At the beginning of 2004, the term podcast did not even exist; by December of 2005, the New Oxford American Dictionary had declared the term podcast the word of the year. Podcasting created a whole new industry, with companies such as Libsyn, Odeo, Podshow, and Podtrac popping up. Podcasting also created new media stars such as Dawn and Drew, Wichita Rutherford, Madge Weinstein, and many, many others. In Chapter 1, "A Brief History of Podcasting," we will look at the rapid growth of podcasting to help you better understand this phenomenon.
Yes, podcasting has become the "hottest" new technology on the Internet. However, podcasting is so much more than a technology; it truly is an art form, and those who have the most popular podcasts figured that out early on. Throughout this book, we will be sharing advice from some of the biggest names in podcasting (including, of course, our own opinions). We will list some popular podcasts as examples of what we are talking about in the different sections. We recommend you check out the shows we mention, especially if they are similar to what you are doing. If you do not see a show that is an exact match for what you are doing, you should feel lucky because you have probably found a good niche. If nothing else, podcasting is all about addressing the niches.
Podcasting is also about connecting and interacting with your listeners. As a podcaster, there is no better feeling then getting positive feedback from people who enjoy the work you put into it (see Figure I.1). What follows is some feedback sent to the RaiderCast, which they were kind enough to share with us.
Figure I.1. Picture of RaiderCast podcast listeners from Iraq. (Image courtesy of TheRaiderCast.com.)
If you have already been signed by XM or Sirius, then this book is probably not for you. But for anyone else who is podcastingor is thinking of podcastingwe feel this book contains a boatload of helpful information that can speed you on your way, regardless of the type of podcast you produce. For the beginning podcaster, we cover topics ranging from picking your title, selecting your subject matter, and setting your schedule, and then move on to more advanced topics such as covering the different methods for conducting an interview. For those already experienced in podcasting, we talk about issues with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and how they control music, where to get podsafe music, how to better interact with your audience, how to promote your podcast inside and outside of the podcasting community, and how to generate revenue from your podcast.
Whether you are trying to educate, entertain, motivate, or persuade, as a podcaster you will have the opportunity to touch the lives of people not just around the corner but also half way around the world. With podcasting, there are no rulesnone from the government and definitely none from other podcasters. No matter what you say or don't say, you will never have your podcast canceled. It will go on as long as you want to continue doing it. There are, however, suggestions and advice gathered from hundreds of podcasters that we share with you throughout this book. We feel these suggestions will help improve the content of your podcast, improve your ability to attract new listeners, and, if you desire, generate some revenue from your podcast.
Our podcasting information doesn't end with the book, however. Please join the discussion of the constantly changing world of podcasting at the Tricks of the Podcasting Masters forum http://totpm.forumup.org. Contributing in the discussion will allow you to have some input on future versions of this book. You can learn more about ForumUp in Chapter 12, "You're Nothing Without Your Audience."