July 07, 2005
Spoken Internet: Webcasting and Podcasting
Since 1997 most of my writings have been accessible through the Internet, but now new technologies and faster connections herald the advent of spoken Internet. I and probably you have many ideas for content. What I've done so far is to set up a podcasting blog as WAOE colleague Nick Bowskill has done at Blogmatrix with the WAOE Community Audio Learning Project.
I set up one entitled Japancasting
The first entry was to digitally record a speech on Japanese education that I gave to American schoolteachers. The digital recorder, a tiny Japanese gadget, fits into a USB port, so I started with a .wma file for Windows Media Player. To make it a podcast, I converted the file to the .mp3 format. But the MP3 file is over 20 times heavier, so Webcasting may be preferred in this case for Windows users.
Ordinarily I, Japanese students and colleagues who are willing, can just speak into a mic attached to my computer, and files can be podcast with the Sparks program of Blogmatrix. It is free for a month, then as little as $10, from http://www.blogmatrix.com
For Japancasting to serve multiple audiences including learners of English, I am also offering scripts of the Webcasts and podcasts at Websites linked from Japancasting, the podcasting blog. So people can read the script or a similar outline while listening from the Japancasting site, by opening a new browser window to access both Web pages at once. Or people can print out the script from its Web page and read it while listening to their iPod or other MP3 player.
This process could be called getting unwired, because not even a network or wireless connectivity, where even Internet-enabled mobile phones are wired part of the way when routed through servers, is needed at that stage. People are still connected to the message, though, and the social network, so it is still connectivity but transcending networks.
The name "Japancasting" does not seem to have been taken, by the way, by any comparable entity, so this is at least a poor man's copyright. The following podcasting scripts are available to view so far in conjunction with Japancasting:
Stakes and Stakeholders in the Japanese Educational System
The Woman Diver
Peace Dialogue among Religions
[First year students of English have already performed it (see photo above)]
Reincarnation or What?
There are all sorts of meaningful stories, aspects of contemporary Japan, and other content that I plan to make available, spoken as well as written. Please subscribe to Japancasting to receive new podcasts as they become available.
Steve McCarty in Osaka