Positive Podcasting

September 3, 2007

Positive Podcasting
[ article received via TrainingZone]

There’s been a surge of interest recently in podcasting among learning and development professionals. Behind the hype, though, hard information seems hard to find. Donald H Taylor outlines some ways to get started and make your mark with podcasting.

Back in the Autumn of 2004, Godfrey Parkin wrote an introduction to podcasting for TrainingZone. The article closed perceptively:
“With a little vision and a willingness to experiment, I suspect that podcasting will rapidly find a valuable place in the already crowded chest of tools available to marketers and trainers.”Eighteen months later, Godfrey noted that while podcasts appear now to have hit the training mainstream, they are still generally misunderstood and often poorly executed. And he’s right. At first glance it does indeed seem that podcasting is now part of the training toolkit. IBM has a library of 2,700 training podcasts, and over a million downloads, while National Semiconductor has spent $2.5m on video iPods for all 8,500 employees.

But how well does this impressive performance match our own experience? Not very well. While blue-chip companies may have the resources to produce high-quality output, the general standard is indifferent at best, and many people who are interested in possibly using podcasts have little idea where to start. In fact, I’d argue that the variable quality of many podcasts stems from their production by a small group of enthusiasts, whose expertise ranges from highly professional all the way down.

And – crucially – there isn’t yet much sharing of podcasting expertise in learning and development. In June, Rob Foster asked the TrainingZone community for tips on corporate podcasting, and was underwhelmed by the response. About 450 read the question. Nobody replied.

[Full article available here] http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=172386