Before I dive into article writing, I want to give some indication of what can be expected, what kind of articles can be expected. While I’m setting this out as a plan, there will inevitably be changes along the way. Nonetheless, as one of my former software development managers loved to say: “You always need to start from a plan; it’s the only way you can deviate from it!”.
Typically, articles will fall into 15 categories:
- “Podcasting Is…”: defining articles, usually looking at particular aspects that seem core to the concept of podcasting. Examples include “aynchronous”, “mobility”, “easy to do”, “easy to consume”, “subscribing”.
- “Podcasting Is Not…”: defining articles in a negative way, looking at some aspect which people generally confuse with podcasting, but which don’t really fit the concept. Example include “streaming media”, “podcasting live”, “direct download”.
- “Podcasting Means…”: articles trying to understand the importance of podcasting in a broader sense, trying to suss out what makes it important in both a positive and negative way. Example include “democratizing media”, “cheapening media”.
- “Podcasting Versus…”: articles comparing and contrasting podcasting to other things, most particular other forms of media. Unlike the “… Is Not” articles, there is a focus on looking at all of the aspects of the other media, rather than just picking on one. Example include “radio”, “TV”, “blogging”, “newspapers”, “YouTube”, “uStream”, “MP3 music”.
- “Podcasting Should…”: articles which look at the potential of podcasting, both from examining the things that it is doing wrong or badly now (and how they might be fixed) and from dreaming a bit about what changes can make the medium stronger. Examples include “podcatchers as proprietary software”, “organizing podcasts”, “podcast interactivity”, “closing the feedback loop”.
- “Under the Hood”: articles discussing the mechanics of podcasting. The focus of this site is not about the mechanics — there are plenty of books and web sites which cover that. Sometimes, however, it might be useful to discuss these things and not force people to go searching for background on their own. Examples include “RSS”, “MP3 format”, “M4A format”, “routing feeds”, “tagging”.
- “Bad Podcaster Habits”: articles describing what appears to be bad habits that podcasters fall in to, why they might not be good, and what you can do about them. This began as a series of Twitter comments borne out of my listening to thousands of podcast episodes, and people seemed to appreciate them.
- “Good Podcaster Habits”: articles which give praise where it’s due, that point out what habits that podcasters might have which are really good — even if they aren’t conscious of doing them.
- “News”: articles related to any news articles, statements, blog posts or related goings-on in the podcasting community. Examples include conference notifications, changes in relevant specifications.
- “Links”: articles describing an existing or new website, mailing list/forum, blog post, podcast directory, individual podcast or something else that seems worth mentioning. This is not meant to be exhaustive, but hopefully useful and illustrative.
- “Bookshelf”: articles discussing books about podcasts. There are a number of books on podcasting that already exist, and new ones will (hopefully!) continue to come out. I won’t necessarily be offering in-depth reviews, and my book purchasing budget is small, but I want to make sure to acknowledge them.
- “Interview”: articles which either describe or transcribe part of an interview I’ve done, or describe and discuss interviews that others have done.
- “Op Ed”: articles which present particular opinions. Now, this entire site can be considered my opinion, really, but I welcome dissenting and otherwise alternative points of view. I hope to invite others to participate with their own articles, and this section is meant to include them.
- “Meta”: articles about the running of the site itself. Example include warnings of upcoming outage or delays, notice of changes to structure, answering complaints.
- “Rant”: articles which present a highly emotional response to something, usually negative (but not necessarily always). Sometimes, there are current features or activities that just drive me nuts in this crazy podcasting world, or things which just earn from me some unmitigated praise. Rants are likely to be less structured, less cultured, more raw, less thought out, pure expression.
You might notice that these all describe articles, but not podcast episodes. I haven’t worked out any sort of podcasting schedule (if there is to be one), but in reality any of these articles might be presented as a podcast episode, or part of one. I want both the site and the podcast to be useful on their own, and when integrated together. It just so happens that, at the moment at least, it’s easier for me to type articles than it is for me to record episodes.