Saturday, November 04, 2006

PodCasting and Videocasting at Internet Librarian 2006

The Podcasting & Videocasting presentation had five speakers and merited a double slot in the Social Computing Track at Internet Librarian. It was introduced by Aaron Schmidt, who wore a suit for the occasion.

Greg Schwartz from the Louisville Free Public Library said that there is some confusion about the definition of a podcast. An audio presentation on the Internet is not a podcast unless 1) it has an RSS feed, 2) it has subscribers to the RSS feed, and 3) the content is created regularly.

Schwartz said not to podcast just because it is cool. He warned that it time-consuming, requires funding to continue, and calls for follow-up with more podcasts.

He said there are many reasons to incorporate podcasts into a library’s web plans:

  • A podcast is a good way to get more money out of your lectures and performances. (Get speaker permission.)
  • It is an interesting way to distribute library news.
  • It is a good vehicle for bibliographic instruction.
  • It can be used to provide service to the blind and physically handicapped.

Greg had nine steps to producing a podcast:

  1. Determine content and format.
  2. Assemble equipment.
  3. Record.
  4. Edit and export mp3 file.
  5. Listen. (He said this is often forgotten.)
  6. Put file on a server.
  7. Generate an RSS feed.
  8. Publish.
  9. Promote and respond to feedback

Jeff Humphrey of INCOLSA added that offering videocasts is a natural progression from existing library services. (Perhaps he referred more to academic settings where there is an instructional mandate.)

His production tips included the following:

  • Have a good reason for doing the production.
  • Use a very good microphone.
  • Frame shots properly using the nine fields and fill the screen.
  • Enhance with graphics.
  • Have fun, which makes productions more interesting to viewers.

David Free of the Decatur Public Library added several points:

  • Twenty minutes is too long for most podcasts.
  • Music should be used sparingly, unless music is the focus of the podcast.
  • Have more than one speaker. Listening to one speaker is sleep-inducing

Sean Cortes of Iowa State University told about universities and museums making their lecture available through ITunes. He also recommended that libraries might make directories of links to podcasts produced by other organizations before they start making their own.

David Lee King of the Topeka and Shawnee Public Library showed some sample videocasts. He recommended the technology for traditional and innovative library services:

  • Book Talks
  • Bibliographic Instruction
  • Reshowing your events (with permissions)
  • Oral histories turned video
  • Behind the scenes library tours
  • Candidate forums
  • Craft and hobby instructions

He recommended reading some videoblogging books to get started.


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