Getting Started, podcasting, technology

Learning about Podcasting

9 Comments 26 April 2009

image by paul young

image by paul young

I’m at the podcasting seminar of the We Are Media learning sessions for NTEN’s 2009 Conference. I’ll be updating this page every 10-20 minutes.

Speakers: Kate Stahnke and Brandon Buck from

More info will be available on the wiki at:


motivations for podcasts




US basic stats about podcasting: Edison research study: overall podcast consumption up 22% over last year. Demographics: under 30 is largest consumer of podcasts, age 30 to 60 is growing, and household incomes over $70,000 (20% growth). Study from 2006-2008. Indication: older, more affluent users are consumer, probably donors.

Podcasts are tied directly to a program/initiative, and report on its progress are beneficial to donors. Donors want updates as to how money is spent and this helps donors convert to become repeat donors. Plus, podcast audience is growing.

A podcast is a blog that attaches rich media. Unlimited possibilties.
What you need:

good microphone: more you pay is the better your voice will sound

video: from about $170 for a flip phone, or HD for about $230.

Most popular podcasts today, however, are people in front of webcams with inexpensive mic. CONTENT IS KING.

Free programs:

AUDACITY – record audio, open source, free

LEVELATOR – stabilizes audio once you drag audio into it

QUCKTIME (comes with iTunes) but Pro version allows direct recording to computer. Can record straight to video using Quicktime.

(live demo)

A lot of audio formats:

MOST IMPORTANT AUDIO: MP3 – universal, everyone can play it

VIDEO: MOV and MP4 – universal formats

First step: actual recording (video or webcam for video image) if just audio – use audio recording (like Audacity) to record, then apply Levelator to smoothe out the voice. Levelator is free, and a good step, but optional. There are no free video editors.

EDITORS: imovie for Apple, Final Cut Pro, and another (will update lator). There are low end and high end options. Can get high end through Tech Soup as well.

Point is that podcasts are, by nature, more mobile and video is mostly used for when connected to internet. However, increasingly video formats are going to become more mobile.

Best practices in podcasting:

News, updates and interviews.

Recommend: go to iTunes’ “Top Podcasts” and see what lessons you can learn from them. Top one is “This American Life,” which indicates that content is king.

Frequency is important. Consistency is important, e.g. “Wednesday night at 9pm is new podcast update time.” Users will look forward to this.

Incorporate constituents in podcasts. People like to be referred to, talked about, and included. Show is only as good as audience so they will propel the show forward with their own ideas, if they are already engaged and included.

Now we are learning how to record something:

1. Download Audacity program (check! did it!)

2. press green button. Talk.

3. Press stop (yellow button)

4. Press play (green button) to hear the recording.

Note: at top of audacity there are two bars (left and right) then don’t let the audio exceed the level 0.

You can combine the clips, change the order. You can combine them and it will play left to right. You can create a “staircase” to play them left to right, but if you want to have voice over music, for example, you put them on top of each other to play at the same time. See “staircase” example below.  To do that, select double-sided arrow at top left, then drag a recording.

Audacity recording "staircase" image

Audacity recording "staircase" image

This is what a voice over recording will look like:


To change volume:

1. select track

2. choose effect

3. find an effect – select “amplify” – don’t exceed (-0.2)

4. drag option. It will prevent audio from causing distortion by default.

One other note: very cool effects to choose from, such as “fade in” etc.

Next Topic: Publication

You want your podcast to be on iTunes as well as other places (individual websites, etc.) One idea is to add links on site for downloading in different formats (MOV, MP3, MP4) and of iTunes.

If using Audacity, we export to MP3 and save on computer with a name.


If you go diirectly to iTunes, then tell iTunes where to locate the file is on the web, and describe the podcast. iTunes creates a directory for it.

If your org has a server or website, create the MP3 file and put it on that server. If you don’t have a server, or not understand how to get to it, there are free tools that let you put it onto a webserver, which is for both video and audio. If stick file on website, people have to download it and it could crash the site. will prevent that from happening by dealing with bandwith for you.

Recommend using

1. Create account -free. Pro account converts to other formats.

2. Choose “Upload” at top of page.

3. Create Title

4. Create description

5. Take file you’ve created and give them the link.

6. Upload tags in the Categorize section.

7. Distribute/Publish section – will inform you of option.

8. It will take about an hour to upload.

Then click the upper right corner, which is your user name, and you’ll be taken to this screen.

showing your list of podcasts

showing your list of podcasts

The arrow is pointing to the RSS feed. If you click on the RSS feed, you see how poeple can add it as a feed.

Now, COPY THE URL WITH THE RSS FEED and paste it into Feedburner. com. So my RSS feed looks like this:

Paste it into Feedburner. Now you have a Feedburner link.

If you go back to Feedburner and look at “My Feeds” you can choose a feed and look at the stats. If you click the RSS icon next to your feed at Feedburner, then THAT is the link that you want to submit to iTunes. By default, the Feedburner URL will always link to iTunes and iTunes will automatically find and upload your podcasts.

More information on the wiki: including tools, “how to” and other notes.

Listing in iTunes: (for when podcast listeners are looking for a new podcast) – the Yellow Pages of podcasts.

1. Go to iTunes store.

2. See “Submit a Podcast” in the middle.

3. Paste the Feedburner URL:

4. Sign in the publish your podcast.

Other Directories

Search for “podcasts” on Google and find other directories for listing your podasts. Others are Podcast Alley and Odio, among others.

Complementary content

Direct people to complementary content (e.g. “if you enjoy this content, go to…” or “if you’d like more information, go to…” or “if you’d like to see the series continue, donate now at…” So, think about calls to action – comment, donate, take action.

Best practice to post complementary content at the beginning and end. Think about what’s in it for the audience and direct complementary content in that direction. What will they find useful?

Link to new podcasts on other social media such as a status update with link on Facebook, etc.

Sponsorship and Donations

Duke study on Cause marketing: for profit entities associated with nonprofits had tremendous results with lift, recognition and purchases. Thus, corporations might be interested in partnering with nonprofits to sponsor the podcast. Sponsors want to be at the beginning of the show. Best practice to also say a few words about the sponsor and urge listeners to visit sponsor’s site.

At CauseCast they are creating a white label donation portal for video also.

View the new donation button at

If you go to you can see all the different video formats.



Debra Askanase is an experienced digital engagement strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She works with mission-driven organizations to develop digital strategies and campaigns that engage, create trust, and move stakeholders to action. Debra speaks at conferences worldwide on the intersection of technology, social media, and nonprofit organizations.

Follow Debra

Subscribe via email




© 2020 Social Media Strategy for Mission-Driven Organizations.

Site by Arrow Root Media