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The Podcast Realm

The Podcast Realm

Laura Baumann, Intern

Since their debut, Podcasting has slowly but steadily become a popular way for people to send and receive information. Today, through the evolution of technology and the internet, podcasts are doing what we as a society have historically done through radio stations.  A podcast in simplest terms is an audio file that is recorded digitally for playback online.  A podcast, which is sometimes referred to as a video blog is unique because it includes both audio and video content. Podcasts allow individuals to create their own broadcast while giving their listeners the option to watch or listen at any time.

As a fan of evolving technology I think the podcast is not only a great medium but also an effective one. Some of my favorite podcasts feature people discussing everyday topics. For instance, magazines such as Allure, Lucky or InStyle offer podcasts which provide a backstage pass to their viewers. Their podcasts sometimes feature the Editor-in-Chief or a celebrity stylist and gives their readers access to content which was not included in the monthly issue. Networks such as ESPN and CBSsports also offer podcasts, allowing viewers to listen to additional game day footage or interviews with athletes.

According to Wikipedia, there are more than 150,000 podcasts available today. In terms of categories, music and technology seem to be the most popular, but you can find a podcast for just about any topic. The reasoning behind podcasts and their content vary just as much as the people who do it. Through podcasting, bloggers are able to establish an audience or sometimes a community based off of their interests.  Podcasting and video blogging gives you a platform and a way for your voice to be heard. Podcasting has also become a popular way to raise awareness about something in an effective way. It allows viewers to gain knowledge by using podcasts as a method of learning. Teachers are now even using podcasts as a way to reach their students. Podcasts can be viewed by students at any time and often provide a more detailed explanation on what they are learning.

In some circumstances, bloggers even make money off of their podcasts. If your podcast is good enough, and becomes popular you can earn money through subscription or by selling ad space. A podcast is also a great way to promote your own product or service. According to FeedBurner, a web feed management provider, podcasts outnumber radio stations. There is a wider selection of entertainment when it comes to podcasts and it can all be easily downloaded onto your iPod or computer screen within a short period of time.  Unlike a radio or TV station, you can always have your favorite podcast available for listening or viewing, it essentially eliminates the wait!

Some critics say podcasts, just like any other trend, will soon fizzle out. They believe that although it is easy to record a podcast, the editing and creating of the file can be time consuming. Also, files especially those available through iTunes are not always accessible to all computers, creating a problem with downloading.

All in all there’s no denying that podcasting is bigger than ever. As the trend begins to catch more people’s attention, its audience continues to grow and so does the spread of knowledge. Just as blogging has enabled almost anyone with a computer to become a reporter, podcasting allows anyone with a computer to become a talk show host or DJ. One important tip to remember before you start podcasting is to have a good sense as to why you want to get involved. This will help you format your content, and audience.

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