Tag Archives: FIR


Eric Schwartzman Interviews Steve Lubetkin about Podcasting

On February 19th, 2010, fellow FIR correspondent Eric Schwartzman interviewed Steve Lubetkin of Professional Podcasts for On the Record”¦Online. (At least, that’s when he posted it the interview; I didn’t get around to listening to it until rather later than that, due to the backlog in my new Sansa Clip+. )

Though I’m interested in all things podcasting at any time, the specific subject of the interview, “Podcasting for Business Communications,” was of particular interest because of a LinkedIn question I’d just seen: “What is the current state/future of corporate podcasting?”

One respondent said “Though there are some things to appreciate about podcasting, as a corporate investment it’s headed the way of the fax machine, but more quickly.”

None of the rest of the respondents agreed, though some of them (such as ”˜Professor’ Donna Papacosta here at the Podcast Asylum) might be said to have slightly biased opinions. Yet who would know, if not people who produce podcasts for corporations?

Steve Lubetkin certainly didn’t give the impression that his business was experiencing a rapid die-off. The quote Eric chose to highlight in his detailed show notes is

B2B podcasting is, for the most part, not about reaching large audiences. It’s about reaching individuals with an immediate need for the marketer’s product or service. So instead of getting in front of thousands of people who may or may not have a need, podcasting is about automating the awareness, consideration, research and evaluation phases of general buying cycles.

Which is to say, massive numbers aren’t even the point, never mind an indicator of whether the medium is viable. (Though I am taking this quote out of context.)

Eric’s rant about the number of Gold Quill entrants who claim to have podcasts and don’t (because there’s no RSS feed associated with their audio files) warmed my pedantic little heart. Indeed, I feel a syndrome coming on. I just can’t decide whether to call it “Podcastus Imitatus” or “Podcast Envy.”

Listen to the whole interview over on the OTRO website.

Anti-Social Media Services: Report from the Asylum 20

For FIR 507, December 7, 2009


This is ”˜Professor’ Goetsch reporting from the Spectacular San Francisco Bay Area offices of the Podcast Asylum.

I’m sure everyone who listens to FIR gets e-mail advertising social media webinars, trainings, and other services. Ragan Communications is hardly alone in sending invitations to these events, though I think they may be the most prolific.

But a few days before Thanksgiving, I received a message that provoked more than the usual “Oh, look! Someone wants to charge me money to tell me what I already know.” In fact, it disturbed me so much that I felt I had to share it here, even though the person who sent it is someone I know”–and used to respect. Continue reading

FIR 500 Is Coming!

If you have somehow escaped listening to For Immediate Release in its nearly five years of production, now is the time to make up for that lack. Shel and Neville are about to produce the 500th episode of their stellar podcast about the intersection of business communications and technology.

If you have any interest at all in social media, PR, internal comms, and the impact of new technology on old technology (such as  newspapers), you need to listen to this show. And I’m not saying that just because I record contributions for it now and then.

Go on over to the FIR website, listen to an episode or two, and leave a comment on the blog or call the listener comment line. Congratulate them on producing 500 episodes, and tell them ”˜Professor’ Goetsch sent you.

Reports from the Asylum Album Art

Report from the Asylum 18

Today’s Report from the Asylum is brought to you by Podcastus Moriturus, and well it should be: the topic is the latest outbreak of this syndrome, Leo Laporte’s claim in his keynote for the Online News Association that podcasting is dead and a combination of 24-hour live streaming and TV set-top box delivery is the way forward. Continue reading

Preparing for the Social Media Strategies Conference

Social Media Strategies 2009

Tomorrow I’ll be heading for AdWeek’s Social Media Strategies conference in San Francisco—in my capacity as a member of the press, to report on the event for FIR.

I haven’t been able to get a straight answer yet about recording the actual presentations for other than personal purposes, but I am hoping to interview some of the presenters and put together a special interviews podcast for Shel and Neville.

One of the interesting things about this particular conference is that I haven’t heard of most of the speakers. I mean, heck, I tend to assume I hear about everything on FIR. I’m looking forward to hearing some new case studies.

So it’s time to charge all the AA batteries for the iriver and check the microphones and pack up the netbook. If you’re going, just look for the redhead in the white lab coat.

FIR Conference Poll

twtpoll :: Would you be interested in attending a “For Immediate Release” conference w speakers @shel, @jangles, FIR correspondents & select listeners? (via @shel)

That’s right: Jeremiah Owyang got Shel & Neville started on the idea of a “For Immediate Release” conference in which ‘Professor’ Goetsch would be a participant. Where? I have no idea. When? Not a clue. What would I present about? Whatever FIR’s listeners wanted. I never miss an opportunity to get together with Shel, Neville, Dan, Eric, Lee, or fellow FIR listeners. And it would be great to meet Michael Netzley. Though it might be good if I finished reading (and reviewing) David Phillips’ book before then…

A(nother) Rant About ID3 Tags

I’ve written about the importance of ID3 tags before, but that was two years ago, and apparently many people are still not listening. (Shocking!) 

The Personal Problem

Besides, my most recent MP3 player (a Sansa Clip) has special new tricks in the podcast sorting department that mean I have to do extra tweaking on files that used to be fine. That’s a problem I should address to SanDisk rather than the general public, but just in case there are other Sansa users out there wondering why so many podcasts end up clumped under “Unknown”: you have to have an episode (track) number. It doesn’t matter what the number is. You could number every single episode of the podcast with “0” or “1” and it wouldn’t care, as long as there’s a number. But without it, it will stick the podcast into “Unknown” even though everything else is all right.

What’s more, the Sansa Clip insists on sorting podcasts by Album. Only. It will sort music by Artist, the way I used to sort my podcasts on my earlier Sansa, but this one groups podcasts by Album. This has proved to be a problem in several cases:

  1. NPR. I subscribe to the “Business Story of the Day” podcast, which, for some reason, uses the podcast episode title as the album.
  2. BlogTalkRadio. Any podcast they produce has “BlogTalkRadio” as the album. Um, no. I really want “Addicted to Race” listed separately from “The Publishing Insiders.” So I have to edit the ID3 tags myself before copying the files to the Sansa.
  3. FIR. Shel and Neville, you know I love you guys, but where everything used to show up together under “Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz,” the FIR Cuts are now in one place, the FIR Interviews in another, FIR Live in a third, and the Hobson and Holtz Report in a fourth.

All of these fall into the category of “minor nuisance,” since editing ID3 tags with AudioShell doesn’t take very long, but still, it’s a pain.

The Systemic Problem

Individuals producing podcasts through their own show blogs can learn to include ID3 tags in their MP3 files as well as in their feeds for iTunes. But what about podcasters who use third-party services to record?

When BlogTalkRadio first started producing podcast feeds, they didn’t have any non-iTunes ID3 tags at all. I talked to someone I knew who worked there, and they fixed that, or at least, they fixed it part way. (BlogTalkRadio should really come under “compilation” rather than “album” in the tags, the way Podiobooks.com does with their shows.)

TalkShoe’s podcasts still have no ID3 tags at all, and they’ve been around longer than BlogTalkRadio. Anytime I download an episode of WordPress Weekly, I have to fill in a whole lot more than just the track number, and I’m not even sure yet whether I like the show enough to take that much trouble.

And then there’s AudioBoo, the new kid on the easy-record podcast block. Not only “boos” short on ID3 tags (I’ve only seen title filled out), every single AudioBoo from every single user has the same file name: “recording.mp3.” Yeah, that’s really going to help me keep track of which one is which, or encourage me to subscribe.

And then there are all those free conference call services that offer to record your teleseminars, many of which will now produce a podcast feed for you. These often have gibberish file names and, at best, a title tag that says “Recorded call.” Really useful branding, that.

Since I don’t use iTunes, not having an iPod, I don’t know whether the tags are any better in iTunes. Perhaps I should try subscribing to some of those shows there, and find out. It might almost be worth it.

No. It couldn’t possibly be worth it. (Am I the only person in podcasting who thinks iTunes is an unbearable pain in the anatomy?)

The Solution?

Someone (uh, that would probably be you, ”˜Professor’ Goetsch, since you’re so passionate about it) needs to lobby these services to offer and encourage ID3 tag editing for the MP3 files they produce.

And someone—which would also be me, and which I’m trying to do by writing this when I should be engaged in something billable—needs to educate podcasters and others who want to use audio in their marketing and consulting about why ID3 tags are so freakin’ important. Hmm. I feel a “top 10” article coming on. Or at least a “top 5.”

Report from the Asylum 17

In her report for FIR 471, ”˜Professor’ Goetsch shares her thoughts about VoloMedia’s so-called ”˜podcasting patent.’

  • The patent appears to focus on retrieving rather than producing podcasts
  • The company states through its PR agency that it has no intention of interfering with independent podcasters
  • For some reason, Volo seems incapable of getting that message out to the public, and uninterested in responding to the blog storm

Links: Quit Panicking About the Volo Podcasting Patent

This Report from the Asylum is brought to you by Locus Confusus.