Posts filed under ‘Podcasting’

Your Image in 2010

Perhaps we need to refer to the new year as twenty ten, it is more concise and simple. I ran across an article that inspired me and thought I would write about this on January first, twenty ten.

creative_image Many of us have learned that good looks add to success in the workplace but too many fail to realize that cultivating the perception of youth and a hip attitude is also very important. It’s no secret that we live in an age-obsessed society.  Don’t follow these rules to impress a young person. Your goal is to  create a more youthful perception about yourself. So how do you do it? Here are some of the concepts form the new book, “Bulletproof Your Job”:

Rule #1: Crest Whitestrips. This is a surface and shallow cosmetic-based tip. But people just don’t understand that having coffee-stained teeth doesn’t do you any favors. Then smile. Smiling makes you look and feel younger.

Rule #2: You need to be on Facebook. No friends? You already have one: just facebook me (dwightcook.) I will be your first friend.

Rule #3: Know how to use Google and Wikipedia and use them. Bookmark these sites on your computer, and set one as your homepage.

Rule #4: Watch an episode of “Big Bang Theory.” Discuss and Repeat.

Rule #5: Peruse your local Apple store. Learn the difference between an iPod Classic, iPod Touch and iPod Nano. You also need to what itunes and  podcasts are all about and then you are on your way.

Rule #6: Do not disclose your past. Keep it to yourself. These are the “good old days!”

Rule #7: Don’t talk about how you’re addicted to Starbucks.  Nobody cares and it won’t make you seem younger.

Rule #8: Keep up to date with Entertainment news and Sports. Set them as a favorite or add it to your custom home page on Google, Yahoo or Bing. This can help you with current relevant conversation.

office_image Rule #9: Learn how to text message and do it.

Rule #10: Lose the newspaper. Young people get their news online.

Rule #12: Make eye contact. Eye contact is so critical to being perceived as young; don’t be afraid to use it.

Rule #13: Never refer to your grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Rarely mention your children – these topics make you sound old.

Rule #14: Go to the gym. 

Rule #15: Never use ancient words like “groovy, dy-no-mite, or tubular.” Use current vocabulary.

Rule #16: Get a TiVo or DVR. Know how they work.

Rule #17: Record yourself to see how how old you sound. You will probably be your own worst critic. Note that youthful people talk much snappier.

Rule #18: Dress is very important: always dress age-appropriate with no frump factor.

Rule #19: Give your hairstyle a hard look. Get a young stylist to help with your look or ask a young family member that will be honest with you to help.

Rule #20: Skip cologne and wear deodorant. Young people don’t wear scented oils or strong cologne. You don’t want BO, so don’t skip that deodorant.

Rule #21: Make younger friends and hang out with them.

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January 1, 2010 at 9:12 pm Leave a comment

Communication with young adults

 

America is now full of non-readers and on average adults read less than one book a year. I recently read a book, Flickering Pixels, which I mentioned in an earlier article which reinforces how new generations prefer learning in a non-webleo2 sequential way influenced by our media saturated world.

We no longer search for information, but information now seeks and finds us, whenever we are. With Twitter and Facebook feeds I’m constantly aware of news, trivia, the important and the ridiculous seems to search for me every second of the day. For those of us in media, it is apparent that abundant information saturation is changing habits:

Parents must instill a strong moral and ethical code within their children. There are not enough Internet and TV filters to shelter our children’s eyes and ears. We must get to their heart before media and friends take over.

Employers this generation is not lazy! However they live life in the moment, and relationships, causes and even pleasure will not be postponed for the sake of a career. The dollar is not their motivation.

Educators no longer control the gateway of knowledge because anyone with a computer or smart phone can access any information in seconds. Educators need to help students think and make sense of the all of the available information.

Publishers will survive this culture shift if they produce and distribute content beyond the printed page. If people are not reading books they are watching YouTube, reading blogs, listening to podcasts, reading Social media and sharing sharing their thoughts online.

December 3, 2009 at 3:32 pm Leave a comment

What’s a blog anyway?

Once just a buzz word, blogging is now a business necessity. Webmasters struggling to keep fresh content on their websites to lure new visitors and prospective buyers have found blogs are an effective answer.

What are Blogs?

Initially, a blog connected to a website will appear to be simply a series of articles or commentaries. But look closer – These entries allow you the opportunity to tell potential and existing customers industry news, updates, or how your product can be used in specific situations to alleviate problems. It’s also a beneficial way to share tips, tricks or to make visitors aware of new regulations related to an industry.


rss-blog“Blogs” are web logs that are updated regularly. On your homepage, there will be a small blurb or teaser that will cause people to click through to your blog to read more about your product and more importantly, be picked up by the web spiders to bring your website up quicker in the search engines. If it’s stimulating, updated daily and submitted to all the blogging directories, it can increase your page rank quite rapidly. You can also create an RSS feed (podcast) in order to syndicate blog content and gain additional exposure.

Who has time to blog? Anyone in business hates the thought of adding more work to their existing job. And who’s got the time to research AND write all those entries? One often overlooked solution is the stay-at-home mom, who can be hired very cost-effectively (and by the hour!) to research your industry and write regular blog posts pertaining to your business.

The bottom line is to determine how a blog can benefit your business, setup your plan of action and make it happen! Blogs provide great supplemental content for your clients and direct attention to areas of your business you want to showcase.

May 5, 2009 at 10:35 pm Leave a comment

Everything you ever wanted to know about…Podcasting! (part two)

In part one of this article I discussed the definition of podcasts and their promotion. Since we published that I’ve had requests for some information on how to create an audio podcast. This is more of a simple overview of the mechanics involved in creating a podcast rather than how to structure content. I suggest you have a script, outline, or interview questions prepared before you record.

Use good microphone technique
akg414Record each person speaking on the podcast with good quality directional microphone that will complement the persons voice while not capturing background noise. Your recording should be done in a quiet place that is not reflective. Unless the subject is spelunking you don’t want a room that sounds like a cave. Use windscreens on the microphones to reduce breath noise and pops if necessary.

Use a digital recorder
Digital is quieter than analogue and it will save you a bunch of time because the end product needs to be digital. You can record on your computer or use a CD recorder. If something goes wrong and you won’t be able to record the program again use redundant recording methods. For example you may record the program on both laptop and a CD recorder simultaneously. When using a computer to record, only run the recording program – resist the temptation to play games at the same time.

Edit your program
Clean up the resulting recording by cutting out extraneous words and stutters. If you have time constraints, edit out unnecessary words to reach the desired program length minus the length of any prerecorded open and close. Be careful when editing. Don’t edit in the middle of a breath or leave vocal artifacts – you don’t want it to sound edited. Then add your open and close to the program. Remember you need to have rights to any music you use to avoid copyright problems. Use a program like Sony Sound Forge or Apple’s Garage Band to edit and mix.

Mixing and processing
istock_000000612390smallAfter editing you must mix or render the final product to a stereo or mono file. I usually process the recording and mix at the same time. First if necessary, use software to reduce noise. Then normalize the sound file levels (this is not compression) and add any EQ to make the tonal qualities more desirable. Finally compress the overall program and peak limit the file to -.3db to prevent digital distortion. The EQ, compression and peak limiting processes are generally over used and will ruin the audio. If we were talking food here, a little salt can bring out the flavor – too much and it’s disgusting.

Our end product will be streaming format(s) like MP3, WMA, Flash or MOV. The smaller the file the faster the listener can experience the podcast. But smaller files mean lower quality. Choosing the right rate depends on your audience and their connection speed. You can deliver a better sounding podcast to a DSL or cable audience as opposed to dial-up, it’s a compromise. For audio I usually use 22,050 Hz, 16 Bit, Stereo. One minute of audio compresses to a file size of approximately 0.45 MB (about 22:1 compression).

Choose a good podcast host
Don’t pay too much for bandwidth. More listeners need more bandwidth and a live event will require more bandwidth than on-demand. Multiply your estimated number of listeners by the estimated file size to get an idea of your needs. If you are just starting out I recommend using a host like www.libsyn.com, www.christwebs.com. For huge audiences use a service like www.akami.com. Akamai uses several servers in different geographical locations – listeners are routed based on both location and server load.

Make a good impression
Do it right or hire a professional to help you. For some ideas on how to promote a podcast see our article “Everything you ever wanted to know about…Podcasting! (part one).”

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January 7, 2009 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment

Everything you ever wanted to know about…Podcasting! (part one)

If you cast it … will they come?

If you plan to release digital information on the Internet   – you need to create a podcast! But whether you’re creating music, spoken word programs, power point presentations or digital photo exhibits, you’ll need to know how to lure the fish to the bait.

What is a podcast?

Simply put, a podcast is a computerized subscription to a content file that gets delivered via the Internet. The file can be audio, video, file documents or data. The real beauty of the system is in the RSS (Really-Simple-Syndication) software. It monitors your subscriptions for new file releases and downloads them automatically. Popularized by the Apple Ipod and its ability to Podcasting - www.soundworks.comsubscribe to RSS feeds on the Apple iTunes web site, the term podcasting is now generically used for RSS feeds, just like Kleenex refers to tissues. And today just about every brand of MP3 and portable video player can subscribe to podcasts as well as desktop and notebook computers.

Example: Sound Works posts a weekly message for Gregg Matte – Pastor of Houston’s First Baptist.  Notice we support several audio formats as well as PC and Mac iPod RSS feeds.

Promote it!

It’s a great new medium, but creating content for the podcast is only the beginning of the work. You must also promote it.  There are several methods of promotion suggested here, but you should not limit yourself to any single type of promotional effort.

Promotional Types:

  • Website design & demographics
  • Search engines
  • Web sites that list podcasts
  • Reciprocal links with selected sites
  • Meta information with graphics
  • Make your web site attractive
  • Promote to Magazines

Target your promotion

You must let the right people know about your program/feed to be successful.  It’s just good marketing to identify your target demographics. Know the age, gender and profile of your intended subscriber. Once identified, you should design your website and aim its promotion at the target.

Start your podcast promotion by announcing it to the vast number of search engines and directories with free submissions. These free site submissions still work, but expect results to begin no sooner than 90-days. Search engines prefer paid placement and pay-per-click advertising. So spending a few dollars could jump-start search engine promotional efforts.

Submit your feed details to Podcasting web directories or list sites. These are directories of podcast collections or listings and many are free. Before you pay for any listings, it would be wise to know the number of times your information will be seen, as well as who will see it – be sure to get traffic statistics.
Don’t overlook trading reciprocal links with related sites. This is the digital form of word-of-mouth. You must find related websites that attract your target audience.  Email these web Ipod - www.soundworks.comsites and suggest trading links with them. You can help each other with this free promotion. I usually do a key word search on Google.com and Yahoo.com search engines to find these contacts. Free placement on sites like MySpace.com can also drive traffic to your podcast site.
If your podcast uses audio or video media file feeds, include the right meta tag information.  These are also sometimes referred to as ID3 tags and usually include an album cover graphic. The tags must include enough descriptive text and key words to grab the interest of subscribers and search engines. This meta information will also be displayed in the podcast player.

Also add graphics to your website to let website visitors know that a podcast is available. Colorful graphics have become a signature to alert listeners that podcasts/RSS feeds are available on your web page. The graphics were initially bright orange rectangles but webmasters have bent the rules a bit.

Last, but not least, send press releases about your podcast to targeted print publications. There are now many subject-oriented and trade publications that could generate interest for your podcast with a simple mention. If budget allows, you can hire a publicist, but here is a site to help you DIY. http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/pressreleases.html

Your promotional efforts should be regular and re-occurring, while search engine submissions should be quarterly.

Dwight Cook

President – Sound Works

http://www.soundworks.com

Sound Works offers podcast services – creating, publishing, promoting and hosting for your digital programs and content.

December 4, 2008 at 9:09 pm 1 comment


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