Read & Respond week 12 – Audio

When we think blogging, we think writing. Recent weeks have emphasized images and other tools, but things still seem to come back to the written word. Briggs, in this week’s chapter, proposes some ways to emphasize sound over sight. We’ll focus on one: Podcasting.

A podcast is essentially an audio blog. Instead of reading, you can download and listen, which is helpful if you like to do your “reading” while exercising, cooking, or doing something else. The process can be simple or complex, but it boils down to four basic steps:

  1. Plan
  2. Record
  3. Convert/Upload
  4. Promote

This guide from DigitalTrends gets into more detail, but at minimum you need a theme (and usually some guests), a topic, a mic, and a (free) copy of Audacity; anything more can give a cleaner, more polished product but isn’t absolutely necessary.

Audiences listen to podcasts via apps such as Stitcher (free), iTunes, or just listening to them streaming online. Consider these examples of the form:

Your response this week should be enjoyable: Listen to some podcasts, especially if you never have. Pick some from the links above, or find some of your own (Buzzfeed has its own list of the ones you should be listening to). How do these (and Briggs’ other audio subject) inform your work? Have you now decided blogging is dead, and you’re going to become a podcaster instead? Post your responses by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, October 30.

14 Responses to Read & Respond week 12 – Audio

  1. I listened to the Worst Idea of All Time podcast and this one was discussing the movie We Are Your Friends. It was funny and had a lot of personality, a way that writing could not express. I believe that podcasts do have a few upper hands over written blogging, such as being able to multi task, which is what I did. When I was listening to the podcast I was able to go on other websites, go on my phone, unlike if I were reading. Another difference about podcasts is that it is easier for the reader to capture the personalty and the voice of the podcaster and truly grasp the idea of what is being said.
    I still think blogging is more popular than podcasts because I feel like it is more accessible, since listening to podcasts can be a tricky in certain situations like in public or another social setting while reading is easier.

  2. Ryan Decker says:

    Podcasting is a great way to add content to a blog website. It allows you to cover a wide range of topics, or a singular topic more in depth than you can with just the written word. Podcasting also allows you, as the lesson said, to get guests’ opinions, which are sort of like interviews but they seem more personable to the listener.

    In the sports media world, podcasts are commonplace. Sports shows like Mike & Mike and Pardon The Interruption (PTI) have their own podcast series in which you can listen to all of the show or the best parts of the show each day. More locally, the WVU student radio station U92 does a variety of different podcasts from sports, news and more. I had heard of the podcast series “Series” before, we actually listened to part of one of the episodes in a journalism class I took last fall, and it was interesting.

    Blogging certainly isn’t dead (at least in my opinion) but podcasting is definitely something you can do to add a level to your blog. Briggs writes in the textbook that audio is flexible to work with, and he’s exactly right. You can add sound effects and add in sound bites from outside sources, and it also correctly captures the emotion in someone’s voice, where as sometimes emotion can be questionable when just reading a print quote.

  3. michalalynn says:

    I love podcasts! I used to listen to them while I was working over the summer (I work at a dog kennel and I love having something besides music to listen to) but unfortunately I have fallen out of the habit. Some of my favorite podcasts to listen to are Dear Hank & John, Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig, Psychobabble with Tyler Oakley & Korey Kuhl and, The Nerdist. Those podcasts are used as a type of talk show format but I do have a few more “storytelling” podcasts that I love to listen to. Lore, Criminal and, Welcome to Night Vale are all great podcasts that utilize their medium to tell stories. Perhaps my favorite podcast that I listen to however is Millennial, a podcast about life in your 20s told by a graduate of a journalism school.
    I don’t think that the rise of podcasts means the downfall of blogging though. I typically love listening to podcasts while I’m actively doing something but I tend to get irritated if I can’t listen to an entire episode in one sitting. With written blogs I tend to remember what is happening easier because I’m actively focusing on something as opposed to letting it happen to me. There is no substitute to a well-written journalistic piece in my opinion.

  4. Beyond Craft Beer says:

    I’ve enjoyed a lot of different podcasts but usually they are very funny, like the Worst Idea of All Time podcast. It can hard to be funny over text especially when some people can misread your words and skew the humor you put into your words. With podcats, however, it’s so easy and clear to make your point because your voice can fluctuate and articulate every sound and emotion.

    Podcasts are convenient, as you mentioned, in a way of being able to listen and multitask. If I’m reading something then there is no way I can give my attention to both things but podcasts easily make themselves the soundtrack to your daily activities like driving or working out, however, I feel like they could easily slip into background noise and not retain as well as a text body. That being said, I don’t think I will ever stray from the use of words but I am definietly more open to podcasting now.

  5. kameronduncan says:

    I listen to quite a few podcasts, and I listen to different ones for different reasons. They can be a good way to keep up with news, or a good source of entertainment. Some even manage to be both. Two of the podcasts I listen to fairly regularly were mentioned in this week’s post, Anna Faris is Unqualified and Serial. Serial is a lot like an old radio drama but its most endearing quality is that it is completely non-fictional. The people you are hearing about are real, and therefore the stakes are real in whether or not Adnan is innocent or guilty. As others have mentioned, podcasts are great for multitasking. I like to listen to podcasts as I drive, work out, shop or play video games. Despite the fact that I’m doing two things at once, I personally find it pretty easy to retain the information that I’m hearing.

    This week’s reading in Briggs contains a lot of good information about the technical side of audio, as well as how it can be used to effectively enhance one’s storytelling or posting. As the text says, “audio can produce a rich experience”, and as someone who likes to listen to podcasts, I find this to be true. Had I read about the events discussed and analyzed in “Serial”, it is very likely that I wouldn’t have been as invested in the story or the people involved, and I would have missed out on a truly compelling and interesting narrative.

    I don’t think that podcasting could “kill” blogging, personally. In fact, I think that the two complement one another very well. Someone who writes well could reach an entirely new and different audience by starting a podcast about the topic/topics they write about. This could also work the other way around, as a successful podcaster could theoretically become a successful blogger.

    I would personally like to start a podcast myself and it’s been something I’ve considered for quite some time, but I think that having another host would allow me to actually go along with those plans.

  6. lmalexander1 says:

    Podcasts definitely give listeners a different experience than just reading a written blog post, or a “rich experience” as Briggs says. With podcasts, you can get guests opinions that are somewhat like interviews in a written post, but give the listener a more personal connection when they actually hear the persons voice, rather than just reading what they said. However, I do not think that blogging is dead. I think podcasts are a great thing to incorporate into blogs to give them more media. They’re convenient for people who are working a lot and don’t have the time to sit down and read a whole post. I also think that reading a post give the reader a different impression of what is trying to be said than if they were actually listening to someone say it. Reading something creates a different image in someones head as opposed to listening to the same thing, creating a different image of the point of the post for them.

  7. I’ve been a big fan of podcasting for quite a few years now. Some of my favorites are This American Life, Gilmore Guys, Inside Appalachia and The Front Porch, and a few more comedic ones.

    Briggs’ point about podcasts being a simplistic version of radio broadcasting, particularly with services like iTunes is a great point. Podcasts are everywhere and there’s something for every taste, which goes right along with the internet media model of instant gratification. I’ve hosted and guested on podcasts before, and I think they are more effective than blog it’s because they make a connection with people that writing sometimes can’t. You get to hear the human interaction, the laughs and sighs and tones that make you feel involved. Also, the convenience factor is far bigger. I listen to podcasts in the car, and other places and times where it isn’t feasible to read.

    I don’t think blogging is completely dead, but I think it is on its way to becoming more of a companion to more interactive forms of media like podcasts, video and others.

  8. jayrudolph says:

    Podcasts are great! Especially the ones with funny celebrities. No Jumper is personally one of my favorites and they also feature Vlogs to go along with all the blogs. I personally like to watch the Vlogs a little bit more but just the commentary alone is enough to have me laughing.
    As it says in how to make a podcast, “Though it’s far easier to produce a regular podcast show than, say, a video series or other forms of online content, podcasting still requires more than one might expect, especially if you want to incorporate professional audio.” As video blogs are much harder to produce I feel they are more effective sometimes when you can visually see the body language and facial expressions during the interviews and conversations. It makes for less editing and more live feed action. I think some of the best work is improv work when they can’t go back and edit or cut something out.

  9. Podcasts are really fun. Some of them, like for example, 2014’s Serial is basically a book being read to you or a movie that you can hear but can’t see the pictures. I’ve heard that a lot of people listen to podcasts while driving.
    I think that natural sound, music and emotions are important in most audio recordings or podcasts. They really help the listener understand what’s going on in the story and help the listener to be alert and not bored.

  10. smarino92 says:

    Never have been a big fan of podcasts to be honest. I think it’s because I find them boring- I hate talk radio and I don’t think stand up comedy is funny. I suck- anyways. It reminds me of like NPR all sometimes, and I hate that too. I think soundbites are different and can add to a text story, or slideshow of pictures or something, but to solely listen to someone talk for like an hour it mundane to me.

    I don’t think you can really kill blogging cause people are going to do it anyways, just less people are going to be interested. It’s that conversion between mediums, fast 140 characters see ya later. I don’t know, I don’t care about people’s lives nor their opinions so maybe that is also part of the reason I’m not into podcasts. I would rather listen to music and read news online or watch TV for a little while- I get the appeal though it’s just I think culturally we are visually stimulated easier, no as much auditory. I liked listening to the New Zealand guys solely because of their accents, but the content was not compelling.

  11. Podcasting is something that has interested me for a while. They can provide the same information a blog can, but with more freedom to do other things whilst you listen. Also, podcasts feel more conversational and are less conventional. I feel like podcasts have been around for a while, but there seems to be a newfound appreciation. Audio journalism is a lot different than print because emotion, atmosphere, and tone can all be conveyed. i think the two forms compliment each other and are not mutually exclusive. Like it says in Briggs it makes for a multidimensional story.

    In sports media there are so many companies that use podcasts to add to there other content. My roommate is a big fan of the Pardon My Take podcast by Barstool Sports. They do a great job using both print and audio to cater to their audience. Their podcast covers sports news like ESPN, but with ridiculous takes and a satirical lens. From what I’ve heard its pretty funny. Like I said before, podcasts and blogging don’t really conflict in my mind. However, I believe the combination of the two can be powerful.

  12. rmsurella says:

    I am a fan of a few different podcasts. The first is hosted by one of my favorite standup comedians, Bill Burr. I find it very enjoyable to listen to a podcast in which someone who I would normally only get to see in a planned format strictly for entertainment showing more of their true personality and opinions. It’s definitely accurate that comedians are fit to do this because they are naturally humorous and are able to make their audience laugh while discussing more thought-provoking topics than they would in a regular standup routine. I also think podcasts are a good medium for lesser-known actors to maintain a voice with their fans. Jerry Ferrara, the actor who played the character of Turtle on HBO’s Entourage, has a podcast on Itunes that I am a follower of that is very interesting to me because like with Bill Burr it allows me to gain access to the real side of someone who I enjoyed in a fictional role.

  13. Alexa Ciattarelli says:

    Alexa Ciattarelli

    Despite the fact that I really enjoy listening to things, especially newscasts and music, I have never listened to a podcast. What a great first experience listening to Worst Idea of All Time.

    From what I have read, podcasting is a “rich experience” that helps to engage listeners in more ways than what a normal blog post would do.

    I really like how you can hear the excitement in a podcast. It definitely makes the audio more engaging.

    Also, podcasts are great if you are on the run, driving to work, doing some grocery shopping, or simply making dinner. They can be listened to virtually anywhere, and allow for multitasking.

    But despite the benefits of podcasts, I do not think they will ever take away from blogging. There is something peaceful in sitting down in a quiet space and reading about something that really interests you.

    If anything, podcasts can help to enhance blogging.

    In other news…. I just downloaded Stitcher. 🙂

  14. Jaz Brown says:

    I am a huge fan of podcasts! Last year I found out that two of my favorite YouTube stars had created a podcast, so every Monday I listen to their show, “If I Were You” (by Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld). Their podcasts are more of a humor advice show, but they also find ways to take important issues and cover them in a light-hearted manner. It’s an interesting and topical audio experience.
    Podcasts have definitely increased in popularity within the past few years, but that doesn’t mean that it is replacing or even beating the effects of blogging. Podcasts are great for those who enjoy multitasking, but blog posts and articles are more efficient. If I’m searching for important information, there’s no way for me to quickly skim through a podcast. Blogs, on the other hand, are way more effective in that regard. Both forms of media are useful means of transferring info, but podcasts are more passive.

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