Listen: The First Contentious Audio Show

UPDATE Jan. 6: I’ve increased the volume level on this file significantly and re-posted it. It should be easier to listen to now.)

All right, I’ve finally done it. I’ve created the very first audio edition of CONTENTIOUS – my own podcast, finally.

Listen now! (Right-click that link to download the MP3 audio file to your computer. It’s 2.3M and runs a little over 10 minutes long.)

In this show, I explain why I love podcasting but dislike the term podcast.


Apologies for the rough edges – and I know there are plenty in this show. This is my first attempt, and it’s very bare-bones. I’m taking this one step at a time.

As always, constructive criticism and other comments are welcome. Comment below or e-mail me.

14 thoughts on Listen: The First Contentious Audio Show

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  1. I’m a web developer and part-time blogger myself…and loved your first “online sound show.”

    I only recently began listening to podcasts, having ignored them for a few months after first hearing the term because I thought that I needed to have an iPod to listen to them. Low and behold I did a little research and realized that they are just MP3s posted on sites that I can listen to! 🙂

    Kudos for pointing out the need for a new name.

  2. Thoughts “live” as I listen to your inaugural “podcast”:

    + Hurrah! You did it! And as you’ve apparently found, it wasn’t that “geeky” of a proposition
    after all. 🙂

    + YES! I am chalking you up in the column of people who officially
    get it” about what a) stinks about the term “podcasting” (but I think we’re
    stuck with it) and b) that no, you don’t need an i – anything to do it (listen or play back).

    + In my recent discussion with Doc Searls about “framing” the term “podcasting”,
    since it’s not going away, apparently, I opined that if you think of the inverse (broadcasting),
    “broad” equals big, wide, vast, impersonal. “Pod” is small, compact, focused,
    and personal. And we’re hearing that now, in your inaugural recording. 🙂

    + I am wondering if you “scripted” this show? Not word-for-word, but perhaps
    (literally) “talking points”.

    + Good job on providing your link and contact info at the beginning and end of
    your podcast.

    + (FYI, your comments box is stretching behind the menu at right and I’m having
    to hit “enter” a lot to see what I am typing. Not sure what’s going on there.)

    + So, now that you’ve come out the other side of this “podcasting” thing, my
    suspicion (if you follow a similar pattern with others) is that you’re going to
    find this exercise exhilirating, addictive, and challenging. Like, determining
    what to put together for future programs. I will pass along to you what I told
    every other inquiring mind who approached me about the “how” of podcasting:
    If you can talk on the phone, you can record a podcast. Let me know if you would
    like instructions on how to record a phone call fairly easily (read: minimal to
    no geekery required) and I’ll pass them along.

    + As January 2005 is now upon us, I am starting to put together my rough programming
    outline for the month. Depending on what topics I go with, I may be sending you
    an invitation via email to join me as a guest. FYI and all of that.

    Good job on this. It’s important that people understand that this is something
    that many people can do with (relatively) low barriers to entry. The trick is going
    to be “framing” this medium in such a way that people have more of a grasp of
    what this medium is (and isn’t) and how they can get involved, without scaring the,
    off with techno-speak and general geekery.

  3. Hi Amy,
    your enclosure line needs some work :o) you need the byte size (not 2.3M) in it and it should be type=”audio/mpeg”. As your ID-Tags use a date format which is not easy to sort, you could try to use a real title instead. 🙂

    As for the term: Soundshow implies ‘sound’, which is not true for most of the podcast, because it implies Soundeffects etc. Audiomagazine reflects the magazin part and audio but misses the transporting part. Online sound show is related to webcast + stream.

    Problem is: Most suiting terms are already taken in our imagination. Radio is radio is stream – at the moment. So the problem – from my point of view – is not naming it but find a name which is not already taken by a meaning.

    We have mobile phones instead of telephone. But as you said: you don’t need a mobile player to listen to this. For the moment podcasting is not the nicest but in many ways the best ways to describe it – for the moment. I like the explanation “Audiomagazines which are a bit like broadcast and are mostly aimed at players like the ipod”.

    But, very nice show, looking forward to your more regular shows ;))

  4. Running comments on your podcast:

    – Are you going to create a “Rename podcast contest”?
    – You just answered that 🙂
    – Economically exclusive terms: that’s Apple’s marketing strategy!
    – Isn’t “talk show” pretty generic? That’s basically what a voice-podcast is.

    Hey Amy – just finished the first edition of Audio Contentious! Great job. I bought the iRiver version of an iPod back in August with the intent of doing podcasts (before I knew what a podcast was – that’s not an early adopter, that’s a pre-adopter). I haven’t got around to it yet, because oddly enough, every time I go to record something I can’t come up with anything to say!

    Question for you, did you prepare/write what you were going to say prior to recording, or did you just do that “seat of you pants” style? That brings me to an idea, I’d like to see you do a podcast on podcasting. The best teaching can be done from someone who’s new to a particular field/technology as you’ll be running into the same problems anyone else who is starting out will run into. Having a “here’s what I’ve done” podcast would be very instructive.

    I loved the amount of time – approx. 10 minutes would be the perfect length for me to listen to on the way to or from work.

    Great job! I look forward to hearing some more.

  5. Wonderful, Amy! I enjoyed the show, and understand your anxiety over the term podcasting. (See my blog post about podcasting.) I guess the term audiocast was too dull for the “Founders” to accept. Then again, the term audiocast doesn’t describe the videocasts which are already being delivered using podcasting technology, while the term podcasting has the potential to include both types of content.

    Hopefully the crowds, as they arrive, won’t be too confused.

  6. Wow, thanks for all the comments!

    As you could probably tell from the podcast, I’ve got a pretty significant hcold at the moment… So give me a day or two to respond to the pointsw raised here.

    I’m having a bit of difficulty tweaking the RSS 2.0 feed and WordPress to indicate enclosures appropriately. I’ll try to get that worked out before the next posting.

    Thanks for listening

    – Amy Gahran
    Editor, CONTENTIOUS

  7. I forgot to mention – the sound level seemed a tad low for this first podcast of yours. I found I had to turn up my Mac’s system volume past the 50 percent mark to hear it comfortably. It wasn’t really low or anything – it’s definitely within hearing range – but I feel the volume should be a bit higher.

  8. OK, responding to a few of the comments above…

    First of all, I’d like to offer a heartfelt THANKS! to everyone who complimented my efforts and offered constructive criticism. I appreciate your interest, support, and encouragement.

    Nicole Simon wrote:

    your enclosure line needs some work :o) you need the byte size (not 2.3M) in it and it should be type=”audio/mpeg”.

    – I think I’ve fixed these things, with help from Kris Smith and Tom Vilot. (Thanks, guys!)

    As your ID-Tags use a date format which is not easy to sort, you could try to use a real title instead. 🙂

    – Good idea, I’ll try that next time.

    As for the term: Soundshow …implies Soundeffects etc.

    – Hmmm, I don’t make that particular intuitive connection, but I’ll take your word for it that some people might. Like I said, I’m not really trying to find a new name, just thinking out loud.

    Problem is: Most suiting terms are already taken in our imagination. …So the problem – from my point of view – is not naming it but find a name which is not already taken by a meaning.

    – I don’t agree with you 100%, but I can see what you mean. IMHO, I think so far too many words related to communication media have been tied too closely to specific technologies. That wasn’t such a big deal in the days of, say, “radio,” when technology wasn’t evolving at the breakneck pace we all know today. Our linguistic habits haven’t yet caught up with the speed of technology. I think the only way they will catch up is if we start ignoring technology when naming media and concepts.

    For the moment podcasting is not the nicest but in many ways the best ways to describe it – for the moment.

    – I disagree with that. It may be the “nicest” term for early adopters, but it definitely seems to alienate/confuse nontechie newcomers. I think that’s a problem.

    NEXT… Travis Swicegood wrote:

    Isn’t “talk show� pretty generic? That’s basically what a voice-podcast is.

    – Good point, you made have stumbled on a very simple answer. Thanks.

    Question for you, did you prepare/write what you were going to say prior to recording, or did you just do that “seat of you pants� style?

    – I created a basic outline, including some key phrases I didn’t want to forget. I did this because:

    • I’m a writer and tend to think with my fingers first.
    • I currently have a pretty major head cold and didn’t want to be too incoherent.
    • My public speaking skills need work. Currently, when I speak off the top of my head, I start talking way too fast for people to follow. I’m working on that. But for now, having an outline helps me slow down and speak clearly.

    I realize speaking from an outline may have sounded a little stiff. Hopefully I’ll develop a more comfortable style in the future.

    I’d like to see you do a podcast on podcasting. The best teaching can be done from someone who’s new to a particular field/technology as you’ll be running into the same problems anyone else who is starting out will run into. Having a “here’s what I’ve doneâ€? podcast would be very instructive.

    – That’s in my plans. In future podcasts, I’ll close with brief “what I learned from last time” tips and information. However, I realize that podcasting is not a top priority for the vast majority of my readers, so I don’t want to make that too prominent.

    Also, I gather that Kris Smith may be adding some of this kind of content to his show Croncast.

    I loved the amount of time – approx. 10 minutes would be the perfect length for me to listen to on the way to or from work.

    – Good. I’m shooting to keep my CONTENTIOUS shows at 10-15 minutes. Later, when my skills are up to snuff, I’m going to debut a second, separate interview/conversation show that will probably run 15-30 min/episode. More on that later.

    OK, all for now, back to real work…

    – Amy Gahran
    Editor, CONTENTIOUS

  9. Harold J. Johnson wrote:

    I forgot to mention – the sound level seemed a tad low for this first podcast of yours.

    Yep, I’m aware of that. One of my first podcasting blunders, to be followed by many others. Don’t you love the learning curve?

    I can definitely address that issue in the next podcast. Anyway, we’ll see if I get it right next time 🙂

    – Amy Gahran

  10. Podcasting: Amy Gahran adds her voice
    It was neat to hear Contentious creator Amy Gahran’s first podcast. She’s had a series of articles about the phenomenon, collected in her Voices, Blogs, thread, which are well worth reading.

  11. I’d like you to publish a written transcript of your podcasts whenever possible and adequate. You seem to be recording a well-prepared text you’ve already written down somewhere, so this should not be too much of an effort. And we’d be able to scan your content as we scan webpages, which is faster than listening to en entire podcast. Also, search engines, the hearing impaired, people who can’t or are not allowed to playback audio at their current location etc. would be able to see your content.

  12. Essence of Podcasts
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