What is Podcasting?

iPod + Broadcasting = Podcasting.

Definition from dictionary.com:  “an audio file similar to a radio broadcast, which can be downloaded and listened to on a computer, mp3 player, mobilephone, etc”

OK.  Enough of the clinical stuff.  Think of the podcast as an audio DVR.  Producers of podcasts range from complete amateurs to seasoned entertainment icons.  Musicians, comics, philosophers, etc.  I love to consume programs via the podcast.  There are many and the content choices are growing.

You can go find podcasts directly from the source website or you can use iTunes to subscribe to the content and have it sync to your device.  I prefer the iTunes method.  It works fine and it’s easy.

I first started listening to Adam Carolla when he got canned from his radio job and started his own podcast to continue his show.  He had a great following and CBS radio thought converting the station to music was a better choice.  In the beginning of Adam’s podcasting the sound was poor and over time the show has really grown.   I listen everyday.

From there I found other shows that I enjoy.  I explored iTunes to find other shows.  I like TechStuff (how stuff works) and Bill Simmons (The SportsGuy).  All entertaining stuff, but the available content is crazy.  Shows can be daily, weekly, random and the length of the show varies.  If you want to browse for podcasts, just google “podcasts” or let me Google that for you.

The best part.  Most of it is free.  There are some that charge a fee for content.  Whether is is Free or Fee is no different from the model of TV and Cable or basic cable vs movie channels.  The market will decide.  For example:  Adam Carolla’s podcast is free but he has sponsors and will do live reads throughout the show.  It’s no big deal to me… its free right?

What’s the future?  It is hard to tell for sure, but I predict that as WiFi becomes more prevalent in major cities and other markets, we will see more of our audio content (even video) be streamed over the internet directly to our devices.  Big corporate radio conglomerates better take note and adjust.  I can no longer tolerate the repetition and hacky voices of FM radio anymore.  I’d much rather queue up my own content and listen on my time.  As I pointed out above, a podcast is like a DVR.  We record (or subscribe) to what we want then listen when we can.  I like to listen when I exercise, putter around the house, or when I mow the grass.  If you have a smart phone, you can stream content using Stitcher.com.  They have an app on which you can subscribe to shows.

More and more celebrities are using podcasting as a way to keep themselves relevant and/or removing the existing distribution structure of media for a more direct connection to their fans.  Social networking also helps the artist keep contact with fans.  Put it all together and you can remove the agents, the producers, the studios from interfering with your creative outlet.

Podcasting offers direct feedback to the number of people who are listening to your content.  It is a hard measurement of who is consuming your material.  Unlike radio and TV, there are hard numbers to present to advertisers as opposed to how radio/TV measures listeners/viewers.

Podcasts offer a much more long form of interviews.  TV talk shows bring on their guests and they talk for 3 to 4 minutes and quickly move on.  I am sure this is a result of a focus group study which, to me, is an indication (or result) of our society getting duller and more stupid.

I enjoy the depth of a long interview.  It is far more interesting than listening to Cameron Diaz tell a stupid story about shoe shopping then plugging her next movie.

Podcasts don’t have the time constraints and can let the host and guests really dig into a topic.  It is somewhat of a throwback to the older TV when Dick Cavett would interview guests.

So… that’s what podcasting is and how we, the consumer, can fit into this paradigm shift of media.  Enjoy.



The FitBit

Fitbit Banner - Affiliate Program I finally got my fitbit yesterday.  I have it all setup and ready to track my sleep and activity.

If you don’t know what this thing is, it is simply a pedometer that ties into a tracking website.  My employer has developed linkage into our health record so that we can get credits for our non-sedantary activity.

http://fitbit.comIt can also help track your sleep patterns.  I am curious to see my results after a week or so.  The FitBit site also allows you to input your food intake to help calorie tracking.  To help you out, you can use the fitbit apps on your iPhones and Droid devices.

Now I am the nutty guy who takes the stairs when I can.

Oh… I also got one of these adorable things for my desk.

In the News…

There are some things that deserve comment.

Pippa Middleton

I have never thought Maria Shriver was attractive.  I think Pippa Middleton is an easy “7” but not as “hot” as people seem to rave about.

As a conservative, I am disappointed at who we have (thus far) running for 2012.  Newt is not the answer.  I would never vote for Palin.

Floods happen.  Don’t buy property in a flood plain.

This nation should cut spending more than it should raise taxes.  It’s common sense.  Would you take a cash advance on your Visa to pay your cable bill?

We need to get the hell out of Afghanistan.  They are living in the stone age and don’t want to change.  Why should we impose the Kardashians on them?

Amnesty for immigrants and raise consumption tax on goods and services.

If you buy a large SUV or Truck because you think its safer, YOU are now the menace on the road.

I don’t watch Oprah.

Teens today who smoke should not be allowed to vote when they turn 18.  They have proven 1. They make bad decisions.  2. They fall easy prey to their equally stupid peers and can’t think for themselves.

You can save money by stop thumbing through catalogs.  Out of sight, out of mind.

I’ve never ridden on a train.

Avoid going into debt with student loans with a major in social work.  Get the accounting degree first, then save the world.

Obama proved he was a US citizen and not a Muslim all in the same week.

Glaciers were melting long before humans drove cars.

Baseball is a nuanced game and full of players who barely graduated high school.

I need to eat more chicken.

Where’s Waldo…

Editor’s Note:  Craig Hope is an everyday dude with random heady thoughts that mesh with comical perspective.  Craig does not intend to offend nor be abrasive.  Craig is a frequent contributor to his own website and very active with social networking.  Follow him on facebook and twitter.

As I write this, debate and decision is being waged about whether to release photos of the Osama Bin Laden’s bullet riddled body.  I don’t have an opinion on it, but if it keeps any and all conspiracy theorists quiet then by all means show it.

A few thoughts and questions about this whole “death of Bin Laden” situation.

– It’s a great event in terms of tracking down and killing the person who boldly takes credit for the 9/11 tragedies.  Even if was reportedly shot while unarmed, it does not matter.  The Justice was served.

– I wish the western world would quietly celebrate this triumph and move on.  I understand the need for New Yorkers to release their rage into some sort of closure.  I get it.  We are a great country with great capability.  Let’s just move on to the next great thing.

– The material gathered from that compound is going to produce some future raids and track down other Al Qaeda bad guys.  I can’t wait.  Those guys know who they are and are probably shitting bricks trying to figure out where to hide.

– Can’t wait to hear from the wife who was shot in the leg during the event.  As a result, I am going to start referring to my wife as “Human Shield”.

– The kids in the classroom 10 years ago where George W Bush was reading a story during 9/11 should all collaborate and write a book.  What they thought at the time, what they are doing now.  Etc.  It would be interesting.

– Pakistan… you guys have some questions to answer.  As I write this, you are sticking to the “incompetent” excuse for not knowing Bin Laden was hiding under your nose in a “mansion” (really?  Its a 3 story shanty.  If this is a Pakastani mansion, I live in the Taj Mahal).  You, Pakistan, can talk all you want about how you are interested in tracking down and fighting terror, but this event says otherwise.

Let’s examine something regarding this walled compound.  Nic Robertson reports that neighbor kids would kick a soccer ball over the wall and when they go ask to retrieve it, the people inside would not let them in or give the ball back but rather pay them money to go buy a new ball.  A couple thoughts on this…

1. I’d be kicking a ball in there everyday for a payday.

2. If the movie “The Sandlot” taught me anything, that people start to get suspicious by homeowners who steal a kids ball.  Yet, nobody raised an eyebrow.  Did they simply assume that an old blind Indian Cricket legend lived in that house?

3.  They had no phone or internet, yet there was marijuana growing outside the walls of the compound.  It all makes sense now.  I wondered how Bin Laden laid low for 6 years.  He was higher than Robert Downey Jr in the 90’s.