Michelle Sullivan Communications

Blog post of the Day : Donna Papacosta

I first met Donna Papacosta last June, at PAB2007 in Kingston. I was struggling with my Internet connection and she came over to offer her help. I looked up gratefully, thinking I was miraculously about to get back online, but instead received even more valuable advice about podcasting basics.

Today, Donna has posted a great checklist for beginning podcasters in her blog, Trafcom News.

Definitely worthy of a chapter in the ever-growing collection of tips and tricks I’m calling my Podcaster’s Bible.

PAB 2007 – Day 3 Topic 5 – Building a Podcast – the inside and outside of iTunes

I bumped into Charles Hodgson on the Saturday evening of PAB2007. I was heading out to explore Kingston and he was sitting looking a little ‘peaked’ in the lobby. I’d noticed him during the conference over the past couple of days, so took a chance and invited him to dinner. Luckily for me, he accepted my invitation.

Lucky, not only because he was charming company and indulged me in my curiosity about the ghost walking tour of the historic downtown area, but because he shared a long list of tips about getting started as a podcaster.

He was one of the last speakers at PAB2007 last weekend (as opposed to this past weekend, last weekend was almost 2 weeks ago : delay in publication caused by travels and baby distractions). Charles is the author of the soon-to-be-published Carnal Knowledge, an etymological look at body parts.

His presentation at PAB2007 outlined his use of his podcast, Podictionary, as a vehicle to promote his book.

According to Charles, iTunes is king. Out of all the visibility he’s received since launching his podcast — something he did within 18 hours of getting the idea — iTunes has reaped the greatest rewards.

Etymology’s pretty interesting. Something I learned from Charles that weekend :

Thril = hole in old English. Nosthrils = nose holes

Cool hmm?

PAB 2007 – Day 3 Topic 4 – Broken Toasters, William Shatner and Podcast Burnout

Neil Gorman gave one of the more memorable talks of PAB2007, mostly for quoting Julien Smith :

Your podcast is NOT a fucking toaster.

And Smith wants to be sure we never lose sight of that fact. Podcasts are valuable : we invest time and energy in them. And while Gorman agrees that a podcast isn’t a throw-away, he wants to make sure we avoid podcaster burnout.

Gorman sees podcasting as a frontier, similar to the one explored by Shatner’s most famous character, Cpt. Kirk. For Kirk, as for all humans, exploring frontiers is a secret to happiness. Gorman believes that podcasters today have reached a stage of quiet desperation, aching to recapture the early, frontier days of podcasting. Result? Many of them are on the verge of podcaster burnout.

How to avoid this? According to Gorman, burnout is a state of mind. The solution? Shake things up a little :

  • do a new show
  • do new things with a current show, like bring in a guest host
  • change the show’s format

Should you treat your podcast like a toaster? Gorman mainly sides with Smith… until the danger of burnout begins to loom. Then, according to Gorman, it’s time to replace your toaster with a new model.

And here I was waiting for a Microsoft flying toaster metaphor.

Flying toasters, broken toasters. I’m not enough of a geek to realize the difference – just enough of one to mix my metaphors

PAB2007 : the day after

Had a great time at PAB2007 and met tons of fantastic podcasters. What a friendly and helpful community.

I wasn’t able to blog each presentation live, as intended, although I did take notes and so will be posting about other presentations heard this past weekend in Kingston over the course of the next few days.

So if you’re interested in podcasting, stay tuned. There are some real gems in there.

Many thanks to Bob Goyetche, Mark Blevis, Cathy Bobkowicz , all the presenters, and everyone else who helped make PAB2007 a real success.

PAB2007 – Day 3 Topic 3 – Audio Drama

Jack Ward of The Sonic Society gave us a brief overview of Audio Cinema, as he calls it.

Next time I hear War of the Worlds I’ll think of Jack.