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CommaKazi Speek

A blog (weblog) containing harsh realities, bitter truths and other reasons to smile

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A timely question about podcast listening

In a recent issue of the Ragan Report, communication consultant Steve Crescenzo asks a valid question about podcasts: Who has time to listen to podcasts on a regular basis?

With short podcasts running 10-15 minutes, and some shows running over an hour, you have to be dedicated to keep up. I recently put my ..MP3 player aside for a week, because I was stressing too much about the podcasts that I wasn't hearing because of other life commitments. It did feel good to take a break, but I've started downloading my favorite podcasts again. I guess that I'm hooked.

Steve wondered what percentage of company employees would make time to listen to their CEO's podcast--especially if it wasn't "wildly funny, wickedly entertaining or highly controversial." I know people who would. They are the same people who watch company videos, or listen to the quarterly all-employee meeting on CD or tape. When I worked at Fort James Corporation, we offered cassette tapes to employees who missed the quarterly meetings. Although the numbers weren't large, it typically was people who didn't want to be "out of the loop." Every company has people like this.

A podcast is the latest way to distribute audio information and commentary. People who want to listen to it, will find time. The digital format and help such as show notes with time codes actually make it more convenient for the listener to select the information that is most appealing.

Personally, I find the process of downloading podcasts to my MP3 player a little cumbersome and time-consuming. That's because I don't have an iPod, I guess. I use Feedburner to download the podcasts to my PC, then I import them into the software that allows me to copy the podcasts to my MP3 player (a Sony Walkman Bean). But I have to convert every podcast file to an audio format (speed) that my player supports. Otherwise, the podcasts play too quickly, and the podcasters sound like the Chipmunks.