Podcasts: My notes from the Edinburgh New Media Breakfast May 2010

(Disclaimer: Whilst I have no formal connection with the New Media Breakfast series, I have been a speaker and Ben will be speaking about Analytics at the next one)

“A podcast is a series of files that are released episodically” – so technically a bit more than an a bit of audio on a website.

Podcasts work a bit like Series Record on Sky+.  Subscribe once and episodes will be downloaded as soon as they are published. They can be listened to at a time and in a place that suits your listeners.

Anyone can make a podcast but should you?

To make a podcast you don’t need a studio, even a good 3G phone will do.  A flip camera can do the job perfectly for video (Kodak Zi8 current recommendation – get external mic). Edirol R-09 is great if you have multiple participants and is used by many journalists- £250.  There’s even a pen that you could use to record meetings!

Note of caution: just beacause you have canvas doesn’t mean you can paint the Mona Lisa.  Same applies for podcasts [however can you do something that is good enough?]

AudioBoo – can use it on iPad or iPhone.  Gordon demonstrated how easy it is to record a quick bit of audio.  This clip below was recorded live at the seminar.  Great for short messages, can even use it in the car! [not if you are driving!].  Ease of upload and submission to iTunes is a key benefit of AudioBoo.

Voxie – another iPhone app (£1.79)

Caster – allows multitrack and can edit on iPad/iPhone. (£5.99)

Skype – Record interviews over Skype using Pamela plugin.

Podcasts get archived in iTunes so it’s not just about the listeners you get on release [SEO benefit too]

Bambusa – video equivalent of AudioBoo.  Can use it to live stream too.

Common mistake:  Reading from script/professional voice over – authentic often better.

How to Videos always do well.  Record events

How often should you podcast?  Depends.  Quite a lot of people try to do same time each week but nature of podcasts is that you can put them up when you want –  “not deadline driven”. People who subscribe will simply get it, when it goes out.  Better to put one out when you have something interesting to say.  Having said that keep it reasonably acitve – not months apart.

Recommended audio editing software – Audacity.  Podcastmatters use final cut for video editing but often software that comes with camera can do the job.  Windows Movie Maker etc can be a good place to start.

Give yourself an identity with a bit of music (think news at ten gongs) – Podsafeaudio allows you to get music that you can use.

Libsim ($30/yr) – Liberated Syndication will host your podcast and allows you to ultimately upload it to iTunes.  Good stats as well.  Then use Feeder (free) on iTunes to give info etc.  (Easier than it sounds!).

Promoting podcasts:

  • Need momentum of high number of listeners in short period of time to get it up charts
  • Blog to say you have released – share on Twitter and Facebook
  • Tell people its climbing the charts on Twitter on Facebook
  • iTunes biggest podcast search engine
  • Put video podcasts on both iTunes and YouTube (and others)
  • 50% of listeners of Social Media Podcast are not subscribers
  • Add your podcast RSS feeds to your website (and others if you can)
  • Link where ever you can

Cost of making podcast: Variable – record lots of episodes in one day and then drip feed then can get it down to £200 an episode.  Can shoot things yourself and then get Podcastmatters to edit it, upload it etc.  No need for it to cost 1000s.  Better to have regular content than high production.  [Main cost, as with most social media is your time, so consider carefully what’s best done in house, and what is outsourced]


  • Optimum length of time?  Aim Social Media Podcast at 30mins.  Video – pop song length but rules their to be broken.
  • Disclaimers? If your industry requires it.
  • Virtualdub – can deshake videos but small tripod often best solution [I’m getting a magnetic gorillapod]
  • Recommended external microphone – £10-15 lapel microphones.  Can also use them on iPhone
  • Demographics – similar to internet in general.
  • ROI: Very difficult to measure, much like the ROI of the latest networking event you went to.  Lots of good metrics available though.
  • SEO: Use tags, title of podcast, description [transcripts? can Google listen now?]
  • Is it possible to live stream through mobile networks? Short answer is yes.

Next Edinburgh Breakfast will be 10th of June with our very own Ben on the ins and outs of Analytics. More about the Breakfasts

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