Friday, July 22, 2005

G4T #1: Getting Started with Blogs and Podcasts

This is a Geography for Travelers Podcast related postClick on the title above to download this podcast.

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I have been listening to podcasts now for several months, starting well before Apple I-tunes added podcasting to its features. I first connected with podcasting when I purchased a Linksys Wireless Media Link for myself at Christmas this past year, which allows me to play music from my computer and Internet radio stations anywhere in my house. One of the radio stations was a technology broadcast, which was also part of the techpodcast network. I went to the techpodcast web site and found quite a few different podcast that I found very interesting. One of those was the Geek News Central podcast, which is posted twice a week by Todd Cochrane from Hawaii.

I only started blogging about a month ago. My daughter was getting ready to go to Ghana and started a blog about her trip. She has been blogging for at least 1.5 to two years. She suggested that I start a blog about my forthcoming trip to Southeast Asia and China. I did that, and I liked it a lot.

A third component to my getting started with this blog/podcast is that this past year, also starting around November or December of 2004, I purchased Dragon NaturallySpeaking and have been using it off and on to enter text into my computer. More specifically, I've been using it to write up old lecture notes for students in my web classes. At the same time I have a pretty bad case of repetitive stress syndrome caused by typing on computer keyboards. Dragon NaturallySpeaking has helped tremendously with that.

Since podcasting is simply a form of verbal blogging, I figured that I can bring all of these components together and start a regular podcast, with a supporting blog, of my own. The only thing was to figure out what it was that I wanted to talk about once a week, more or less. In a July 12th special program, Todd Cochrane posted a public lecture that he gave on how to get started with podcasting. In it he mentioned the importance of being passionate about the podcast topic, otherwise podcasting, and blogging, is more work and fun.

Anyone who's been to my web site knows that I have several “professional” passion's. These are geography, tourism studies, and East and Southeast Asia. Because I also teach classes on tourism topics, I figured that a tourism related podcast/blog is what I wanted to do. I wrote up a number of ideas while flying back from Asia and fighting jet lag this past weekend. One possibility was to briefly read and discuss one or two, or more, tourism and travel industry related news items in each podcasts/blog. Another idea was to discuss my views on the relationship between geography and tourism and how geography makes for better travel experiences.

Thus I started this blog/podcast on Geography for Travelers. In it I will mostly focus on how knowledge of basic geography concepts can improve the travel experience. However, I will also comment on tourism related news items catch my eye.

Since this is a new endeavor for me, I'm not sure just how regularly I will be able to maintain this site. This will become especially challenging once the fall semester starts and my department chair duties kick into high gear. However, I think this is going to be fun, and I hope some readers and listeners, at least, will think so also.

Note that I'm still trying to figure out the best way to post the podcasts, and I still need to set up an rss feed. The blog portion however, will remain on, unless this becomes so big that I have to move it to its own web site.

So thanks for visiting, and listening, and I hope you'll return for more informative postings in the future.