Ibrahimokinda’s Weblog

THE IMPACT OF THE INTERNET ON ONLINE JOURNALISM IN KENYA

 

The Internet is a global network of linked computers that allows participants to share and exchange information. Through the Internet, services such as electronic mail (e-mail), World Wide Web (WWW), mailing lists and Usenet Newsgroups are accessible. Impact of the Internet on journalism practice in Kenya can be demonstrated in the following ways:

 

(i)      Another major trend that has emerged in journalism practice in Kenya as regards the Internet is the rise of independent media. These Internet sites are now competing with the established newspapers’ websites in the provision of news and information to Kenyans at home and abroad.

(ii)    It can be argued that in a way, the Internet has led to a decrease in the revenue of some of the media organisations in Kenya, while at the same time increasing their costs, as money would have to be invested into setting up such web sites, and also paying the staff that would constantly maintain them. However, if we are to go by global trends which foretell an increase in Internet advertising usage and revenues, then any incidental costs will eventually be offset by the expected advertising revenues, hopefully.

(iii)  It may seem now that such journalism practices in Kenya have now been elevated and taken to another level with the advent of the Internet, since the free readers or punters now only need to log on and then freely read any newspaper or magazine of their choice.

(iv)   Journalists now use e-mail to interview sources, communicate with their colleagues, audience, etc. Equally, audience use e-mail to communicate with the journalists.

(v)     Kenyan journalists are now able to sample freely or at a fee the writings of their counterparts in the Western established media such as the Wall street journal, the Chicago tribune, the financial times, etc. Doing so will lead to their copying the best practices and also motivate and challenge them to work harder in order to become like their Western counterparts.

(vi)  New ethical dilemmas have arisen. For example, the benefit of immediacy can has given rise to some serious ethical issues. The desire to publish brand new information and the ease of which it can be altered may cause information to be made accessible before it is verified. This undermines the journalistic principle of accuracy and can lead to misinformation.

(vii) Regarding the way that journalists do their (news gathering) work, the Internet has made things easier. Journalists can now file in their reports easily from any part of Kenya where there is Internet access. All they need to do is go to any nearby Internet café, use their mobile phones, etc. and at the touch of a button, the news report is at the editor’s desk, ready to be served fresh to the readers’.

(viii)           Some people argue that the Internet has affected journalism as non-trained people write via blogs, websites etc. Some people have argued that the Internet has to some extent greatly reduced the ‘worth’ and ‘value’ of Kenyan journalists. This is because of the wide availability of Internet bloggers and pundits who are more than happy to have their articles and views published in the newspapers. These pseudo-journalists would not normally demand any payment and get their fulfilment from their ‘one minute of fame’. They normally would have views on just about anything, and usually written from a professional standpoint, thereby widening the debate for social, economic, and political reforms even further.

(ix)   The Internet has brought online journalism which requires journalists to have new skills and knowledge to cope with it.

(x)     The Internet has enhanced networking of journalists. For example, the Kenya Online Journalism Association through its blog:  http://www.kojanews.blogspot.com/      this is an online journalist’s network where Kenya online/ICT journalists meet and deliberate on issues pertaining to this call of duty.

(xi)   The Internet has online resources useful in computer-assisted reporting.

(xii) The Internet has provided Kenyan journalists with international exposure as they no longer have to travel or send their stories abroad to be published. They can just file their story and it will be posted on the Internet. The journalists get exposed to writing styles, journalistic ethics, and professionalism to the scrutiny of both national and international audiences. Such benefits obviously comes with challenges, that of advanced journalistic skills which is acquired through practice and a programme of continuous professional development, it is largely unclear to what extent this training is part of the journalism profession in Kenya, especially because of the cost factor.

(xiii)           There is a special group of people who appear to be particularly affected by the growing trend of Internet punditry. The so-called freelance writers and journalists, these are the people that used to be paid depending on the stories they write and where such stories are published. It appears that their breed is a dying one as it does not seem likely that faced with dwindling fortunes and resources. Any Kenyan publisher or newspaper editor will be willing to pay for their writings when there are the Internet pundits waiting in the wings with their own articles and stories.

(xiv)           To some extent, photojournalists in Kenya are now able to use Internet facilities such as e-mails to upload and e-mail their pictures to their newsrooms from distant locations. The Internet has really made the photojournalist’s job easier. One can cover an event using the digital camera, and download the pictures onto his/her computer, after which he/she will e-mail them immediately to the media.

(xv) We also have Internet TV e.g. NTV is broadcasted via youtube and there are also Internet radios such as Capital FM.

(xvi)            We now have online newspapers available on the Internet for example Daily Nation, The Standard, The East African etc. This makes them reach a wider local and international audience. It is important to note that these online newspapers are just versions of the print editions.

 

BLOG TERMINOLOGIES

A Weblog: A type of website that uses a dated log format for building its content.

Blogger :A blogger is someone who maintains a blog or A blogger is someone who writes a blog.

Blogsphere: Blogsphere is used to describe the online community of bloggers and the content they publish or Blogosphere is a word used to describe the online community of bloggers and their writings.

Blogging: Active updating of a blog  by the person who maintains the postings.

 

Blog posting: Information posted on a blog is usually in  a chronological order with the most recent coming first.

Feeds: A Feed is a function of special software that allows “Feedreaders” to access a site automatically looking for new content and then post updates about that new content to another site.

Blogrolls: A blogroll is a list, sometimes categorized, of links to webpages the author of a blog finds worthwhile or interesting.

CHARACTERISTICS OF  BLOGS

Generally speaking (although there are exceptions), blogs tend to have a few things in common:

·         A main content area with articles listed chronologically, newest on top. Often, the articles are organized into categories.

·         A way for people to leave comments about the articles.

·         An archive of older articles.

·         A list of links to other related sites, sometimes called a “blogroll”.

·         One or more “feeds” like RSS, Atom or RDF files.

A Web document that is a shortened version of a Web page that has been created for syndication. Feeds usually end in .xml or .rss.

 

BENEFITS/ADVANTAGES OF  WEBLOGS

The power of Weblogs is that they allow millions of people to easily publish their ideas, and millions more to comment on them. Weblogs allow everyone to have a voice.

 

The advantages of blogs from an organizational  and individual perspectives include the following:

Blog hosts are for free: You have probably seen in various sites or blog “5 mb web hosting just for $5 per year”. People waste their money doing web hosting. Blogs are free for all. Any people of this world can start blogging in just few minutes. Blog allows you all the features provided as the site. Some more features are also provided by blogs. Not only blogs are free but also you can earn money from blogging.You can display ads many ad agencies and can earn through it. Thinking blogs are free please don’t misuse it.

Bloggers are kept in touch with a lot of interesting people and this helps them expand their view of the world, providing new ideas for  whatever they do.

Blogs allows you to interact with your customer base: Blogs allows you to interact you with your customers and to get their feedback. Since blog offers you the option of enabling a comment field to your posts where readers can give you their feedback. It not only makes the visitors come back but also it gives you a great chance to know your customer better.

 Blogs are easy to create:Now creating blog has become child’s play. You don’t need any advance and expensive softwares or monkey tricks to create a blog. You just have to sign up to blog providers (Blogger, wordpress, typepad , etc). Then you have to follow just 3 steps i.e. name the blog, Choose template (blog providers will offer you varieties of templates) and start posting.

Blogs are easy to maintain: You don’t need any software to maintain your blog. You can maintain your blog online. After you sign in to your blog account you can create a post, edit post, change blog template, customize your blog and change blog settings easily. If you are anywhere either in hotel in Nepal or other places and if you have internet connection then you can log in to your blog account and can update your blog easily. The blog created in Nepal can be edited from US. Your blog automatically move your newer posts at the top, while archiving older posts by date or topic you don’t have to bother to move your pages around.

Blogs are part of an ecosystem (often called the Blogosphere) that serves as a positive feedback loop: Whatever good postings exist are promoted through links from other sites. More reader/writers see this good stuff, and the very best then get linked to even more. As a result, link frequency follows a Zipf distribution, with disproportionally more links to the best postings.

Blogs are search Engine Friendly: Since each post of the blog is assigned with different URL address. Each of them will have its own and separate web page. If you care of making good posts focused on a specific topic and carefully choose good keywords describing your posts then it will have more chance of ranking well with search engines. Also blogs trends to be updated regularly, search engines will crawl them easily to their index since search engines prefer fresh posts.

Blogs can be a positive way of getting feedback, and keeping your finger on the pulse, as readers react to certain pieces, suggest story ideas, etc.

Blogs can build the profile of the writer, showcasing the organization and individual as having talent and expertise.

Blogs gives you unlimited space: Blogs are free and gives you unlimited space. You can make as much number of posts as you like in your blog. It may be thousand or million blog can support it all. Besides this you can upload as much no of videos, images as you like in your blog. Think if single image can be uploaded of size 1024mb then what is the space provided by blog?

Blogs have potential to help organizations develop stronger relationships and brand loyalty with their customers, as they interact with the ‘human face’ of the organization through blogs.

Blogs, in an intranet environment, can be an excellent way of sharing knowledge within the organization.

By blogging, I have raised my profile on the web and increased visits to my site by a factor of 1000 in less than one year. This is cheap marketing.

It allows people to get to know the bloggers’ opinions before they engage you for example as  a consultant; saving time and potential frustrations.

One can use  the database of  posts available on the blogs when preparing reports, proposals and presentations.

One of a weblog’s great benefits is that it essentially frees you from “Web design.” You write a paragraph, click a button, and it’s posted on the Internet. No need for visual design, page design, interaction design, information architecture, or any programming or server maintenance.

The information found on blogs  is usually weeks ahead of the mainstream press. Call this competitive intelligence.

The public are potentially better informed and this can only be good for the long-term survival of our societies and economies.

Through blogging, one can  meet a number of business partners and professional colleagues.

Weblog are  Web-native content genre: they rely on links, and short postings prevail. You don’t have to write a full article or conduct original research or reporting. You can simply find something interesting on another site and link to it, possibly with commentary or additional examples. Obviously, this is much easier than running a conventional site, and again indicates the benefits of lowering the barriers to computer use.

When  you have a  problem, especially a technical one,  a blogger can  post it his/her  site or someone else’s and usually get an informed answer within a very short time (24 hours). It’s like a large performance support system.

The disadvantages of blogs are:

Most people don’t have very much to say that’s interesting, and/or are unable to write down their ideas in a compelling and clear manner.

I have often found that the people who have most time to write have least to say, and the people who have most to say don’t have enough time to write it. Thus, the real expertise within the organization lays hidden, as you get drowned in trivia.

Like practically everything else on the Web, blogs are easy to start and hard to maintain. Writing coherently is one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks for a human being to undertake. So, far from blogs being a cheap strategy, they are a very expensive one, in that they eat up time. As a result, many blogs are not updated, thus damaging rather than enhancing the reputation of the organization.

Organizations are not democracies. The Web makes many organizations look like disorganizations, with multiple tones and opinions. Contrary to what some might think, the average customer prefers it if the organization they are about to purchase from is at least somewhat coherent.

DEFINITION OF PODCAST TERMINOLOGIES

. The term “podcast” is a of the words “iPod” and “broadcast”.

  • Podcasting is a way to distribute audio and video programming over the Web that differs from earlier online audio and video publishing because the material is automatically transferred to the user’s computer and can be consumed at any time, usually on an Apple iPod or another kind of portable digital music player commonly known as an MP3 player.”  Rather than listening or watching content from a live stream on the web, in other words, individuals download the file to a portable media player or PC. They can then play it anytime, anywhere. Podcasts now include everything from NPR news reports to episode recaps of HBO’s hit series, Entourage.

·         A podcast is a collection of digital media files which is distributed over the Internet, often using syndication feeds, for playback on portable media players and personal computers. The term podcast, like “broadcast“, can refer either to the series of content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also termed podcasting. The term podcast should not be used to describe individual files.

·         Podcaster: The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster. Though podcasters’ web sites may also offer direct download or streaming of their content, a podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added, using an aggregator or feed reader capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom.

Those that create podcasts are called podcasters.

·         RSS (Really Simple Syndication): Is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content including, but not limited to, blog entries, news headlines, and podcasts. An RSS document (which is called a “feed” or “web feed”  or “channel”) contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner that can be piped into special programs or filtered displays.

RSS content can be read using software called an “RSS reader”, “feed reader” or an “aggregator“. The user subscribes to a feed by entering the feed’s link into the reader or by clicking an RSS icon in a browser that initiates the subscription process. The reader checks the user’s subscribed feeds regularly for new content, downloading any updates that it finds.

·         A web feed is a data format used for providing users with frequently updated content. Content distributors syndicate a web feed, thereby allowing users to subscribe to it. Making a collection of web feeds accessible in one spot is known as aggregation, which is performed by an Internet aggregator. A web feed is also sometimes referred to as a syndicated feed.

  • Web syndication is a form of syndication in which a section of a website is made available for other sites to use. This could be simply by licensing the content so that other people can use it; however, in general, web syndication refers to making web feeds available from a site in order to provide other people with a summary of the website’s recently added content (for example, the latest news or forum posts).
  • MP3: (MPEG Audio Layer 3) An audio compression technology that is part of the MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 specifications. MP3 compresses CD-quality sound (see CD-DA) by a factor of roughly 10, while retaining most of the original fidelity; for example, a 40MB CD track is turned into a 4MB MP3 file.

    MP3 files are played via media player software in the computer, such as iTunes or Windows Media Player, as well as in countless iPods and other handheld players that use flash memory or hard disks for storage. MP3 sound quality cannot fully match the original CD, but millions of people consider it “good enough” especially because they can pack thousands of songs into a tiny pocket-sized player.

·         iPod is a brand of portable media players designed and marketed by Apple and launched on October 23, 2001. The line-up currently consists of the hard drive-based iPod classic, the touchscreen iPod touch, the video-capable iPod nano and the screenless iPod shuffle. Former products include the compact iPod mini and the spin-off iPod photo (re-integrated into the main iPod classic line). iPod classic models store media on an internal hard drive, while all other models use flash memory to enable their smaller size (the discontinued mini used a Microdrive miniature hard drive). As with many other digital music players, iPods, excluding the iPod Touch, can also serve as external data storage devices.

The Difference between Radio and Podcasts

It is possible to listen to podcasts from different sources on the time that you wish to listen to them, whereas with radio, broadcasts are limited to a certain time and are only provided by one source or channel. Podcasts can be listened to online or on your mobile device (online or offline). A podcast is simply a media file, distributed either by subscription, automatically or selectively downloaded from a website; it is not however streaming content. Podcasts download quickly and can be placed onto a mobile device like an iPod.

The Difference between webcasting and Podcasts

Podcasting differs from broadcasting or webcasting because listeners subscribe to podcast feeds using aggregator software such as iPodder or RSSRadio. This software works much like TiVo does for recording TV shows: Users program the software to automatically record certain podcasts onto their computers, and when they plug in their iPods or MP3 players, the podcasts sync with the computer.

Steps in starting your own podcast

  1. Determine the nature of your podcast. What will the content be?
  2. Record the audio for your podcast (a program like Audacity or garage band is good).
  3. Save the audio file (in MP3 or Ipod format) to your computer desktop. Do not use special characters (such as # or % or ?) in the file name.
  4. Create your RSS podcast feed. The feed must meet all industry standards for a valid 2.0 feed with enclosures. Try using a complete solution and free service such as Podblaze or Podomatic.The easiest way to do it is to use a blog. So hop on over to Blogger.com and start a blog with the title of your podcast. Don’t make any posts just yet.
  5. Put your RSS podcast feed on the Internet. Go to Feedburner and type in the URL of your blog and click “I am a podcaster!”. In the next screen, configure the elements for your podcast. These are the elements that directly relate to the podcast. your feedburner feed is your podcast.
  6. Go to OurMedia.org and sign-up there (this may take a while). Then go to your files, and upload your MP3 file.
  7. Make a post on your blog/website – the title of the post will be the title of that episode of the podcast, and the content will end up as the “Shownotes” or “Description”. At the end of the post, put a link directly to your media file.
  8. Wait a little. In a few minutes, feedburner should add this to your feed, and now you have an episode! You can submit it to iTunes or a number of other podcast directories to get it known. You may want to wait, however, until you have some experience, so that your podcast will be compared as a fifth episode to another’s first.
  9. Ping the appropriate podcast directories when a new show is updated.
  10. Put the appropriate subscription buttons on your website so people can subscribe to the RSS podcast feed.

Tips for starting your own podcast

·         Make sure your audio is of good quality.

·         Make sure your audio is saved in mp3 or Ipod format.

·         Make sure your feed is iTunes valid.

·         Make sure your feed is in the directories.

·         Make sure you ping the appropriate services such as FreshPodcasts (see below) after you update your show.

·         If you wish for the RSS feed to work in Apple iTunes, you must add special fields.

·         You can use the popular social bookmarking tool del.icio.us to create and manage the RSS feed for your podcast. Once you have your mp3 files hosted somewhere on the internet, create a bookmark for each one on del.icio.us with a unique tag for your podcast. To acccess your del.icio.us podcast feed, visit http://del.icio.us/rss/username/my_podcast_tag+system:filetype:mp3, substituting username and my_podcast_tag for your appropriate information.

·         A co-host can be fun, but be sure that it doesn’t sound too scattered, like none of you know what you’re doing. Making it sound live is one thing, but making it sound like you have no idea what’s going on, it’s a completely different story.

·         If you’re going to play music, make sure you have the rights to it. Even though they can’t really crack down on podcasts for putting music in their show, if you don’t have the rights to use the song, then you can be sued by individual artists

·         Make sure the RSS podcast feed is valid.

·         The bandwidth consumption can be astronomical. Make sure your podcast is hosted with a reliable server that can handle huge bandwidth spikes. Most cheap hosting services will not work for this.

·         Some podcasters delete episodes older than a certain length of time. People who have subscribed will still have the old episodes, but newer subscribers will only get the current ones. You may want to consider this.

·         People won’t want to listen to boring, run-on podcasts, or podcasts that don’t have anything interesting enough each show, so vary and edit your material.

CHALLENGES TO PODCASTING

(a)     One problem is that, much like the Web before advertising and e-commerce, there’s no money in podcasting yet. I doubt we would have seen Google, eBay, CNN.com, or Mapquest emerge if the Web had remained a commerce-free zone. Ads and transactions on the Web gave everyone an incentive to produce high-quality websites, from start-ups like eBay to giant media corporations like CNN to individuals like

(b)    One of challenges with podcasting is that there are no audited or reliable reporting mechanisms.

(c)     I have a number of problems with podcasting, specifically the lack of accessibility and the fact that it’s difficult for search engines to index your content.

(d)    Bandwidth challenges

(e)     Lack of adequate skilled podcasters

USES AND BENEFITS/ADVANTAGES OF PODCASTING

  1. There are websites where people can download podcasts to whatever topic they arte interested in. That is a huge advantage in comparison to the radio. People have actually the choice to what they want to listen to. It has everything that can be thought of, starting from comedy to sports. Radio is giving people the choice to listen to the program if it is interesting, but for example at podcast.net, people can choose their own podcasts. It is very useful for journalists because it can give the information one might need and not find in the newspaper, regarding to a topic which has not been touched for a longer time.
  2. Podcasting is Asynchronous: Unlike normal radio, with which you have to tune in at a specific time to hear a show, you can listen to a podcast whenever it’s convenient for you. Listening to podcasting news is one of the best examples of this technology as your device will compile a feed for you with the most recent news items.
  3. People are Tired of Existing Options: Especially when it comes to commercials and branding of products people tend to switch off when a promotion is broadcasted on the radio or television. Now this type of podcasting can be fresh, quick, insightful, and sincere. Podcasting provides a variety of entertaining and informative shows.
  4. Podcasting Requires Little Effort:There is no need to check your favorite sites each day to see if they’ve posted a new MP3. Pocasting technology allows you to automatically find your favorite sites, and tools allow you to automate the process of downloading the MP3s. You just hook up a MP3 player and load it with the most recent downloads.

    More people are discovering the benefits of podcasting every day especially because the technology is so easy to use and podcasting devices can be purchsed for relatively cheap prices. Businesses often give their employees a free device so that employess keep up to date with any new business developements automatically. Most marketing and commercial uses for podcasting are based on the podcast news principle and the possibility to automatically download new feeds. There is no doubt that this technology will be used more and more in the future as new features are developed.

 

The podcast can be downloaded and the access to it is very easy. Feed formats such as RSS, which nearly every computer has and every website make it easy to get the podcast people want. The BBC, Guardian Unlimited, Yahoo, all sorts of WebPages and news organizations have their podcast which is convenient, because for example journalists have missed the news, or an event that has recently happened, he/she can listen to it again. It is easy and convenient, because people can listen to the latest podcast on their way to work, as nearly everyone has an iPod or an mp3 player.

  1. As mentioned in the beginning a podcast us distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added, so it is easy for a journalist to follow one event, where new information are being expected, for example a plane crash, how many people have died or are injured, what was the reason for the crash, questions like that can be answered quicker when the podcast is being updated automatically. Information can travel quicker and journalists have the chance to do a better and quicker job.
  2. A new way of learning a new language is through podcast, instead of buying all the books and expensive cassettes to get used to the sound. Lot’s of journalists have to travel and of course talk to a lot of people and maybe have to learn some basic sentences of a new language and on their way to the new place, they have the opportunity to learn.
  3. Podcast opens a new world to media and communication. Radio is there to listen and get entertained, but with podcast gives people the opportunity to get involved and the choice of what they want to do with that piece of information. Podcast is different from radio, but people still talk about the new form of radio, probably because it has something to do that people are listening to podcasts and radio, although there are more ways of using podcasts than a piece from the radio.
  4. Initially podcasting was used for radio shows. Fans had already gotten used to downloading this content from websites, but thanks to this technology, you don’t even have to go to a specific website. But now you’ve got people broadcasting books, sports trivia and history (and of course, the blow by blow account of the game you missed), celebrity interviews, religious or inspirational “pep talks”, behind-the-scenes of your favourite movies, and health and exercise tips.
  5. Some podcasts are service-driven. For example, travellers can get audio tours of a chosen city (including instructions on how to get to little-known restaurants and quirky destinations). Medical students can subscribe to lists and charts of the various things they need to memorize, which they can play over and over again to help them in their study efforts, or listen to when they’re stuck on a midnight shift in the hospital. (A similar service are language podcasts that let you learn anything from French to Filipino, or those run by TOEFL to help those who are trying to master English for entrance examinations.
  6. Podcasts can also give you dating and relationship advice, but including romantic lines that you can use on her at your dinner date this evening. Others give walkthroughs of popular video games, while still others stream a recipe that you can cook tonight (this is extremely useful for people on the go, so you can make a quick stop by the grocery for missing ingredients before heading home).

APPLICATIONS OF PODCASTS IN SOCIETY

From Wikipedia, podcasts can be used for a number of different things, and as the industry evolves I’m sure broadcasters and webmasters will find additional ways to use podcasts in the future.

1. PUBLIC SERVICES

  • Unofficial audio tours of museums (musecast).
  • Official cultural or historic audio tours of cities AudisseyGuides.com Soundtrek
  • A way for news organizations to distribute audio or video as an addition to their existing text (or mostly text) news products. For example, Wikinews began to podcast its News Briefs in 2005. Companies are also using podcasts as a way to distribute their multimedia news to journalists and consumers through companies like MultiVu. In 2006, the online magazine Slate began textcasting articles to their readers, by attaching a written article to a blank audio file and delivering the content to readers through their regular podcasting mechanism.
  • Advocacy. The 5,500 locked out staff (editors, journalists, technicians, hosts, etc.) of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation were podcasting news and other programming during August and September of 2005.
  • Youth media. Podcasting has become a way for youth media organizations, such as Youth Radio (Youth Radio site), to bring youth perspectives to a wider audience.
  • Public libraries can podcast local publications free of Copyright, offering spoken word alternatives to the visually impaired. Non-profit organizations like Assistive Media podcast readings of short-format magazine articles for visually impaired readers.
  • Law enforcement. The Chicago Police Department has a free video podcast of its half-hour weekly news magazine called “CrimeWatch,” which airs on local TV. It documents community policing (CAPS) success stories.

 

 

2. EDUCATION AND ACADEMIA

Podcasts enable students and teachers to share information with anyone anytime. If a student is absent, he or she can download the podcast of the recorded lesson. Teachers may also create podcasts to be used as a preparation tool for students. This would be pedagogically equivalent to having students read a text before a lesson. It can be a tool for teachers or administrators to communicate curriculum, assignments and other information with parents and the community. Teachers can record book talks, vocabulary or foreign language lessons, international pen pal letters (podcast pals!), music performance, interviews, debates. Podcasting can be a publishing tool for student oral presentations. Video podcasts can be used in all these ways as well.

Podcasting is becoming increasingly popular in education. Podcasts enable students and teachers to share information with anyone at any time. An absent student can download the podcast of the recorded lesson. It can be a tool for teachers or administrators to communicate curriculum, assignments and other information with parents and the community. Teachers can record book discussions, vocabulary or foreign language lessons, international pen pal letters, music performance, interviews, and debates. Podcasting can be a publishing tool for student oral presentations.

  • Mobile Learning: Podcasting can be categorised as an m-learning strategy for teaching and learning. In 2004 Musselburgh Grammar School pioneered podcast lessons with foreign language audio revision and homework  other pioneers include The Room 208 Podcast, Radio WillowWeb, and Room 613 Talk. In the second half of 2005, a Communication Studies course at the University of Western Australia (iGeneration: Digital Communication and Participatory Culture) used student-created podcasts as the main assessment item. Podcasts have proven beneficial in early elementary education as well. In 2005 Students in the Write was created for second grade students at Morse Elementary School in Tarrytown, NY. By providing students with an authentic audience, teachers noticed significantly increased motivation to write. Students were also found to improve fluency and listening skills. On the 21st February 2006 Lance Anderson, Dr. Chris Smith (the Naked Scientist), Nigel Paice and Debbie McGowan took part in the first podcast forum at Cambridge University. The event was hosted by the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies.
  • Journalism Education: School podcasts can be created to expose students to journalism and new-media concepts. Regularly released “news” podcasts can be released by a school group such as the AquiCastpodcast.
  • Academic Journal Digests: The Society of Critical Care Medicine has a podcast used to update clinicians with summaries of important articles, as well as interviews.
  • Professional Development: Professional development podcasts exist for educators. Some podcasts may be general in nature such as thePodcast for Teachers, or may be slightly more specific such as the Smart Board Podcastwhich focuses on the use of interactive white boards in the classroom.
  • Religion: Godcasting has been used by many religious groups.Many churches produce podcasts of talks and sermons. Disciples with Microphones provides podcasts relating to the Catholic Church.
  • Tutorials: A tutorial on almost any subject can be created as either an audio podcast or video vodcast. Through screencasting, many video podcasts, such as ScreenCastsOnline, demonstrate how to use software and operating systems.

3. ENTERTAINMENT

  • Television commentary. Battlestar Galactica writer and executive producer Ronald D. Moore creates commentary podcasts for each new episode of Battlestar Galactica (download audio commentary). Other television shows such as Doctor Who have since followed suit.
  • As a platform for fan DVD-style commentary tracks (Audio commentary). Enables fans to add their own comments and thoughts to any of their favourite films.
  • Sports. In 2005, unofficial podcasts for major sports teams launched, providing fans both in and outside of the teams’ direct broadcast areas with on-demand commentary. Pioneers include Cubscast. The Cubscast founders also formed the first city-specific sports podcast network, hosting one podcast for each major Chicago team at Chicagosportscasts.com.
  • Pornography. Porncasting and podnography are sometimes used to refer to pornography in podcasts.

4. NEWS

One of the practical applications is the possibility to be kept up to date with podcast news as soon as it goes public as a mobile podcasting device or computer can be fitted with software That will automatically check for new news fees every so often.

  • Newspapers. Newspapers use podcasts to broadcast audio content from print interviews and drive traffic to their websites. The San Francisco Chronicle is believed to be the first major daily newspaper to start podcasting using an external website,[7] in Feb 2005. Hong Kong‘s South China Morning Post was the first to use its own website and the first in Asia, having launched on April 19, 2005
  • Communication from space. On 7 August 2005. American astronaut Steve Robinson claimed the first podcast from space during the Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-114 – although there was no subscription feed, merely an audio file that required manual downloading. (transcript & audio).
  • Conference and meeting alerts. Podcasts can be packaged to alert attendees to agendas, hosted roundtables and daily feedback.

5. MUSIC

  • Replacement for live music audio streams. Whereas streaming a performance live over the Internet requires careful coordination of man and machine, podcasting offers the ability to do slight time-shifting of performances and greatly reduces the complexity of the effort. The quality of the program is often higher as post-production adjustments can be made prior to release. For example, programs such as the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour provide a live stream of their program, but most listeners don’t hear it until weeks later on NPR. Podcasted versions of the programs split the difference, usually coming out a few days after the live program, but well before the traditional broadcast.

6. POLITICS

  • Politics: In the U.S., both major political parties have various podcasts, as do numerous politicians.

7. PUBLICITY AND MARKETING

The business world has also discovered podcasting and its many practical applications that can basically be applied to any product or type of business and with a bit of creativity, campaigns geared towards certain products can reach a wide audience in the podcasting world. There is such a thing as a podcasts directory to help podcasting users to find their way amongst lists and more lists of podcasting information and feeds and the possibilities are ever growing. Some of the most used podcasting applications are:

  • As a promotional vehicle for an upcoming event, such as Pixar’s Cars Video Podcast, which advertised the release of Disney/Pixar’s Cars animated feature film with a series of behind-the-scenes

8. HEALTH

 9. SPECIAL INTERESTS

  • Farm Podcasting makes information available about farming. The term was coined to identify a program that is produced exclusively as a podcast on the subject of agriculture. There are now multiple companies who specialize in farm podcasting and are producing regular programming targeted to farmers and the general public on the subject of agriculture.

 10. NON-TRADITIONAL AND ALTERNATIVE CONTENT

  • A way for people and organizations to avoid regulatory bodies, such as the British Ofcom, or American FCC that would not allow a program to be broadcast in traditional media.
11. CUSTOMER SUPPORT

It is possible to find plenty of feeds in any business podcasting directory that will give you information on customer support. Tutorials for people in the professional world who want to learn how to deal with customers as well as customers themselves can listen to (and watch) podcasts dealing with this topic.Other than that many bigger businesses have now chosen to have a customer support podcast show available for customers to listen to, in which frequently asked questions about a certain service or product are asked and answered. Sometimes there is even the possibility to ring up with your questions, or email it, after which the reply to your problem will be given in the podcasting show.

12. PRESS RELEASE

Press releases contain new information about a happening, a product design podcast or a new business situation that the world needs to know about, as quickly as possible. Publicity is the key to the success of many business ventures and spreading the word in as many ways as possible is all important. Podcasting has now been discovered as one of the ways with which a press release can be spread successfully. A feed for a press release can be added to an online directory, included with news feeds and can be put up on a business website for interested customers.

 

13. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND LAUNCH

In this case news and knowledge about a new product that is released on to the market is given in a podcast. This feed could be listed in a special podcasting directory for new products or can be passed on to users in shows.Emails with a link to a podcasting feed about a new product can be sent out to magazines and newspapers and will be put up in a special section of a business website to focus the users’ attention on the new release.

This podcasting application is also used in the music industry. When a new track or album by a certain artist is released, a news item with a short biography and some additional information plus a snippet of the new album or track will be compiled into a podcast, for music industry professionals to listen to.

14. INDUSTRY NEWS AND UPDATES

Industry professionals end customers like to be kept informed about what goes on in their world. With podcasting there is a possibility to be kept informed 24 hours a day with automatically refreshing news feeds. Depending on your interests it is easy to find a podcasting feed suited to your professional field and there is noting easier than to just sign up to that feed to be kept informed of the latest news all the time.As the device will automatically get any new updates for you, missing out on any new developments or news is a thing of the past. Look online for a podcasts directory for this type of information.

15. BRANDING

Branding a pod cast is one of the most important things to do before a podcasting show can be marketed and promoted on the Internet. Effectively branding a podcast will help establish a brand and its image and purpose.

By planning and branding in advance of the release of a podcast will differentiate your podcast from similar shows. Selecting the right name for a podcast, securing a domain and adding it to the right podcasting directory, picking colors, creating a logo, music, sound effects to name but a few things are important aspects of branding a podcast.

 

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