Audio Podcasting Made Simple
The podcasting class included an individual with Independent Filmmaker's Coalition of KC, a self-published author on bargain hunting, a music blogger, a hair stylist, a holistic health advocate with the KC Wellness Guide (kcwellnessguide.com), and a food sovereignity activist.
The people in the class bring a variety of web skills -- from novices to seasoned surfer. This was the third time I taught the class. One thing I've noticed is how many people are active in an artistic endeavor as a musician, writer, or filmmaking -- is everyone an artist?! Each person has an interest in expressing themselves, but many of them are challenged by some of the web-based technology to get their story told. A few highlights of the class:
- Audio podcasters must be able to create and manipulate audio files. Some people in the class, even though they took to course to learn the basics, may be not be able to overcome this hurdle. Find a partner to help with this aspect.
- Even though the bar on technology is low, audio podcasters need to be familiar with certain tools - blogging is a key because audio is a closer relative to the written word format than video. Podcasters need to leverage a blog in order to market their podcasts.
- Non-profits or individuals would be best served by working with a small team to fill gaps like promoting the podcast series or the more technical parts of podcasting.
The main interest in convening the class is to encourage people in non-profit groups or social action causes to use media to tell their story or convey the message of the group's mission or cause. In the words of Clay Shirky it's okay to try and fail with using social media for your non-profit groups.
Facebook for Non-Profits - this stuff takes a fair amount of time
The class on Facebook for Non-Profit Groups was a diverse group, including members of the Friends of Johnson County Library, a regional chapter of ALS Association, Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors, Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City, and free-lance marketers.
Class participants conveyed the spectrum of organizational perspectives on social media: fear of losing control of the message, lack of willingness to try out social media, and concern about "quality" of production. Even when an organization chooses to use social media, they struggle with how it works and how to develop a following, engage followers, and build relationships. Most groups or individuals eventually learn an important aspect of effective Facebook networking -- this stuff takes a lot of time to be effective.
The typical approach to non-profits building a large Facebook or Twitter following does not always fit. For instance, communication in health service organizations needs to be more discreet or limited because of the sensitivity or privacy of the information. In the case of these groups, building a large Facebook following may not allows be their top priority. Building a supportive community may be more important, which may require they limit access to the the Facebook space or information.
The Friends of Johnson County Library hold an annual book sale in June as a fundraiser. This event allows them to generate a fair amount of excitement and build a large following. One key to developing a large following for this group is to create updates about library supporters -- in other words, focus on library patrons not always on library events.