Podcasting 101 : Part 1 – Introduction to Podcasting
The people I envied the most in college were the kids who got to work at the college radio station. Staying up all night broadcasting their favorite tunes and talking with their audience, however small, seems so unbearably neat. I wanted to join them, but I could never find the time to take the required pre-requisite courses.
20 years later, it’s almost embarrassingly easy to broadcast your voice to hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands, using the power of the Internet. If you have something to say, it’s almost trivially easy to put together and distribute a podcast — and you can get started for practically nothing.
At its root, a podcast is just an RSS feed with audio or video files attached. Your listeners or viewers copy the RSS feed’s address into their podcast software, which automatically downloads each episode as it’s released and moves it onto their portable media player — an iPod, a Zune, or some other mp3 or video player.
To make one, all that’s necessary is a way to record yourself, a website to host the files and the feed, and… well, that’s it. You don’t need a deep “radio” voice or special broadcasting personality; what makes podcasts popular is the direct, one-on-one feel, their “homespun” qualities. Professional-sounding podcasts don’t do significantly better than amateur’s efforts — what’s important is that you say something worth listening to, not how you say it.