14 September 2007
Testing a combined blog and podcast feed

Recently, my thoughts have been turning towards podcasting.  But, if I am going to do it I’d like to be able to set up the feeds correctly so that an aggregator knows what to do with it.  In the case of the Bloglines aggregator, if it recognises a podcast as a podcast, it can do a couple of funky things one of which is to stream the podcast - useful for the listener if the podcast goes into tens of megabytes, which so many do.

Anyway, after a number of experiments and a sharp learning curve, I think I’ve figured out a way of doing it as well as integrating the podcast feed with the regular blog feed.  So, if you’re reading this via RSS you should at least get an enclosure, if you’re reading this via Bloglines you should get a play button below and if you’re reading this all regular like a link should appear below.

We shall see…

The podcast in question is me talking to Brian about Emmanuel Todd.  Which is worth republishing in and of itself.

Update  Well, it works in RSS 2.0 but not Atom.  Not a complete disaster given that not a lot of people subscribe to Atom but still, not good.

18 March 2007
I am very much enjoying History According to Bob, Professor Bob Packett's series of historical podcasts. Here he is on the evolution of the calendar.

No round-up this week - I'm going to wait until I have a bit more material.

20 April 2006
How should you fisk a podcast?

As I have mentioned before I have been listening to Stefan Molyneux's series of podcasts. Most of them have been pretty good although one or two have made me hum and haw a bit. But the one on 9/11, in which he gives credence to the claim that it was organised by the US government (link to follow), set the alarm bells ringing.

Now, I think the claim that 9/11 was anything other than what it appeared to be, is absurd and I could write a whole long piece about conspiracy theories and falsafiability, but it is another issue that interests me: how should you even go about fisking a podcast?

Well, couldn't you just go through it line by line?

You could, but think of the effort involved and especially the effort involved in comparison to fisking a blog posting. While, it is easy to scan and take excerpts from a posting it is much harder to do this with a podcast. Meanwhile, it is much easier to produce a podcast (once you've got the right equipment) than it is to write a posting (something that Brian Micklethwait has mentioned - here, I think - see what I mean about how difficult it is to track things down in podcasts?). There is a severe imbalance here, in terms of effort, certainly if one is attempting to balance verbal podcasts with written blog postings.

In that case, isn't the obvious answer to do a verbal fisking?

Yes, but there are a number of difficulties with this. Not necessarily show-stoppers but things that will slow you down:
  • Linking. How do you put an html link into a podcast? The only way you can do it is by creating a blog posting with the links to the original podcast and your fisking. Cumbersome.
  • Excerpting. You still have to find, cut and paste the bits you want to excerpt.

So, what is the answer?

Well, maybe, the answer is to do nothing. Maybe, you have to accept that podcasts are not really fiskable and because they aren't they shouldn't be taken too seriously. Exactly, the same, of course, is true of all other forms of broadcast media.