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I learned a lot in this class. But, I did not learn what I thought I would. I thought I would learn all about the technical aspects of podcasting and indeed, I ultimately did. However, I learned that on my own through much painful trial and error. What I did learn, and this was unexpected, was how important podcasting is in the toolbox of social media. And, I learned that it is hard to podcast on a regular basis. By doing it on my own I have developed a much deeper respect for the medium and what it takes to produce a regularly occurring podcast.

The books we read were good and motivating. I particularly enjoyed the Business Podcasting Book. The chapters on how to inspire and introduce podcasting to large organizations seem far flung from my perspective. I work in a large organization and I know what it takes to get anything done. It is inevitable I think that social media will become a daily consideration, if it is not already, and I think podcasting will be included.

I also really enjoyed the guest speakers. This was the best part of the class to me. Taking advantage of Kathy Gill’s contacts really proved to be the most enlightening part of the class for me. Hearing from people who have made podcasting a part of their work life, or haven’t, put the theoretical into practicum and that always drives home certain realities to anything studied from arms length.

The group podcast was a great experience and I have enormous appreciation for my team and the effort put in by each member. I am proud of the podcast we produced and feel the Seattle Podcasting Club responded favorably to our efforts.

Finally, my own podcast was so fun to do, even though it was hard, that I will continue to do it on a regular basis. That probably says more than anything about the failure or success of a new class. I intend to keep doing it after the class is over. I recently showed my mother how to find podcasts and how RSS feeds work. I have become an evangelist and this must be considered another mark of success for the class and the digital media program at the UW.

The Washington Wine Show-‘One bottle at a Time” fills a particular void in the growing online space for wine and social media. That void is for Washington wine. There are more than 25 wine podcasts out there, but there is no other podcast that specifically covers Washington wine. And, there is no other wine podcast that focuses on a single bottle of wine per show, giving my audience deep knowledge about wine, and whereby they can become instant experts. Over a period of six months to a year, the audience will have acquired enough knowledge about Washington wine to bravely go into any store, any restaurant, and order wine with virtually no intimidation. The audience for wine in social media is large and getting larger each day as the demand in the U.S. for wine is now out pacing beer and spirits. Yet, people are still lost when it comes to knowing which wines they should spend their money on. The show brings real social value.

My show would easily be categorized under the Food and Wine section on iTunes or any other podlist.

This first episode feature Liberty Bay Cellars 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon. I interview a professional sommelier, Larry Davidson, and a wine shop owner, Jeff Tweiten, who sells this wine. The music for the show was produced by me using Garage Band and Jam Pack, so it is royalty free.

06.10.08 Episode 1 – 2003 Liberty Bay Cabernet Sauvignon
Total Length: 34:15
Menu
0:00 Intro
1:20 Why Washington wine
4:42 Interview with Larry Davidson
18:45 Interview with Jeff Tweiten
33:15 Outro

You can link to the iTunes (m4a) ready version of the PODCAST HERE
You can link to an MP3 version of the PODCAST HERE.

The number of posts I made (or didn’t) this quarter was pathetic. Rather than float some excuses as to why, suffice it to say it was a combination of this being my final class before I graduate—and even more debilitating was my schedule at work. If a cool breeze passes by in the next week or so, I will blow away because I feel like spent ash. Time was just not going to be had. Time and podcasting are necessary if they are to be a happy couple.

This got me thinking though, if podcasting’s major accomplishment is time-shifting why is it so unpopular? Well..it IS unpopular and there are statistics to prove it. I came into the class pretty fired up. I had discovered podcasting and the prospect of doing my own show was exciting. When Eric Weaver visited the class and spoke highly of podcasting’s bright future, it added more fuel to my flames. Then James Preston came in and doused those flames with a cold bucket of reality. Nobody listens to podcasts. Nobody as in the same amount of people who listen to satellite radio. Why not?

Here is what I found out. Edison Media and Arbitron released a report in 2007. The good news is there has been a significant jump in the amount of people who have heard of podcasting. The bad news is nobody cares and only an insignificant amount of people started listening to podcasts over the previous year. See the charts below.

To quote the Edison (not Edelman!) blogpost about this report, ” If you think podcasting isn’t “broken,” think on these graphs again. Millions of Americans learned about podcasting this year, and the vast majority responded…”meh.”

This leads me back to my own problems this quarter. Podcasting takes time. It takes time to create and it takes time to listen to, time-shifted or not. People are so starved for time that it will be very difficult for this medium to find penetration in the long run. New media, in general, is a young person’s phenomenon. They haven’t been indoctrinated into the rituals of established media as have older people. They get it. Most everyone else doesn’t. But, most of all younger people have the time that older people don’t.

Growing up with new media will change the future, this we can all count on. Can’t we? “Consumer-controlled content is clearly the future for both audio and video” says the blogger from Edison, yet he also agrees that until podcasting can make itself easy to use it will hover at these depressing numbers.

Ironically (wink), the problem, according to Edison Media, is time: “one popular debate amongst podcasters is the appropriate length of a podcast…Let’s work to develop 30 minute podcasts that give me a table of contents and let me listen to only the three minutes I care about, and you’ll have a better chance of getting your podcast onto my player. Instead of worrying about how long to make uninterrupted chunks of audio, podcasters should work on creating the Netvibes or Pageflakes of audio–simple search and aggregation of ONLY the content I want.”

So there you have it, the best podcasts are the ones that take no time to receive and are infinitely interesting to listen to in less than three minutes. No wonder nobody is listening.