Podcasting is Easy as a Phone Call

Late last year, I wrote Blogging is Easy as Email. When business leaders find out how easy it really is, I sense their defenses about blogging melt away.

Now, there’s good news if you’re thinking about podcasting, BlogTalkRadio makes it as easy as a phone call.

Recently, I started holding workshops on BlogTalkRadio as a way to extend our efforts beyond Iowa. Like the Iowa Workshops – the show is early in the morning, but the BTR team record and format the show into a podcast.  Free to both host and listener. We like free.

There are some great business thinkers already hosting shows on BlogTalkRadio:

I’ve wanted to do audio as a companion to the text on the blog, so let’s give it a try. After a quick scheduling for this call, I just pick up the phone and dialed in – here’s the recording:

Their service has been outstanding with an engaging team behind the scenes dedicated to making your experience a success. So what are you waiting for?  Reach out and touch your customers … with a podcast.

  • http://www.andilinks.com/ Andi

    A podcast may be as easy to make as a phone call but it is NOT as easy to take. But if you keep this deficiency in mind you may mitigate it.
    A podcast lacks the random accessibility that interactivity allows in a phone call. A blog entry has much more resemblance to an email than a podacst does to a phone call. There are the social aspects of a phone call that make it worth an additional time investment. A podcast has to have a table of contents so the listener can cut to the main point.
    If a podcast doesn’t engage me in the first 3 seconds, you’re just another deleted spam. Unless you’re the boss and are making your employees sit through a tedious audio memo. :) A podcast with a transcript has a big advantage over one without.

  • http://www.converstations.com Mike Sansone

    Some good points, Andi. Most of the podcasts I listen to are either while online or I’ll burn several onto a CD and take it on the go. I gather your using a different device and BTR’s ‘show notes’ page may not suffice in providing the transcript.
    In your use, what do you do with a ‘cast that doesn’t have the transcript, but does have good content? Appreciate your thoughts on this.

  • http://www.andilinks.com/ Andi

    >>> what do you do with a ‘cast that doesn’t have the transcript, but does have good content?
    The lack of interactivity is the difference between a phone call and a podcast (or any audio presentation) and this difference is so great that I had to object your headline.
    A ‘cast that promises to have good content will have my ear until I balk. It’s very easy to say “oh I see where this is going,” and just skip to the next track, or file. So you may lose the listener early if you do not plan your presentation carefully, and like any canned presentation if it sounds canned you’ll lose the listener for that.
    Now comparing a blog entry to an email makes sense because the format is similar, there is no random access interactivity. You read the email or blog entry and then you can respond. But a podcast of a given length requires a larger commitment of time. Often I will begin a paragraph of an email or blog entry and see immediately what point is being made and skip to the next paragraph making it a vastly more efficient form of communication than the podcast.
    Now I almost never just sit at my computer and listen to an audio presentation. I want to multi-task, I’ll do it while on the Stairmaster, while driving, performing mundane tasks etc. But if I’m bored I’ll skip to the next file or go to music. If it were a phone call I could make it clear that I agree or disagree and you wouldn’t have to make every argument, risking ennui.
    I suppose there are some very engaging people who can make an impromptu podcast that will hold everyone’s attention. But these witty raconteurs are the exception and if they are sales people I suppose they would know this instinctively.
    So maybe podcasting is as easy as a phone call for a few master communicators, but not for the average person and definitely not the beginner.
    I think making an effective podcast requires more planning and forethought that writing an email, which only requires one take with edits. I’ve wasted an hour just getting the outgoing message on my answering machine right, I hate to think how many “takes” would be required to get a lengthy podcast right.
    I have no trouble with phone calls when speaking with a friend, co-worker or acquaintence but making a podcast for them would no be so easy.
    You see, if this were a podcast you’d have to sit through all this rambling, but as a phone call you could interrupt or as an email you could skim…

  • Sean Howard

    Now it’s getting TOO simple. Where is our job security? Our children’s futures? ;) This rocks!
    I’m gonna go try it! Thanks Mike!

  • http://www.andilinks.com/ Andi

    Well Mike, I don’t want to rain on your parade here, I understand that you are trying to promote podcasting. But there is a danger in proclaiming that something is easier than it is.
    Some people like me will just not believe it and dismiss the entire thing because having tried making audio tapes we know that it’s just not as easy as a phone call. Others, if they believe you will try and be frustrated not winning you any friends. A few people are already quite good at making audio presentations but these do not need any convincing.
    So I wish you the best of luck in this promotion and I hope this little detour into the complexities of the oratory arts was helpful and perhaps will help your promotion be a bit more effective. :)

  • http://www.converstations.com Mike Sansone

    >Sean – Go get ‘em, let us know when it happens.
    >Andi:-) Lots of stuff to say, and it may become a different post soon.
    Cutting to the short – here’s what I’m getting from your conversation: I need to experience listening to a podcast in the same manner as you.
    Thus far, I’ve been coaching folks to have conversational podcasts so their clients can listen on their way to work/during workout/whatever…
    Not a marketing message, but the same conversational voice that’s on a blog. By putting the podcast/BTR recording on a blog post, interaction is still available.
    The average piano teacher/landscaper/realtor may not make time to learn about the transcripting of a podcast (though I’m hearing from you that they should, right?)
    I think that a service like this allows a business to extend their voice in a different manner.
    As for raining on my parade – so far I feel the contrary. you’ve shed some light and compel me to learn more. Thank you.
    I do think that the BTR service makes it very easy for a business owner to call in, record a message (conversational rather than marketing speak) and extend their voice. They probably won’t win any podcasting awards, but that shouldn’t be their goal.
    Let’s continue the conversation after I go buy an iPod and experience the listening process differently than I am now.
    Together we’re smarter. So I’m diggin’ this conversation:-)

  • http://www.blogtalkradio.com Alan Levy

    Gentlemen,
    I do recommend that you visit Blogtalkradio. You will see that all of our shows are produced using a phone. Our hosts, who we refer to as Citizen broadcasters, choose the time and the topic they wish to discuss. The shows air live and up to 5 people can be on the call at any given time.
    While our hosts are speaking with their guests or callers, the shows are streamed live. When the show is complete, Blogtalkradio archives the show and then makes it available as a podcaast with RSS feeds into Itunes, Yahoo, etc.
    Podcasting is expensive and complicated. The content is not recorded live and therefore in my opinion, less interesting.
    I invite you to check out Blogtalkradio and see if it interests you. If you have any thoughts or ideas please send them to us.
    Alan Levy
    CEO

  • http://www.andilinks.com/ Andi

    >>> conversational rather than marketing speak…
    A rather fine line, every work of art is an advertisement for itself.
    I suppose the important thing to remember is that it’s a listener’s/viewer’s market. Scripted radio/video has lost out to reality radio/video but the pendulum could swing back–too much reality and we are in need of a good editor once more. When a channel is unmoderated the spammers move in and switching is so very easy for the consumer, the options are proliferating so fast that a list of program listings is a program in itself… TV Guide has become a channel and a review of the guides has become a program.

  • http://www.converstations.com Mike Sansone

    >Alan, thanks for noticing and sharing your thoughts – and for being open to ideas.
    >Andi, great point about too much script vs too much reality. I guess it depends on the host. Except for the post I tested (reading the post aloud), I use an outline rather than a script. This allows for freedom of thought within a structure. Great conversation, thanks for the engagement.

  • http://www.spinthicket.com scott

    That’s for the mention, Mike. I’d love for us to do a show together sometime.

  • http://cuberules.com Scot Herrick

    I don’t think the title of the post is out of line. Blogtalkradio is exactly that: a group of people getting together to talk and the resulting recording is packaged up as a podcast so that others can review it as well.
    As a blogger, this is much better than simply recording something and putting it on a blog. It provides interactivity and some good discussions.
    Once set up, one could:
    Have a weekly show in your area about a specific topic
    Have a show on a subject to teach
    Have a discussion on what the community wants to see on your blog (see the MyBlogLog on this blog for a community theme)
    And others.
    Like anything, it would require good planning for the blogcast (a new term!!), but the opportunity for interaction is there and for review as a podcast for posterity.
    Thanks for the link, Mike. Its getting my curiosity going.
    Scot

  • http://cuberules.com Scot Herrick

    And this is a really great way to conduct interviews with people in your subject area as well with two or more in a panel discussion that is moderated on content. Then that turns into a podcast that can be referenced on your site…or subscribed to via iTunes…
    OK…enough ideas for now…
    Scot

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