Generally Speaking Podcast!

by Cliff Ravenscraft on December 19, 2005

in Blog

The time has finally come. This past week, I launched my very own PODCAST! I've been interested with new technology for as far back as I can remember. I used a computer to sign onto a bbs before there was an official internet. I sent my first official internet email on September 2nd, 1996. I've had my very own web page for going on nine years now. Four years ago, I turned my static web page into a BLOG which I hard coded myself before online tools became available to make blogging easy for the average web user.
If you have never heard of a podcast before, then you may be confused by the terminology. You might be thinking to yourself that you will not be able to listen to my podcast if you don't own an ipod or some other form of portable mp3 player.
Podcasting is a term used to describe a group of technologies for distributing audio or video programs over the Internet using a publisher/subscriber model. It differs from earlier online delivery because it transfers the digital media files DIRECTLY to the subscribed user's computer AUTOMATICALLY for later use. There is not a NEED for a podcast or anything other than the computer you already have with a set of speakers attached.
Podcasting enables independent producers, like myself, to create self-published, syndicated “shows.” Subscribing to podcasts allows users, like you, to collect individual programs from a variety of sources for listening or viewing at the user's convenience. In contrast, traditional broadcasting provides only one source at a time, and the time is broadcaster-specified. The great thing about listening to podcasts is that you can listen to WHAT YOU WANT and WHEN YOU WANT and most importantly WHEREVER YOU WANT TO.
The most popular play to subscribe and listen to podcasts is with the FREE downloadable program from Apple called “I-tunes.” There is a Windows version available as well as the Mac.
My podcast is titled “generally speaking.” I was going to devote a whole podcast to the HIT TV SHOW LOST making this what is called a Lost Podcast or a Lostcast. However, then I was considering doing another show and devoting it to Technology calling it a techcast. Of course, I couldn't leave out my Faith and so I was thinking about doing a third one devoted to panel discussions about Faith and calling it a Faithcast.
While it was not difficult to set up my podcast, the initial work of designing my website for the shows and then promoting it was quite consuming. A great thought occurred to me, why not do one show and simply make it a multi-format, multi-topical show. Thus the phrase generally speaking came to mind. A few days later, I'm up and running on I-tunes.
A majority of my shows will initially be devoted to the ABC TV Show Lost. This will be where a majority of my subscribers will come from at first. So far, I only have one show to introduce myself online and it has only been up for three days and already I have 26 subscribers. There are four other major LOST fan related podcasts that are plugging my show over the next week.
One of my fellow Lost Fan Podcasters emailed me and told me “Our third or fourth week we had 24,000+ downloads in one week. We're down to about half that now.” I think I will be getting a plug on his show this week. I already got a plug from another Lost Podcast that reaches about 6,000 people. The fist day it was available, 16 people subscribed to my show. This number will only grow as that show has already been downloaded to each of the subscribers computers, but the majority of them simply haven't listened to it yet.
Lost will not be the only topic I discuss. My friend, Robert Johnson, lives down in Florida. He and I talk about technology all the time. I have the ability to talk to him over the internet and record our conversations. I plan on publishing some of those talks.
I'm really excited about some great ideas for panel discussions on a variety of Christian Faith Topics. For example, I'm working on producing a show about a new culture of people who would rather be the church than go to a church. Sound's like an oxymoron doesn't it? Believe it or not, there is a growing culture of people who are completely sold out to God and desire to do His Will but reject the concept of going to one of today's established churches. In this first Faithcast, we will discuss this phenomenon, why it's happening, and what this means to the future of the church.
If you have never heard or understood what a podcast was before reading this post, I hope that you will look into it. There are a vast number of podcasts available to you. You can literally find one that talks about almost anything that interests you. It's better than radio in so many ways. In fact, many radio programs are now issuing podcast versions of their show.
I hope you check out my podcast some time. For those of you who don't want to bother learning how to subscribe to the show, you can always go to my generally speaking website and listen to or download the show online just like any other file.
As always, please leave me a comment to let me know what you think!

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