Category Archives: Podcasting

What is Podcasting?

microphone

by Deb Ng

This past week I received a couple of “what is podcasting?” emails. It seems some folks are a little confused by the term “podcast” plus they want to know the difference between traditional podcasting, and an online radio network such as BlogTalkRadio. So, how ’bout a primer?

What is Podcasting?

A podcast, using an iPod or other MP3 player to listen to online broadcasts, is usually a prerecorded audio file one can download and play at one’s convenience. A podcaster will publish the audio file to his blog, website, or a podcast directory to be downloaded by the listener.

A podcast is generally less interactive. Since it’s prerecorded, the podcast may have guests, but it doesn’t always allow for listener call ins, or chat rooms. The benefit of a podcast is its mobility. Downloaded onto an iPod, one can listen while working, working out, and now, even driving in the car. Most podcasters have to purchase expensive equipment and download programs in order to publish a podcast. Like a blog, one can subscribe to a podcast’s RSS feed to receive updates.

What is Online Radio

Online radio is more live and interactive. Perfect for the less technically-savvy, all one needs is a phone. Most online radio networks offer their radio hosts a switchboard in order to invite special guests and listeners to call in. They might also offer a chatroom so listeners can talk about the online radio show and ask questions of the special guests.

What is the Difference Between the Two

The difference is the ability to offer a live broadcast in an interactive setting.  Listeners don’t have to download an episode if they’d prefer to listen live, and they can even become part of the conversation. Also, instead of hosting their own podcasts, online radio is hosted on a specific site. Plus, there’s a technical support team on hand to help answer questions. However, like podcasting, online radio episodes are archived so those missing the live broadcast can listen on demand.

Also, most  podcasts and archived online radio broacasts offer the option to stream, that is listen online, rather than download the episode. Online Radio is a more attractive option for many because they don’t need to invest in special equipment, take up huge blocks of precious computer space and it enables them to interact with their individual communties.

TechTalk in Menorca with the Internet Gurus

MenorcaMartin Varsavsky is hosting his second Menorca TechTalk this weekend. Among the who’s who on the roster is Alan Levy, BlogTalkRadio CEO.

Alan, who wrote a post earlier this year about Martin, will be attending the four day event with some of the web’s greatest minds. From Martin’s blog post:

Last year we celebrated our first Menorca TechTalk, a gathering of Tech Entrepreneurs at my farm in Menorca. It was fun, relaxing, a great learning experience for all of those who participated and for those who attended the TechTalk itself…The gathering starts on Thursday morning and ends Sunday evening.

Some of those attending include Om Malik (Giga Omni Media), Andrew Mclaughlin (Google), Loic Le Meur (Seesmic), Jennifer Schenker (BusinessWeek), John Markoff (The New York Times), Joi Ito (Creative Commons, Six Apart Japan, Investor) and many more.

You can read the entire list of tech gurus on Martin’s original post.

BlogTalkRadio Feeding The Long Tail

Looking back at April 2008 shows us we’re still growing strong. In addition to all the conversations we’ve facilitated, we continue to add content to The Long Tail and provide a breadth and depth of content you’d be hard pressed to find housed on any other site. With over 70 categories and thousands of hosts, BlogTalkRadio is feeding the beast in record numbers. Take a look at these stats, for April:

  • 11,000 shows broadcast and archived
  • A total of 2.99 million listeners in April
  • 2,700 different hosts completed at least one show
  • 67,000 unique shows listened to in April
  • 87,000 unique shows in long tail

I find it interesting that 77% of the shows produced since we launched BlogTalkRadio were listened to at least one time in April.

Chris Anderson‘s Long Tail theory, for example, predicts that demand for products not available in traditional bricks and mortar stores is potentially as big as for those that are. Take a look at the graph from Anderson’s site below.

LongTail

The red part are the big hits, the top sellers. The orange part of the graph is the Long Tail, the niches, which the theory says is where the new growth is coming from now and will continue in the future. BlogTalkRadio and its hosts continue to add powerful, fresh content to those niche audiences. BlogTalkRadio is out to prove the Long Tail theory, that demand for content not available in your traditional media channels will be as big or bigger than what you can find on them. Our continued progress in this arena should be of interest to potential business partners and advertisers who want to capitalize on this growing demand for niche content – as well as our audiences who want that relevant information.

We’d love to hear from you; join the conversation.

Alan Levy, CEO

BlogTalkRadio, a 2008 “Webware 100” Winner!

webware_winnerWe are pleased to announce that your favorite Web 2.0 product, BlogTalkRadio, is a winner in CNET’s 2008 Webware 100 Awards in the Audio category. The Web 2.0 user community cast nearly two million votes in the online voting poll, launching BlogTalkRadio’s citizen broadcasting network into the winners’ circle.

In addition to being a non-music platform, BlogTalkRadio is the only user-generated content site among the audio category winners. Read the entire release > > .

The Webware 100 profile page for BlogTalkRadio has… Continue reading

BlogTalkRadio, a 2008 “Webware 100” Winner!

webware_winnerWe are pleased to announce that your favorite Web 2.0 product, BlogTalkRadio, is a winner in CNET’s 2008 Webware 100 Awards in the Audio category. The Web 2.0 user community cast nearly two million votes in the online voting poll, launching BlogTalkRadio’s citizen broadcasting network into the winners’ circle.

In addition to being a non-music platform, BlogTalkRadio is the only user-generated content site among the audio category winners. Read the entire release > > .

The Webware 100 profile page for BlogTalkRadio has… Continue reading

Washington Post Gives a Nod to the Citizen Broadcast Network

Today, Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz has written a piece about BlogTalkRadio that makes us proud.

In his column Media Notes, Kurtz explains how “With BlogTalkRadio, the Commentary Universe Expands.”

The article talks about the story behind our Citizen Broadcast Network, how some “unlikely stars have been born,” and BlogTalkRadio’s emergence as a tool for more empowering and interactive experiences online.

CEO Alan Levy says:

Its great that BlogTalkRadio is recognized by the number one media critic in the country, Howard Kurtz, as “a populist force in cyberspace.” This validates BlogTalkRadio as a powerful online medium that is a true Citizen Broadcast Network. As I said in the article, my Dad would be proud.

Alan Levy, 2007. Photo credit Lisa Padilla.We have grown so much since August of 2006. Starting from the ground up, an empty network with no hosts, to our current impressive lineup of content, Kurtz observes that in addition to bloggers, “some better-known people are also gravitating toward the outlet.”

We want to take this opportunity to thank the many hosts and listeners who have brought their enthusiasm, energy, and discussions to our community.

Read the Washington Post article here.

Cinch Gets Better – Change Feed Name!

The Buzz surrounding Cinch is loud – on blogs, over Twitter, in the world of developers. People love using what Dave Winer calls “The simplest podcast API ever.” And he’s right.

In a post Robert Scoble wrote about Cinch, a commenter wrote, “Okay, so it’s pretty cool, but hasn’t it been done many, many times before?” and Robert answered:

“No, it hasn’t. Not with a phone number, and not by building a feed automatically without requiring a signup/signin.”

It’s true, it’s the simplest way to podcast – ever; on the fly, on the road, at conferences, at geek dinners, in bed, in the line at the coffee shop, outside, inside and uptown. You don’t have to register or set up an account, simply call 646.200.0000, talk and there’s your RSS feed with your recording. No muss, no fuss.

And now you can do it with more privacy than ever. Visit Cinch.BlogTalkRadio.Com and you can change the name of your feed!

This new option will certainly make a lot of people like bwana, TechPedia, Podcasting News, Mark Ghosh, Brad @ Download Squad, Alex, MikePhillips, SolSie, and others even happier.

Robert Scoble recently wrote “I love the new BlogTalkRadio,” And we’re pleased with that. But let’s not forget the original BlogTalkRadio, the live, interactive citizen broadcasting network!

Also, developers need to check out the recent post Kris wrote about PHP5 files presented to jumpstart developers’ access to using Cinch as an API.

Web and Satellite Causing Static for Terrestrial Radio

Portfolio writer Liz Gunnison posted an article today entitled “Radio’s S.O.S.” that highlights the disruption of terrestrial radio by satellite and web entities.

Today’s Gunnison article sites two reasons terrestrial radio is hurting 1) content options for audiences is mushrooming and 2) the changing local advertising markets. Today’s post references an earlier Portfolio article from this week in which writer David Levine referred to BlogTalkRadio as “the dominant player” in citizen broadcasting. Gunnison writes:

Offerings on the internet include not only a wealth of audio streaming commercial-free, but now even the likes of BlogTalk radio—a site which essentially allows anyone to broadcast their own radio show for free over the internet…

And while internet offerings have long been stealing their share of listeners at home, terrestrial radio is steadily losing listeners on the road as well. Many cars now come equipped with options like satellite radio and mp3 device hookups, allowing drivers to listen to downloaded music and podcasts as they drive…

Our recent Reciva deal also indicates that Internet radio’s move to mobile will continue to cause static for terrestrial radio.

The focus for niche and on-demand entertainment that sources like BlogTalkRadio provide will continue to disrupt mainstream broadcasting business models. BlogTalkRadio’s diverse live and RSS enabled content will increasingly make it more appealing to advertisers seeking tailored ways to reach quality consumers – and for consumers to get relevant information that appeals to them. In addition, the business solutions programs offered by BlogTalkRadio provide easy, direct contact between businesses and their audiences in branded environments.

The article also quotes Barry Parr, a media analyst for Jupiter Research Group, who said “internet and satellite rivals can’t yet deliver professional-level coverage of local news.” BlogTalkRadio hosts are already challenging that assertion as well.