Thursday, August 30, 2007

TIcer 2007 Podcasting / Videocasting Talk

Thanks to everyone who attended my talk on podcasting and videocasting at the 2007 Ticer Institute today. I hope everyone learned something in the session and had a good time as well. Here are the links to podcasts and videocasts that I talked about.

We also created a few of our own podcasts during the hands-on part of the session. They are available on the site for the class. I will edit the video footage and get it online as soon as I can. I am sorry again for the technical difficulties that caused us to not get finished with the video in class.

Other information from the session, including links to creation tools and additional readings is available on my wiki.

Thanks again for coming. And inviting me to come to the Netherlands.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Groeten van Holland

Hello. I am currently in Tilburg, Netherlands getting ready for my podcasting and videocasting talk tomorrow. Everyone has been super nice so far, and the computer lab and classroom rock. They have a great setup.

The trip has been fun. I hung out in Brussels and Ghent for a couple of days before arriving in Tilburg yesterday. An obscene number of photos are available on Flickr. I have decided I take way too many photos when I travel.

A couple of things I've learned:

1. Musuems are closed on Monday in Belgium. This is not good if you are planning on visiting them on a Monday. If I had bothered to read the guidebooks I bought, this problem could have been averted.

2. Bring a clock. None of my hotel rooms have had clocks. I use my cell phone for a watch, and it doesn't work in Europe so I have no idea what time it is most of the time. Which isn't a bad thing, except when I wake up in the middle of the night.

3. I've used Blogger so much that I can navigate it with no problem in Dutch.

I'm heading to Amsterdam sometime on Friday and then back to Chicago on Sunday.

Vaarwel voor nu.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Rhapsody DRM Free

In loading up my digital music devices for my trip, I noticed that Rhapsody now has DRM-free MP3s available for purchase instead of DRM laden Real/ WMA format tracks. Costs are .89 cents per track and $8.99 per album, generally. And not everything is available as MP3s.

I mostly use Rhapsody for the subscription streaming/ download service which is, of course, going to use DRM as it is essentially a music rental service. But adding open MP3 downloads, makes the service much more appealing. There are tracks that I would sometimes be willing to purchase, and now I most likely will.

And now back syncing Common and My Bloody Valentine.


Keep Your Eyes On The Road

This evening I'm heading out to Brussels, via a 4 hour layover in London (think there's Old Speckled Hen in the airport?), for the 2007 Ticer Institute. I'm talking on Thursday morning about podcasting and videocasting in academic libraries. There will be a pretty large hands on component to the session, so perhaps look for some audio and video online. I'm excited, and slightly nervous, about talking to a group of librarians whose native language is something other than English, but I'm sure it'll go well.

I'm spending a day and a half in Belgium and a couple of days in Amsterdam after, so look for pics on Flickr. I'll definitely have Internet access in Tilburg and looks pretty plentiful in Amsterdam.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Guest Post: Podcast Usage At The Dowling College Library

{Here is another guess post, this time authored by Chris Kretz of the Dowling College Library.}

First off, thanks to Dave for the opportunity to share some podcasting thoughts here on his blog. My name is Chris Kretz and I'm the digital resources librarian at Dowling College on the south shore of Long Island. I also podcast for the library, an interview show called Omnibus. It tends to be about people's research interests and creative pursuits (whether they be faculty, students, community members or alumni) with a few forays into literary and dramatic presentations. I've been looking over our usage statistics for the last twelve months and wanted to informally share what I'm seeing in terms of the number of downloads of MP3 files, with an eye towards the question: are we attracting an audience?

When we started using WebTrends to track downloads of our MP3 files in July 2006, we had nine episodes already online. Over the next year we released 22 more. Those 31 episodes combined were downloaded a total of 17,970 times in twelve months. Here's how the top five episodes break down, with the interview topic and # of downloads for the year (our early shows often contained multiple interviews): a collector of Long Island ephemera and memorabilia (1700), a class on genealogical research (1611), computer safety and the history of a curious traffic intersection on campus (1598), a local historical society and the Drama Club (1494), a local historian and the Drama Club (1439). The local history focus grew out of our special collections . More work needs to be done to identify who our listeners are and this is by no means a full-blown analysis.

Am I satisfied with how we’re doing? My goal with Omnibus was to develop an alternative to onsite programming, something less formal yet with a coherent and continuing format. If we divvied up our downloads into attendance at 31 library programs for the year - well, for one thing, we don't have a room that will seat 580 people. Virtually speaking, however, people are still coming. So far we’re averaging 75 downloads a month per episode. That pace hasn’t slacked yet and since we have no foreseeable bandwidth issues, I see reason to continue and let the long tail continue to attract listeners.

Of course, there are lies, damned lies, and podcast statistics. Each download does not necessarily represent one listener. There’s no way to say if each download actually gets listened to. And we’ll have to do some surveying to get a better idea of who our listeners are. Beyond that, I see it as a positive that 17 faculty, 14 students, 5 administrators, 4 alumni, 6 poets, 4 professional actors, 13 community members and 1 NYCLU lawyer who may never have had occasion to meet or talk to a Dowling College librarian, have done so on our podcast and shared it with their friends and family. That, ultimately, will be how our core audience grows.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mindset List (is a registered trademark of Beloit College)

Just in case any of you who are still following my feed live in a cave or something, the Beloit College Mindset List came out today. I stand by my assertion that it exists for the sole purpose of making me feel old. Highlights:

"They never “rolled down” a car window." {They have never ridden in my car}
"They were too young to understand Judas Priest’s subliminal messages."
"The World Wide Web has been an online tool since they were born." {And now I am old}

But seriously, that last one is something to think about. Kids entering college this fall have ALWAYS HAD THE INTERNET.

We now return to our regularly scheduled silence. I really am going to start blogging regularly again soon. I promise.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

GLLS2007 Audio

If you attended the recent Gaming, Learning and Libraries Symposium, you probably saw someone running around between sessions starting and stopping recordings. That was me. Almost all of the sessions were recorded and will eventually be available online for your listening pleasure.

The first recording, Henry Jenkins' excellent keynote talk "What Librarians Need To Know About Games, Media Literacy and Participatory Culture", is now online. His slides are available on the wiki page as well. Follow along at home!

The recordings were done through the PA system for each room with iPods and Belkin TuneTalk. Jenny Levine is editing them, most likely with Audacity. The first one came out pretty well, if I do say so myself. I read the little tag at the end too.

Keep an eye (or an ear) out for more session recordings in the future.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I was just perusing a copy of Copy Editor (really, I was) and ran across a mention of Wordie. Wordie is a social bookmarking site for words. The tag says it all "Like Flickr, but without the photos." You add and make lists of words you love or hate. Each word listed has links to several online reference sites for defining. You can also comment on words and provide citations. There are lists of top words, just like Netflix. "Schadenfreude" is #1 on the Wordie Hot 100. I created a profile and added "hemidemisemiquaver". Wordie is fun.



The Chronicle Wired Campus blog had a post yesterday about a cool new feature from Slideshare called Slidecasts that allows you to easily add audio narration to PowerPoint presentations. It sounds like you just upload a PPT to Slideshare, point to an online mp3 file and sync them. This could be a pretty good solution for folks who don't have access to screencasting software like Camtasia to produce narrated presentations.

8/8 Update:
Jeff Scott has a post on his blog Gather No Dust that details using Slidecast to make a screencast for his library. He posted a comment but I wanted to bring the link up top. Very cool!