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If aliens were to observe what distinguishes human beings from animals, one of the first things they would notice would be that we talk. Constantly. So much so, that for some people sitting in silence is tantamount to torture.
It is easy to question the value of all of this talk, which in some ways resembles a modern Tower of Babble. Yet turning off the talk doesn’t solve the problem. People have a fundamental need to hear and be heard.
If you want to stay on top of your job or advance your career, it is essential that you tune in and participate in the right conversations, which are not likely to be at the water cooler. The Internet affords us access to far more interesting conversations from all over the world. Of course you have to know where to look, and how to filter the messages so that you get the most value for the time you spend listening.
There are many ways to send words online, text messages, Twitter, e-mail, discussion forums, blogs, websites, articles, newsletters, white papers, e-books, and hyperlinks to any of the above.
But there are also ways to reach people with your voice, SKYPE, voice messages, YouTube, and Podcasts, which are audio recordings that can be accessed on the Internet. A podcast is less formal than a lecture, and less restrictive than a radio show. If you can create a series of podcasts and capture a niche of fans, you have yourself a platform where you can make a sound connection.
On the downside, you could say that podcasts are a license to be longwinded. However, with so much choice available, free subscriptions, and your choice of if, when, and where to listen, podcasts are a pretty cool platform.
If you want to create your own podcasts, what do you need to get started?
A podcast is an MP3 audio file that you upload to a site, which contains an unique subscription address called an RSS feed, by which people can automatically receive updates on anything new you post. Think of as your own radio channel for prerecorded programs on anything you like. You can talk, read, interview, and even play music if it’s royalty free. There are also sites where you can download royalty free music, jingles, and sound effects!
Podcasts are appealing to people who have an auditory learning style. And unlike video and text messages, they can be listened to almost anywhere, while you are driving, commuting, or doing the dishes. Podcasting is a miracle media for multi-taskers.
Universities and schools actively use podcasting for distance learning programs, and students use it to review or catch lectures that they missed the first time.
If you want to see what podcasts are available in your areas of interest, visit http://podcast.com and search or subscribe from over 85,000 podcasts in 25 categories. You can subscribe to your favorites for free, and download them to your mobile device to catch up on your listening when you’ve got time waiting or commuting.
How to Create a Podcast is a 4-minute tutorial from www.tinkernut.com that shows you how to create, upload, and promote a podcast practically for free. All you need is a computer, a mic, an Internet connection, and the free software introduced on this tutorial.
There are hundreds of podcast directories from which you can select and submit your podcasts to reach specific niche audiences. Podcast 411 even has a directory of podcast directories, available at: http://budurl.com/7ff3
For a smooth interface and global exposure on one of the most popular podcasting platforms, go to Apple iTunes Podcasting and get started at: http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts
For listeners, iTunes has a Podcasts menu including Audio and Video podcasts, and News Releases in Arts, Business, Comedy, Games & Hobbies, Government & Organizations, Health, Kids & Family, Music, News & Politics, Religion & Spirituality, Science & Medicine, Society & Culture, Sports & Recreation, Technology, TV & Film. You can tune in or subscribe for free, and new podcasts are being added all the time. No wonder traditional media is losing its grip!
If you just want to express yourself, Social Networking sites like Facebook and Twitter now provide ways to upload audio and video files, and sites like YouTube provide both URL addresses and HTML code so that you can embed a particular video directly into your blog or website. In effect, visitors can tune into any of your selected channels or broadcasts without leaving your site.
If you are tired of being force fed by traditional broadcast media, give Podcasting a try.
If you’ve got something to say, why not say it in a platform that serves a global audience?
I have set up a podcast to provide an audio channel for this column and related posts from my blog. Visit and have a listen at: http://www.creativecareerpath.com
YOUTUBE Channel: http://www.YouTube.com/taproot55
William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.