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Mar27
Guest Post: Chris Gondek On Podcasting
Note by Easton: Special thanks to Chris Gondek for sharing these thoughts with us today. Visit his blog regularly at invisiblehandwriting.typepad.com or his website at www.theinvisiblehandpodcast.com.  This special guest post is part of the Know More Media Guest Blogger Week effort.

When I was asked if I would be interested in writing a guest entry for Business Blog Wire, I was both flattered and confused. The confusion stemmed from the fact that, if you were to go to my own blog, invisiblehandwriting.typepad.com, you would notice that I am hardly the world’s most prolific blogger. I’m OK with this though, because in my first entry, I mentioned that, although I think blogging is great, I wasn’t really convinced that I had anything to say, and certainly not enough to sustain a lot of new content. So, points for self-realization.

Easton discovered me, not through my blog, but through my podcast, The Invisible Hand. If the genesis of podcasting came from bloggers who realized that they could send audio files just as easily as text, then my show is an audio blog that consists almost entirely of guest bloggers. This is how I get around not having much to say, I let the guests do the heavy lifting. I see my job as just asking good questions and then staying out of the way. The show I did with Shel Israel on his and Robert Scoble’s book, “Naked Conversations” was a good example of this, and talking to Shel made me realize the power of blogs, but also presented me with a bit of a puzzle. Good blogs are authentic, well-written and updated frequently. My blog is what happens when your authentic self just doesn’t write very often. Whether it is well-written, I will leave you to judge.

This issue of self expression versus providing a venue for other voices does have a practical consequence, in my opinion. If I had a dime for every time I explained my show to someone only to have them come back and ask, “So, how are you making money off of this?”, I could answer that I was doing quite well on the dimes that question provided. Like a lot of other podcasters, I’ve had discussions with Audible, I’ve wrestled with subscriptions vs. advertising vs. the Joe Einstein strategy of using the podcast to establish myself as an expert. (the Joe Einstein title comes courtesy of Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks, an amazing book coming out in May that I am prepping for and a book that should be the big “think” book of networked societies) I am not sure how the Hand will ever make money, but I do believe there is money to be made in podcasting by using the tools as a way to rethink how other individuals and organizations can put their messages out into the world. It would put the podcaster into more of a producer role than that of an auteur, but I think there is some money to be made there, hopefully enough that a podcaster can be both a producer and an auteur.

The great trick will be for podcasters to add a little more value than just producing a show for an organization that is little more than a long form radio advertisement that they could have produced 20 years ago if they had the inclination. Just as good business blogging presents an opportunity to speak with customers in a fresh and authentic way, good business podcasting should follow suit. Check back with me in a year and I’ll tell you if I was right.

If you have any questions about podcasting or just want to chew the digital fat, feel free to drop me a line at cgondek@theinvisiblehandpodcast.com. Keep downloading and listening.

Jon Watson Has A New Blog About Business Podcasting
Jon Watson has started a new Know More Media blog about professional podcasting: BizPodcasting.com.  Hop on over there and give him a big welcome.  Then ask him a tough question or two about business podcasting!
Mar 7
Corporate Podcasting: Looking At Tips From Carson McComas
I recently came across twenty podcasting tips by Carson McComas at the FrogBody blog.  Excellent work, Carson!  I'm still learning about podcasting, and although I know how to do it (read more about podcasting on my blog), I only know the very basics and don't have any real experience trying to make a great podcast.  So I really appreciate your thoughtful tips!

My favorite tips from Carson - and those I feel go best with business podcasting:

1. Keep it short - the shorter, the better.  Business folks don't have the time or willpower to keep listening to you talk for long.

2. Put podcast show notes on your blog.  There's nothing worse than an audio file with no accompanying description.  More detail is always appreciated.

3. Be yourself.  'Nuff said.

4. Identify your podcast at the beginning of each podcast.  It doesn't have to be uber-formal - "Captain's Log, Stardate 496.71" - but it should tell your listeners who you are, what your podcast is about, and perhaps the episode number and other details.

Have you tried podcasting?  What tips can you share here to help others improve their own business podcasts?
Feb15
Podcast Directories And Links: Some Top Resources
Hey budding business podcasters!  Mark Glaser over at MediaShift has written a nice little guide to podcast directories, including his own brief reviews of their pros and cons.

My favorite link from what Mark had to say was Yahoo!'s guide on how to publish a podcast.  It walks you through the simple steps of preparing, recording and uploading your podcast creation for Web consumption.

While we're link-happy, here are my favorite podcast links du jour:

Podcasting News - http://www.podcastingnews.com/
Odeo - http://odeo.com/
PodBlaze - http://www.podblaze.com/
PodShow - http://www.podshow.com/
Podcast.net - http://www.podcast.net/
Podscope - http://www.podscope.com/
Podcast Alley - http://www.podcastalley.com/
PodNova - http://www.podnova.com/
Podzinger - http://www.podzinger.com/
Yahoo! Podcasts - http://podcasts.yahoo.com/

That'll keep you budding biz podcasters busy for a while!  Let me know if you've found any other useful podcast information resources.
Jan28
Playing Around With Odeo, Free Podcasting Tool
Businesses looking for an easy way to publish audio might consider Odeo.ear.jpg

Odeo is a new, free audio recording and sharing tool
that you can access online.  I set up a phone posting account and played around with it for a few minutes this morning.  The sound quality is phone, not CD, but that's okay.  I'm just fascinated by this tool because it essentially enables you to record audio anywhere, at any time, and place that audio instantly up on the Web.  Then it's a matter of moments before other people can access that audio and respond to it.  Maybe I ought to use Odeo to record audio interviews or conferences I attend.

So here are my first Odeo posts that I made using my phone (the number you call to record phone posts is free) - uncut and uncensored, of course:

Post 1 - not exactly "one small step for a man..."

Post 2 - rambling on about how to post to Odeo using a phone

Post 3 - me sounding like an absolute genius ("Jeff Johnson"???)

Post 4 - on potential uses of Odeo

(Bonus tip: If you want some real ear candy, open each of the above audio posts in a new window or tab at the same time.  Lots of droning!)

My posts weren't rehearsed - I just shot the breeze.  Of course the result is not exciting in terms of what I say, but I think it is when it comes to the implications - audio recording and publishing made easier.

Great job, Odeo folks!  Now, for my reader friends: What other uses for Odeo have you found?  I'd love it if we could spruce up this site with some audio.  I'd love hearin' your voice!

P.S.  Does anyone know of a way to record high-quality audio and then quickly post it to the Web?  What about fast (and free) audio transcription?

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