Tag Archives: audio

Dogear Nation 200, and 250 hours of podcasting

We’re just about to record episode 200 of Dogear Nation, a regular (weekly, barring a few more recent gaps) podcast summing up opinions of what’s new online and in tech.

I actually only joined Michael Rowe and Michael Martine (the co-hosts) as a regular element of the show around January 2009, and by then they had already clocked up 80+ episodes. Either way, I reckon on around 250 hours of recording time, and a little more than that when I include the few episodes I also edited; 2 and a half years of regular podcasting.

So what have I learned from this exercise?

  • Michael Rowe and Michael Martine are extraordinarily generous, friendly, and wonderful guys – I’ve enjoyed working with them and sharing ideas and opinions. I have two amazing friends for life, built through a digital foundation.
  • It’s difficult to keep a weekly podcast going, even with the regular input from listeners. It’s also difficult to drive and expand an audience. We’ve had some great contributors and regular listeners and I’m grateful to them.
  • Preparation is (nearly) everything. Over the course of the past couple of years we’ve evolved the way that we put the show together, finally arriving at a shared Google document where we co-edit the show notes to build the structure of the show. That’s really helped us to build momentum. It’s still good to have some ad-libbing and free discussion of course.
  • Technology keeps evolving. We knew this of course – one of the premises of the show has always been about the bleeding edge of technology and where things have been moving. Well, I think it’s fair to say that over the course of the past few years on the show, we’ve seen various products go from science fiction to the beginnings of science fact.
  • Go with what you know. I’ve had a lot of fun talking about the things that fascinate me and that I’m passionate about. I know that Michael, Michael, and before me, Matt Simpson, have also made their best contributions based on the areas that they’ve known about or have been most curious about. For example, amongst other things, Michael Rowe is a space / NASA buff and a hardcore gamer; Michael Martine is very business-focused, and hates anything that threatens to go near his eyeballs 🙂

It’s been a fun couple of years.

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Daddy, where did the Internet come from?

I’m a big fan of podcasts. As a podcaster myself, you might expect me to say that. I know many people are not fans, and that’s OK – it’s a matter of taste, I think. For me, it’s convenient to be able to get information while I’m driving, or travelling via some other means or doing something else which makes reading difficult. I like some of the insight that comes out through deeper discussion of a topic, or even from the interaction of several people in a conversation, which you typically don’t get from a written post which is likely to be from one point of view. Audio can take more concentration than reading text, of course, and is difficult to scan, so I can understand objections – like I said, it’s a matter of taste. For me, podcasts need to be interesting, and ideally they need to be short (45 mins max) and easy to consume[1].

One particular podcast series which I came across recently (via epredator) is an excellent series of short pieces from the Open University – it’s called The Internet at 40 (iTunes link). It looks at the origins of the Internet and then covers a series of interviews with some of the pioneers like Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee as well as less well-known people like Donald Davies and Ray Tomlinson. It’s mostly delivered in nice bite-sized 5-15 minute chunks, with only the first piece lasting longer than 20 minutes, and even then, that’s a compelling listen.

Ever wanted to know how this thing called the Internet evolved? I found it fascinating to listen to Donald Davies talking about the genesis of TCP/IP – I’d always understood it at a general level, but hearing these guys discuss the original thinking behind some of the fundamental concepts was really cool. As both an historian and a techie, it was great to listen and see my two worlds collide. Recommended.

[1] the one exception I make to the 45-minute rule are the shows from TWiTMacBreak Weekly and net@night are regular subscriptions, and the latter in particular is great for making new online discoveries. If you have the stamina for something a little longer, the TWiT network has some great shows.

If my content is my CV – where’s my content?

I’ve frequently told folks who come to my presentations that “my content is my CV”. Sometimes, that content can feel a bit dispersed, especially given my habit of playing with a lot of the new services that come along.

I posted about a similar topic a few months ago, but mainly talked about the different blogs I contribute to. Time for a quick round-up of some of the main places you can find that content (you’ll find longer lists on my About, Audio/Video, and Writings pages).

Oh, and the easiest addresses to remember may be andypiper.co.uk or theandypiper.com – both of which will bring you back here.

What is really called for on my part is either a visual CV, or something a bit different like a launch page or an experimental format. When I have time…

Broadcast on the web – ipadio

One of the first people I met at SOMESSO on Friday was Giles Bryan, who is one of the founders of ipadio. I mentioned that I was experimenting with a tool called AudioBoo on the iPhone recently… well, ipadio is similar, but there are a few key differences. It works from any phone; it records and streams live as you talk (the audio quality is not as good as AudioBoo, but the uses are arguably more flexible); and you can conference in multiple people to a call, so you can effectively have group chats or interviews live on the web from any phone.

Giles was good enough to let me have a look at a development pre-release version of their forthcoming iPhone application, and this morning we had a discussion about ipadio, some of the celebrity users, and some of the things you can do with it.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’m honestly not sure how often I’ll be using ipadio, but I have a “phlog” (phone blog) over on their site, so feel free to follow it if you’re interested. It’s clear that there’s a lot of interest in the online audio space so it is interesting to see these services develop.

Some audio from SOMESSO

Couple of things: