Bob Stepno's Other Journalism Weblog
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Monday, December 20, 2004

The Boston Globe looks at the "early wave of fans for a new broadcast medium dubbed 'podcasting' -- audio content that listeners download from websites to iPods or similar digital music player devices." The story gets a few details wrong concerning the history of iPodder, but captures the enthusiasm that has led to not only amateur podcasts, but contributions by Boston's WGBH, the BBC and more.

The article briefly mentions the point that any computer can download and play podcasts; the iPod-style portability is cool, but not for everyone's lifestyle. Unlike streaming audio, podcasts can put talk shows or music programs on your office or home computer so you can listen at your convenience. (The comparisons to Tivo are obvious.)

Update 12/21: One of the "details wrong" I referred to above was a line in the Globe about a "Google-style search engine called iPodder." That had me scratching my head enough to drop a line to Peter Howe at the Globe. I thought he meant blog, RSS and podcast pioneer Dave Winer's list at audio.weblogs. com, but Peter says he was referring to the searchable directory at That "x" marks a different crew of developers. Its search isn't much like Google, but it does look like good place to find new audio feeds. Another source, right in the Globe's backyard, is (I've had problems with the search function, but the lists of music and talk sites work).

Elsewhere in Boston, I just noticed that the Christian Science Monitor had its own feature on podcasting earlier this month: 'Podcast' your world: Digital technology for iPod does for radio what blogs did for the Internet.

With some vision problems and a lot of student homework to read, I've been resting my eyes by listening to podcasts these past few months. Watching -- I mean hearing -- this new medium take shape has been a cross between listening to international short wave radio when I was in high school, poking around computer bulletin boards in the mid-1980s, and seeing my first websites in 1993. (OK, that probably passes for a three-strike "geek" confession, but there's more coming.)

The question I keep asking myself is, "what noise could I contribute to this global audio jam session?" The dangerous part is that despite a burglary some years ago, I still own a banjo.

7:56:06 PM    comment []

Hot Story: College apparel still made in sweatshops. Matthew Kauffman and Lisa Chedekel of The Hartford Courant find that college-licensed apparel is produced in sweatshop conditions, despite pledges made by academic leaders five years ago. From ExtraExtra (Extra didn't mention that the focus is on UConn. With basketball season upon us, I wonder how UT compares?)

Best tests not available to U.S. veterans. Bob Evans of The Daily Press in Newport News, Va., has a series about the use of depleted uranium in weapons and the science that shows links between the element and illness. From ExtraExtra

Web Searches Often Overwhelm Young Researchers - Andrew Trotter, edWeek. Students in many schools have Web access that approaches the ideal, but some experts say Googling leaves them awash in an ocean of information, and a UT professor adds that child-focused search engines have their own limitations. Elsewhere, the Associated Press reports on students' lack of respect for solid sources, such as that campus library full of books.

More Undercurrent: Action in Greensboro on Open Source Journalism. With the local blogging scene rapidy coalescing on its own, the local newspaper, led by a blogging boss, decides to act. He wants to remake the site as "an online community or public square."From PressThink.

The blog network is made of people. We are the nodes, actively filtering and retransmitting knowledge. Clearly this architecture can help manage the glut of information. More subtly, it can also help ensure that no vital inputs are suppressed because nobody has to rely on a single source. From Jon Udell in InfoWorld

Forbes on Wikis and Wikipedia. Forbes examines Wikipedia in a discussion about wiki technology. After the Wikipedia portion, the article mentions several kinds of wikis and how companies are using them. (From J's Scratchpad on the same day that I noticed the print edition of my local newspaper listing Wikipedia among its sources for stories about Christmas customs, and SouthKnoxBubba listing a bunch of historical happenings on his birthday, not unlike the calendar for that day at Wikipedia.)

That's enough, along with the three "save for Christmas week" books on my nightstand. More on them later.

3:55:17 PM    comment []

After a long hiatus, I've finally updated the AEJMC Newspaper Division website with a new officer list, an agenda for the new year, and a scrapbook of pictures from the 2004 convention in Toronto, which I wasn't able to attend myself. Photo credits and captions to come, but I do recognize a few familiar faces from Chapel Hill.

Full disclosure: Newspaper photo editor or page designers may be aghast, but I let the automated "Web Photo Gallery" function in Photoshop produce the scrapbook. I don't like one-size-fits-all tools, but it certainly beats resizing all those images by hand!

3:17:31 PM    comment []

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