podcastcon uk: Milverton Wallace

Image(191)Podcasts for Educational use

1 teacher and two university lecturers in the room. Mmmmmm..

Technologies challenge traditional ways of transmitting knowledge.

Last October, he’d just got into podcasting. A friend had a big contract with a south london borough for remedial education. The borough decided they had too many unemployed uneducated kids. So they got loads of hardware and software (even quarkexpress and adobe!) equipped a room with state of the art stuff. Big opening ceremony – everyone there. had a phone call saying kids didn’t turn up for the lectures in this hi-tech wonderland.

Looked again – it’s just another classroom – nice carpets & cool kit, but still a classroom and these kids are those who rebelled against classrooms. That model of encouraging people to learn doesn’t work for a significant minority of kids. Milverton said give ’em ipods so they can hang on the corners pretending to listen to music, but really listening to a maths lesson. Not taken seriously – now closed the facility. An illustration of how difficult it is to get established professionals to accept what’s new and experiment with stuff.

Took 5 years for department to take web-authoring seriously. The kids came and the rooms were full, because they saw the future, they’re smart, they know what’s coming. Now very few are even using blogs (x-warwick)

Getting in touch with community nurses – difficult to communicate with people who for some reason don’t want to turn on their phones. Aaaah podcasting. So much could be done with simple cheap technology in the NHS, but instead they pour money down the drain on ERP systems and the like.

Teaching children of refugees to speak English. Some kids aren’t so good at face to face learning. Podcasts great for re-inforcing. Big problem encouraging teachers to deal with children in the context of a culture that kids understand.

Delivering instructions to learners – it’s a one-way thing, so this is a bit of a barrier (or at least a weakness) You can’t have direct feedback and that needs to be dealt with.

What about people selling audio files of lectures? Nothing new. Same as when newspapers panicked about losing advertising revenue and just dumped same content onto the website. Didn’t excite anybody to just see a facsimile of newsprint. Important not to just reproduce in a different media – look at how to create something new and interesting out of it.

Podcasting the next big thing for training? A company saved 30% of training budget that was previously going on cd and dvd burning. But also the ability to encourage people to create their own space and feel included. Tagging as a form of knowledge management, allow people to create their own environment and subject area communities.

Large-scale experiment at Duke University – gave everyone an iPod (discounted from Apple) Review showed that it was used for recording lectures, but also sharing their own comments about lectures, students learn more from each other than from their lecturers! Learning also accelerated by creating their own learning environments, learning from each other, from their peers, using the technology for real purposes and learning much faster as a result.

Q: what’s your job? Journalism lecturer at City University for 10 years. Only has weblog. Ran Netmedia conference. Now creating a forum for people who innovate in digital media can move on and get financial support to build businesses, working with UCL. But also just a space to engage each other about innovation in the space and how we encourage it here.

Q: Any directories for this sort of content? No, but we’re working on it. (it will create itself, or the students will create it for themselves).

Q: Work with your local high-school

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podcastcon uk: Mark Hunter

Image(189)Podsafe Music Network

In the break, promo from Roger Smalls.

Mark does the tartanpodcast – what do you hang on a wall? Wallpaper & a picture – art (and tony blair) no doubt we’ll hear in a minute what that was all about.

4th out of 1800 music podcasts on podcastalley.com.

Listen to music podcasts and hear music that you wouldn’t have heard before. Start a music podcast. Use music in your podcast.

What’s more important, the wallpaper or the artwork? Obviously the art, that’s the bit you want people to focus on. Sadly music usually becomes the backdrop or wallpaper for what you’re doing, rather than the art.

Mark’s trying to reverse that trend. Soon after he started he got a cd in the post, gripped almost straight away. Wanted to tell as many people as possible about this great new sound. He’s lucky in that he has the tartanpodcast as an outlet for that.

Shows video (audio only!) of Alistair Bishop (who’s cd that was) talking about the huge response (including CD sales) he’s had from all over the world who’ve heard the podcast.

Shows podsafe music network. Search UI with Artist, Song, Keywords, Influences, Genre, State, Country (at least 10 pages of bands from UK) all of these people have already given you permission to play them in a podcast.

You get a playlist page from which you can download.

Q: anyone doing bespoke music for podcasts? Yes, they’d bite your hand off. Courteous to give credit

Q: will it always be free (it’s by podshow)? As far as we know, based on ad revenue.

Q: a market for professional podcasts who need to cut costs or don’t want to worry about permissions. Yes, often it’s better quality and more interesting (and happy for you)

Q: any protection for people who might not like how it’s used? See terms & conditions

Q: what happens if people get signed? don’t know yet

Q: can the music be used in other media? Should have read the terms & conditions.

Q: has anyone been signed as a result. no but some interest from labels and other side projects 3 have been offered film music contracts and one for a video game.

Q: do you like the name podsafe (paul doesn’t). Mark doesn’t like podcast – prefers independent.

Q: are you targeting a radio audience? No, music lovers who really listen to music – he doesn’t want to produce more wallpaper. heard from a commercial show in Glasgow – he said he wouldn’t be able to mention Mark’s name as he’s a competitor.

Q: Can Virgin use podsafe music? maybe.

Q: are you thinking of becoming a label? No. You could, but he’s not interested.

Q: how has becoming a member of podsquad affected you? I’m not an employee of podshow, but I have a contract with them. Very north american (no offense)

Q: how do you sustain it & earn a living? No avenue for it now, but opportunities coming. In the meantime I don’t watch telly!

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podcastcon uk: chris ritke

Podcasting technologies

Can’t watch tv, can’t listen to radio x-NPR, no magazines. Doesn’t know what to do in the evenings. Got on internet, found blogs, found audio in blogs, video in blogs. Found a knitting blog and thought if there’s knitting there must be loads of cool stuff.

Created 49media (what’s on the web tonight, honey?) Really cool stuff that’s not on mainstream media. Browse around and see what’s new. So what is relevant? And how do we know? Each person knows what’s relevant for themselves so it’s not so much about what’s cool out there, but you can find out what’s relevant to you.

Shows most recent searches – on image, audio & video latest: Korean, ONR thing (?), Kelly Clarkson Because of You

Can go down to just image or just audio or just video.

Trying to do categorisation entertainment, tech, variety, arts, music, personal, news & politics, hobbies, food&drink, sports, society, places, business, other, adult.

Plus Popular, will give you most popular in each media group.

So he started going to SF meetup and asked if he should do a podcast so he started interviewing people who are making media that shows up in 49media.

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podcastcon: Neville Hobson

Image(188)Podcasting for Business

Neville has taken Hugh’s “was it good for you” cartoon and replaced “read my blog” with “listen to my podcast”

Most people in the room are podcasters – just a few have one’s that are business podcasts.

What is a podcast? Digital audio file, typically MP3, radio show format, time-shifted, delivered by rss, auto-sync with portable digital player, complemented by show notes.

Little bit of history – only a year old, but just about to really take off – partly iTunes driven. Mainstream media has embraced podcasting. In US all the major broadcasters are podcasting and so are newspapers.

For Immediate Release – Neville’s PR show with Shel Holz. Started 3rd January (3 days after me!) twice weekly show all over skype between Amsterdam and California, ie they make a free phone call – averaging 500 downloads of 60-80 minute chat show, stuff that listeners are interested in. Increasingly listeners are providing audio clips – now 4 international correspondents, 1 in Australia, 3 in USA.

Not about the numbers – 500 per show is really cool.

Great for pushing up the search engine rankings – which leads to interest from mainstream media. New Scientist for example were interested in how they used skype. Businesses want to know what kind of audiences you can reach and how you interact.

Who’s doing it? Mostly in the states – cisco oracle ibm disney virgin atlantic nasa jupiterresearch purina warnerbrothers macromedia gm (one of them does an embarrassingly bad one that sounds like it’s done in the toilet)

Anyone heard of GM podcast? Only a couple in the room. Podcast is an extension of the well-known blog – amateurly produced (clip coming) USAF two airmen talking about what they’re up to – an additional channel, not replacing something. They started the way we all do – laptop and a copy of audacity, but they tried it and they got feedback and improved what they were doing.

Who’s making money? How are they doing it? Someone’s going to do it sooner or later. If people like what they hear, they’ll listen. Maybe some people will pay for a subscription.

Why? It’s an easy & complementary extension of existing communication activities, an appropriate channel to market, can reach niche audiences otherwise unreachable, attract new, younger customers, create buzz, get people talking about you, be perceived to be at the leading edge, be the first to market with a cool new medium (eg Heineken).

The full spectrum: External – Markeing & Financial and Internal – Employee Engagement & Team Building. All a bit like the use of blogs – informality and using a different way to engage with customers. Plus it’s dead easy to do – not broadcast quality, but for 99% that’s good enough. Might be ignored by the majority, but could also get a small group of influencers.

A financial one – head of investor relations produces a weekly review. CEOs do a podcast – chitchat for employees – easier than him (!) doing a blog. Good for reaching out to new people in different ways. Sales director – occasional tips for a geographically dispersed sales team.

20 creative ideas from Kevin Dugan

Seeing dramatic growth. Feedburner: feeds with podcast enclosures groiwing by 1500 per month so over 16,000 by end 2005. Apple: 7 million subscriptions since June, 15,000 podcasts adding 1,000 new ones each week. 21 different languages.

Lots of ooohs and aaaahs at the guy (Phil in a blue t-shirt) with a black iPod nano.

Growth drivers: It’s easy; It’s inexpensive; It’s portable; It’s available (ie rich-content podcast directories and increasing availability of high-speed broadband).

It’s just the beginning (from a business point of view) Videocasting will be next – it has the same growth drivers

Q: how is Neville’s remix of Hugh’s card compatible with Hugh’s CC No Derivs licence?

Plays: GM Corvette, USAF around the air force (cheeeeeeeesy), Paris Hilton (pukecast), NASA from the Space Shuttle (geeks love this one), IBM (with crap music), Clive Anderson on Cuba (virgin atlantic travel podcasts)

Deirdre – how is videocasting different from video-blogging and points out need to pay attention (eg when driving). Neville, all probably the same thing, but they’re different too – different standrs emerging. It is the next big thing

Question about bandwidth particularly for vlogging – can be (the sponsor) say anything. Lots of new deals coming in, experiments with different models of hosting.

Q: will we generate our own revenue? Yes, but we don’t know how? Jupiterresearch or companies like them that already have clients who pay for information will also provide it in this format. Sooner or later.

Q: how much time does it take? Too much – prep time is 1hr, show 60-80, Neville does the show notes – twice as long as the show so about four to five hours per show, up to 10 hours a week.

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Podcastcon UK

Image(187)I’m at the Berners Hotel in London’s West End. It’s full of podcasters, podcaster wannabes and podcasting newbies.

Chris Kimber Head of Interactive Media from BBC is just talking about the BBCs podcasting efforts. BBC doing well in charts like iTunes. Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time is tops among beebs podcasts.

Why it’s important- media consumption is changing, people want more control, on demand and portable. People bother less with live TV, everything is portable, commuters watching DVDs on the way to work.

Is this a threat to radio? It could have been because you can’t control radio, it’s live unless you record it and you can only take live stuff on the road with you. The player changed that, but you still had to be online – podcasting had a big effect. Now, you choose it’s pull not push. On demand means you’re in control of scheduling. Lots of effort has gone in historically which podcasting wipes away. Also full navigation within a programme, you only have to listen to the bit you want and you can listen over and over. But most importantly, it’s portable – you decide where, you can take it with you. These are all simple things, but they are very big changes for tranditional radio.

18 months ago, most people were not listening to radio on their iPod – it was excluded, there was only recorded music, so there were people who used to listen to the radio who left it behind, they are starting to come back. Now associated radio with one of the coolest, sexiest brands there is (iPod).

Interesting by-product is that radio’s become more tangible, less ephemeral. Podcasting makes radio something you can pick up and touch (huh?) Well files anyway.

So what? Increased competition for listeners ears. In the podcast world it’s more of a level playing field, the BBC no longer owns the gateways and commercial radio can no longer control what’s out there.

Podcasting focuses attention on the quality of the programme. so radio station brand is much less important in this space. People stay subscribed if the quality is high enough. So BBC as professional broadcaster is in competition with everyone out there. Chris thinks this is a good thing – competition is good for the beeb. Radio 4 never had any real competition. So as a medium this competition is good for listeners.

Disaggregation of content from brand – Chris Moyles is the brand, not Radio 1. Threat and an opportunity (do we care?) but can offer stuff to people that they might not try in linear space. BBC has had feedback from people saying they would never have listened to a particular programme, but because they’d heard it in a podcast (found in some directory), they have listened and enjoyed.

Now introduced idents. But Chris is struggling with getting the audio working (huge titters in audience) Moving swiftly on…..

In the shorter term the impact is on content in existing programmes and on commissioning of new progs. Knowing that part of a prog is going to be podcast they are doing things differently – taking account that people might not be listening in real time – ie not using commercial music under it or time checks in the middle.

Big Toe Radio Show- speech highlights package (oh dear, the gremlins have got him by the goolies). Aaaaah found that something had become unplugged.

Only a matter of time before a podcaster gets picked up.

How has BBC popularised podcasting – we would have had Melvyn talking about the podcast trial, but the audio still isn’t working – obviously Melvyn gets a few things wrong, and it’s very amusing apparrently.

Chris Moyles reaches millions, pushing people to BBC site and from there to other directories.

Helping to keep radio relevant and regenerated, vibrant, exciting. Could have been a threat, but turned into great opportunity.

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Drinks with Saira Khan (bring your own earplugs)

saira_khan.jpgOK, so I’ve just about cleared searches for “The Apprentice” out of my referral logs (of course until the next series) but a couple of weeks ago Suw said she was helping Saira Khan to set up a blog for a show Radio 5 and now Saira’s going round inviting bloggers to a do next week to talk to her about our blogging experiences.

Saira’s organising drinks at:
The Sofa So Bar,
515 Fulham Road,
Telephone 020 7385 6403

from 7.00pm on Thursday 22nd September. I’m hoping to get along later, but I’m at a big do at Channel 4 that afternoon/evening.

If you’d like to go, leave a comment on Saira’s blog here

If you can’t make it, I’m sure she’d appreciate your comments on “Why do you blog?” at the same place.

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Bizarre Car Crash in Chelsea

carcrashtv_0001OK, so those of you who’ve been waiting for more video can be temporarily sated with this 1 minute (9.5MB) clip which I shot while walking down the Kings Road yesterday afternoon.

What is bizarre is the angle at which the car had gone through the window of Cafe Nero. It was difficult to imagine that it had been going so fast up the side street, but that’s the only direction it can have been coming from unless it was spinning out of control in which case you’d expect more collateral damage to other traffic.

My favourite bit is all the mobile-phone wielding bypassers doing their thing for citizen journalism!

Just in case you thought Chelsea was boring these days.

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Happy Birthday Perfect Path

photo by amatern on flickr.comToday marks the first anniversary of the inaugural posting on Perfect Path. And though I know one shouldn’t anthropomorphise blogs (it really freaks them out apparently, well the more sensitive ones anyway) I think it’s worth celebrating. It feels kind of strange – it took me a while to find my voice I think, but now it feels like home and I’m glad to have had this place to reflect on how Perfect Path Consulting has grown and I’ve grown with it.

Soon after starting this blog, I went along to Blogwalk IV and then KM Europe where I met so many of the people who’ve been part of my mental landscape this year. I had the opportunity to see what it was like to work full-time on projects and not blog about it but also times when I’ve been able to be completely open about what I’m doing or thinking. This has also been the place where I became one of the UK’s first (and arguably among the best) podcasters – I say arguably because whenever I say I’m among the best people argue with me! I’ve videoblogged once and no doubt will do it again. And my wiki provided me with an entry into the glamourous world of event management.

I’m also now on the brink of doing some exciting and entirely blog-centric work where before it was a small part of what I was doing, but trying to encourage people to use. Now most people I meet know what a blog is and are interested in how they might use them, rather than how they might avoid using them.

So happy birthday Perfect Path and many happy returns of the day!


Photo note: the chaps in this photo have nothing to do with me – I assume that they are friends of amatern, but it was the funniest picture I could find on Flickr with the tag birthday and a CC attribution licence.