Archive for May, 2009|Monthly archive page

Some thought and stats on podcasting

In Honours blog on May 31, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Mohney, Doug. “Ipodder good fodder for MP3” 2004.

“However, the broadcast industry barely has its brain around streaming media. MP3 distribution of popular radio shows is something that they just don’t want to deal with unless they can see a clear profit out of the whole scheme. It’s too bad, because I’d love to listen to a couple of shows more often, but I don’t have the time. The iPodder would give me the time through technology.” This is good as a historical text. Because I really don’t think many in the broadcast industry are anti-podcasting any more. Goes to show how quickly things can change in an online world.

I came across an article refering to a 2006 Pew Internet poll. So I decided to see what Pew Internet had been saying more recently.

Madden, Mary and Jones, Sydney. “Podcast Downloading 2008” 2008.

“Some 12% of internet users say they have downloaded a podcast so they can listen to it or view it at a later time. This finding compares to the 7% of internet users who reported podcast downloading in our February-April 2006 survey. However, few internet users are downloading podcasts with great frequency; in both surveys, just 1% report downloading a podcast on a typical day.”

A Nielsen report concluded:

  • 6% of respondents described themselves as regular podcast downloaders, more than 75% of whom were male.
  • Approximately 38% of these active podcast downloaders say they are listening to radio less often.
  • Some 72% of respondents who regularly download podcasts say they download an average of one to three podcasts per week.

Article review: Sterne, Morris, Baker, Freire.

In Honours blog on May 31, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Sterne, Morris, Baker, Freire. “The Politics of Podcasting” fibreculture. Issue 13, 2007

“At the end of 2005, the New Oxford American Dictionary (NOAD) selected ‘podcast’ as its word of the year” (pg. 1)

The exact number of podcasts and their listeners may be difficult to quantify, but podcasts are now a prevalent part of the new media landscape (Nielsen, 2006).”

“For cyber-mavens, hobbyists, and not-for-profit organisations, podcasts embody a new, more democratic kind of expression. For media companies and other corporations, they represent a new way to connect to niche audiences and another potential revenue stream.”

“RSS is a powerful means of organising seriality online because it relieves subscribers of the requirement to look for new content every time they go online; the content comes to them instead.[3]…The RSS dimension creates an expectation of seriality which shapes both production and consumption practice: podcasts are supposed to repeat over time, so listeners subscribe to “shows” and podcasters make “shows”.

“For Berry, this makes podcasting a ‘disruptive technology’ (152); it is free, open, automated via RSS, and radio-like, and thus, a direct assault on the radio industry.” (pg. 4) Berry is a person who sees podcasts as undermining radio. It seems like for much new media, you have to embrace it or gradually be overtaken by it. The authors disagree, citing examples of the top podcasts as evidence of mass medias acceptance and dominance in podcasting.

it is perhaps a bit too much to suggest, as Berry does, that podcasting is a ‘disruptive technology’ capable of reorganising the way radio and other media outlets operate. So far, major media companies have adjusted to the introduction of podcasts with ease.” (pg. 7)

“The ability to create podcasts, in other words, depends not only on devices to listen to them (MP3 players), or technologies to help consumers find them (RSS) but also on a host of software and hardware innovations, many of which began long before RSS or even iPods.” (pg. 6)The argument that is running through this is anti-technological determinist. The iPod didn’t launch the podcast, the podcast came about because or a range of antecedents.

“…then podcasting is not simply an outgrowth of blogger culture, but rather part of a much longer history of dissemination. Podcasting is not an alternative to broadcasting, but a realisation of broadcasting that ought to exist alongside and compete with other models.” The authors want us to see podcasting in historical terms. It is not a new medium, but rather an offshoot of an old medium.

A very informative article, offering a different view about podcasting. Great.

Article review: Rebecca Randall

In Honours blog on May 31, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Randall, Rebecca. “Reported experiences of presence, space, and place in virtual environments” Monash University.

This study is not that relevant. Looking more at online concepts of space, and only occasionally brings in the concepts of psychogeography and dérive.

“The SI would practise the dérive in an effort to realise and denote actualities of a physical sense of space. Through the SI practise of the dérive and subsequent psychogeographical maps, the SI and Debord (1994) believed that these types of ephemeral actions are passages to a new way of life if only to be expanded.”

There is not that much in this report that’s relevant.

Article review: Jay Rosen #2

In Honours blog on May 31, 2009 at 4:43 am

Rosen, Jay. “The People Formerly Known as the Audience” PRESSthink.
And here’s another one by Rosen on a similar topic. It’s all about how the media had been taken back by the audience.

“Once they were your printing presses; now that humble device, the blog, has given the press to us. That’s why blogs have been called little First Amendment machines. They extend freedom of the press to more actors.

Once it was your radio station, broadcasting on your frequency. Now that brilliant invention, podcasting, gives radio to us. And we have found more uses for it than you did.” (pg. 1)

Dan Gillmor has described this new empowered internet user as the “former audience”.

“But we’re not on your clock any more. Tom Curley, CEO of the Associated Press, has explained this to his people. “The users are deciding what the point of their engagement will be — what application, what device, what time, what place.”” (pg. 2) A very good point. People now want freedom and power when they consume media, or create it. People are no longer passive when it comes to news and media and communication.

The people formerly known as the audience are simply the public made realer, less fictional, more able, less predictable. You should welcome that, media people. But whether you do or not we want you to know we’re here.” This blog almost seems like a battle cry to mass media. A warning, accept or be overrun! Interesting.

This is a useful source as it brings together a whole lot of different thinkers on the topic of the “Active Audience” or the “eyeballs” (pg. 3) Good.

Article review: Jay Rosen

In Honours blog on May 31, 2009 at 4:19 am

Rosen, Jay. “Users-Know-More-Than-We-Do-Journalism” PRESSthink, 2006.

Rosen is a blogger and “a press critic, a writer, and a professor of journalism at New York University.” (Wikipedia) He presented this argument at BloggerCon in 2006, for a summary go here.

He has lots of citations in his blog and is obviously very knowledgeable about the media, journalism, citizen journalists, etc.

As usual here are some of the more relevant quotes to my research.

“In fact it’s not clear yet how we can take ideas and developments like… distributed knowledge, social networks, collaborative editing, the wisdom of crowds, citizen journalism, pro-am production, decentralized newsgathering, we media… and turn them into actual investigations, published reports that draw attention because they reveal what was previously unknown— you know, news.” (pg. 1)

“I tried to imagine a project that would demonstrate how big the potential gains were , if you could empower users. ..A blog-organised , red-blue, 50-state coalition of citizen volunteers who would read and attempt to decipher every word of every bill Congress votes on and passes next year.” (pg. 2) This is an interesting idea. This would truly be citizens taking control of the watch-dog role of journalists. Keeping an eye on their politicians and not just relying on media organisations. It’s the sort of project that could never work in a company because it wouldn’t be economical. It would work in a similar way to Wikipedia I imagine.

“Right now the need is for more trials, more fire, and many more collaborations going on so we can see what difference social networks make in the art and science of investigative reporting.” (pg. 2)

Overall a good source, but quite short.

Some reflection

In Transient Spaces on May 29, 2009 at 3:34 am

And so it is done.

It’s great to have it all finished and to get some feedback.

It’s official, the documentary caused my busiest day on record. Busiest day: 66 — Thursday, May 28, 2009.

I think using social networks with each other is very effective. I have my Twitter account linking to my blogW. My blog links to youtube, google.maps, flickr, and facebook. Facebook links back to wordpress. It’s all one wonderful circle of clicks, that people can look into as much or as little as they like.

Interestingly one of my friends who watched it said she liked them progressively more as she went on. Community acted as an introduction, light and happy. Borders explored some of the issues within the community. And  Bad Behaviour actually has some drama and anger in it. I’m glad th had a natural progression, that some people are willing to watch from beginning to end. As I was still a bit concerned that ten minutes would be too long for your average online attention span.

Facebook was the most successful social media platform. People are more open to adding comments, unlike youtube, where you tend to watch without reflecting.

In total I have 36 views on youtube. I wish there was a way of seeing the statistics for Facebook views.  It’s not that much about how many people are interested in watching these videos. More that anybody is interested at all!

There are still some editing changes that I would have made if I had more time. But the problem with these sort of projects is they’re hard to put down. They could potentially be improved forever and ever.

Now It’s time to bask in the happiness of ticking off an assignment…and start on my next two.

Queen’s College Documentary

In Transient Spaces on May 28, 2009 at 5:01 am

Queen’s College is one of  Melbourne University’s academic colleges.

I attended Queen’s in 2006 and 2007.

As part of my Honours course at RMIT I’m taking a class called Transient Spaces. We were asked to make a documentary about a community. Because I had an insight into the  Queen’s College community I felt this was an urban community that would be worth exploring.

I chose to make three mini-documentaries, each exploring a different theme within the community as well as a different documentary theory.

Community” looks at what makes a community work.

Borders” explores the exclusivity within communities.

“Bad Behaviour” looks at delinquency, and how you define this within a community.

See my previous post, Documentary Learning Contract for a more detailed look at the themes and theories being explored.

Go to Google Maps and search “Queen’s College Documentary” to look at where Queen’s College is, and have a look at some of the areas within and around this community.

Flickr has many photos of this community in action.

Wikipedia‘s entry on the college gives a good overview.

My Videos on Facebook was a great place to share the documentaries as most Queeners are part of this social network. It enables easy commenting and tagging, unlike youtube, which fewer people are active members of.

Editing down

In Transient Spaces on May 28, 2009 at 3:28 am

Ok, now, big breath. I think the docos are finally done.

Community is about four minutes.

Borders is about six minutes.

Bad Behaviour is about ten minutes.

It can be so hard to cut out quotes and footage and all these things that represent all the work you’ve done.

But in the end people wont bother watching it at all if it’s too long!

I’m currently uploading them on Facebook. I’ve been having more trouble with youtube. No idea what’s wrong…

Emily helped me out with how to export the movies into a web format so they’d be small enough to upload.

Doing this task has made me realise where the holes in my knowledge are. I can shoot and edit a movie. But I don’t know anything about types of files, file sizes, and how to share things online. These are pretty integral parts of this course so it is very useful to have been able to learn these things.

Now time for all the supporting links…


In Transient Spaces on May 22, 2009 at 2:37 am

I’ve done the rough cuts for all three mini-docs.

Community and Borders are both under 10 minutes, but Bad Behaviour is almost 17 minutes. Bad Behaviour has a case study within it which the others don’t. So it’s hard to get the length down without hurting the substance of it.

And I’m almost feeling like they should all be closer to five minutes, considering how short people’s attention spans are. I think I’m going to head back into the edit suite and be severe with cutting. The old KISS principle.

And after showing it in class today I realised that terms like “wyvern”, “3J”, etc. aren’t widely understood, so I’ll need some kind of explanation when I introduce a foreign term.

The PTC was too dark compared to the rest of the documentary. So it might be cut too.

The music is  a bit too loud over the Masters first clip, so I need to lower that.

Community seems like a bit of a puff piece when viewed on its own. But with the others it’s more balanced.documentary, edit

The text introducing people needs a drop shadow, or box around it to make it easier to read.

Article summary: Emily Hiestand

In Honours blog on May 19, 2009 at 6:13 am

Hiestand, Emily. “Writing in a personal voice: ‘your training as journalists is a tremendous platform on which to layer or from which to develop a personal voice’. Nieman Narrative Journalism Conference, Nieman Reports 56.1, Spring 2002.

Hiestand argues that incorporating personal voice can improve certain types of journalism.

News voice and personal voice do different things, and we really need them both. (Hiestand, 2002, pg. 1)

And the additional responsibilities come because the personal voice is, of course, quirkier and more idiosyncratic, and it reveals inevitably more of your humanity. (Hiestand, 2002, pg. 1)

The personal voice is the realm of why and how, and it almost always brings in more description and more interpretation. (Hiestand, 2002, pg. 1)

When we include a great deal of sensory materials in our writing, what we are doing is awakening in ourselves and in our readers not only the analytical intelligence but also our visual intelligence, our auditory intelligence, our emotional and kinesthetic intelligence.(Hiestand, 2002, pg. 2)

The particularities of your language, the tone, the colour, the rhythm, the cadences, the elusive qualities, the alliteration, all those textual particularities can embody the ide of you piece. (Hiestand, 2002, pg. 2)

I’ve seen this kind of attention to detail called immersion reporting. (Hiestand, 2002, pg. 2)

It’s very akin to good conversation in that it has this animated, intimate voice. And it’s quirkier. It can shift. It can go from being very colloquial to being more formal. Just the way we do in conversation. (Hiestand, 2002, pg. 3)

“…a rich vocabulary keeps readers with you because you are a source of surprise. (Hiestand, 2002, pg. 3)

I like this article.  It makes sense to me . And it captures the essence of what I want to achieve. I want the podcasts to have a sense of immersion about them. So the listener can picture whatever experience I’m describing.

Here is a cool new word for us from Hiestand.


  1. Of, relating to, or involving elegy or mourning or expressing sorrow for that which is irrecoverably past: an elegiac lament for youthful ideals.