Sunday, February 13, 2011

On podcasts: Not Radio!

Yesterday I had to explain "podcast" to my in-laws, who are neither very computer nor internet savvy.
We[1] used the radio analogy, since we both are actually listening to a couple of radio shows / podcasts from Ă–1 (national radio in Austria) her parents know from the radio.

Now podcasts and radio share many rules like
  • audio quality & leveling
  • pace of speech
  • structure and complexity of sentences.
Still a podcast is not a radio show.

So please:
  1. Avoid references to dates like "this Sunday" or "Tomorrow you will hear..."
    because not everyone (I'd even say hardly anyone) listens to your podcast on the day it was published.
  2. Also do not use the intro for the next episode as the outro of the one before.
    This might be OK on radio, but it is annoying when you listen to the episodes of one format in sequence.
  3. And bear in mind that the level of expertise of your audience is probably better on a podcast than on radio, at least more homogeneous.
    So, know your audience and their knowledge. Don't talk to newbies if your audience are hackers & nerds.
  4. Also remember: most (if not all) of your podcast listeners know the internet and how to use it.
    They already managed to subscribe to your podcast! So if you have additional material just mention the URL (or just the domain) where your show resides... This is where you should place all the show notes, episode list, additional presentations or documents or wikis. Your listeners will easily find it.
  5. Then again: don't assume they know your show's homepage.
    They might have found your podcast on iTunes or through other aggregating sites/tools... So be sure to mention your home base once in a while.
  6. Final one for today: There are no links in podcasts.
    So don't read out or spell long URLs. I can't write them down when listening to a podcast anyway. Consider a rather unique search term and an additional hint for finding said URL in the search results. And provide the link in the show notes.
Thanks for listening; next week on "on podcasts" you will... oops

[1] actually my wife did half of the explaing, since it all began by her telling how she is using her Galaxy S to listen to podcasts.

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