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What is podcasting?
Most people think that podcasting is used exclusively for the distribution of music files, however this would be a very narrow-minded definition. The best definition that I could find for “podcasting” comes from a research firm at the University of Texas in Austin. Their definition of podcasting is in four individual elements.
“A podcast is a digital audio or video file that is episodic; downloadable; program-driven, mainly with a host and/or theme; and convenient, usually via an automated feed with computer software.“
Originally, the term podcast was known as “webcast” until the popularity of the iPod and the innovation of web feeds exploded. A podcast is simply audio content delivered via an online RSS feed. Podcasting is similar to that of radio on demand, but provides us with quite a few options as it relates to content and programming. They offer several unique features for listeners such as being able to choose what and when they want to listen to the podcast. Podcasts are also able to be archived and available for use at any time.
Again, it is important to know that podcasts are much more than just music files as their uses are endless. Combine this with the ability to syndicate podcasts online provides developers with a tremendous opportunity to reach a global audience about anything it wants to share on audio.For the past few years, it was only techies that were podcasting, however today’s podcaster is much more mainstream. In fact, they come from all walks of life, some are in the broadcast profession, however more than not they are novices that have their own niche.
From a business standpoint, this emerging technology has paved the way for new marketing and communication opportunities. Business owners have begun opening themselves up to the tremendous opportunities that podcasting offers and are using them in incredibly creative ways. Although the most common methods of podcasting are for music demos, talk shows, and educational training, there are endless opportunities for anyone interested in podcasting. Some basic examples are as follows:
- Home improvement industry providing step-by-step directions for Do-It-Yourselfers
- Travel industry providing destination guides and travel tips for visitors
- Food Industry providing interviews with food critics and chefs
Not unlike content online, podcasts are also capable of being published with related meta data that includes descriptive data about each individual audio file. This allows listeners to search and then determine which audio files is of most interest to them. Also, listeners have the ability to subscribe to particular news aggregators that supports podcasting. This will allow them to receive automatic updates to this feed when updates are made. Like most of the emerging technologies that have been discussed over the past few months, podcasting provides us with great opportunities for anyone interested in sharing audio with the world.
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