Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Happy Blog Day

In continuing the Blog Day 2005 meme (Tim, thanks for the head’s up), here’s a trio of blogs that have pulled me in recently:

  • The Philosopher’s Almanac podcast, a very enjoyable listen on philosophical issues from Peter Shea at the U of M. Yeah, he’s in PodcastMN now also.
  • Connecting the Dots with Steve Borsch, in addition to being another fellow PodcastMN-er. Steve and I share a mutual friend. While I was following his podcast, Doug recommended I follow his blog also. Good stuff, especially the recent bit on hating rebates.
  • I’ve also been spending quite a bit of time at Norwegianity lately. Glen Mark is to politics what Hugh is to advertising. By that, I mean they both know how to curse.

Using Search Engines and Tags to Get A Specific Someone’s Attention

Scoble pointed out this Google search for Susan Dumais, look at the ad in the right-hand column. It’s less of an ad and more of a unique recruiting method. I hope this is the future of Google Ads – very specific messages targeted to a single individual.

This reminds me of the how venture capitalist Fred Wilson is using tags.

“He also has created a specific tag (“fred’spodcast”) that allows you to tag MP3s you think Fred will like and those MP3s will automatically download to his iPod courtesy of a RSS feed…..and created the tag “fred’selevatorpitch” for anyone who cares to push a podcast elevator pitch his way”

It’s how Feedburner got Fred’s attention.

This is method is an extension of Doc Searls’ statement on the evolving RSS subscription behavior:

“Mostly I subscribe to searches, and I keep changing those.”

I’m subscribed to Technorati searches for myself, this blog, all the software I develop, and a few keywords (like “attention.xml”). I know mentioning one of those things in a blog post is the easiest way to get me to pay attention to what you have to say.

Welcome to the direct-est of direct marketing.

WP-iPodCatter Now v1.0

I’ve cleaned up a few things based on the feedback from the 0.9a version, and tweaked a couple more things. Decided “0.9” wasn’t as round a version as I’d like and v1.0 felt better.

The Biggest Changes:
– Comment-cast is now a checkbox option (there were some problems with it being supported on earlier versions of PHP)
– The non-iTunes Channel-level Category tag can now be set.
– All the iTunes categories are listed in the plugin, now more digging around for that PDF.
– all the other stuff you loved from 0.9a

Download WP-iPodCatter v1.0

Tuesday, 30 August 2005

House is Better than Boston Legal

When James Spader started on the Practice, his dialogue transformed the show into something worth watching. The same is true of Boston Legal, well, was true. The “We’re firing Alan Shore” storyline is tiresome. Firing Alan Shore would make all the fans stop watching. The threat alone turned me off.

Fortunately, Jen introduced me to House. Gregory House has the same snappy, off-color, well-written, adult dialog as Alan Shore. The shift from law firm to hospital gives us another show with disgusting zooming-into-the-human-body special effects, a la CSI.

Tonight’s episode answered why House needs a cane. Great story. Until tonight, I was completely uninvested.

Monday, 29 August 2005

From Podcast to Publish

If you’re in the Twin Cities, head on down to your favorite coffee shop and grab the Sept. issue of the Rake. Then turn to page 18, second column. Yep, that’s an article by yours truly.

Sure, you could stay indoors and click this Prairie Home Companion Production Assistant link, but it’s a beautiful late summer evening.

Neither the Rake article or the original podcast would be possible without Jon Steinhorst – cause it’s his story. Thanks again Jon.

And thanks to the Rake’s editor, Hans Eisenbeis, for suggesting the text version of the story.

First Crack 60. Shellie Gonzales on Borrowing a Porsche Boxster for the Weekend

Would your boss loan his car out to you for the weekend?

In the finale of the 6 part series on the life passions of Parsinen Kaplan Rosberg & Gotlieb’s partners and staff, Shellie Gonzales talks about borrowing David Gotlieb‘s Porsche Boxter for the weekend.

Listen to Shellie Gonzales on Borrowing a Porsche Boxster for the Weekend [17 min]

Why Use Copyrighted Music in a Podcast?

Since I started podcasting nearly a year ago, there’s always been the question of how best to include music in a podcast. Personally, I’ve found it adds too much production time and I frequently fast-forward over songs in other podcasts anyway.

The CARP license that destroyed webcasting doesn’t quite fit. The RIAA, SoundExchange, and the other copyright holders haven’t published a license that makes sense to podcasters and I don’t see the incentive for them to. Their business model is based on keeping music unheard.

If there’s anything I gleaned from Frontline’s The Way the Music Died it’s that the really interesting artists aren’t in Wal-mart or any record store. Chris Anderson over at the Long Tail has the graphs to prove it. Yet, it’s the record store artists that new podcasters want to include in their new podcast.

Why shoehorn a model that doesn’t promote the interesting (traditional publishing) into a model that does (podcasting)?

Including a known artist’s work in a podcast is bad on two counts:

  1. It invites the RIAA and their lawyers into your wallet.
  2. It’s a lost opportunity to share other independent artists with your listeners. Sure, they won’t be as polished as your $18.00 radio-friendly unit shifters, but neither is your podcast. (That’s why it’s worth listening to.)

If you’re looking to use pre-recorded music for your podcast:

First know why you want music. Is it to sound like a “real radio” program? Or is it to share stuff you like with others in hopes they’ll like it to?

Secondly, pack up your CD collection and put your hometown in’s city or state search, flip through the Magnatune‘s catalog, or through everything licensed under Creative Commons.

I’m confident all the artists there will be more than happy to be on your podcast.


“…basing any new work on Big Machine Music is insanity, particularly when there is a wealth of available music via Creative Commons or trivially licensable sources like Magnatune.” – Dave Slusher