The Blookable Podcast – An Angle I Hadn’t Considered

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Blook Looks

by Cheryl Hagedorn

Cheryl Hagedorn authors Blooking Central, which examines
published books to discover what makes for a blookable blog.

Kathleen Dixon Donnelly’s first blook, Gypsy Teacher: Dixon Donnelly @ Sea, is a collection of posts to her blog which was kept during the summer of 2002. Here’s how the author describes her work:

Kathleen Dixon DonnellyI took 12 Florida college students to London for two weeks as part of a study abroad program, and then was privileged to teach for 65 days on Semester at Sea, operated by the Institute for Shipboard Education. 

As a volunteer for the WLRN-FM Radio Reading Service in Miami, available to the visually impaired in South Florida through a special receiver, I offered to do weekly reports chronicling our voyage at this interesting time in European history.

The scripts for the 14 tapes, including interviews with students and others on board, are presented here.

Up until now in looking at blooks, I’ve blown past the internet sites that mention podcasts. But Donnelly’s comment about the Radio Reading Service set me to wondering about the possibility of blooking recorded material.  Other than interviews or conversations, which may or may not be interesting to read on paper at a later date, I’m guessing that many podcasts are scripted.  Which means that there could be a file (some of us still write in longhand on paper … trust me on this!) which could be used to construct a dead tree version of a series of podcasts.  The same rules would apply when transforming blog content:

  • Cluster posts/scripts by topic
  • Write transitional material between them
  • Provide a decent introduction and conclusion

In wandering around, I discovered that there are many sites stories that are delivered as podcasts (see Digital Podcast). Which only makes sense.  But what potential is there for non-fiction?   Who do you listen to whose opinion or perspective you would want captured in print so that you could return to it again and again?  Maybe even constructing rebuttals or making notes in the margin? It also occurs to me that taking the time to listen is somewhat limited whereas you can tuck a book into your pocket and read wherever, whenever.  Okay, so I’m technologically-challenged and maybe downloading and then listening whenever, wherever is also possible! But with reading you can really focus and reread — no rewind/replay 🙂

I’ve seen some audio transcripts that, frankly, weren’t worth the effort to transcribe. But it sure gives one pause to think that the same material worked up for a print presentation might actually fly!  Since I’m not a listener I wrote to GoingLikeSixty to see if he listened to anyone on a regular basis that I could cite as an example. He responded, “The only ‘podcast’ I don’t miss is actually a vlog — the best — Wallstrip.  I’ve tried to listen to podcasts but find them poorly produced, poorly written, and always way too long.”

Well, that gives one pause, doesn’t it?  Production isn’t a concern with blogs unless you’re talking about presentation.  But the criticism about being poorly written applies to both blogs and podcasts. And many blog posts are often too short, rather than too long, to make for blookability.

So where are we on this? Are there websites/blogs with podcasts that you know have been blooked or could/should be blooked?

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