Archive for the ‘Podcasting’ Category

Podcasting Could Resurrect Employee Comm

By Jason Lee Miller

There were so many concepts, and so much information packed into Shel Holtz’ presentation on using podcasts for internal communication at the Podcast and Portable Media Expo, that we’ll have to save the fanfare and just jump right into it.

Holtz runs Holtz Communication + Technology and his job at the conference was to explain how podcasting can be a great way to really connect with employees.

“Employees who are not engaged can undermine the best communications,” said Holtz. “I’m really discouraged about the state of internal communication and I think technology is to blame. Email and intranets have killed communication.”

In the fast-paced office environment, employees don’t have time to read a deluge of email or to peruse a windy internal blog. “We become blurb writers,” he said, denying company employees the information and connection they really need to be great team players.

Often, when items are posted, they appear in order of chronology, not importance. For example, the top posting on the intranet may be an announcement about the dress code, rather than the a major acquisition, news of which could be at the bottom of the page.

“One-shot” emails are sent out to all employees, whether or not the information is applicable to them or not. “Some just delete email as soon as they get it, because the volume of news is crazy and irrelevant.”

“Why do we communicate to employees?” he asks. “To persuade. We want them to be brand ambassadors. We want them to help the company reputation. Organizations with large populations of actively engaged employees see double digit growth.”

“Something you’ll never an employee tell his spouse is ‘no breakfast for me, gotta go read the intranet at work.’”

He says the number one complaint from employees used to be not being able to find information. Now, the number one complaint is that they have no time to read it all. There are projects, deadlines, pressure to complete, but also have to read a 1500 word article.

The benefit of podcasting, he says, is that it allows you to get the right message to the right people, and get it to them when they have time to hear it. Podcasting is not hard or cost prohibitive. It allows you to target an employee audience, international employees, too. You can introduce a new employee, where he’s from, why he is with the company, and you can put all of that on an internal RSS feed, and host it on the company blog.

Holtz gave four benefits an employee podcast can help achieve:

1. Build trust in employee audience. If there’s no trust, why would you want to work hard for this company? We’ve put you through this tortuous interview process, we’ve said how important you are, but we’re going to monitor every click, every website, every email. Now be engaged! There’s no trust there. Employees want to be led by leaders who lead.

2. Employees want to involved in the decisions that are made. That doesn’t mean it has to go their way. They just have to feel they are involved.

3. Role knowledge: What is my job and how does it contribute to the bottom line?

4. A connection to the marketplace: The vast majority of employees are never in touch with customers. They don’t know about the competition, or what the impact of the economy is on the company. If you have an environment where employees understand marketplace factors, they’re never surprised by change, or say “Who the hell is running this place? The Keystone cops probably.”

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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Jeff Jarvis Lights Up Syndicate

The Syndicate Conference opened in New York, and Buzzmachine’s Jeff Jarvis provided the opening keynote address with his talk on advertising, syndication, and the challenges of the blogging medium today.

The Syndicate Conference touched off this morning at New York’s Roosevelt Hotel for two days of discussion on RSS feeds, blogs and podcasting as a medium for advertising. WebProNews publisher Rich Ord and managing editor Mike McDonald listened in on the proceedings.

Conference chair Eric Norlin commented “I’m not sure I know what syndication is anymore either. It started as blogs, but now there is a bunch of other stuff,” before introducing Jeff Jarvis for his opening remarks.

Jarvis wondered if RSS sends a tacit approval of syndication, to which Norlin noted that marketers might not know just what it is they want to measure with syndicated content from a metrics standpoint.

Money should find its way to syndication from advertisers, Jarvis thinks. He illustrated several points that those marketers should consider. For metrics, feeds can deliver information from cookies about the system reading the feed, list how often feeds are viewed, and tell how many users have opted in to receive those feeds.

Feeds can carry advertising, as companies like conference sponsor Yahoo have demonstrated. Feed publishers can enable a layer of sophistication with their advertising and tracking methods by wrapping feeds with the technology needed for that.

Jarvis also reiterated an opinion he’d made in AdAge recently, that there needed to be an open ad marketplace so advertisers who want to spend money on blogs could give it to blogs who really would like to have that money.

“Advertisers love us,” he said of blogs.

Part of what advertisers may not like is the unavoidable possibility of not being able to measure all of the syndication taking place.

“Isn’t there an element of blogs/syndication that is inherently immeasurable?” Jarvis asked. “If you have an idea and then I link to it/add to it and then subsequent bloggers link and further progress the idea…how do you measure that?”

Jarvis also noted the media versus syndication conflict taking place, as the longtime controllers of distribution, the media, tries to come to grips with the aggregation prowess of the blogosphere.

He cited the example of a CNN story featuring The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, and how the story moved from being seen by a few thousand people to being posted as a torrent file seen by millions.

Tagging has been an even hotter lightning rod when it comes to feeds. Jarvis observed how a true tagging standard does not exist. Tags created by authors aren’t as indicative as tags generated by end users; also some people use Technorati tags, others use Del.icio.us.

Judging by Jarvis’ comments, perhaps the next great achievement for syndication will be the establishment of a uniform tagging system. Technorati tagging came under fire from a few attendees of the keynote, with one person in particular who was online and having problems with Technorati.

That was when “Dave of Technorati support” introduced himself to the person and proceeded to help him. “Dave” was David Sifry, founder of Technorati.com.

About the Author:
David is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Podcasting Choices: Audacity Or Adobe Audition?

By Neville Hobson

When I started podcasting, I used the free cross-platform audio editor Audacity as my application of choice for recording and editing audio.

This is a common route that many people go when they start out podcasting.

Audacity is very good and easy to use. Good enough, in fact, for many people to stick with it. Not just for podcasts, either – it’s good enough to be one’s primary audio editor. And a new version was announced last month with some fixes and new features.

The main negative I had with Audacity, though, was that I found the learning curve quite steep on understanding precisely how to use many of the program’s features. There are some good online tutorials and documentation, though. It is free after all.

This lack of easy-to-understand help was one of the main reasons why I decided to purchase Adobe Audition 1.5 for Windows earlier last month. Having used the free 30-day trial, I knew this was the one for me. The help is excellent, making it relatively easy to understand some of the things you can do with audio that can be difficult to grasp if audio editing isn’t something you routinely do as part of your job or profession. Audition also lets you do things with audio files that either you can’t in Audacity or I never was able to figure out how.

For instance, with Audition you can easily set the exact bit rate and sampling rate of an MP3 file when you come to export your audio to that format. So let’s say I’ve recorded audio as a high-quality stereo WAV file, or mixed a number of individual audio files which have different bit and sampling rates (a common activity with my podcast), I can set those rates precisely to, say, 64Kbps and 44.1Khz respectively and export the content to a mono MP3 – typically what you’d want for a vocal podcast. This gives you a good balance between good-quality audio reproduction and file compression.

Today I saw that a new version, Adobe Audition 2.0, is now available. Version 2 has some very interesting new features including a built-in compressor.

If ease of use, powerful features and lots of help are what you need, then this could be worth the rather hefty price tag – over €400 from Adobe’s European online store. Quite a price jump from 1.5 which I recall was less than €300 (I didn’t pay anywhere near that, though, for 1.5 as I bought my copy via the Amazon.co.uk Marketplace). At about €150, the upgrade price to 2.0 from 1.5 is less eye-watering.

Adobe also offers this new version on a free 30-day trial. You get the fully-functional package to try for this time. Once your time’s up, it just won’t run any more.

Trying it out is definitely worth doing if you want to see for yourself whether Audition is right for you.

You can learn more about audio recording software for podcasting in Todd Cochrane’s excellent book, Podcasting: The Do It Yourself Guide (I reviewed the book last July).



About the Author:
Neville Hobson is the author of the popular NevOn blog which focuses on business communication and technology.

Neville is currentlly an independent communication practitioner helping companies build dynamic relationships with customers, employees, shareholders and other key audiences and influencers. Visit Neville Hobson’s blog: NevOn.

The Power Of Marketing Podcasts

Written By Robert Moment and published in WebProBusiness

If you’ve used the Internet at all this year, you’ve probably heard of podcasting.

It’s the one word that’s almost guaranteed to come up in discussions of small business marketing, and with good reason too: podcasting has become more and more popular over the past 12 months, and is set to become the most powerful marketing tool of the future. But what exactly is it?

What are marketing podcasts?

In simple terms, podcasts are like radio transmissions which are broadcast over the Internet and subscribed to by listeners who subscribe to an RSS or Atom feed and listen either over their computer or via hand-held devices such as iPods. They’re a little like a blog and a little like radio – and they’re starting to take off in a big way.

In marketing terms, podcasting presents a new and very powerful method of communicating directly with your clients, both current and prospective.

What are marketing podcasts about?

The simple answer to this question is that a marketing podcast can be about anything and everything you think will be of interest to your listeners. You may want to talk about a new innovation you’re using in your business, interview some of your industry leaders or discuss some of the big issues in your area of the business world. The choices are endless, and it’s up to you to use your imagination to come up with something people will be interested in hearing.

Why use marketing podcasts?

There are many different ways in which marketing podcasts can help benefit your business . Here are just a few of them.

Marketing podcasts help build tangibility

By creating a podcast you let your listeners/customers see the real you- the people behind the business. This helps give your business some kind of tangibility and personality: rather than just being a faceless corporation, your business becomes something your customers/listeners can relate to and understand.

Marketing podcasts increase your credibility

By offering a podcast on a particular subject, you’re establishing yourself as an expert in that subject . People like to buy from experts – podcasting helps build trust and, by extension, grows sales.

Marketing podcasts add value to your business

By offering a podcast, you’re giving visitors to your website something free- and something which they’ll hopefully enjoy enough to want to hear more of. This means that they’ll become repeat visitors, and may even turn into customers.

Podcasts build loyalty

In the same way that email newsletters build loyalty towards your business by providing free information to subscribers, marketing podcasts work in much the same way. As you start to build up a listener base for your podcasts, you’ll be creating your own form of word-of-mouth advertising as your listeners tell other people about your podcasts and your business.

Getting started in marketing podcasting

Creating a podcast is surprising simple. In terms of hardware, all you’ll need is a computer, mic and broadband connection. Simple, free pieces of software such as audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) allow you to record it, then it’s a matter of saving the file as .MP 3 and uploading it to your server.

Once uploaded, your podcast is ready to be distributed, and this can be done through aggregators such as iPodder (www.ipodder.org) and FeedDemon (www.feeddemon.com) or via web-based directories such as Podcast Alley (www.podcastalley.com) and BlastPodcast (www.blastpodcast.com)

Some podcasts for you to start off with:

“The Marketing Moment” – www.digitalpodcast.com/detail.php?id=3024
“Win Federal Contracts” – http://www.podfeed.net/category_item.asp?id=2515

According to a recent survey by Pew Internet and American Life poll, around 22 million Americans own MP3 players or iPods. Those figures perhaps help to explain the growing popularity of podcasts: audio “blogs” or radio shows distributed by RSS and used as a new, and highly effective , form of marketing.

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About the Author:
Robert Moment is a business strategist and author of “It Only Takes a Moment to Score” found on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Robert shows entrepreneurs how to turn ideas into wealth, how to avoid becoming a statistic and have FUN ! Download the FREE Special Report , “17 Profitable Ways to Turn Your Ideas into Money” at http://www.sellintegrity.com.

Using Content Hubs To Promote

Written by David Risley for SiteProNews

We’ve all heard it before: content is king. And it is true. If you own a site, you need to post something interesting that people want to read before you can expect people to stop by. If your site is a content-based website, then you’ve already taken a huge step. However, if your website is a business website whose only purpose is to talk about your services, then you really should make an effort to post some content onto your website which is helpful to readers, frëe, and relevant to your services or website. If you do this, your site will attract traffïc from people looking for information, not just to purchase something. And with increased traffïc in general, you will get increased attention. And this increases your statistics.

Writing content for your own website is only half the battle, though. You have got to get people to read it. Just posting a website is not going to get people to come to it. It would be like building a business in the middle of the mountains. Nobody knows its there and you won’t get any customers. If you get your articles out there for people to read and the articles are written correctly, you can position yourself as an expert in your field and promote your own website. One way to do this is by publishing on content hubs rather than limiting it to your own website.

A content hub is a site which publishes articles on all topics (usually categorized). Those articles are freely available to anyone to use on their own website, newsletter, blog, etc. So, many publishers or site owners in need of fresh content for their website can go to one or more of these content hubs, find an article they like, and use it. They have to maintain proper credit to the author and publish the small author bio which accompanies the article.

Let’s look at this, though, from the author’s viewpoint – your viewpoint. Let’s say you are selling consulting services for search engine optimization. You have a site for your services, but you blend in with all the other such services. So, you write a series of articles giving tips to webmasters on how they can optimize their website. With your article you include a short bio of yourself. You include a mention of your services and a link to your website. You publish your article on a bunch of content hubs. Other websites, newsletters and blogs grab your article off those sites and use it on their own. Your article therefore spreads throughout the internet. Being that your site is linked with the article and is therefore on all of these other websites nöw (including the content hubs themselves), search engines who are constantly spidering the internet pick up on your article and index it associated with your website. This, in turn, raises your ranking in the search engines. And you get increased traffïc to your website not only from search engine searches but also from your article.

Nöw, let’s say you have done some research on keywords and you interlace your article with certain keywords. When the search engines spider your article all over the internet and associates with your website, it will raise your search engine rankings even more. There is a real science to this, and if done correctly, can drastically raise your internet presence in a short time. I recently had a meeting with the CEO of In Touch Media Group, a Clearwater, FL based company which is in the business of internet marketing. They use content hubs as part of their strategy for clients and they couple this with their vast archived data regarding keywords. They showed me the stats of one site which they have, in the course of just a few months, taken from essentially no traffïc to a VERY respectable level of traffïc. After getting an article out in the content hubs, they will follow up a few weeks later with a press release.

So, how can you publish some of your articles on content hubs? Well, the first step is to find and visit them. There are many of them out there, but below are some of the better ones:

GoArticles.com
ISnare.com
SubmitYourArticle.com – a service to send your article to a bunch of hubs at once
ArticleCity.com
ExchangeNet.com
Article-Directory.net
FreeZineSite.com

There are services to help you distribute to a large collection of publishers at once. I have used Isnare’s distribution service and it seems to work well. There are also distribution groups on Yahoo. Hëre are a few of them:

Free-Content
Article Announce List
Article Announce
Articles4You2Use4Promotion
Article Submission
Frëe Reprint Articles

With that, I wish you the best of luck in your promotion efforts. Start writing!

About The Author
David Risley is a web developer and founder of PC Media, Inc.. Specializes in PHP/ MySQL development, consulting and internet business management. He is also the founder of PC Mechanic, a large website delivering do-it-yourself computer information to thousands of users every day.

The Business Case For Podcasting

By Kay Stoner (c) 2005 for SiteProNews

The phenomenon of Podcasting has been getting a lot of press, lately. It seems everytime you turn around, someone else has a new pocast. Should you have one, too? Perhaps. According to Forrester Research, by 2010 podcasting may have as many as 12.3 million listeners. Somebody’s got to create content for all those listeners — maybe you’re one of the “somebody’s”.

Now, you may think Forrester’s numbers are about entertainment podcasts — music, talk, and other audio distractions. What’s the point of *your* business getting into *that* business? Actually, podcasting offers you the opportunïty to do more than entertain. And it’s a lot more powerful than a simple personal online broadcasting platform.

When properly used, podcasting can — and will — take prospect contact and customer care to a whole new level… with the sound of the human voice, not just the code from a keyboard. Podcasting lets you put a human touch on your customer contacts — and it’s delivered to your subscribers’ computer for you.

~~~~10 Ways Podcasting Can Help You Do Business Better~~~~

1) Reach exactly the people who ask you to

When someone subscribes to your podcast, it means they are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. They’re not a “cold call” — they’re an interested prospect (or an existing customer) who has taken the time to subscribe to your podcast with the expectation that they will hear from you regularly. This model is quite different from the e-mail model, where people often opt-ïn with their e-mail as a reflex, and then don’t bother to read the messages they receive. It’s also a complete departure from direct mail, where recipients are often “hapless victims” who resent the intrusion of too many unsolïcited messages.

2) Bypass the restrictions of e-mail communications – you won’t get blocked by sp@m filters

One of the (many) beauties of podcasting, is that it’s a great way to communicate with a receptive audience without being blocked by sp@m filters, or getting lost in an in-box. Podcast clients (or “podcatchers”) can automatically pick up the latest and greatest podcast you have available, without subjecting it to a filter. iTunes does have restrictions on “explicit” content, but if you’re using podcasting for business purposes, this is a non-issue. Your message will get through to people who want to hear it.

3) Tailor your message to literally speak to your prospects, for a more personal touch

The human voice is far more expressive, than an e-mail or a web page. Podcasting lets you connect with people and communicate with much more than words. Intonation, inflection, emotion, all carry on the human voice — they get through to your audience on your podcast in ways that the written word can’t.

4) Give your customers, or another target group, a personalized message they can listen to *anytime*

Another great thing about podcasting, is that your audience can listen to your audio anytime, when they use an mp3 player, like an iPod. They can also download your podcast to their computer and listen there, or burn it to a CD and take it with them. Your message gets to them on their terms, in their time, in the way they want it. Podcasting really is Personal-On-Demand-Casting. It’s not just about iPods.

5) Reach your customers in a variety of ways

Podcasting isn’t just only about audio, either. With your podcasts, you can include text messages that your audience reads in their podcatcher. Include website urls in your podcast, or add last-minute information they may find useful. Podcasting gives you the best of both worlds in a very small package.

6) Find out what your audience’s degree of interest *really* is, with stats reporting

When you send out an e-mail or a direct mail piece, it’s impossible to tell if people received it, if they read it, and how they responded to it. With podcasting, you can measure the statistics of your subscriptions and find out how many people each month are picking up your podcasts and downloading your audio. If they keep picking up your podcasts, you know you’re doing something right.

7) Get real-time metrics on who’s bailing on you

You can also find out if people are unsubscribing to your feeds. If your numbers go down from week to week or month to month, something may need to change. You can find this out immediately with podcasting, whereas e-mail and direct mail responses may take much longer to analyze.

8) Keep in closer touch with groups

Podcasting doesn’t only have to be for businesses. Social groups can also use it, for re-broadcasting important meetings, or sending out messages to members who need to keep in touch. Recordings of training sessions and workshops can be put into mp3 and distributed via podcast, as can motivational talks. Anything a group experiences ‘out loud’ can be recorded and placed in a podcast, for all the members to subscribe to and enjoy later at their convenience.

9) Technology does the work for you

Because podcatchers automatically pick up the latest file(s), you don’t have to notify people that the audio is available by conventional means — including e-mail. As long as you update your feeds regularly, and your audience checks their podcatchers regularly, they will get the latest and greatest audio you have, without having to search for it.

10) A potentially huge audience is ready and waiting

Podcasting is big, because there’s such a huge audience for it. iPods sell like hotcakes, and they’re given away as premiums by many businesses. Gear is amply available for playing mp3s in the car, during exercise, on home stereo systems, and of course, on computers. People download podcasts, they’re familiar with the concept – and downloading commercial podcasts from businesses they value and want to patronize is the next logical development in podcasting. When done properly, business podcasting can be fun, entertaining, and a valued service for valuable customers. The only barrier to putting it to good use, is the limits of human imagination.

In sum, podcasting may very well revolutionize the music broadcasting industry, but the *real* power lies in how it will impact the small and medium-sized business community. Whether you own a business yourself, or patronize those who do, there’s tremendous potential for podcasting to deepen and enrich customer experience, as well as the ability of businesses to serve their valued clientele.

So, chëck out podcasting as a whole new way to reach the kind of people who want you to reach them. What you don’t know about podcasting won’t hurt you… but it won’t help you, either.

Editor’s Note: For more information on PodCasting and how podcasts can be created, readers may also want to review PodCasting 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

About The Author
Kay Stoner is the Founder of Podtopia.net.
Podtopia.net — Create and publish podcasts quickly, easily, and at very low cost. Podcast today with Podtopia.net.

PodCasting 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

PodCasting 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started by Merle MCPromotionsPress.com

Everywhere you turn online these days you hear the word “podcast” or “podcasting.” No, it’s not some broadcasting method used by Martians, even though it might sound like it. A Podcast is just an audio file that is syndicated via an RSS feed, that you download and listen to with your computer or a portable device such as an iPod.
What makes it different from an ordinary RSS feed is the audio component included in the “enclosure field.” Think of it as a feed that talks to you.

Podcasting is increasing in popularity. According to Forrester Research, by 2010 podcasting should have about 12.3 million listeners. That’s a pretty big audience. For more info see http://tinyurl.com/84tyo.

Similar to a talk radio show, podcasts can also take the format of an interview. Topics range from business to hobbies; even rants and obsessions. Lengths vary, but a typical podcast will run anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, but I have seen some longer. So far, there are not many music podcasts due to the red tape and cost of music licensing — although musicians and/or small record labels bypass that issue by utilizing their own recordings.

Before you think you need some special device to listen to a podcast, let me assure you that you don’t. Most RSS readers have the capability built in to play podcasts. Any software that can play a sound file can play a podcast. If you want to take them with you to listen to while on the road you’ll want to invest in a portable MP3 device like an iPod.

Like other RSS feeds, you decide which ones you want to subscribe to and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Online business owners should think of podcasting as yet another avenue for promoting your products and services. Like an ezine or the RSS feeds you already use, it’s a simple inexpensive method of syndicating your audio files online. It would appear that a podcast is a bit more personal. Instead of just reading, like an ezine, people can listen to the sound of your voice and make a more personal connection.

Now that I have your attention you may be wondering “How do I create a podcast?” Well, it’s really pretty simple if you follow the easy steps below:

1) First you’ll need to use software to record your own audio file. A good fr률one is Audacity which you can download at http://audacity.sourceforge.net. While there, you’ll also need to download the Lame MP3 Encoder which allows MP3 exportation.

2) Once your audio is recorded you’ll need to create an RSS feed file which is simply a special text file with an RSS extension that also includes a particular enclosure tag. For step by step directions on making a feed file see this site:

Make-RSS-Feeds.com

There’s also a great tutorial on RSS at:

Mot.net

3) Once your audio and RSS files are completed you’ll need to upload both of them to your server/website.

If you’d like to read more, hë²¥ are some additional online sites to help guide you.

Make Your First Podcast

Create Podcasts Using Your PC

If you don’t want to do all this work manually, there are software tools specific to podcast creation.

ePodCast Creator

Pod Producer

That’s it. Wasn’t that simple? Remember, you can’t get subscribers if people don’t know about your feed, so make sure you add it in a prominent place of your site. You want to make it easy for them to subscribe and add your feed to their news reader.

Audio files are rather large and can take up a lot of space on your server, so make sure you won’t run out of bandwidth. If you’re tight on space you can always farm it out to a third party service such as http://www.PodLot.com. For only $5.00 they’ll give you 150 MB of storage space with no bandwidth limitations. Your domain will look like this: nameofyourshow.podlot.com

If you think you’re going to have a hit on your hands and want to try to generate c䳨 from your podcast, ch룫 out PremiumPodcasting.com. They provide a system that allows you to charge for your shows and also include private access to them, track who is listening and more. You can try them out for a four day tr for only one dollar.

Once your podcast is live you’ll want to make sure you list it with the various directories that exist for just this purpose. You’ll find a nice list at:

Podcast Bunker

Open Media Network

Podcasting Station

Robin Good has a huge list at http://tinyurl.com/9rusq

So now that you see how easy it is to create a podcast, what’s stopping you? Remember, this is a great tool to add to your marketing mix and if you’re a bit on the creative side this might be just the ticket. Have fun with it, experiment and you’ll become an expert podcaster in no time.

About The Author
Article by Merle- Want to Know the SECRETS of Article Promotion? Discover everything you need to know in this brand New Ebook, “How to Use Articles to Drive Website Traffquot;. Get your F-r-e-e Copy today at http://articleannouncer.mcpromotions.com.