The Podcast Rebranded!

I have been podcasting now for two and a half years. For most of that time I have been producing The Global Geek Podcast. There have been a number of co-hosts and partners, it has been great fun and very rewarding. For most of this time the show resided as part of The Podcast Network, but there comes a time when you want to spread your wings and fly. The Global Geek Podcast is no more.

On the 19th of July the final Global Geek was posted. But this was not an end for myself and co-hosts. We decided to strike out on our own server and with it rebranding the show. So was born the Aussie Geek Podcast.

The reasons were many and we thought long and hard about making the move, it was a difficult decision. I really appreciated The Podcast Network and what C.E.O Cam Reilly is trying to achieve. The people and the community are awesome. We left T.P.N with no hard feelings that I know of and did not go out of our way to create any. Cam was aware however, that we were frustrated with not being able to tweak the blog in the way that we wanted to as well as having the fine level of control that we as geeks craved. Although it was very disappointing to have seen that comments on the last GGP referring to the new URL of the podcast were deleted by someone.

But we are off on a big adventure and we are loving it. We have built the site and are posting madly. It was awesome to see that we are already making great gains in Google results. Although I am sure that we have taken a big hit in numbers. That true figure is yet to be known as we have not posted a show as yet. The long and the short of that is that we are waiting on an update to the WordPress plugin called PodPress to be compatible with WordPress 2.6.

I am really enjoying the collaboration and multiple authors that we were not able to fully realize before. In addition Tim has been posting some awesome Quick Tips in video format and we have some great plugins that our readers and listeners can take advantage of.

It would be great to pull our community over to the new blog and podcast, so jump over and say hello. Don’t forget to upgrade your links and RSS feed while you are there! We will be posting the first full show as soon as we can.

I was bummed that we did not make it to the 100th show, at 90 it was so close. We have decided to start at 1 for the AGP.

How I Blog

Today it is a blogging challenge, I have not blogged a challenge before so this for me is new. Lorelle on WordPress is a prolific blogger for bloggers and those interested in Blogging. She has issued challenges before but this is the first that I have completed. Today Lorelle issued the challenge “How do you Blog?”. It is a question that I know the answer to but I did not ask the same questions that she has so I thought I would do so.

My motivation for blogging is that I enjoy it and I like having a platform for my opinions and thoughts. I don’t get overly concerned if I have not blogged for a while and I don’t force myself to blog, that just results in crap posts. So without looking for it I found the challenge and decided that it would be fun to do and I thought others might be interested in it. That is one of the motivations that move me to blog. I see something or read something and I get an urge to blog it.

Obviously my blog resides on WordPress, which I really like. WordPress is feature rich and while limited in some ways the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. When blogging on WordPress I use the WYSIWYG interface. I find that it suits my purpose and I don’t need much else. I have looked at some blogging clients and while enticing I don’t think they offer more than the WordPress Interface. But when I blog on the podcast blog I use a program called Qumana. A great application that allows quick posts. The big advantage to Qumana is the way that it intuitively handles links. You can drag and drop them into the post. If you are creating link by copying and pasting, when you open the window to paste it – it has already pasted it. Nice. One disadvantage to Qumana is that it does not do pictures well. I can’t get it to format them in a way that the web-page likes. So that means the text is not wrapped around the picture the way that I want it to be. I manually adjust it pain in the butt, minor gripe though. Well worth checking out if you want to post hard and fast.

I just use my home computer for blogging. Don’t use any fancy wizardry like cell phones or even a laptop. I don’t even own a laptop! I have a hard wired connection to the Internet at home. No wireless here, for me that would mean extra hassel for no reason.

I source stories from my own life experience. Often those posts are part of me working things out in my own head. But I tend to do it in a rather non obvious way and rarely use public blogging as an outlet. I like to keep my offline and online life separate for the most part. Although I have a few close friends on-line that know whats happening in my life generally. My blog mainly focuses on technology, the Internet, news and current trends. Sometimes I will blog about something amusing that I find and want to share as well, but it is usually tech based and geeky.

I love RSS. It is in my opinion one of the richest sources of information, customisation and conveniences of the modern Internet. I am the first to admit that despite these great advantages for users; for new users it can be difficult to understand and utilize. For that reason I am always trying to motivate people to take advantage of the technology and I am always willing to assist my friends and family if they show an interest. So I spend most of my on-line time reading and interacting with RSS feeds.

Not long after I discovered podcasting I found myself a very good RSS reader, I use FeedDemon. Even though the trend is towards web based applications I have stayed with FeedDemon. Top application in my opinion. So it is here that the source of a story might hit me. I don’t usually replicate a story, rather put my own spin on it and I think that is what blogging is all about. I don’t write to be read either. If no one reads this I don’t care, it would be nice though.

I am heavily involved in podcasting and the community around it. So you will see here posts on topics revolving around podcasting and my podcast The Global Geek Podcast. I won’t just blog to promote the podcast but talk about issues related to it. Like the audio production and editing. Also the dramas that are behind the scenes. This to me is great if you like the podcast as you get a feel for the other side of the production.

In our WordPress stats I get the search terms that people use to find Rooster’s Rail. I have used these as a basis to answer a question that a reader has posed in their search term. Especially if this is one that comes up a lot. I have also posted a top 10 search terms post which was fun. This is very rewarding for me because I am addressing peoples problems without them knowing that is what I have done. I think that is cool. In that is another thing that I blog about; I tell people the mistakes that I have made so that they don’t make them! Or help them resolve a problem that I have had in the past.

As far as my post construction, I have never used video. I am not keen to either. It seems like the opposite to what a blog is all about. If I wanted to do that then I would hit YouTube or something similar. Unless I found a video that I could write about, but even then it would have to be rather compelling. I would prefer to link to it rather than embed it. I do tend to use company logos a bit and sometimes a great picture that I took, but not so often with the pictures. I do use screen-shots to illustrate a point or highlight a website, I think you need that sometimes.

I have two blogs and they are very different and the motivation for writing to both is just as different. Here I write for me and on the podcast blog I write for my listeners. Not sure if that makes for very different blogs; but I think it does.

I hope that I have fulfilled the challenge, do you think I have? One criticism I have of myself is that I tend to write long posts. I find that I have yet another thing to add or opinion to have. I wonder if I would have more readers if my posts were shorter. But I could never say that I didn’t say everything I wanted to. Thanks for the challenge Lorelle.

Global Geek Podcast Number 8 is Out Now!

Hey everybody, just letting you know that the latest podcast is out. Sebastian and I had an absolutely great time preparing for it and doing it. In addition to that we have worked on the audio and we think that it is much improved.

This week we did some things that made a big improvement to the audio, for a start Sebastian bought a mixer and a great microphone (check out the set-up here). I really need to put some photos up as well. The other thing is that I tweeked my audio to try to eliminate some of the background noise that I can not avoid. My computer sounds like a 747 taking off! But here in the tropics you need that as it gets pretty hot. So to do that I turned down the gain and had the microphone very close to my mouth. What do you know it worked. Don't know why I didn't do it before. But I think one of the reasons was that I was not that good with the levels and could not get it right. So I am glad that my skill has improved and I managed to get it so that it sounds good.

Sebastian's additions to his set up has made setting the levels for the show much easier. The reason being that using a mixer on line-in means that you over-ride Skype trying to adjust your audio setting as well as the fact that you can push the sound higher than you would be able to otherwise. The result is that we had a podcast in the raw format where the levels were pretty close. That ment that I did not have to "compress" it much or amplify it nearly as much. The other thing that we did before the show this week was we forwarded Skype on our routers, without going into it; that means better audio and no use of super nodes – rather a forced direct connection. It was an absolute pleasure to edit.

Sebastian was a bit disappointed with the result, he thought it would be better than it was. But as I said to him, look at how we are recording it; we are using Skype, then Hot Recorder to record it. Then after editing it I am encoding it as an mp3, inherently a lossy format and looses some quality in the encoding. Factoring all that in I think that comparatively we have a very good sound, especially if you get out there and have a listen to some podcasts out there that I don't think spend any time or effort on their audio.

Just a note for our regular listeners to Global Geek Podcast that there will not be a show released over next week end as Sebastian is going to South Hampton for inspiration. But we will hopefully be getting a show out mid week next week as the following week end I am working and it is a big effort to get anything out. So It will work out anyway.

Don't forget to check out the podcast if you have not already and don't forget that you can listen to it straight off this page just find the "PODCAST" button on the right and it stream off the site for you.

Ask.com Blog and RSS Feed Searching

I found this great search engine today. Part of Ask.com, you can now select to search Blogs and Feeds. It has also been reported on various blogs but there is a major error that I have not seen others post about.
There are a lot of feeds and podcasts out there now and finding what you are after can be a nightmare. Ask.com seems to make this process fairly easy. You also have the function of searching just the feeds. I also noticed that the addition of podcast in the search gets you on the right track as far as searching for podcasts.

You also have a number of options to use as a filter in your search such as Posts, Feeds, News as search areas. Then the option of displaying the results; relevance, most recent and popularity. As well as showing the results within certain time-frames such as hour, day, week and month. A nice touch is the “Top Feeds” that display on the right side of the search window. Nice because it can cut down your time in the quest for quality and the fact that I only got one result when I search for our podcast and it was there! Cool.

Once you find what you are looking for you can hover over the binoculars and get a preview of the feed or the site. One bug I have found in testing this is the fact that searched for Global Geek Podcast and sure I got the right podcast. But the preview plane was anything but correct, it was displaying feeds from I don’t know where. But some of the previews were from sites that linked to Global Geek Podcast. So that error probably has something to do with how the results are assembled. I hope they are going to fix this, they need to fix it.

Lastly there is the option to subscribe to the feeds through various mainstream feed readers such as Bloglines, Google Reader, NewsGator, but there is also a plain old RSS link as well. You can also post the result to a few services such as del.icio.us, Digg, Newsvine and Bloglines. The convenience is nice with an obvious slant towards the web based applications that are becoming more popular.

With time I am sure that we are going to see more search engines like this one with more options and intuitive searching, exciting. This is absolutely crucial to podcasters and the subscriber; to get what they want in a timely fashion. Otherwise the saturated choice that people are left with will be so baffling that they will not bother, or are we there already? Will this help RSS, Blogs and Podcasting to get out of the “Geek’O’sphere”?

Podcast Player Found! No Help from LibSyn…

Well I am as happy as a pig in poop! Yesterday I blogged about the LibSyn Player malfunction and the fact that I was not getting any help from Liberated Syndication with the problem. The no help thing has continued, step in the wonderful blogging community.

Big ContactYesterday I recieved a comment on the post that was an answer to my prayers. Rob from New York Mets Baseball Podcast put me onto Big Contact's Feed Player. To say that it is unreal is an understatment. It is feature packed and the main thing is: It Works!

In actual fact this player has more features and more options than the LibSyn did! Features like having a list of previous shows as well as the most recent show to play is great. In addition to that there is the function of being able to see the show notes from the player! There are also instructions on how to "subscribe" to the show… AND Adam has just assisted me to make the player "detach" from the page, allowing visitors to surf the web or work elsewhere and listen to the show. Very cool. There is more but I think you get the picture. Oh and did I mention it is free?

Please head over to the Global Geek Podcast Homepage and check it out, especially if you are looking for a player. There are many other customisable features that podcasters may want to modify to suit their needs and the very fact that you can is another big plus.

Many, many thanks to Rob again and hey Rob I have talked to Sebastian and we are only too happy to plug your show on ours so if you would like to send us a promo we will slot it in. Because that's how the world should work.

Stay on the look out for more changes to the Global Geek Podcast Homepage… woot this is going to good…

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