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9 September 2009 / erikduval

Listen to this…

In the STELLAR network, we are discussing a new podcast series on Technology Enhanced Learning. During these discussions, it became more and more apparent to me that there is a lot I don’t know about podcasts…

  • What is an appropriate length for a podcast? I’m not the first one to ask the question (really, seriously), but it does seem that opinions vary wildly. I’ve heard claims that most people listen to podcasts during their commutes (do we know this for a fact?) and that the average commute is about 24 mins. The implication would be that individual podcast sessions should not go over 20 minutes.
    Sounds reasonable… Indeed, I do listen to podcasts mainly while driving – or while I’m cleaning up at home. Yet, I listen most often to TWIT podcasts and they are typically 1 to 1,5 hours long. My commute is a bit longer than average, but not that long. And I’m not that exceptional: the TWIT podcasts are among the more popular tech podcasts.
  • What is an appropriate format for a podcast? I like the “let’s put a bunch of interesting people together and have them talk” format. In fact, that is also one of my preferred television formats – see “A Glorious Accident“. (Really: a must-see!) Others prefer the much more structured approach that for instance Nature takes. Oh, and I also adore the slightly more extraordinary ‘you look nice today‘ kind of shows…
  • How do we share podcasts we like? I discover music through and similar applications, books through the likes of amazon, research papers through citations and blogs or twitterers through links, blogrolls or replies. But podcasts? I can’t seem to easily share what I listen to or discover what my friends listen to? Or am I missing something?

As I mentioned, I’m not sure that I really understand how podcasting works. Not that it will keep me from doing a series – ‘learning by doing’ is supposed to be effective, no?

But ‘learning from others’ is not a bad approach either: please share your insights here! What do you listen to? Why? What do you (not) like in podcasts? Where do you listen? When? Look forward to hearing from you – maybe I’ll do a podcast on the topic 😉


One Comment

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  1. Martin / Sep 11 2009 10:20 am


    maybe only short answers, but that’s all about how I use it:

    – I use Podcasts mainly via iTunes, because I love it the automatically transfer to my iPhone, simply because I would always forget to copy them before my travelling

    – the length is various, depends on the content, but it seems that I like shorter tracks (about 15 minutes) more than long ones ..

    – and yes it must simply hit my interests, otherwise it will be turned off 🙂

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