Podcasting has only been widely popular for about two years, but the technology has only recently shifted from early adopters to the general public. People are discovering a variety of uses for these recordings, many of which should prompt you to consider how you (or your company) can immediately begin using podcasts for profit and promotion. This article explores some of the varied approaches that political, educational, and corporate entities are using to experiment with the medium today.
NEWS AND MEDIA:
Podcasting is a cost-effective way for news organizations to distribute audio or video that supplements their existing text news. Wikinews, for instance, began podcasting its News Briefs in 2005. Companies are also distributing their multimedia news to journalists and consumers via podcasts. Companies can now utilize this medium in a manner similar to that of news organizations by promoting their products or services as additional downloads on their websites. Newspapers use podcasts to distribute audio content from print interviews and increase website traffic. In February 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle is believed to have been the first major daily newspaper to begin podcasting via an external website. The South China Morning Post was the first newspaper in Asia to have its own website, launching on April 19, 2005.
Schools are currently utilizing podcasts as an educational tool. Some school districts are experimenting with podcast lessons to assist with the teaching of foreign languages via audio homework and revision. In 2005, the primary assessment criteria for a communication studies course at the University of Western Australia were podcasts created by students. Additionally, professors use podcasts in their academic work. The Society of Critical Care Medicine has a podcast that provides clinicians with interviews and summaries of important articles.
Political parties :
Political parties and candidates in the United States are experimenting with podcasts as a means of informing the public about their stances on significant issues. Podcasts are downloadable from their websites and allow candidates to express their views in their own words and elaborate on the reasoning behind some of their positions.
Religion. Godcasting, a term used by some to describe religious-themed podcasts, has recently been adopted by numerous religious organizations as an additional means of spreading their message. Numerous churches produce podcasts of sermons and talks, which are then uploaded to the website of their church or temple and made available for download.
Downloadable audio tours of museums have been created by art enthusiasts and museum enthusiasts. Some cities are also experimenting with official cultural or historical audio tours as a means of attracting tourists. These can be found on the official websites of cities as well as through the majority of search engines.
Producers, writers, and directors of popular television programs have embraced podcasting as a way to generate additional content that will hopefully attract more viewers. Battlestar Galactica writer and executive producer Ronald Moore, for instance, creates commentary podcasts for each new episode. Family Guy and other television programs have since followed suit (FOX).
In 2005, unofficial podcasts for major sports teams were introduced, providing fans with on-demand commentary from outside the teams’ direct broadcast areas. Cubscast, the podcasters for the Chicago Cubs baseball team, is a pioneer. The founders of Cubscast also established the first city-specific sports podcast network, hosting a podcast for each of Chicago’s major sports teams.
Podcasts are a useful tool for organizing conference and meeting alerts, as they can be packaged to notify attendees of agendas, hosted roundtables, and daily feedback. They are also an effective method for CEOs to communicate with their employees and share company news on the intranet.
Public libraries can podcast local publications without incurring Copyright infringement, providing the visually impaired with spoken word alternatives. Not only are more people able to access these podcasts, but the educational value of enabling new technologies provides an entirely new multimedia library that will be easier to maintain.
The Chicago Police Department provides a free video podcast of its half-hour weekly news magazine, “CrimeWatch,” which airs on local television. It documents the successes of community policing (CAPS).
I hope that these examples of popular uses of podcasts have inspired you to consider how you can use the medium to help your employees, share your passions, or communicate in other ways.