Podcast Expo, PodCamp, and a plea to try Podcasts

Lately I’ve been working on 2 side projects, one being the OC Podcasters booth at the Podcast and New Media Expo and the other is the PodCamp SoCal I’m co-organizing. Annually (and for 3 years now) there has been a Podcast Expo at the Ontario Convention Center here in California. Ontario is centrally located in Southern California and is about 37 miles east of Los Angeles, since ONT (Ontario International Airport) is an international airport there is no need to fly to LAX. I digress, my friend Scott and I are taking leadership rolls in two things occuring at the expo: OC Podcasters booth in the main exhibit hall during the entire expo and the PodCamp SoCal which will be happening the day before the expo begins. I and many other people are expecting folks to arrive into ONT on Thursday and have nothing to do. Sure there may be some other planned events or parties going on but I doubt they will be happening at 3:00 on Thursday. PodCamp will give these people (and locals) a place to congregate and talk about podcasting without it being some hectic enviroment that the expo can become. Think of it as the warm up to the big event.

Currently I’m working on setting up a committie to deal with sponsorships, scheduling and public relations that PodCamp SoCal would have to have to become a hit. So far things are going well and I’m expecting to setup our first meeting very soon.

The booth is being spearheaded by Scott, last year we had people hang out at the booth and do various shows. People walked by and listened to their favorite podcaster and got to meet them in person. The booth helped us get the word out about OC Podcasters, what we do as a group and which podcasts are a part of it. If your a podcaster, would like to get into podcasting or your a listener see if you can come out to Ontario the 27th through the 30th or any of those days in between. Our booth will be located at the far right side of the convention hall on the same row we were at last time.

Soapbox time…  “Jason, I dont listen to podcasts!” You have to be kidding me. Ok, so I’ll admit that there are people out there that don’t know about podcasts but I don’t see why there should be. Listening to podcasts is easy and there is at least 1 show out there for every type of person.

Podcasts come in 2 and a half flavors: audio, video and enhanced audio. The basic audio show allows you to listen on many different devices: computer, pda, cellphone, standard telephone (in some cases), generic mp3 players, tivo and that thing called the iPod all the kids are talking about.

The video podcasts can be seen on computers, pda’s,  smartphones, video capable mp3 players, hacked xboxes, tivo, and pretty much anything that can play a video file… oh yeah that iPod thing too.

The third form of podcast is the Enhanced Podcast. Unfortunately this variation requires a specific type of player, typically a computer with iTunes or an iPod. While the audio is playing a picture is displayed on the screen, the picture can change depending on what the host wants to have displayed. Sometimes chapter markers are made available where you can skip ahead to a particular part of the podcast. If your listening to the enhanced podcast on your computer with iTunes you can click the picture to take you to a specific website that the person is talking about. It’s a cool medium but its for a very specific, yet LARGE market of iPod and iTunes users.

If you have a DVR, Tivo or the like you’re already grasp the idea of time shifting. Watching a show whenever you want. Podcasting is the same way. You download the show and watch it on your compatible device and enjoy. Most big name talk radio stations are supporting podcasting and providing their listeners with a way to listen to their shows whenever they want. NPR is very much so into podcasts, if you listen to their content give their podcasts a try.

So we know what a podcast is now where do I find some to listen or watch? The easiest way is to download itunes, install it, then click the Podcast link on the left navigation. Find a show, hit subscibe and it will download the show to your computer.

Here is a list of links for podcast related things that I’m involved in or friends with one way or another: