Feeds Article - How Podcasting is Used
How Podcasting is Used
By S. Housley
Although podcasting is new, it is well on its way
to becoming a mainstream communication medium. Podcasting, simply
put, is audio files that are delivered via RSS. Many people believe
that podcasting is solely for the distribution of music files, but
really, nothing could be further from the truth. This emerging method
of audio file distribution has opened an array of marketing and
communication opportunities to businesses. Currently, most who are
familiar with podcasting are technically savvy, but it is clear
that podcasting will be more than a passing fad as many businesses
are adopting podcasting and employing it in unusual yet powerful
ways. Podcasting can be used for talk shows, tutorials, music demos,
educational training, stories, comedy clips, debates or even foreign
While RSS has had the capacity to include audio files
for a few years, only recently have entrepreneurs made the conceptual
leap, taking advantage of the new power held within this communication
medium. In reality, podcasters cover the gamut; some are professional
broadcasters, while others are obvious amateurs.
Podcasts are usually published with associated meta
information that includes descriptive data about each specific audio
file. This allows listeners to make a determination of which audio
items are of interest. If listeners are using a news aggregator
that supports podcasting, they will automatically receive updates
in their feed reader or news aggregation software when a new podcast
exists for a feed that they have subscribed to.
Why is podcasting so beneficial to the subscriber?
Unlike traditional radio, with podcasting the subscriber decides
what content he/she receives. Podcasting is extremely useful to
the subscriber because the user can easily receive information he/she
would like, and listen to it when they want. The material, once
downloaded, can be listened to and viewed on wireless handhelds,
allowing subscribers to utilize time on the road.
Topic-specific radio talk shows with commentaries,
interviews and debates can now be heard at a time and place of the
listener's choosing. Consider the benefit of educational tutorials
and foreign language instruction; lessons could be listened to during
a work commute. Supplementary class lectures, step by step tutorials
or walking guides are all possible using podcasting. An unlimited
collection of books read aloud for elderly or visually-impaired
listeners only scratch the surface of what is possible in the future
The fate of podcasting is in the hands of the subscribers.
The subscriber can easily delete podcast feeds that do not satisfy
their needs with the single tap of a button. Ultimately, the subscriber
maintains control and determines what podcasts are deemed successful.
This intrinsically builds in a quality control level and will ensure
that the more innovative instructional and interesting podcast feeds
The technology is fresh and, like the Internet, is
opening doors to entrepreneurs. As podcasting evolves, users will
find more creative kinds of audio content to deliver. The low barrier
to entry has forced this new medium to the forefront, as businesses
and individuals have really little to lose in adding podcasting
as a communication channel.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing and publishing RSS feeds and NotePage,
a wireless messaging software company.