The Extra Dimension

The Extra Dimension features deep discussions on how technology intersects with society. Welcome to the heart of the technological convergence.

Reducing Barriers to Podcast Creation

Episode #3The Fringe #300

Ian R Buck and Ryan Rampersad discuss the barriers of podcasting and the avenues in which our podcasting dreams might prosper.

Intro of problem

Today we’ll be discussing the issue of how difficult it is from a technical standpoint to create a podcast.

Discussion of podcasting as a medium:

Seven concepts of new media from Nancy Baym’s Personal Connections in the Digital Age

  • Mass media (one to many)
  • Low interactivity
  • Asynchronous
    • We don’t do breaking news
  • Auditory social cues
  • Persistent (it is stored)
  • Reach: a little complicated
    • Has the potential to reach anyone with an internet connection who can hear
    • Hindered by the fact that it is typically long-form, many people are not in the habit of listening to podcasts
  • Mobility
    • Listening is extremely portable
    • Creation significantly less so

Podcasting has the same agenda setting effects as any other mass medium.

  • Explain agenda setting
  • Confess to using Eight Bit to set agendas

Adoption trends: a survey of college students in 2008 (so old!) reported that 60% of them listened to podcasts at least sometimes. On average they had been listening for 1.52 years (SD 1.04 years). On average they listened to 84.37 minutes a week.

  • Technology attributes had less of an impact on podcast use than in previous studies
  • Technological innovators had been listening to podcasts longer, and were more likely to start if they did not listen, but was not correlated to weekly podcast use
  • Perceived value of information available through podcasts affected years of listening and likelihood of starting
  • Perceived quality of podcast information affected weekly use and likelihood of starting
  • Perceived social utility of podcasts did not affect podcast listening
  • For non-listeners, perceived value and quality of information was a greater predictor of likelihood of listening than technological factors.

According to The Verge (a highly tech-focused publication), podcasting is going through a renaissance. Serial is the fastest-growing podcast of all time.

Can be used effectively to improve listening skills in a new language. In particular, metatextual skills were developed by the participant keeping a journal, and the researcher added ideas for her to journal about over the course of the weeks.

I (Ian) on the other hand, used podcasts as an anchor to Minnesota while I was in Sweden. Oops.

Technical Discussion of our proposed solution

Basically, we want to make it as easy as blogging or making a video series on YouTube.

Ian’s Wishlist:

  • Free for creators and listeners (yes, it would have to be ad supported)
  • Option to upload pre-edited episodes or record them directly in the browser
  • Community stuff
    • Pairing up with other hosts to record shows about subjects you are both interested in
    • Control what accounts can edit your show: hosts, producer, etc
  • Support in getting on iTunes, Stitcher, searchable in podcast managers
  • An app

Ryan’s Wishlist

  • model
    • free: limited storage/bandwidth/themes, integrated domain
    • paid: expanded storage/bandwidth, additional themes, multiple mediums (more than audio), domain attachment
    • self-hosted: very flexible, plugin based architecture, scalable, themable
  • Audio quality focused web streaming tool
    • like Google hangouts, but primarily audio focused
    • allows precise control of participants volume
    • leverages new codecs for shifting bandwidths and latencies

Getting the word out about this

  • Social marketing theory (usually used in politics)
    • Target people who are likely to make podcasts. That would be people who listen to podcasts.
    • Reinforce by other channels, encouraging people to spread the word
    • Stimulate interest- how do we make podcasting cool?
    • Activate audience- get people to actually use our tool


Agenda Setting reading CMR 4341 class notes & misc, retrieved 3/4/2015.

Baym, N. K. (2010). Personal connections in the digital age. Polity.

Benjamin, D. (2014, November 28). The Podcast Equipment Guide. Retrieved March 4, 2015, from

Cross, J. (2014). Promoting autonomous listening to podcasts: A case study. Language Teaching Research, 18(1), 8-32. doi:10.1177/1362168813505394

Pierce, D. (2014, November 28). The new radio stars: Welcome to the podcast age. Retrieved March 4, 2015, from

Social Marketing reading CMR 4341 class notes & misc, retrieved 3/4/2015.

Xigen, L., & Li, Z. (2011). Technology Attributes, Perceived Value of Information, and Social Utility: Predicting Podcast Adoption and Use. Southwestern Mass Communication Journal, 27(1), 69-83.


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