I just sent an email to Daryl Richel, program manager of CJSR Radio, the campus/community radio station from the University of Alberta, proposing that the station take up podcasting. Here’s the text of my letter:
Hey, this Darren Griffith. Back in 2001/2002 I used to produce promos for Alternative Radio as a volunteer at CJSR. I’ve since moved to Beijing. I still tune in to Prairie Pickin’ when I can over the web. I love that show.
Anyway, I’m back in Edmonton on vacation and I’m sorry to say I’m not listening to the station as much because I’ve discovered podcasts on the Internet. As a radio professional, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of this, but just in case I’ll describe it briefly. It’s an aggregation of simple ideas that allows an individual to subscribe to “radio” shows and have them downloaded over the Internet and appear in their personal mp3 player, usually overnight. For a more complete description on what it is and how it works, see this Wikipedia article on podcasting.
Now this pertains to CJSR because many radio lovers are finding that they can now personally construct their own programing and have it on demand and always with them. And once they set up the subscription, they don’t have to think about it. So they are listening less to broadcast radio.
So, perhaps the time is right for CJSR to consider podcasting some of its content. This would consist of producing mp3 files of individual shows and offering them for download, and the further step of producing an RSS feed for each show, which is the main technology of podcasting. (Don’t worry, it’s not very hard.) I realize that you currently offer mp3s of Radio Outpost for download. This show would be an excellent candidate for podcasting. The only extra step would be setting up the RSS feed that would allow podcatching clients to know when a new show appears and download it.
Basically, any content that you are licenced to offer for download could be made into a podcast. CJSR-produced news programming would be perfect for this. Music shows (or news shows that have a music intro, for example) are problematic because the licensing issues of podcasting have not been worked out yet (because it’s downloading and not Internet broadcasting).
To further my case for podcasting, I’ll mention that CBC is now doing a podcasting trial of /Nerd and Quirks & Quarks, which is really cool to think the CBC is forward-thinking enough to try this.
I hope all is well with you and the station, and I hope that you will consider using podcasting as a way to spread the great content produced at CJSR to a wider audience.
I’ll keep you readers informed of what comes of this. CJSR produces very good content, and it would be great to see it available on this new and growing distribution medium.