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Lifelong Learning

Notes From a Life-long Learner: Podcasting


Radio from start to finish., Digital ID 1108220, New York Public LibraryA podcast is an audio program anyone can make, post to a website, and make available for download onto a computer or portable device, such as an iPod (hence the term “podcast”). Listeners can subscribe to a podcast and get future episodes downloaded automatically as they become available. You probably already subscribe to podcasts of various kinds, but have you ever considered making your own?

Come on! You could garner a great following and become the next (insert favorite radio personality here). Or you could simply be a podcast nerd who broadcasts for family and friends for fun and a sense of personal satisfaction. What I love about podcasting is that anyone can opine or inform on any topic on a regular basis, educating and entertaining for fun and perhaps even profit.

Of course, the hard part, especially for someone like me, is choosing a podcast topic. That brainstorming session could take months.

Nevertheless, if you’re interested in learning more about podcasting or trying it out for yourself, here are some great books on the topic:

And here are a few of my favorite podcasts to try:

  • Coffee Break Spanish :15 minute audio lessons for beginning to intermediate Spanish speakers with teacher, Mark, and student, Kara.
  • NPR Books consists of book reviews, author interviews, and book news.
  • This American Life is a weekly collection of unusual audio documentaries, real stories, and personal essays arranged around a theme.

What are your experiences with creating or listening to podcasts? Let me know, and happy podcasting!


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great post Jyna! Some of my

great post Jyna! Some of my favorite podcasts/radio shows: <a href="">The Dinner Party Download</a> and <a href="">The Sound of Young America</a>, both are great for interviews and general pop cultural commentary. WNYC's own <a href="">Radiolab</a> <a href="">The Splendid Table</a> for food talk, right now I am reading their <a href="">How to Eat Supper</a>. And of course <a href="">Marc Maron's WTF</a> for insights into the psyches of comedians.

I actually subscribe to WTF

I actually subscribe to WTF also. I love hearing from commedians and Maron sneaks in some politics, too.

On creating and enjoying podcasts

I've been participating in podcasts for several years and producing my own for several months. I learned a lot about podcasting by reading Podcast Solutions by Michael W. Geoghegan and Dan Klass. It does take an investment of time and money to get things started; you'll need to get some recording equipment and either pay for hosting or find a site that will host your content for free. But once you get things started it's pretty simple to maintain the process, and then the biggest challenge becomes coming up with new content on a regular basis. I produce Be a Better Booktalker, which is a weekly podcast geared towards librarians, teachers, and anyone else who's interested in sharing books with reluctant readers. I'll also give a shout-out to the film discussions on the Cinefantastique podcast (okay, I've appeared on several episodes, including their recent discussions on Hugo and George Melies, but honestly I'm a fan of that show anyway!) When I want to laugh, I listen to This Week With Larry Miller and The Long Shot Podcast. And when I want to listen to insightful and thought-provoking interviews, I listen to ... WTF! Hmmm ... I wonder if Marc Maron knows how many of his fans work in libraries?

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