Thursday, February 14, 2013

My introductory Podcast

Foreword: The 2nd attempt at the introductory podcast has far less background noise and had edits to remove pauses and streamline the podcast.

I hoard somewhere between 45-50 Chrome browsing tabs nowadays, many of which are articles waiting to get read, that I really want to finish. You see, if an article is just a tad interesting, I place it in Pocket, formerly known as "Read It Later." However, if it's INCREDIBLY interesting, I read it on my own and finish without a problem.

Now here's the tricky issue: Articles that are too interesting to go into Pocket, but not interesting enough for me to read to myself and finish outright. That's a limbo that makes them hard to remove.

First, I tried TextAloud, a text-to-speech application that would read to me while I did other things I'd rather do. Turns out, it took many repeats to absorb enough of the article to move on. It was too much of a time-guzzler.

So next, I tried narrating the articles on Chatroulette, Omegle, Chatrandom and other such 1-on-1 webcam chatting sites. Plenty of users would skip me in a few seconds. Others would stay for some minutes, and a precious few would stay for over 30. I would paste (or put in a bio / "About Me" page of my profile) what I was doing, and why, and what the link was to the article I had been reading.

That worked for a long time. I also used special webcam effects (negative colors, etc.) to get extra attention time, and I even spoke in varying accents in order to be even more interesting. That was a hit-and-miss. Then eventually, Chatroulette had a new protocol that didn't allow you to post URLs in bios or else the bio would turn up blank. Also, you couldn't paste them in the chat itself for the first two minutes, so that felt like a big deal-killer.

Omegle worked better, and I would just have to paste my entire bio's info about what I was doing, why, and the site I was reading. Then eventually, it kept asking me to fill in CAPTCHAs before seeing every last chatter, so sometimes it appeared every 8 seconds or so. That bothered me quite a bit, so I found ChatRandom. I thought it worked for a while, then a chatter who decided to discuss what I was doing tried to open a page that I pasted to him. He tried to copy-paste the URL onto his URL bar; it wouldn't paste. I later tried this myself; nothing that the chatter says, nor even what I say, is copypasteable there.

That's when I had to find another way to really get my readings done. Considering that I have many readings to get through for academics (that are sometimes physical and not online), I had to do something about this.

That's why I started my first podcast. Suggest improvements (constructively) if you notice any shortcomings. I'm a newbie at podcasting, but hope to be a widely-renowned podcaster 10 years down the line. Who knows? I could make a decent living off of podcasting alone. Let's see what happens!


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