Welcome to 2D Web Solutions Episode 9 – Where you ask questions and we find solutions. I am Arelthia Phillips founder of Pin Top Solutions, LLC …
And I am KerryCarron founder of Ultimate Solution LLC. So, each episode we answer to five different design and development business related questions from our visitors. So, if you want to get in the action and talk about shiny objects and what attracts you to them, just go over to our website at 2DWebSolutions.com anytime and submit your question. Of course, you can submit questions about anything related to design or development.
And thank you guys for being here for this episode of our aspects of design and development. Today’s topic is What is Podcasting and How Does it Work? Since we started doing this podcast, we started receiving questions about “oh guys how do you do this” or “how do you do that – it sounds so good” and so today we want to talk about What is Podcasting and How Does it Work?
We’re going to start today’s episode with a Wikipedia definition of what a podcast is. So, according to Wikipedia – a podcast is a form of digital media that consists of an episodic series of audio, video, digital radio, PDF, or epub files subscribed to and downloaded automatically, through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. What do you think of that definition, Arelthia?
A podcast is a form of digital media that consists of an episodic series of audio, video, digital radio, PDF, or epub files subscribed to and downloaded automatically, through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. ~Wikipedia
When I look at that definition the first thing that hits me is that I’ve never considered a PDF or epub files to be a Podcast. I do agree that a Podcast is some type of digital media, you know, it can be audio or video. Something that you can subscribe to… something that can be syndicated, or something that can be downloaded. But it does not necessarily have to be all those things. But I definitely don’t agree with the PDF and epub files part. What about you, Kerry?
When I first read it I really didn’t hit me as being that odd. And then I thought about, and I’m like, I don’t ever remember seeing PDF or epub files as part of a podcast either. And I even questioned whether or not it had to be digital media. After thinking about it and really looking at it, I do think that it does need to be some form of digital media. And because PDFs and e-files could potentially fall under that category can see how you could make a PDF or epub series of something and call it a podcast. So I’m gonna go, I’m gonna go with… you know it’s a fine line, and of course, all of these other things that are within this definition of a podcast can be submitted individually also, as standalone articles or blog posts. So, I think the important thing for me in this definition is that it’s recurring, it’s a series, it’s ongoing, there are episodes, etc. etc.
So, with that being said, Kerry, with like, your take on what a podcast is, how did you first learn about podcasts?
I was introduced to podcasts by Justin Seeley, who at the time, was with iThemes and doing their web design training. We had a webinar and he discussed how he had been podcasting his tutorials for Photoshop. And he went into… The entire webinar discussed how, how to do a podcast and some of the tools to use to put a podcast together. And I just thought it was really fascinating, really interesting, and from that point forward I decided to start putting together some series. I didn’t necessarily call them a podcast, but it was in the back of my mind and something that I’ve always wanted to do. And I’m just really excited that 2D Web Solutions has been able to offer that aspect of design and development in my life. How did you find out about podcasts?
Well, you know, I had to think about this really hard. I think I first heard about podcasting while I was at a WordPress meetup, where this man, called Gary Leland, he talked about multi-casting. And in his whole multicasting scheme, podcasting was one small component. And that was my first introduction to podcasting. But then a couple years ago, one of my clients was looking for a solution that required me to generate an iTunes fee for his podcast. And so when… In order to actually create the solution, I had to really learn a lot about podcasting, how iTunes works, how the fees work, how that digital, the audio or video, how iTunes reads all that. So, that’s how I really learned about podcasting and how it’s hosted and where is hosted and all that.
Let’s take this off topic just for a second… that’s a great thing to touch on. When you got this client, that had this project for you to do
how did you know, or what made you decide that, yeah, you take this project on and learn whatever it was that you needed to know to be able to do that?
Because ultimately the core of the product was related to what I already do which was creating solutions – web-based solutions. And so, the one component with it having to generate the iTunes feed, that was the only component that I needed to learn. So I took what I already knew, and said, “okay, I already know how to do this part. I just need to learn this little part to create a solution.” And that brings up a great point because I saw this TED talk about what real creativity is. How creativity is the taking of two different things and putting them together to create something new. And that’s a lot of what we do as designers and developers. We use creativity to create something new. What we already know, or something like that and put it with something that we don’t know to create a new product.
Creativity is the taking of two different things and putting them together to create something new. ~TED talk
That was one of the most important draws for me to sign up for the iThemes training. And that was… I… and I made it a very important point and scheduled my entire work schedule around going to all of the webinars that the iThemes training crew had offered. And in doing so, even if i didn’t understand exactly what they were talking about as they began, the more I hung out in that environment and the more I exposed myself to that, the more I learned and was able to do – and provide solutions for my clients, as well as other web designers and developers. So, if you’re one of those people out there who doesn’t know where to begin, just immerse yourself in the education and go for it. And you’ll be amazed when you go back to these events, how the exact thing that you were potentially introduced to somewhere else, will be addressed in these training webinars. Wherever you go, be it an iThemes training or any of the different tutorials that are out there. It’s amazing what you can learn and how fast you learn it. So, sorry to go off topic there, but… So “what do we use to record our podcast?” was the next question we had from our visitors. I’m going to let you handle this one Arelthia and then I’ll give you my side of it.
OK, alright – so the interesting thing is that when we started our podcast we did not go out and buy anything new. We started with everything that we already had. When it’s time to record, I have – I use a USB microphone and I forget the name of it but, I’ll make sure that the name of the microphone is in the show notes at 2DWebSolutions.com. Also, I wear my earbuds because I found it if I don’t wear my earbuds I have two different versions of the Hangout going. And so, I get a lot of feedback if I don’t have my ear buds on. And so, I also – I’m using a mac mini to run the hangout. That’s the one where you see the 2D (logo) that’s running on the mac mini. And then I have another hangout running on my dell XPS. So, before anybody says it… yes, I’m running a Mac and PC at home so I’m sorry I cannot commit to the Mac – I am dedicated to PC, ok, sorry! But, um, so I have both of those machines running – the one with the Mac actually has the hangout, the primary hangout. The wall, my PC, this is the one that I’m working on now so that I’m not overwhelming either machine. And again we’re using a google hangout to record our podcast. So again, so far this is stuff we already had. A Google hangout – hey, already had a google account – well, we did set up a 2D Google account but already have my own google account, my google plus account to do hangouts, and so we’re just using what we have. So, what I mean by that is, that, if you want to start a hangout, if you want to start a podcast, you don’t have to go out and buy anything. Start with what you have. So before I keep rambling on, Kerry, what do you want to add about what we use to recorded our podcast?
Well, I thought it was interesting and I was also going to make the comment that we did start a second google account or at least one that was going to add to our personal accounts because we didn’t want these videos to go on our individual (personal) google accounts. We wanted it to be from a branded 2D web solution answer. So.. and that is also the reason for that third icon at the bottom of our videos here. And that is Arelthia’s Mac mini. I get a link fromArelthia for the hangout and then I call in just like anybody else would for a Hangout. I am on an iMac. I am a Mac person and will always be a Mac person, although I do have to use PC’s at work so (unfortunately) I have to be somewhat familiar. I use my built-in speakers and a built-in microphone. On occasion, I will also use my earbuds and I also have another microphone and office phone system that I occasionally use – right now it’s low on batteries and I haven’t bothered to replace those batteries. But, in addition to the things that we use here, there are all kinds of different ways to record video or audio. So many computers have the audio just built right into your computer now, you can do it that way. Some of the other video recording devices that I use are Screen Flow and Camtasia – yes, Camtasia even works on Macs. Content Samurai is another one, Vidsy – it’s all just limitless. So whatever you have or whatever you can find to use is the right tool, to begin with. It doesn’t have to be high tech, to begin with. It’s more important that you just do it, and as Cory Miller would say, “push publish.”
Yeah, and let me, I just want to bring out something, because I realized, Kerry – everything that we talked about has to
do with, like creating a video podcast. But let’s say for example you want to create an audio podcast, you can use something as simple as audacity which is, like a free tool that you can download online and record your audio podcast. So there are like unlimited possibilities when it comes to this.
Oh yeah, you know, you could even use your iPhone or your Android. There’re all kinds of recording devices on there, just record whatever it is you want to say. I’ve heard of people even, you know, doing a recording while they’re out on a walk, while they’re walking the dog. And that’s a great way to start.
Yes. Yes. Alright so, so we’ve talked about what we use to record our podcast then I’ll let us transition into, once we recorded a podcast where do we host our podcast? What are these different options? So, Kerry, when we’re talking about hosting our podcast, I don’t want to get too technical here because I think that the primary question is like, “what do I do with them (a podcast) after I have them?”
Right. Right. So, for us, one of the things that we do… this is the side of it that I do, Arelthia handles a lot more of the actual of part of putting them into the places to where they go, however, I want to stress the importance of keeping a backup copy. It’s no different than a website is. You want to have backup copies. So when we’re done with our video that goes on the google hangout, I make a copy of it and I just store it up on my Amazon s3. Now, as far as hosting them for your use to be able to subscribe to them and whatnot I’m going to turn that over to Arelthia and she’s going to give you all the details.
OK. So, just on a basic level, we host our, the audio version of our podcast, on amazon S3. Like Kerry told you, the video version is on YouTube. We host the audio version on amazon s3 and that’s just a simple version of it. I don’t want to get too technical because I can take the whole episode to go over all of this… how it is hosted on Amazon s3 and how that all works so that’s something for another show. But some other hosting options include Libsyn, Blueberry, SoundCloud, and PodBean. So those are just some other options for hosting your podcasts. There are a lot of options out there. Even if you Google “podcast hosting” you’ll find a lot more. But again, we just simply use Amazon s3. And I think, Kerry, that the reason why Amazon S3 just made so much sense to me is because I use Amazon S3 for so many other things when it comes to, like storage and back-ups and things like that. yeah amazon s3
Yeah amazon s3 is a fantastic solution for long-term storage of things that you don’t need to move or don’t need to edit and it’s relatively cheap – it’s very very affordable and I can’t say enough about that and I know you agree with that also.
That is correct, it is very affordable.
Arelthia, what would somebody need to do to publish a podcast?
Well you know, when it comes to publishing your podcast the first thing you need to do is to choose your distribution channels. How do you want your podcast to go out to your audience? Where is your audience and what type of services does your audience already use? For example,
we distribute our podcast on our website using the Blueberry WordPress plugin. We also have it on YouTube. It’s on Stitcher, iTunes, Google Play Podcast, or I think it’s called Google Play Music but it’s in their podcast section. It’s also on SoundCloud. We have it… we publish it to our Android app and to our iOS app. But the thing to remember is that majority of the distribution channels are free for you to distribute your podcast but they have stipulations. Like, for example, you have to have so many followers. Right away we could not get on Stitcher because we didn’t have the appropriate following but once we get the necessary number of listeners then we can get on platforms like Stitcher and the Google Play Podcast. So those are just like what I’m saying is that some things you can’t get into those distribution channels right away. Like, for example, iHeart Music we still don’t have quite the audience to get on there yet. So, what you all can do to help us with that is, go to iTunes leave a review. Leave a review on Stitcher. You know, leave a review on YouTube that, you know, you like the podcast – or even if you don’t, even if you have a complaint about the podcast, put it out there. Let us hear it because you know when you give us that feedback we can make it better. So, the more interaction we have with you, the more distribution channels that open up to us. So, what do you want to add today Kerry?
Well, Arelthia, you mentioned a whole lot of different places that somebody could subscribe to listen to us and I think sometimes for somebody who might be new to podcasting or listening to podcasting or even subscribing to these things… Does somebody have to apply, or I should say just, subscribe to every one of those to hear us?
Um, no! Just choose whichever one you prefer. You can listen to anyone that you prefer. If you prefer iTunes, use iTunes. If you prefer… what’s the podcast listener on the iPhone, Kerry? Do you know the name of that?
I’m sorry, the what is what?
The podcast player on the iPhone.
I just go through iTunes,
OK. Kerry likes iTunes so she’ll use iTunes. Somebody else was telling me that they listen to our podcast on their iPhone through the podcast player on the iPhone – whichever one works for you.
Actually, it might be that – I don’t even know. I, yeah, I’m… my smartphone is definitely smarter than I am… well, let’s leave it at that.
Okay, okay, okay.
The bottom line with publishing and how to publish a podcast is it really depends on what type of podcast format that you decide to implement. So you want to, you know, choose… if you’re not doing audio podcasting and you’re doing more video podcasting like I do, then you may not even need to know any of the stuff that we’re talking about as far as Stitcher and iTunes and all of these. You may only need YouTube and YouTube is completely free. So, for me, doing mostly video podcasts, one of the most simplistic ways to get a video series out is to just simply create a video, and schedule them to post as a series of my blog. So you can, again, you know, you can host it right on your website if you want to or you can store them elsewhere and pull the feed. It’s entirely up to you. You have to decide what works best for you.
Alright. Great. So before we go, guys… we want to hear from you. Are you podcasting? Tell us what setup you have. We also encourage you to leave your comments on our website located at 2DWebSolutions.com so we can continue this conversation over there.
I also wanted to remind you of today’s tweetable tip, “Podcasting helps others learn from your experience!”
Cool. So, remember guys, when you ask questions, we find solutions. So while you’re over leaving comments on our website feel free to submit your design or development questions so we can address them in a future episode. For example, um Kerry, the next question I think we have that we’re going to address has to do with shiny objects, right?
Shiny objects. Yeah, shiny objects! So, if you’re really ready to take action toward pulling and building yourself a successful design and development business be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel or any of our podcast anywhere else where you’d like to listen to them. As we’ve mentioned before they are currently available through iTunes, Android, RSS, email, Stitcher plus a number of other ones. So…
We’ll see you on the next 2D aspects of design and development episode. Bye guys – so long.
Bye guys.o long.