One of the many great things about the Internet is the way that it allows people with specific, niche interests to find others to share them with. One particular way that this manifests itself is with the rise of podcasting. You may have heard the term, but may not be familiar with what it is.
Podcasts have actually been around for almost ten years now, but seem to be slowly gaining popularity in recent years. Podcasts are simply audio or video programs that you download and play on your computer, iPhone, MP3 player, etc. In a way they are to newspapers and magazines what audiobooks are to printed books. Don’t let the “pod” in podcast make you think you need an Apple device – it’s just the name that stuck after a while. And, don’t think that it’s too complicated to figure out. Apple has made it pretty easy by including support for podcasts in iTunes. In addition, if you use an iPhone, Android Phone, or Windows Phone, there are apps that let you easily download and manage podcasts, so you don’t even have to use the computer.
When it comes to subject matter, you can think of podcasts as “niche radio”, or narrowcasting vs broadcasting. Podcasts typically start with a group of people who are passionate about a specific topic. Often times they already run a website or blog on the topic, and they expand out and start a podcast.
To give you a feel for what is out there, here is a sampling of some of the podcasts I listen to – more to illustrate the variety that is out there than to indicate which ones specifically you should listen to. (Although I do think these are pretty good shows and not a bad starting place.) The more you explore and see just how much is out there, you’ll find that this list can be as individual as you are.
Stuff You Should Know
The podcast from HowStuffWorks.com that explains how common things work. (Link)
Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
Your friendly guide to the world of grammar, punctuation, usage, and fun developments in the English language. (Link)
A film and movie review podcast. (Link)
Latest in Paleo
A show about paleo/primal eating and lifestyle. (Link)
A public radio program & podcast that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. (Link)
StarTalk Radio Show by Neil deGrasse Tyson
A radio show devoted to all things space hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. (Link)
The Accidental Creative
A podcast that helps people who work in a create-on-demand environment to stay creative when they need to be. (Link)
This Week in Tech
Roundtable discussion of the weeks tech news. (Link)
Good Job, Brain!
Trivia and quiz podcast. (Link)
Business and/or Pleasure?
Podcasts are a great source for leisure listening/viewing, but can they help you in your business? It’s very likely they can in a number of ways. First, you may run across a podcast that is about the field you are in. For example, “The Accidental Creative” and “Grammar Girl” are applicable to me as a graphic designer. You may find ones that are specific to your line of work. But there’s another angle that you may not have thought about. Podcasts are really another promotional channel, just like your website and email marketing are. They are another way for you to reach your target market. Creating your own podcast is within reach of just about anyone at this point. Content is king, and then with a bit of planning and some time, you could be on your way to your own podcast. In fact, if no one else in your field or area of interest is doing this, it may be a great way to differentiate yourself from the pack.
If starting a podcast is something that you may be interested in, let us know. We can get you started in the right direction.