Integrating Podcasting into Your Institution’s Web Site
November 14, 2005
Paul Kruczynski, Senior Web Implementation Specialist
Brett Essler, Web Publications Editor, Buffalo State
- Five members of production staff.
- Current Web site in Ingeniux XML-based content management.
- RSS feeds delivered through system.
- Database-driven events calendar.
- Campus e-newsletter.
- BBS (prospective and accepted students and staff and faculty).
- Initiated project in March 2005.
- Conducted needs assessment.
- Purchased four 20-gigabyte iPods.
Staff and Roles
- Web administration director: Project management.
- Web implementation specialist: CMS, XML, XSLT, XHTML.
- Web systems administrator: Databases.
- Web graphic specialist: Design and icons.
- Web publications editor: Content development.
- Content generation.
- Campus buy-in.
- Time management.
- New form of online community.
- Few campus models (in March 2005).
- Site integration.
Integration With Existing Site Features
- Podcast section of Web site.
- Create relationships between content sources.
- Associate podcasts with events calendar.
Features: Presentation and Archiving
- Multiple access points to content.
- Headline link.
- Link to sound file.
- More… link to additional content.
- Archives centered around date-based approach.
- Permalink to listing.
- Use terminology familiar to blog/podcast users, but new to users.
- Allows for discrete URL; unchanging link to individual podcast.
- Challenge: First introduction of terminology on campus.
- Led to use of term in other features.
- Associated with current Web trends (phase out term “categories”).
- Tags provide multiple ways of sorting.
- Greater flexibility in sorting.
- Drives user to associated topics/content.
- Allows for “tagged as” grouping with discrete URL.
- Focused search within podcasts section.
- Alternative (and complement) to date- and tag-based search.
- Proximity of targeted search box aids and improves user experience.
Populating the Podcast Database
- Demonstrate uses by example.
- Broad variety of content (events, entertainment, instructional).
- Attend and record numerous campus events.
- Outreach to early adopters: Student radio, poetry club, undergraduate research, lecture series.
- Recorded about 20 events before launch.
Content Generation Process
- Source (iPod, existing audio, radio broadcast).
- Edit files using Audacity.
- Encode with iTunes.
- Describe, tag, and upload content: Administrative interface.
- Describe new technology.
- Instructions for creating and listening.
- Print documentation: PDF wallet-sized manual on recording with iPod.
- Sign-out sheets for iPod.
- Soft launch: Late June.
- Launch: July 28.
- Apple iTunes launch: October 17.
Changes During Development
- Apple extended iTunes to include additional RSS items.
- Adding to iTunes Music Store allows one-click subscriptions for users; no need for RSS.
- Raises chances of discovery by casual users, browse-bys, non-education-based-audience.
- Student-run radio station.
- Niagara Movement Lecture Series.
- Undergraduate research.
- Poetry club.
The iTunes Effect
- Name recognition increased by iTunes Music Store distribution?
- Mid-week spikes on Tuesday and Wednesdays: New Music Tuesdays?
- Shifting expectations as standards rapidly change: Videocasts, Yahoo.
- Campus technology gap.
- Limitations of iPod voice Memo function.
- Time management.
Goals: Short Term
- Curriculum: Computer fundamentals.
- Creative uses: China research diary.
- Further site integration: Audio spotlights that tie in with campus events.
- Local student music show.
Goals: Long Term
- Increased campus participation and awareness.
- Campus technology.
- Expanded administrative interface to allow trusted campus user groups.
- “Electrify!” — better, more content.