Query: Has anyone dipped their foot into the world of podcasting yet? As listeners or as creators? It seems to me that podcasting would be an excellent avenue of distributing your own stories.
Here, from Wikipedia:
"Podcasting is a way of publishing sound files to Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed and receive new audio files automatically. Podcasting is distinctive from other types of audio content delivery by its use of the RSS protocol. This technique has enabled a number of individuals to create self-published, syndicated radio shows."
Nice New York Times article on podcasting reprinted here:
FYI: The Pew Internet and American Life project notes that 22 million American adults own iPods or other mp3 players. 29% of their respondents say they have downloaded a podcast from the Web to listen to.
I mention it because one of the local AM radio stations in San Francisco is converting to an all-podcast format, and is looking for submissions. Technically, you don't even need to know how to podcast. You can submit any digitial audio file. (And, in a fascinating angle on the copyright issue... podcasters are legally supposed to get ASCAP/BMI clearance for using any songs on their homemade radio shows, but this is usually prohibitively expensive. This radio station already has those clearances, so podcasters which make it onto the airwaves can incorporate music into their broadcasts legally and free of charge)
Tim E. 4/28/05
Response: My problem with podcasting as with any recorded media is that you lose one of the big features of real live storytelling. Live storytelling is interactive. The story changes with each telling based of the audience reaction. Recorded is always the same same same same...... Live is dynamic! My personal preference is live.
Bob S. 4/28/05
Response: Well, a Google search has shown me that the podcasting community isn't waiting for the storytelling community. There are already podcasters appropriating the word "storytelling" for what they're doing. (Some are just doing audio blogs. In some cases the label "storytelling" is being applied by listeners --all part of the folksonomy of the field, I suppose)
I haven't had a chance to listen to these downloads yet, but if anyone is curious:
this one time... (personal stories(?))
Tim E. 4/29/05
Response: The June Issue of MacWorld Magazine has a detailed article on starting your own podcast.
Nancy C. 4/30/05
Response: Thanks for the tip, Nancy. The online version, posted April 21st, has lots of articles about podcasting and starting your own - try macworld.com & search "podcasting."
Cathryn W. 4/30/05
Response: Not yet, but as a public service of sorts...
The Internet Archive
is making available for free download a short 4'09" min. video (MPEG-4) called "Podcasting 101," which is a quickie walk-through of what it takes to get started.
It's produced under a Creative Commons licence
and can be found at:
It should also be the spotlighted item under "Open Souce Movies":
BTW, the Internet Archive is a cool place for anyone looking for music, video, and texts they can download and use without fear. Registration is free and brings a few benefits (like being able to upload content). Not bad at all.
Philip D. 4/30/05
Response: There are many different recording technologies available for storytellers and they all share the same basic problem. Storytelling is best an interactive, face-to-face experience. If we were simply going to recite a story, word for word each time, then a recording would be as good as a live telling but, each telling is a new 'creation' not a 'duplication'. Recording has its place but people should place their emphasis on live telling and not recording.
As far as Apple goes, I have had too many bad experiences with them to want to support anything that they are connected with.
Isn't Creative Commons some kind of a scam? People steal copyrighted material and then re-publish them under this Creative Commons nonsense. Just another way of denying the artist his rights.
Meryl A. 4/30/05
Response: That's a cynical and wrong view of Creative Commons. The BBC is shortly to make a lot of its material available under the Creative Commons, so that the public who have funded it can have free access to play around with it without getting the rights to it. If it were a scam or a weak legal form, do you think a powerful national organisation would be allowing all it's intellectual property to be put out under it?
The Creative Commons system has several licence terms under which intellectual property can be shared with varying degrees of freedom, without ceding the creator's rights. The licences are drawn up with thorough legalese, and the wordings can be used by anyone who wants to share their work in a normal way without having banks of lawyers waiting to pounce on the world.
It's the artist that decides what rights to grant to others - who would be denying the artists rights, when it's only the artist who can grant them? If anyone is republishing other people's work illegally, that's hardly the fault of the structure itself and would happen whatever the legal framework.
The Creative Commons is an enlightened and progressive movement towards putting copyright back in the hands of artists who want preserve their ownership yet share their work in a more or less normal and generous way - i.e. so that the public in the digital age can do normal things like showing their friends or printing out a copy for their classes without fear of prosecution.
I'm no expert on all this, and there may be all sorts of wrinkles being smoothed out still, but this is a wonderful development and gets us some way back towards the spirit of cooperation and collaboration of a constructive society rather than the atrocious twisting of the spirit of copyright that has allowed huge corporations to hijack almost the entire culture of the people and charge us through the nose for it. As upholders and inheritors of the oral tradition - a huge heritage that has always been free and shared, and without which no re-writer, re-teller, collector, publisher of it would ever have had anything to base their profits on, storytellers should welcome and use these new developments.
Tim S. 4/30/05
Response: Tim, thanks for this info about the Creative Commons. What an exciting concept. I've checked it out and will be accessing it to make some of my own materials available.
Cathryn W. 5/1/05
Response: I'm considering the first storyteller to podcast stories: Los Angeles storyteller Lance Anderson
He's not a Festival circuit teller, nor does he tell in the schools. He's from the spoken word circuit, so I doubt any of you have heard him. But I'm giving him the award because he's a live storyteller first, who is using the Web as another channel of getting heard, as opposed to the various "storytelling" podcasts which are Web only.
You can hear his personal stories via his podcast, "Verge of the Fringe," at:
Tim E. 5/1/05
web page updated 7/4/05; 2/4/06)