04 May 2008

My First Podcast

With the number of available copies of Policies of Exclusion, Poverty and Health: Stories from the front rapidly diminishing, Daphne and I had begun thinking about other ways of making the book available. Three methods came to mind: a) e-book, b) audio book, and c) podcasts.

E-books can be read on most computers. Devices such as the CyBook Gen3 make a great alternative to having to sit at one's desktop. (I want one - SERIOUSLY.) They make possible a library of hundreds of books with never a cluttered, dusty bookshelf in sight. The books are neatly stored in a single, light, paperback-size device and can be read anywhere, anytime as long as battery life continues.

Audio books are typically standard MP3 files of an entire book. Most podcasts are also MP3 files and tend to be under one hour in length.

Online book stores and many public libraries make audio books and more recently, e-books, available for purchase and download.

I'd be reluctant to recreate the WISE book in a single audio file due to bandwidth issues, and converting it into an e-book would require a software upgrade. Given the currently small niche e-book market, getting the software would likely not be worth the effort. Besides, I haven't the money for it.

There are advantages to presenting a book in a series of podcasts, particularly a book of the type that Policies of Exclusion, Poverty and Health is. Therefore, it was agreed that offering the WISE book in a series of podcasts would be ideal, if it were possible. I'd create and publish one podcast per week, over 24 weeks. The first podcast would feature the Acknowledgements & Introduction, with each of the 21 stories following. The series would end with one podcast each on the reports at the end of the book: "Phase I - The Issues" (an analysis of our stories) and "Phase II - The Recommendations."

The only problem to this plan was: a) I didn't have a headset, and b) there was no room in my budget to buy one.

Enter a supporter of WISE who, two days ago, encouraged me to talk about some of the things WISE had hoped to do before its demise. Podcasting was at the top of the list. I'd no sooner begun uttering that wish when I was presented a cheque to cover the cost of a headset.

Yesterday I cashed that cheque, bought a headset, and then set about learning how to make a podcast. 

Below is my first podcast, dedicated to Sherrie Bade, without whose support this effort would not have been possible.

Policies of Exclusion, Poverty and Health: Stories from the front - Episode 1

For the collection of episodes, visit my podcast site

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