Me and Sarah did a podcast last night about some comments on her blog recently.The post was about race and interracial stereotypes and centres around a piece in the guardian over a year ago (march 2005). Now someones called werdz has decided to write a comment and get back at Sarahs comments on the original guardian article. Sarah felt it best to reply by a podcast.
Quick heads up to say Boing Boing is now also podcasting. Like Cory says, its sounds something like the round table conversation of This week in Tech and This week in Media. So far it sounds good except the sound levels need normialising, keep up the great work guys.
At the blogger panel at Fall VON … Vlogger and blip.tv advocate Dina Kaplan asked bloggers to start vlogging. Its started a minor debate.
My take? Please dont.
Ive written before on what I call the reader-friendly vs. writer-friendly dichotomy. My thesis is that media make choices about where to be on that spectrum, though ideal technology reduces the compromises
Brad actually goes on to advocate podcasting as an acceptable format as it can be listened to whilst jogging, etc. I think hes correct to a degree – podcasting is certainly easier to consume than video/vlogging as it is a multitaskable medium (unlike blogging too). However its still binary – it still requires you to consume at a pace decided by the producer and its far harder to index and search through. Unless it contains a meta-wrapper, there is also no hyperlinking which is arguably one of the greatest keys to the world-wide-webs success.
Its for this reason that Ive been sceptical as to the long-term success of podcasting as an informational medium. And this scepticism certainly extends to vlogging.
My take is that ascii is great but you know what, how bland would the world be if people couldn't express themselves in any form they feel most comfitable? See Ben is taking the reciever (user) point of view and I think thats fine for a lot of people. Even myself, I blog more that I podcast or videocast because I like hyperlinking. But it would be wrong for me to expect everyone to do the same. If podcasting works for you, hey go for it. Yes think about your audience you certainly need to balance that with your own creativity. So in the end I do agree with Ben's final point.
However I think most people would agree that we need to produce work in the format thats right for the content at hand, and for the end consumer whos going to consume it. For the moment at least, I think most people still use the blogosphere more for informational use than they do entertainment and as such that needs to be considered when youre about to produce your next blog/podcast/vlog
Ideally binary searching, scanning, deconstruction would be as easy as acsii but its not at the moment. I think this is mainly a limitation of the tools and services out there. The service and tool creators blame the lack of standards. So the question is where is the microformats of the media? I would have suggested Mpeg4 could have been but its got so screwed up who knows.
British geek and his American geekhag wife talk about geeky stuff like explaining podcasting to your mum, online identity, owning your personal online data, Blojsom for dummies, folksonomy.
The next geekdinner will be next month on Thursday 23rd Feb and our guest for the night will be Paul Boag of the popular podcast Boagworld. The Boagworld podcast is aimed at those who are responsible for an organisation's website and would like practial advice on what they should or could be doing to improve the current site. Paul himself is a well established web designer usability/accessibility specialist and is a founder partner of Headscape which practice Webstandards when ever possible.
The venue has changed once again, this time were at the Polar Bear which is just a stone throw away from Leicester Square. The venue is larger than the one in Covent Garden, and a nicer cleaner deco. I'm also expecting the food will not run out like last time and at only 5 pound per head expect a more rounded buffet with food for vegetarians as well as meat eaters. There will also at long last be a PA system with Microphone for the guest and the Question and Answers session which follows. I'm also able to play what ever music I like at what ever level I like. So if anyones interested I can maybe put there ipod on shuffle mode and play it during the night at a low level.
Slowly I've been adopting the use of FireANT for my podcasts and vlogs (video blogs?) downloads. I'm still mainly using Azereus with the RSS plugin for its TV RSS method which has saved me a lot of time and effort downloading TV shows and the like. It was very good today, finding Lost ep5 seeding without any human interaction on my behalf.
Anyhow, I have FireANT running on both my laptop and main workstation. They both use the same OPML file from Bloglines which means they both download the same media! This is not ideal and bandwidth killing as you can imagine, specially when you get some of the larger Channel9 videos downloading. So I was looking around and found Microsoft's synctoy.
Now although this Sync toy isnt as powerful as Rsync on the unix platforms its actually quite neat and has all the modes needed for full syncing.
- Synchronize: New and updated files are copied both ways. Renames and deletes on either side are repeated on the other.
- Echo: New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames and deletes on the left are repeated on the right.
- Subscribe: Updated files on the right are copied to the left if the file name already exists on the left.
- Contribute: New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames on the left are repeated on the right. No deletions.
- Combine: New and updated files are copied both ways. Nothing happens to renamed and deleted files
You can also Schedule it using the standards Windows Scheduler, Preview a sync, use UNC paths, sync deep folders (perfect for backup) and tell it to move files to the recycle bin instead of deleting them.
So with all this in mind, I've setup Fireant to download and for Synctoy to sync across to my laptop before it downloads on my laptop. This seems to work, because the stupid file names are at least unique across all Fireants. I've been trying to convince the people behind Fireant that the human readable podcast download names are unique enough to do the same thing, but its still a on going debate. If the human readable filenames were in place, I could then sync files to my storage card, pocketpc, mobile phone and laptop without human interaction. Using filetype filtering in synctoy, its possible to sync audio files to the phone while videos files go to the pocketpc. Hey and if Fireant used human readable filenames and Synctoy regular expressions the limits would be endless.
So in summary,
Microsoft's Synctoy should be renamed Synctool and should add regular expressions to the filetype filering. I'm also hoping syncing to the PocketPC's storage card will be a option soon and there certainly should be a option to divert sync if the removeable storage card is not in place.
Fireant can keep its sync option but should give people the option to automaticly save as human readable filenames.
mention three shows from IT Conversations, two I loved and one I hated. The two I loved:
One was Jason Fried of 37signals giving a talk about the lessons learned building Basecamp. I agree with a lot of the philosophy about doing things cheap, avoiding the pressures of VC money, iterating often, etc. It sounds like all the good stuff of agile development without the woowoo bits of extreme programming that make me itchy.
The other was Doc Searls who talked to Sig Solares, the guy who kept his data center in New Orleans going through the hurricane and flood. It was fascinating on a technical level and horrifying on a human one.
The one I hated was the Larry Magid interview with George Gilder. I've heard multiple podcasts with Gilder recently and he strikes me as one of those pundits that people pay attention to but I'm not exactly sure why. Even though I overlap with his opinions on many points (citizen media being a big one), I find listening to him highly annoying. Mostly, his depth of criticism seems to consist of making up goofily insulting nicknames for the things he doesn't agree with, like “fool cells.” Thank you, Deep Thought. His shallow dismissals for spurious reasons some technologies makes me nervous when I hear him high on technologies I am also high on. It makes me think that maybe I'm actually wrong, if I'm on the same side as him on that point. I heard him on the Gillmor Gang a few weeks ago and had a similar reaction to that.
I would also add that George sounded so sure of himself and ever so arrogant in the interview with Larry, and it was pretty much the same with the Gillmor Gang too. I'm off the guy and I've only heard him talk twice, maybe not the best thing to admit if I ever meet him but thats how I feel right now.
Jason from 37signals was breathtaking to hear, when I started listening I was thinking oh no not another sells type pitch. But before long I was listening hard and really taking in some of the things he was saying. Really worth the time to hear this podcast I would say.
On a related topic, I'm deeply considering building a special feed for all the recommended podcasts I hear. I was trying some new social podcasting service (cant remember the url right now) which claims to do just that but fails because it assumes all podcast feeds are attached to one person. So subscribing IT conversations really screwed things up. No I'm considering using listal.com or something else to say yes I recommend this single podcast. The idea would be that if I recommend a couple a week, it would slowly build up to a highly recommeded best of what i'm hearing type feed.
On how I do this, I've got a few thoughts. I could just setup another del.icio.us account and only post urls to rich media or I could add a special tag which I identify as this is a recommended podcast. I would then take either of the feeds and using xsl transform it into another podcast feed. I know I could use something like feedburner to do this, but I really want to just bookmark it and know it will end up in the other feed without any more human intervention. I was also considering doing a cross check with my audioscrobbler/last.fm feed to get more data.
Natrually any feed I would generate, I would also process into xhtml so it can appear on the side bar of the site. Which would be more useful than just copying my recently listened to audioscrobbler list as it does currently. It would be great if Itunes actually had a easily accessable xml based api which I could get into. Then I would be tempted to use the itunes rating system to rate podcasts.
I'm sure Steve Gillmor would also find such a API useful to get feedback on IT conversation programming. I'm currently I do go to the site and vote for some stuff, but not even 20% of what I actually listen to. If the vote system was de-coupled into itunes or my RSS aggregator I would vote on everything I heard. Its a bit like the Digg problem really. To actually digg a story you have to go to the site. There's seems to be not trackback or simple restful url I can send the data too at the moment. There's certainly a gap in the market for audioscrobbler plugins to send rating data to its self, which could actually give a little more focus on the podcasting listenership figures. I'm actually sure someones thought of this too, but I guess the differences between rating systems in windows mediaplayer, itunes and whatever else makes things difficult, but not impossible.