Tee Morris was an early podcaster whose first podcasts helped build audiences for his writing. Today he is a social media and communications professional who podcasts on topics ranging from original fiction to Internet security to video game reviews. Chuck Tomasi is an IT professional who began with one podcast in 2004 and quickly grew to several more. He has taken his podcast passion to his day-job to drive community and sales.
Maybe you've been casually surfing the web or perusing your newspaper when the word podcasting has popped up. You've heard the word before, but lately, it's been coming up again and again. Podcasting. Steadily, like a building wave that would make champion surfers salivate with delight, your curiosity continues to pique as the word podcasting echoes in your ears and remains in the back of your mind as a riddle wrapped in an enigma, super-sized with a side of fries and a diet soda to go.
Podcasting For Dummies, 3rd Edition, is the answer to that super-sized riddle-enigma combo, and it even comes complete with a special prize. Beginning with the question at the forefront of your mind - What is podcasting? - this book takes you through the fastest-growing technological movement on the Internet. By the time you reach the end of this book, the basics will be in place to get you, your voice, and your message heard around the world - and you can even have a bit of fun along the way.
About This Book
- "So what are you up to, Tee?"
- "I'm currently making a podcast of my first novel, a swashbuckling tale that carries our heroes ."
- "Uh . what's a podcast?"
Asked by best friends and lifetime technologists, this question continues to crop up over and over again, immediately after the word podcast lands in a casual conversation. Just the word podcasting carries an air of geekiness about it - and behold, the habitual technophobes suddenly clasp their hands to their ears and run away screaming in horror lest they confront yet another technical matter. Too bad. If they only knew how technical it really isn't. When you peel back the covers and fancy-schmancy tech-talk, it's a pretty simple process to make your own podcast. You just need someone pointing the way and illuminating your path.
This is why we're here: to be that candle in the dark, helping you navigate a world where anyone can do anything, provided people have the tools, the drive, and the passion. You don't need to be a techno-wizard or a super-geek - you need no wad of tape holding your glasses together, and your shirt tail need not stick out from your fly. Anyone can do what we show you in this book, and often more than not people do. Anyone can take a thought or an opinion, make an audio or video file expressing that opinion, and distribute this idea worldwide. Anyone can capture the attention of a few hundred - or a few thousand - people around the world through mobile devices or smartphones, strapped around biceps, jouncing in pockets, or hooked up to car stereos.
Anyone can podcast.
Podcasting, from recording to online hosting, can be done on a variety of budgets, ranging from frugal to Fortune 500. You can podcast about literally anything - including podcasting for its own sake. As blogging gave the anonymous, the famous, the almost-famous, and the used-to-be famous a voice in politics, religion, and everyday life, podcasting adds volume and tone to that voice.
Podcasting is many things to many people - but at its most basic, it's a surprisingly simple and powerful technology. What it means boils down to a single person: you. Some have likened it to online radio but it can do - and be - so much more. Podcasting is communication on a global platform, transmitting your voice and its message around the world without using public airwaves. It is connecting to the Global Village in ways that the creators of the Internet, RSS, and MP3 compression would probably never have dreamed. It is the unique and the hard-to-find content that can't find a place on commercial, college, or public access radio; but sometimes when a chord is struck, podcasts go beyond their humble beginnings.
You're about to embark on an exciting adventure into undiscovered territory, and here you will find out that podcasting is all these things and so much more.
How to Use This Book
Podcasting For Dummies, 3rd Edition, should be these things to all who pick up and read it (whether straight through or by jumping around in the chapters):
- A user-friendly guide in how to listen, produce, and distribute podcasts
- A terrific reference for choosing the right hardware and software to put together a sharp-sounding podcast
- The starting point for the person who knows nothing about audio editing, recording, managing RSS feeds, hosting blogs, or how to turn a computer into a recording studio
- A handy go-to "think tank" for any beginning podcaster who's hungry for new ideas on what goes into a good podcast and fresh points of view
- A really fun read
There will be plenty of answers in these pages, and if you find our answers too elementary, we give you plenty of points of reference to research. We don't claim to have all the solutions, quick fixes, and resolutions to all possible podcasting queries, but we do present to you the basic building blocks and first steps for beginning a podcast. As with any For Dummies book, our responsibility is to give you the foundation on which to build. That's what we've done our level best to accomplish: Bestow upon you the enchanted stuff that makes a podcast happen.
This book was written as a linear path from the conceptualization stages to the final publication of your work. However, not everyone needs to read the book from page one. If you've already gotten your feet wet with the various aspects of podcasting, jump around from section to section and read the parts that you need. We provide plenty of guides back to other relevant chapters for when the going gets murky.
Conventions Used in This Book
When you go through this book, you're going to see a few ??? symbols, the occasional ?????, and even a few things typed
in a completely different style. There's a method to this madness, and those methods are conventions found throughout this book.
When we refer to keyboard shortcuts for Macintosh or Windows, we designate them with (Mac) or (Windows). For Mac shortcuts, we use the "Command" symbol (that funky cloverleaf symbol found on the "Command" key) and the corresponding letter. For Windows shortcuts, we use the abbreviation for the Control key (Ctrl) and the corresponding letter. So the shortcut for Select All looks like this: ???+A (Mac) / Ctrl+A (Windows).
If keyboard shortcuts aren't your thing and you want to know where the commands reside on menus, we use a command arrow (?????) to help guide you through menus and submenus. So, the command for Select All in the application's menu is Edit?????Select All. You first select the Edit menu and then Select All.
When we offer URLs (web addresses) of various podcasts, resources, and audio equipment vendors, or when we have you creating RSS feeds for podcast clients, also known as "podcatchers" such as iTunes, Downcast, or Juice, we use
this particular typeface.
We assume that you have a computer, a lot of curiosity, and a desire to podcast. We couldn't care less about whether you're using a Mac, a PC, Linux, Unix, or two Dixie cups connected with string. (Okay, maybe the two Dixie cups connected with string would be a challenge; a computer is essential.) In podcasting, the operating system just makes the computer go. We're here to provide you tools for creating a podcast, regardless of what OS you're running.
If you know nothing about audio or video production, this book can also serve as a fine primer in how to record, edit, and produce media on your computer, as well as accessorize your computer with mixing boards, professional-grade microphones, and media production software that will give you a basic look at this creative field. You can hang on to this book as a handy reference, geared primarily for audio, though we do include some information on video, in podcasting. Again, our book is a starting point, and (ahem) a fine starting point at that.
With everything that goes into podcasting, there are some things this book is not now, nor will ever be, about. Here's the short list:
- We're not out to make you into an übergeek in RSS or XML (but we give you all you need to make things work).
- We figure that if you get hold of Audacity, GarageBand, iMovie, Final Cut Pro X, or Premiere, you can take it from there (but we give you overviews of those programs and a few basic editing examples).
- We're not out to teach you how to use an MP3 player, smartphone, or tablet. That's a prerequisite for this book.
For that matter, to dispel one of the biggest misconceptions of podcasting, you will not be told to run out and get an iPod. You do not need an iPod to podcast - or to listen to podcasts for that matter.
If you are looking for a terrific start to the podcasting experience, then - in the words of the last knight guarding the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - "You have chosen wisely."
How This Book Is Organized