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June 08, 2005


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» An issue of portable storage space from Is there a PC Doctor in the house?
It’s odd that portable MP3 players seem to have bags of room on them, going up to 30 and 40Gb or so (and as Joe Wikert is finding, they’re difficult to fill up!) yet portable memory for PocketPC devices (which I fill up with digital maps w... [Read More]


Ethan Watrall

Podcasting is definitely an interesting phenomenon - both for the media consumer as well as those interesting in digital media trends. Its funny, despite the fact that it’s called "pod"casting, I almost never listed to casts on my iPod. I find that the times that I listen to my iPod (walking to and from places on campus) are too short to maintain the kind of temporal continuity necessary to enjoy and absorb a cast. Instead, I find that I'm listening to casts in my office on my desktop when I'm working, grading, writing, etc.

I've also been thinking about how to integrate podcasting into my teaching strategies. When I ask them, students seem to like the idea of being able to download and listen to a podcast of my lecture (if they've missed that day). The problem, obviously, pops up when students opt for listening to the podcasts instead of actually coming to class to listen to my lecture. In order to avoid this, I thought that one could time limit the podcast somehow - i.e. its only live for 24hours after the actual lecture. That way, students won't think they can skip the entire semester, and then listen to all of the lectures at the end of the semester. Its also pretty obvious that podcasting in the classroom won't work for certain classes. For example, my interactive design classes have such a vital visual component (showing design, code, etc.) that a podcast would be totally useless. However, for my more "lecture" based classes - like my Social History of Digital Games class - podcasting lectures might work a lot better.


You're right, Ethan, that the whole "pod"-casting label has gotten lots of people confused and even angry that it ends up sounding like an iPod only thing. That is, except for Steve Jobs :). But podcasting ends up the best word, really, because it sounds almost exactly like broadcasting. If it gets out there far enough and with wide enough variety, it will eventually lose its ipod-only connection. It's not "ipodcasting", after all. Emphasis on the cast, not the pod.

One thing you could do toward expiring podcasts would be to not archive them anyplace. There's no rule that says the podcast feed you supply always has to have the last N posts. On the contrary, some people hate that -- you don't want to discover a new podcast and then get bogged down by having to download the last 50 episodes that are no longer interesting or relevant. Just have the feed serve up the single most recent lecture.

Of course this wouldn't prevent people from downloading it once and then making it available elsewhere, but if you manage to solve that problem, please let Hollywood and the RIAA know, because they'd like to speak to you about a big paycheck :) :) :).

Re: the interactive design course, don't be surprised to see video podcasting catching up fast. Although photo-pods are not nearly as popular as audio players, there are already some casts that are offering a slideshow of pictures to accompany the audio.

rodney k.

Glad to see you mention Tim Grey's latest. Working with Tim here at Sybex is a great pleasure and it's terrific to see this kind of response to his book. Your half a million (and growing!) Average Joe readers might like to know that Tim runs an almost-daily e-mail list of his own, "Digital Darkroom Questions," where he answers any questions that include the words 'digital' and 'photography.'

Todd Main

The DotNetNuke book will surely be popular. It is one of the only large-scale OSS ASP.NET apps out there. It competes directly with phpNuke and Mambo on the Linux platform and is viewed as the only really useful public ASP.NET application out there (Rainbow too, which is also a derivative of iBuySpy). Even the .Text blogging platform went commercial when the author got a job, so there is not much out there for the MS developer community to call their own and have grassroots public development.

Dotnetnuke modules

Just a quick note on rodney k´s comment. you say Dotnetnuke competes with Phpnuke this is of course true but I find a lot of people are confused by the name of both products and think Dotnetnuke is just a .net version of phpnuke. This is very far from the truth. Besides the part "nuke" in the name there is very little that compares these two systems.

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