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October 29, 2013

How Google+ Hangouts Can Enhance Podcasts

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Google+ Hangouts

Google+ Hangouts enable anyone to host a group video chat, and with the On Air component, anyone can record and stream live to their YouTube account. When I first joined Google+ on its second day of existence, Hangouts really stood out. While, let’s be honest, a lot of the functionality of Google’s own social network is similar to Facebook and Twitter, no other social network offers such a robust group video chat tool…for absolutely free.

In the early days, the service had its ups and downs. There would be crashes, performance issues on Macs, and were even some cases of Hangouts On Airs completely failing to record. Yeah, not something you’re happy to find out after having an hour long conversation that’s now in Internet purgatory. However, those days have quickly been left in the dust, and Google+ Hangouts are more robust than ever.

In the past several years, bloggers have really embraced podcasting. With faster broadband connections, including affordable mics and high quality webcams, many have also incorporated video. While you can use a service like Skype to chat with guests, it comes at a price. You have to buy software to record conversations, the connection quality can be hit or miss, and video chat with more than two people requires a paid Premium account. read more

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July 2, 2010

When Blogger And WordPress Trade Places (Audio Blogging?)

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A long, long time ago in a place not so far away the Google overlords decided that it wasn’t enough that the BlogSpot faithful could upload text and images to their blogs. Something needed to be done to make their Blogger baby distinct from the masses.

So after much thought they unleashed their geek powers and created AudioBlogger, which allowed BlogSpot disciples to post audio clips from their phones upon their blogs for the low price of free.

Unfortunately the service became “too popular” and thus the Google overlords struck down AudioBlogger to the horror of podcasters everywhere.

Now it seems as if WordPress is helping making audio blogging popular again by introducing the service to their users for free. read more

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August 20, 2009

RadioWaves school podcasting site revamped with new features

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radiowaves-logoRadioWaves, the British podcasting site aimed at school kids, has had a makeover and new features making it easier for children to share their thoughts with others in a safe, moderated environment.

The new “friends function” brings an element of social networking to the site, allowing students to connect and send secure messages to one another, bookmark other pages and access a news feed so they know when friends pages are updated. Not new features for anyone used to blogging and other social networks by any stretch of the imagination, but good to have them added to this more secure, niche educational site. read more

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July 8, 2009

Writer gets book deal after recording chapters as podcasts

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Unpublished author (magician and comedian) John Lenahan faced the scenario typical for many unknown writers: rejections from publishers and no-one to sell his book.

Yet when he started to record instalments from his “Shadowmagic” book on the podcasting service PodioBooks.com, he built up a loyal following of some 20,000 listeners and was soon beating back excited publishers with a big stick.

He had bought some good quality recording equipment and practised before committing his voice to the online service (“I wanted it to be good from the start and not starting to sound good by chapter six,” he said). read more

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May 8, 2009

BlogTalkRadio: An Interview With Deborah Ng

BlogTalkRadio is you chance to host your very own radio show, participate in, or just listen to one. The service’s been around for some time, and has attracted quite a few celebrities, both online and the more traditional kind. With that in mind, I got in touch with Community Manager Deborah Ng to hear what she had to say about BlogTalkRadio, podcasting, and other things. The interview was a treat to good to pass up. read more

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March 25, 2009

British kids to be taught blogging, podcasting, tweeting. What about the parents?

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The British government is embracing the world of online communication and wants to ensure that children get a head start in the world of blogging, microblogging and podcasting, amongst other things.

In plans leaked to a UK national newspaper, teachers will have increased freedom to choose what should be taught in their classes.

Traditional skills such as mental arithmetic, spelling and handwriting will still be taught, but children will also learn how to type and use spell checkers. read more

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January 10, 2009

BlogTalkRadio Gets New Look, Networking Features

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BlogTalkRadio LogoOn Monday, popular online radio network BlogTalkRadio announced a set of several new user interface features that encourage social networking and show participation.

The network has a What’s New page explaining the recent changes in detail.

Mashable says that “the focus is clearly to get visitors listening to more shows.” I agree. Without listeners, BTR dies on the vine.

A secondary pair of focal points to the changes at BlogTalkRadio appears to be to get BTR show hosts to talk to each more and to get more people to discover BTR via social networking websites like Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. read more

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October 24, 2008

Learning Blogging and Social Media in Hawaii

Hawaii Geek Week continues in Honolulu, Hawaii. Yesterday’s Web Weavers Workshop with Lorelle in Hawaii was a tremendous success. A couple dozen people learned how to blog beginning with what a blog is and ending with how blogging is already changing their lives by giving people a platform upon which to speak and share and learn.

Web Weavers Workshop for bloggers by Lorelle VanFossen

Web Weavers Workshop for bloggers by Lorelle VanFossen

The participants ranged from total newbies trying to understand what this “blogging thing” is all about, to business owners and professionals familiar with website technology and development and eager to take it a few steps further into blogging and social media.

Each participant made a plan for their blog, signed up for a free blog, and started filling in the blanks and choosing a WordPress Theme.

Many arrived with the preconceived notion that blogging is hard and complicated, and left realizing that blogging is easy. It’s finding your passion to share with the world that is really the hardest part of the puzzle. A few had set ideas on what they wanted to blog about when they arrived, but through the step-by-step process of drilling down their idea into an actionable plan for their blogs, they realized that they didn’t have the content, nor the commitment, to blog their idea over the long term. A few changed paths midstream and left the day-long workshop inspired and ready to embrace their blog in a new direction.

The next in the natural evolution of a blog came today at the Social Media Club Workshop. read more

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September 5, 2008

How Long Are You Willing to Listen or Watch Blog Content?

Lately, video and podcasting blogs are making a huge inroad in popularity. A common question I’m asked at workshops and speaker gigs is how long a podcast or blog video should be.

I thought I knew the answer: thirty minutes. That is what works for me. An hour long program means that I typically have to pay attention to it in two sections since I rarely have that much free time in one chunk. But that’s not the answer I got from those I talked to.

Most people have told me that they enjoy 45 to 60 minute shows on their favorite blogs with multimedia. They listen to them while driving, running, jogging, exercising, and working, and a few even while relaxing instead of spending time with television.

But what about you? How long is long enough for you for a podcast or blog video? Are you willing to listen to a podcast longer than watch a video? Or the reverse?

If you are a podcaster or video blogger, have you found some trends in time lengths that work best for you and your blog?

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July 18, 2008

PodPress Update in 10 Days

PodPress is probably the most used podcasting plugin for WordPress, and the one we’ve been using here at The Blog Herald. However, there have been issues with it since WordPress 2.5, and it doesn’t work with recently released 2.6. Among others that are frustrated are David Peralty, who’s written about the issue.

Luckily, the PodPress developer says that we can expect a 2.6 compatible release within 10 days.

I wonder when WordPress will get native podcasting support, similar to the PodPress plugin? It is about time, I’d say.

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