Perhaps you have heard of it, or perhaps you are already an avid follower. Podcasting is one of newest buzzwords that has been catching the attention of hoards of people all over the world. But not everyone exactly know what it is. At a first glance, or at a first hearing, term podcast could evoke of images of the now legendary iPod, which has taken the world of audiophiles by storm. Now add the image of that great gadget to broadcasting and you would see a whole new world of possibilities that offers a new medium of distributing information. For those who have little idea of what podcasting is, here is a short overview as to what it is, and why it is good to engage in it.
What is Podcasting
As hinted earlier, the term podcasting is a fusion of the iPod and broadcasting. Well this is actually a misnomer because one does not really need an iPod to do podcasting, and the process does not really involve announcing on air. Nevertheless, the term is still quite the popular one used to refer to the process of disseminating multimedia files, may it be a music video or an audio program, via the internet through either an Atom syndication or an RSS format, to be played on personal computers or portable media-playing devices. Like on TV or radio, podcasts usually features shows that have episodes that people release either regularly or intermittently.
How did Podcasting come about?
The idea of podcasting first emerged in the year 2000, and a year after, the technical requirements for podcasting were already available. However, it was only by the year 2003 that the method caught on the popular websites. It was also around this time when Adam Curry, a media entrepreneur who was once an MTV VJ, popularized the term. By 2004, podcasting experienced an exponential growth, extending to the general public and encompassing a wider-than-ever area of interests. Now, podcast is seen to be the new media of reaching people and distributing information to them.
How does it Podcasting work?
The method of podcasting is actually very simple. First, a podcaster (i.e. a podcast publisher) would create an audio content, usually in mp3 or mp4 format, and then have it uploaded to a server. The podcast is then published as a news feed in either RSS, XML or Atom format. The audience may then subscribe to a particular podcast they like using a news-feed aggregator, which in turn updates them whenever new episodes are released. The subscribers may then listen to or watch the podcast at their own convenience.
What’s good about it and why should it be used?
A lot of people see great potential in podcasting. First of all, it is fun to do. Many find podcasting as a new way of being creative. Being a new medium, that uses different types of media, people can now use various ways of disseminating information. No longer are people limited to typed text, they can now use their voice, their face, animation, or just about anything to tell people something. Now, instead of just writing about facts, you can now tell people things they want to know in ways that would keep them engrossed. It is a great means of self expression.
The format in which podcasts are delivered also helps people increase their audience, and at the same time serve them. News feeds are becoming increasingly popular every day, and many people are now being able to get information about the things they are interested in. Likewise, podcasters can now reach the particular type of audience that they are targeting. This creates a more continual relationship between publishers and their audiences, helping each other flourish in their craft.
Podcasting also empowers the podcaster. Usually, someone who has to say something would need to find something or somebody else to help distribute the information. But now, with podcasting, you become your own media. If you want to inform people, you just say what you have to say, and bring your news directly to them.
Podcasting also has great potential in making money through media. If you have something interesting to say that people are willing to pay just to hear about it, then you could sell the content of your podcasts. If you have services or products to sell, you can use podcasts to show people why they would want to avail of your services or buy your products. You can also use podcasts as a means of selling “space” for advertisers to pitch in their commercials. With this new type of media, there are numerous possibilities for gaining profits.
Podcasting may still be in its infancy, but who knows for sure how big it may grow. Right now what people can say is that it is indeed growing faster than they have imagined. Podcasting could be the medium of the future, and taking advantage of its development could be one of the best decisions you would make.