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My podcasting life


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My experiences in audio podcasting for Intute: Social Sciences and some thoughts on podcasts in general

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My podcasting life

  1. 1. My Podcasting life … or the reverse Obama effect Paul Ayres Intute: Social Sciences
  2. 2. My hopes for Audacity <ul><li>Podcast idealism from autumn 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Chance for independent voices to shine </li></ul><ul><li>Hobbyist beginnings </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to make a name for yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Yes we can, pretend to be radio DJs </li></ul>
  3. 3. My podcast standpoint <ul><li>Experience - using podcasts to promote services / research, rather than teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>A podcast is … </li></ul><ul><li>Audio – videos are more likely to be learning objects and vlogging does not need RSS </li></ul><ul><li>Regular – one audio file does not constitute a podcast, must have a sense of regularity </li></ul><ul><li>Syndicated via RSS – otherwise it’s an online audio file that has been possible for years </li></ul><ul><li>… a bit of a fundamentalist viewpoint I know! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Social Science Voices <ul><li>One-off proof of concept show </li></ul><ul><li>Designed to tie-in with ESRC Social Science week in March 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasting conceit as a 20 minute programme released in parts </li></ul><ul><li>Made available using WordPress blog, takes care of RSS feed, enables show notes </li></ul><ul><li>Generated a lot in interest – over 1000 downloads during the week </li></ul>
  5. 5. Social Science Voices <ul><li>Introduction to online audio and some of the sound based resources already out there </li></ul><ul><li>Look at research, teaching and learning, marketing uses of online audio </li></ul><ul><li>Makes me squirm to listen to it now, but got lots of good feedback at the time </li></ul><ul><li>http://www. intute .ac. uk / socialsciences /archive/ esrc _ socsciweek /2006/voices.html </li></ul>
  6. 7. Intute: Social Sciences Podcast <ul><li>Pilot series of 12 shows from October 2006 to March 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Mini-project with equipment budget and evaluation report at the end </li></ul><ul><li>Featured news, new resources on Intute and interviews </li></ul><ul><li>15 minute show produced fortnightly made available on existing blog </li></ul><ul><li>http://www. intute .ac. uk / socialsciences / blog /category/ podcast /page/4/ </li></ul>
  7. 9. Intute: Social Sciences Podcast <ul><li>Went from zero to a few hundred listeners per episode by the end of the run </li></ul><ul><li>Took at least half a day per episode to produce - script, record, edit, source guests </li></ul><ul><li>Twin track online publicity campaign / getting into iTunes, as promoting the Intute: Social Sciences blog at the same time </li></ul>
  8. 10. Intute: Social Sciences Podcast <ul><li>Good points </li></ul><ul><li>Regarded as professionally produced </li></ul><ul><li>Interview segments seen as most interesting aspect of the show </li></ul><ul><li>Seen as innovative, led to further opportunities, writing articles etc. </li></ul>
  9. 12. Intute: Social Sciences Podcast <ul><li>Other feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Fortnightly not often enough to remember that is exists </li></ul><ul><li>Non-interview content criticised as being easily available in text format </li></ul><ul><li>Little evidence that it reached an audience that hadn’t already heard of Intute </li></ul><ul><li>Most popular shows coincide with traditional publicity mentions – article in a journal and a guest with an extensive email contact list </li></ul>
  10. 13. Intute: Social Sciences Podcast <ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Not sustainable to carry on with podcasts due to time taken to produce them versus potential / actual audience </li></ul><ul><li>Carry on with occasional audio downloads of interviews with people encountered in normal pattern of work </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasting seen as a mystery to many and still need to explain terminology and processes </li></ul>
  11. 14. Economics interviews <ul><li>Existing contact had videos of interviews with economics researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Stripped out audio and made these available as podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Professional journalist interviewing a researcher who has just completed a 1 day media training course </li></ul><ul><li>Jargon free but not dumbed down, usually about 10 minutes long </li></ul><ul><li>Several series of interviews surfaced on the Why Study Economics and Intute: Social Sciences blogs </li></ul><ul><li>http:// whystudyeconomics .ac. uk / blog /category/audio/ </li></ul>
  12. 16. Economics interviews <ul><li>Collaboration between Intute: Social Sciences, Economics Network and Royal Economic Society </li></ul><ul><li>Most success when themed around events such as the Royal Economic Society annual conference </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly 5000 downloads in month of release and ongoing downloads of most popular interviews of few hundred a month </li></ul><ul><li>Accompanied by press release, links to Internet sites / relevant research and Intute searches </li></ul>
  13. 17. Economics interviews <ul><li>Did approach some publishers for funding to make it an ongoing series </li></ul><ul><li>Some interest from them but not enough to pay for time at FEC rates </li></ul><ul><li>Passed on podcast knowledge and led to further series elsewhere, which are continuing </li></ul><ul><li>Centre for Market and Public Organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Vox Talks – Centre for Economic Policy Research http://www. voxeu .org/index. php ?q=node/1260 </li></ul>
  14. 20. Lessons learnt <ul><li>Sustainability – time (can’t just plug-in and rant), clear aims, measure impact </li></ul><ul><li>Length – keep it brief, you are competing with the 3 minute pop song </li></ul><ul><li>Format – monologues are monotonous, conversation is king (preferably queen) </li></ul><ul><li>Equipment – try before you buy or risk wasting the budget </li></ul>
  15. 21. Lessons learnt - Equipment
  16. 22. Podcasting in context <ul><li>Language confuses users – What is a podcast? Do I need an iPod? </li></ul><ul><li>Process confuses users – subscribe concept implies payment even in iTunes </li></ul><ul><li>80% of podcasts listened to on a PC (Rajar, Jan 2008) not on an mp3 player </li></ul><ul><li>Still a niche activity – 19% have downloaded a podcast, only 3% on typical day (Pew, Aug 2008) </li></ul>
  17. 24. Podcasting in context <ul><li>Independent voices soon drowned out once mainstream media started using iTunes </li></ul><ul><li>Akin to what is happening with online video, user generated content versus need of service providers to raise revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Are there any academics who have made their name through audio podcasting? </li></ul><ul><li>Compare and contrast with blogging or even YouTube videos </li></ul>
  18. 25. Podcasting in education <ul><li>Not news to us, but off-putting to potential users? </li></ul><ul><li>Given limited resources, where should effort go? </li></ul><ul><li>Is correct response to queries from academics Yes we can or Yes you can? </li></ul><ul><li>Source: CMU, June 2007 </li></ul>
  19. 26. Podcasting in education <ul><li>Questions to consider </li></ul><ul><li>What are the quick-wins for using audio in Higher Education? </li></ul><ul><li>Are research / marketing uses of audio easier than teaching and learning uses? </li></ul><ul><li>Does audio = radio and therefore = communication rather than an enduring asset? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there lessons to be learnt from audio podcasting when creating more complex learning objects? </li></ul><ul><li>Does low level of uptake create a training need or indicate lack of real usefulness? </li></ul>
  20. 27. Further reading / links <ul><li>Intute search for podcast resources </li></ul><ul><li>* </li></ul><ul><li>Intute search for sound resources </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Intute: Social Sciences podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>http://www. intute .ac. uk / socialsciences / podcast / </li></ul><ul><li>Delicious links about podcasting </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  21. 28. Thanks for listening <ul><li>Paul Ayres </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Website </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>