Podcasting may not be reaching the heigths its greatest proponents
prophesied, but that has stopped millions of people from downloading audio
content or creating their own radio like shows for others. This sessions looked
at podcasting, audio searching and best practices when it comes to getting the
best possible audio in front of the broadest possible audience.
Amanda Waitlington started the session suggesting that what is new about
audio on the Web is syndication and the available management tools. Podcasting is more
than time shifted radio, it is an on demand audio cultural representation (Yipes!) which
essentially means that it can be used for several purposes such as education,
advertising and that you're really only limited by creativity. There is always
Waitlington suggested not finalizing the name of your podcast until you know
for sure that it's not in use. Your show name is the title you will use for your
feed, or in RSS speak, the channel. Next would be to develop a keyword list
which will help determine how the podcast will be branded and assist in writing
the audio tag information (utilizing a tag editor). Audacity comes with a built
in tag editor as do many other solutions. Some more tips from Waitlington
include optimize your sound (ID3, ID3v1 - appended to the end of an audio file,
ID3v2 appended to the start), optimize your podcasting landing page by creating
a sitemap (for easy indexing by search engines), having a separate page (landing
page) for each episode, always provide subscription information, show length, a
detailed abstract. Also make sure to use multiple feeds for multiple formats.
Waitlington also suggested building accurate, effective RSS files, submitting
broadly and watching for changes.
Next up was Darrin Babin of Webmaster Radio who started his segment of the
session by discussing whether podcasting was worth it considering production
time, cost of production and recording equipment, how encoding is a paid and the
needs associated with analytics and bandwidth.
Babin made an interesting point in that in podcasting (as in other things) it
is important to look for what you are going to need in order to meet your
listeners needs. "You need a network that will support your growth,"
said Babin. So is it worth it? It's worth it. They (the listening public) will
listen if you are compelling. They just want to be educated and entertained.
Babin suggested a good idea would be to transcribe everything - it's the equity
in your organic fortuitous display of originality.
Next up was Rick Klau of FeedBurner and presented a lot of practical insights
and helpful information for podcasters of any size.
- Metadata is essential for discovery (show notes are criminally
- The current subscription process is really lacking (use a browser-friendly
offer to increase subscriptions)
- Ensure auto discovery is enabled
- Get your feeds out there (directories are not only a listing, but an
opportunity for branding)
- Ping, ping, ping. (the major services) and use viral tools to maximize