RATBAG RADIO: verb-ing the noun of the year

The WORD of the year --2005 --is ‘'podcast'

The term 'podcast' has been declared Word of the Year by the New Oxford American Dictionary. The term is defined as "a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the internet for downloading to a personal audio player". Podcasts have grown quickly in popularity over the past 12 months as they are an easy way of getting digital content and playing it when and where you want. Podcasts have become popular because anyone with a microphone, computer, software and a net connection, can produce one themselves.
It is nice to know that here at Ratbag Radio we are VERB-ing the NOUN of the year.

However, this little informational snippet doesn’'t address the current dynamics of podcasting, such that 2006 is sure to be an exciting year as the medium consolidates further. ‘Blog’ was 2004’s word of the year and currently there’s at least 8 million of those in the United States alone. But the total number of podcasts is still only around 15-20,000 internationally.*

At such low figures it is easier to make an impact early on in this new medium.

So far with Ratbag Radio our podcasts have been primarily learning exercises. While it is true that anyone with this and that can produce a podcast it is not so straightforward for those lacking in audio experience.(As was the case when Ratbag Radio started.)

Although we probably will have to do more tweaking to improve the format and audio quality, Ratbag Radio'’s the blather is now at episode #6. So we are at that threshold where we can start to promote the project much more widely on the web.

Ratbag Radio is now being podcast at a lower kbps. This means that we are now offering much smaller files which are a lot quicker to download for those who visit the site to listen. With the choice of streaming Mp3 audio or playTagger (available from del.icio.us) --if you use the excellent free Mozilla Firefox as your browser– -- the audio options will be much more user friendly in 2006.


But to really experience podcasting, you need to download and use a podcatcher program like the excellent Juice . Juice is your way to stick the world of podcasting in your ear –either sitting at your computer or out and about with your own portable Mp3 player.**

Anyone who is interested in developing their own podcast (or need assistance with listening problems) is encouraged to contact Ratbag Radio at ratbagradio@yahoo.com.au for advice, support and assistance.***
You can visit Ratbag Radio at http://ratbagradio.blogspot.com/which boasts a list of recommended podcasts and web audio/podcasting links. Ratbag Radio can also be subscribed to through iTunes.

* These are the figures cited by Adam Curry -- the ‘Podfather’ -- on his Daily Source Code.
**Mp3 player: Ratbag Radio is a keen promotor of iRiver flash players such as the T30. A discussion on Mp3 players will be archived on the RR site soon.
***At this stage it is very feasible to consider developing a network of left green and green left podcasters which mutually support one another.