Friday, 13 August 2010

Video killed the Radio Star? Podcasts and YouTube, Thing 21.

I'm actually struggling to write this post. Not because I have nothing to say, but because I have too much to say! I've been listening to a lot of podcasts recently and doing quite a lot with video, so I have a head that feels like it's going to burst with information. It makes sense to blog in more depth about each of these separate entities later on (post 23 Things).  I am therefore going to try and keep this post to the bare minimum and use it as a bit of a  'downloading' operation to impart my initial thoughts. Hope you don't mind?  Well, if you do, you don't have to read any further. It's a free web domain!

Spell Casting by smileykt (taken by Caspar the Ghost?)

Podcasting... P.O.D.C.. whenever I hear the word podcast I'm reminded of  the kids TV programme Knightmare. Does anyone remember that?  My 11 year old self used to be glued to the set every time it was on and I especially loved the spellcasting ritual, harbouring a secret desire to be the on the spellcasting team. That's by the by though. What exactly is podcasting? According to the OED it is "a digital recording of a broadcast, made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or personal audio player". Why are they so handy? Because they are audio. The beauty of  audio is that you can have it playing in the background while you work. If you are doing a routine job, listen to a podcast at the same time and I guarantee the mundaneness of it all will vanish and you will learn something new. You can fill in time when walking, cycling, or driving, with a podcast on an MP3 player. Suddenly the 45 minute commute to work becomes a time you can use to catch-up on whatever you are interested in. I even find that I don't have to listen that closely, information will filter into my brain and I remember facts that I have listened to much better than ones I have read. That could be just the type of learner I am, or just a bit of a weirdo... but it's worth a try. I haven't even mentioned uses for podcasts in libraries yet. I'm just keeping this user based at the moment. End of podcast download.

YouTube (not just a derogatory Scottish expression)
Video is still the star. YouTube is now the second biggest search engine with 2 billion views per day.

Google, who dominate the search engine world, own YouTube so in that respect they've pretty much got the market sewn up. You've got to admit that if you want your videos to be found, there's a bigger chance of that happening if you stick them on YouTube. It's also easy to share them and embed them on your own website using the code that YouTube will provide you with.
Did you know that Cambridge Uni has its own audio and video site, called the Streaming Media Service? I'd be interested to know if you've heard about it, or if you've placed any media there? Sharing and embedding features are pending...

Number 10 Downing Street has a YouTube channel, so does the Queen and the Whitehouse
and the US Navy...

Have a search for 'University of Cambridge' as a channel. Can you find it? I'll leave you to ponder that one.

End of download. For now...

P.S. 17th August 2010 have just found the Cambridge University Channel YouTube Channel
It's been there since 2006(!) Why I couldn't find it before, I don't know. They are also now pointing to it on the home page under 'find us on...' which I'm pretty sure they weren't doing until recently. They weren't pointing there in October 2009 anyway (page via Way Back Machine) so this is a step forward. ! 10/10


  1. Interesting to see that only a few Colleges are listed on statistics

  2. Knightmare! Yay! I was also an adict.

  3. To Suzan: there also seems to be a big difference in usage between the colleges that have collections on the SMS: Johns is a prolific user with other 1000 media items, but all the others only have a handful. I wonder why?

  4. Knightmare! Yes, famous in our household for the distinctly camp relationship between the Dungeon Master and Pickle, his elf....