things as you! (translation: NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK)

Your favorite Ausssie (I have no way of knowing if that’s true) Paull Young and I will be presenting an interesting look at the world of social media with our “What NOT To Do: Podcasting and other Social Media Anti-Tips” session. Due to the Law of Two Feet, there’s sure not to be a full chair in the room when we’re done.

To see the full list of sessions, please click here.

I’m looking forward to meeting Abby (I’m assuming that’s her on the left, I stole the photo from her post) in person as well as the infamous Constantin Basturea (whose name you may recall from my Murder Mystery virtual geek dinner, yes I’m still plugging that thing), the Ohio-native-turned-New Yorker Michael Denton of whom I’ve heard so many disturbing things, and Todd Cochrane, who I’ve actually talked to on the phone before and whose podcast I sometimes listen. Also, of course, fun to see Kait Swanson and Mr. Young again.

As soon as I get some twitter and blog tags, I’ll be sure to post them here so you can keep up with our weekend exploits. Follow me!

The Rundown – Live from Kent State Today

imageThe Rundown is going on the road today as I head to Kent State for the hands-on PRSA Akron event “You, Too, Social Media Boot Camp and Leadership Summit” where I’ll be teaching a session on podcasting and, of course, BlogTalkRadio.

Should be a great event, the leadership summit includes former U.S. Congressman Dennis Eckart and NEOhio PR legend David Meeker. Others include Mike Connell, CEO of New Media Communications, whose company provided the Internet strategy to the Bush-Cheney campaigns in 2000 and 2004, and Jenny Camper, president of the public affairs firm Lesic & Camper.

Other highlights include PRSA’s John Elsasser, editor in chief of PR Strategist, who will moderate the panel. Steve Shannon of BurrelleLuce will present on “Copyright Compliance in the Digital Age.”

Good boy Bill Sledzik at ToughSledding referred to me and some other locals as “big names in social-media,” which is kind. I’m looking forward to meeting Matt Dickman, director of digital marketing, Fleishman-Hillard Cleveland, who’s blog I read, Dino Baskovic, principal with Vincena, an Internet and social-media consulting firm based in Detroit and my little Twitter pal Kait Swanson. I’m also pleased to be meeting up with Sage Lewis, founder of SageRock.com for our annual run-into-each-other-at-some-event meet up.

Listen to The Rundown on internet talk radio

I’m going to be broadcasting live whenever I can today during the event, so check out The Rundown Live at Kent State to listen in or catch the archives, I won’t be taking calls today, but I’m hoping to get some great interviews.

For Immediate Release Goes LIVE

FIRReaders of this blog will know that one of my favorite podcasts is “For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report.” If you’re reading this blog and not listening to FIR, stop reading right now, go to ForImmediateRelease.biz and sign up for the blog and podcast feed. Or, as an introduction you can check out this Saturday’s live episode on BlogTalkRadio.

This Saturday, February 9, at 10am PT/1pm ET/ 6pm GMT, hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz will host a special live call-in edition of “For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report” on BlogTalkRadio.

The call-in episode will focus on the blurring of the lines between internal and external communications. If you work in external PR, how do employees of your (or your client’s) company affect your communication efforts? If you work in internal communications, how does your role change in order to prepare employees for their growing role as points of contact and brand experiences in the social media sites where they participate?

It works just like my show, The Rundown. Visit the FIR BlogTalkRadio profile page to listen or call 347.324.3723 to join in the conversation, (you may also listen via phone, pressing ‘1’ to be put in the talking queue).

If you miss the live show, the audio will still come through the podcast feed, so no worries. Should be great show and I hope to hear you there.

(as per usual, I tell you that I work for BlogTalkRadio)

The Rundown with Kami Huyse

This week I bring Kami Huyse, PR professional, APR and Blogger at Communication Overtones to the show. As always, The Rundown is my Tuesday LIVE BlogTalkRadio show featuring an analysis or summary of something by a knowledgeable person – and me. This week we analyze why the blogosphere is more volatile than nitroglycerine and as an unpredictable as a rabid dog. Not unrelated, we’ll also be discussing a recent interview she conducted with Pat Philbin over FEMA’s questionable communication practices. This is going to be a fun show, you should join us.

Kami Watson Huyse, APR, principal of My PR Pro, writes about public relations and communications. She has a background in crisis communication and reputation management, executing social media campaigns, conducting focus group research, and media relations.

Listen to The Rundown on internet talk radio

Join us live this Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at 1:30pm Eastern on BlogTalkRadio to listen, to text chat or to call in at (646) 716-8329.

Podcamp Ohio – Just What the Doctor Ordered

Podcamp OhioI recently got word – first from Kevin Dugan and then from Angelo Mandato, one of the spearheaders – that there will finally be a Podcamp Ohio. I’m stoked. Rest assured I’ll be there, maybe speaking, but there for sure. Will you?

I’ve yet to get involved in the planning (bad, Luke, bad!), but Angelo has been heading up the charge to organize PodCamp Ohio and doing a fine job. Over the past month or so, they’ve got a location and launched a Podcamp Ohio web site.

PodCamp Ohio will be on Saturday, June 28, 2008 from 9am to 5pm at the ITT Technical Institute in Hilliard (just west of Columbus), Ohio. The organizing committee is using all the available tools, except one, I don’t see BlogTalkRadio on the list…hmm. If you’re interested, you can stay up to date with Podcamp Ohio with:

Don’t forget to pick up your logos for your own site!

If you think you might be there, drop me an email or leave me a comment. Could this be the end of my Meet Up Envy?

The Rundown on Stop Blocking with Shel Holtz

This week communication guru, blogger and podcaster Shel Holtz joins me for The Rundown on BlogTalkRadio. As always, The Rundown is my weekly LIVE podcast featuring an analysis or summary of something by a knowledgeable person – and me. For those of you who read this blog, Shel Holtz needs no introduction. Okay, here’s one anyway:

Shel has spent 30-plus years in organizational communications in Fortune 500 companies, consulting firms, and as an independent consultant since 1996. Shel also provides counsel and guidance on traditional online communication and conventional media.
Shel is the author of five books, including “Public Relations on the Net,” “Corporate Conversations,” “Blogging for Business” and the recently released “How to Do Everything with Podcasting.” He has also written countless articles for magazines and journals. He is in demand as a speaker at conferences and workshops around the world.

He is also very passionate about employee communications and, discouraged by corporate banning of sites on the net, started StopBlocking.org:

Companies everywhere are blocking employee access to the Net, fueled by questionable research and irresponsible pronouncements of self-serving individuals and organizations. This site is designed to serve as a hub information resource for those who believe the benefits of providing access far outweigh the risks.

I’ll be having a live discussion with Shel about this campaign, what he’s trying to do with it and why he thinks we shouldn’t be blanket banning entire sites to our employees.

You are welcome to join the discussion if you can drag yourself away from the latest Facebook movie quiz or zombie attack for 30 minutes. Geez.

The Rundown airs on Tuesdays at 1:30pm Eastern. It’s live, so just call in at (646) 716-8329. You can also email your text or audio comments to me before the show and I’ll fit them in. The archives will be available at my BlogTalkRadio host page or by subscribing to the show’s RSS feed. You can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. Also, I am the PR Coordinator for BlogTalkRadio.

Listen to the Archive from BlogTalkRadio: