Thursday, February 25, 2010

Podcasting 101

In chapter 5 of Deltina Hay's A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization, she discusses the use of podcasting as a social media tool. The chapter, appropriately called "Podcasting, Vidcasting, & Webcasting, explains podcasting and how to go about creating a podcast. The chapter offers interesting tips and tools for first time podcasters.

In my Social Media for PR course, we have recently embarked on a new podcasting assignment. For the assignment, each group of 3 is required to create a podcast about the St. Edward's University 125 year anniversary. To be honest, when I first practiced podcasting, I was struck with a case of stage fright. Even though we are working on an audio podcast, I found it much more difficult to express myself verbally rather than writing. Since I am so unfamiliar with podcasting, I wasn't sure where to start or where to turn to deliver useful content. For someone who is a first time podcaster, like myself, Hay's tips in this chapter help to understand the content of podcasts and how to utilize them as a tool.

What is a podcast? Hay describes a podcast as “a blog composed of episodes of audio or video entries rather than text, and can be subscribed to like any blog/feed” (121). In a way, an individual can create their own weekly episode or clip to create their own show. This gives people the power to create a following of their content.

When starting your first podcast, the first question to ask is what will your podcast be about? For me, I was lucky to be assigned a topic for my first podcast rather than having to create an original topic of interest. It is important to present an interesting topic so people will continue to listen or view your podcast.

One of my first questions for this assignment was… what do I say?! Well, it is important to remember that you want to content to be interesting for the reader. A podcast can be so much more than one person speaking the whole time. Adding jingles and interviews can add a great deal to the segment. Also, many podcasts follow an outline. Below is the outline provided by Hay in chapter 5 (123-124):

• Opening (30-60 seconds)
- Introduce the podcast as a whole.
- This should be the same for each episode.
- Mention the name of the podcast, what its purpose is, and the URL where it can be found.
- Introduce yourself and who you are.
- Introduce the topic of the episode.
- Mention the episode number.
- Introduce the guests if you have any.
• Opening Jingle (30 seconds)
• Main Topics (6 to 12 minutes)
- Depends on the type of episode you are recording.
- An informational podcast typically only six minutes long.
- A panel or interview could be as long as twelve minutes.
• Intermission (30 seconds)
- Break up longer episodes with an intermission.
- Use music for the intermission.
• Closing (2 minutes)
- Thank your guests if you have any.
- Thank the audience for listening.
- Announce the next episode topic.
- Repeat the podcast URL.
• Closing Jingle (60 seconds)

Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for my first podcast posting :)
Click here to get started with your first podcast with Audacity
For examples of podcasts go here, to see the people's choice for 2009's top podcasts


  1. I am looking forward to the completion of your first podcast! Great descriptive post!

  2. Thank you! I am a little nervous. I think everyone gets a little weirded out by hearing their own voice!

  3. I can totally relate- I get so nervous when it comes to hearing my own voice, but you just have to remember that everyone is in the same boat. I look forward to hearing your podcast as well!