Podcasting and Beercasting Thoughts [en]

Some thoughts on podcasting, and audio vs. text. A failed attempt at beercasting last Saturday, with link to the (very crappy) audio files.

[fr] Quelques réflexions sur le contenu audio (podcasting) dans les blogs, en particulier sur le fait qu'on ne peut pas "écouter en diagonale" et que cela impose donc une exigence de qualité plus grande pour le contenu audio que le contenu textuel. Première tentative d'enregistrement de conversation (beercasting au jus de pomme) lors de la rencontre de bloguers à  Bâle, samedi passé.

During the Basel Blogmeet, somebody mentioned podcasting.

I’ve got my thoughts and theories on audioblogging (of which podcasting is one form). I think it’s great to hear people talking. I’ve got some audio content on my site (whether provided by me, or by third parties) and if I wasn’t in want for a mike and sound editing skills, I’d be providing more. However, audio blogging will never kill text blogging (if anybody out there was having such a preposterous thought).

The great disadvantage of audio content is that you cannot skim it. You can fast-forward, of course, and jump sections, but you can’t go quickly through the content and resume a normal speed if something catches your ear, as you do with written content. Audio is a “fixed speed” medium (ok, you can accelerate it slightly, but it becomes unintelligible quickly). It takes longer to listen to something than to read it.

The big advantage of audio, however, is that it doesn’t use your eyes. Audiobooks haven’t taken over the market share of normal books, but one might find it nice to listen to an audiobook in the car (where one cannot read whilst driving). If you’re sight-impaired, of course, the issue takes a different colour, if I may say.

Transcripts and indexes of audio content are precious… but what a huge amount of work!

This means, in my opinion, that your audio content must be good from start to finish, if you want to keep people hooked.

If I start reading a blog post and it doesn’t catch my attention after a few lines, I’ll skip to the next paragraph, skim a bit, and maybe decide that it is worth reading after all. If I’m listening to audio content and it gets boring, I might fast-forward a bit, but I’ll land blind. The index will help me sort through the topics that may interest me, but it won’t help me deal with intermittence or absence of quality. If I listen to your podcast and it’s lousy, am I going to keep listening in hope that it gets better? Will I try again if I’ve listened to 30 minutes of it and it wasn’t worth it? I think that if you want a podcast to be successful, you have to be much more strict on quality than with written material.

Anyway, back to beercasting. When Suw and I met in London last summer, we talked about audioblogging (one word or two?), and agreed on the fact that one of the departments in which audio could shine was in reproducing conversations. We had a half-hearted plan to call each other and record the conversation, but we never did it, of course. We’ve got a more serious plan now to do it on Skype (less technical difficulties). Have you realised how talking with somebody helps shapes ideas and thoughts, and express them clearly? There is something about being more than one that cannot be duplicated when one is alone. It introduces a dynamic.

Well, that’s what beercasting is about. Get together, have a conversation, and stick it on the web. So when we started talking about podcasting on Saturday evening, I suddenly remembered beercasting, and must have said something about it, because Ben whipped out his phone, switched on the recording function, and set it on the table. He had been provoked by my statement that podcasting (and beercasting) was done with an iPod 🙂

Well, a few audio files are now online one Ben’s site. If you’re interested in loud static and café background noise, and in hearing me yelling my head off to try to communicate with my fellow bloggers (with bonus German content), I recommend you start with Recording2. It’s bad, remember. Don’t say you weren’t warned. We’ll do better next time!

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Interview radio en ligne [en]

La première partie de mon interview radiophonique pour Journal Infime est disponible en ligne. Et la deuxième.

[] La première partie de mon interview radiophonique pour Journal Infime est disponible en ligne. Et la deuxième.

Si vous avez raté mon passage à  la radio, ne désespérez pas! Grâce au miracle de la technique, vous pouvez écouter quand cela vous chante cette première partie d’interview (position: 21 min 45). N’oubliez pas d’écouter “en direct” demain et après-demain!

Mise à  jour 16.02.2005: la deuxième partie est en ligne. (Position: 20 minutes.)

Mise à  jour 17.02.2005: troisième et dernière partie. (Position: 19 minutes.) Et également un lien vers la page que j’ai consacrée à  The Psychology of Cyberspace, l’ouvrage en ligne dont je parle dans cette partie d’interview.

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Radio: interviewée pour Journal Infime [fr]

Une interview de moi sera diffusée vers 14h20 sur la RSR1 (102.6/92.7 à  Lausanne) les 15, 16 et 17 février.

[en] You can hear me next week in a three-part interview on the swiss radio RSR1. The interview will be aired around 14h20 (GMT+1) on 15-17th February. It's about weblogs, of course.

Update 15.02.2005: if you missed it, the show has been archived (go to 21 min 45).

Update 16.02.2005: second part online (jump to 20 minutes).

Martine Galland m’a interviewée il y a plusieurs semaines pour son émission Journal Infime. Vous pourrez écouter l’interview sur la RSR1 (102.6 ou 94.70 si vous êtes à  Lausanne, sinon, voyez l’aide) cette semaine. Il sera diffusé en trois tranches d’une dizaine de minutes chacune, mardi 15, mercredi 16, et jeudi 17, aux alentours de 14h20. J’y parlerai — oh, surprise! — de mon blog, des blogs, et d’internet.

D’après ce que je vois sur le site de la RSR1, il est possible également d’écouter la radio en ligne avec RealPlayer. Pour ceux qui ne peuvent pas l’écouter “live”, pas de souci: je reçois un CD de l’émission, que je mettrai en ligne pour autant que j’en obtienne l’autorisation.

J’ai déjà  été interviewée pour la RSR1 une première fois en 2002. L’émission ne semble malheureusement plus être en ligne — si vous la trouvez, faites-moi signe!

Edit 15.02.2005: vous avez accès à  un enregistrement de l’émission si vous l’avez ratée. Sautez tout de suite à  21 min 45 si vous voulez avoir directement mon interview. Et oui, ils ont mis un lien vers technorati au lieu de Climb to the Stars, j’ai demandé qu’ils le corrigent.

Mise à  jour 16.02.2005: la deuxième partie est en ligne. (Position: 20 minutes.)

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IT Conversations: Dan Gillmor [en]

Some notes on IT Conversations show with Halley Suitt and Dan Gillmor (audio available online).

[fr] Interview audio de Dan Gillmor par Halley Suitt. Quelques notes.

I’m currently listening to Halley’s interview of Dan Gillmor on IT Conversations. I’m not used to listening to stuff through the internet (the whole podcasting hype hasn’t really caught my interest… yet) — so here are a few notes and comments, mainly for myself.

First of all, I’m always slightly shocked to hear people I know from the Internet actually speaking. When chatting, or reading blogs, I forget that people have accents. So, my first reaction upon hearing Halley speaking was “Gosh! She really has an American accent!”.

After a first part on American politics that went completely over my head, the topic turned to “Journalism and blogging” (already more interesting) and finally, more webby stuff. A few random notes:

  • Strive for objectivity in journalism still a valid aim.
  • 9-11, elections, tsunami: made blogs visible as a media, rather than “made more people blog” (I’ve finally managed to name the confusion that irritates me so much.)
  • Camera phones (and digicams in general) have a highly disruptive potential. Towards more transparency. Harder to hide nasty things.
  • Podcasting: most people not trained to produce the kind of audio we enjoy listening to.
  • Blogs with small readership (target audience=family and close friends): very important sociologically.
  • Internet allows to bring readers closer to source material.
  • Probably lots of source material for historians gathering now on the web. Web stuff as potential replacement for the letter, which used to give lots of information on people’s lives and current events. (Biographies, History.)
  • Not holding people accountable (in future) about silly things they wrote on their teenage blogs…
  • About writing the book online: retaining authorship, while having thousands of “eyes” to give feedback and comments. (And the eyes in question will be those interested by the topic.)

Next one I’m listening to is Joi’s.

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Sunday CD's #3 [en]

Five CD’s in my CD rack: Khoobsurat soundtrack, Khakee soundtrack, Killing Me Softly by Roberta Flack, U2’s Unforgettable Fire, and Véronique Sanson comme ils l’imaginent.

This is turning into a bi-weekly feature, though through no intentional design. We’ll see how things evolve during the next weeks.

Here for today:

Khakee soundtrack (playing)
Khakee is the first Hindi movie I saw during my most recent trip to India. I didn’t particularly like the movie, but the soundtrack is actually really nice. I wasn’t intending to buy it, but nearing the end of my last visit to Crossword, they were playing Dil Dooba (sung by Sonu Nigam). I grabbed the CD and fled.
Khoobsurat soundtrack (playing)
Khoobsurat was a pretty popular movie/soundtrack when I was living in Pune. I didn’t really like care for it until I went to Alibag with Danielle and the driver played the cassette during the whole trip. By the time we got back home, I had a serious crush on the song Main Adhuri Si (avoid it if you have trouble with high-pitched female voices) and found the title song was a perfect souvenir-soundtrack to the trip.
Roberta Flack: Killing Me Softly
Who doesn’t know the song? CD of my father’s, which I borrowed to be able to rehearse the song for karaoke (haven’t dared sing it yet, though). And for those of you young’uns, Killing Me Softly was made famous by Roberta Flack way before the Fugees sang it!
U2: The Unforgettable Fire
Many years ago when I was entering my teens, U2 was singing With or Without You. Around that time, either my brother or I asked for a U2 LP for Christmas. Was it The Joshua Tree or The Unforgettable Fire? I’d have to go to my father’s to check, but I think it was the latter. I remember clearly that we used to play a cassette of the former in the car quite a lot around that period. Anyway, I bought this CD a year or so back, because it was on sale (surprised?), and I’m not really sure I’ve listened to it since. I bought if for Pride (In The Name Of Love), of course.
Véronique Sanson: comme ils l’imaginent
I’ve always liked Véronique Sanson but I never had a CD by her. So when this one came out (a collection of her songs sung by or with other popular male singers), I was offered it as a gift for Christmas (or my birthday? must be one of the other).

Five more next week, or the week after!

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Ouverture du Samlog [en]

Un enregistrement de ma voix.

Encore un petit enregistrement, en français cette fois, pour fêter l’ouverture du Samlog. Je ne suis pas super contente de l’enregistrement et j’ai encore un peu le rhume, mais ça ira pour cette fois. En tout cas, voici une démonstration en beauté de mon accent vaudois (que vous avez peut-être déjà  eu l’occasion d’admirer lors de l’émission radio.)

Ouverture du Samlog. [mp3, 950Kb]

Si quelqu’un peut me dire comment faire des fichiers plus petits tout en gardant une bonne qualité, je suis preneuse!

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Speech [en]

A short recording of myself.

On the Radio [en]

A recording of an interview I did for the local radio, in French.

[] A recording of an interview I did for the local radio, in French.

Even if you don’t understand French, you might be interested in hearing a recording of this piece about weblogs which aired during the noon news.

My interview starts at five minutes 14 seconds approximately. If you’ve heard my “English voice”, you’ll most certainly notice that my “French voice” is different (it’s quite a bit lower). Anybody with a scientific explanation for this phenomenon is most welcome to share it!

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Emission radio sur les weblogs [en]

Enregistrement du bref interview que j’ai fait pour la RSR1.

J’ai passé à  la radio!

Thème du jour: les weblogs [page de l’émission]. Magnifique démonstration de mon bel accent vaudois 😉 que vous pouvez entendre à  partir de la position 5:14.

Vous y entendrez aussi Christian, bien sûr, et surtout Emmanuelle.

Vous vouliez la page des weblogs suisses pour y rajouter le vôtre?

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Sound and Sonnets [en]

Thanks to Romain who brought a sound card with him when he came over this week-end, I am now enjoying the auditory dimension of the web. I’ve also managed to get Flash to work with my browser, so you can expect multimedia linkage in the future.

Drop in at When Love Speaks and enjoy the promotional video (under “Downloads”). I’m really tempted, I have to say. And it’s not just for Alan Rickman’s track.

Romain also brought with him a digital camera — but I’ll tell you about that later.

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