FDR used his fireside chats to comfort the nation at a time of great turmoil because he understood the power of the spoken word, especially when it could easily be distributed to the masses. For too long that power has only been available to a very select few. But no longer. Back in March 2005, my wife, Elizabeth, introduced me to a technology that she felt could help revolutionize the distribution of the spoken word. As usual, she was right; podcasting allows virtually anyone to project his or her voice over the Internet because it's so inexpensive, simple, and intuitive. And the great thing about podcasting is that we are just scratching the surface of its astounding potential.
I began podcasting with Elizabeth because we wanted to talk to more people about the importance of fighting poverty through our One America Committee website (http://oneamericacommittee.com/). Before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in late 2005, most major media outlets hardly covered the issue of poverty. And although there was some discussion of the issue immediately after the storm, the media quickly lost interest, and poverty returned to the back of most people's minds. With podcasting, however, Elizabeth and I were able to bring thousands of listeners right into our home to let them know what they could do to help.
The opportunity to produce a podcast is available to everyoneyou don't even need a computer. But it helps to have some advice. Several books on the market can help you set up your own podcast, but Tricks of the Podcasting Masters is different. This book does not discuss only technical matters like plugging microphone A into mixer B; it seeks to give you the knowledge, skills, and outlook you need to make your podcasts more appealing. Podcasting is not a science; it's an art. Tricks of the Podcasting Masters teaches the art of podcasting, and it does so in a voice that is original and engaging. In choosing this book, you've made a wise choice.
I've worked with both Rob and Mur on my One America Committee podcasts, and in that time they have shown me that they're professionals who know exactly what they're doing. Both of them started podcasting back in December of 2004 when podcasting was not even four months old. Since then they've learned what works and what doesn't. In this book, Rob and Mur share not only their wisdom, which is immense, but also the wisdom of some top podcasting expertsskilled podcasters who have proven that they can build and hold a large audience.
Podcasting literally gives people an opportunity to have their voice heard. Whereas blogs and websites allow people to communicate in written form, podcasts allow people to hear not just the message, but also the tone and the passion of the podcaster. The emotions conveyed in the spoken word make it a powerful mediumsomething that radio outlets have known since the days of FDR. In the age of the fax machine and the Internet, the spoken word had taken a back seat to text. No longer. Now that people are rediscovering the power of the spoken word through podcasting, anyone who has a message can easily get it to thousands of people.
There is a quote you may have heard: "With great power, comes great responsibility." I hope that you will use this tremendous power responsibly so that you can be a cause of positive change. One day I hope to hear your voice, strong and purposeful and rich with ideas for a better world. One day I hope to hear your voice as the voice of a leader. With the help of this book, and with determination and focus, that day could come soon.
Senator John Edwards