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Describing What a Podcast Is

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During my vacation in St. Lucia, I was often asked what it is I do for a living. (This usually happened whilst floating in a pool with a colorful drink in my hand.) Not wanting to spend too much time on what PodWorx does, I’d say something like,

“I’m a professional podcaster.”

This was almost always followed with the questioner tilting his head to one side (the “confused dog” yoga position), taking a sip from his drink, and the inevitable sound of crickets in the background.

“Do you know what a podcast is?”, I would ask.

95% said no.

I then launched into a terribly informative explanation of what a podcast was that to the questioner likely sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher…”Think of a podcast as a waw Waw waaaa”.

Because I didn’t like seeing people struggling to understand something while drinking a St. Lucian Surprise (highly recommended, by the way), I spent some time coming up with a better explanation of what I do for a living. Here’s what I came up with:

“I host and produce a special type of Internet radio show called a podcast.”

Everybody knows what the Internet is.

Everybody knows what a radio show is.

And for the folks I spoke with in St. Lucia, everybody understands what a podcast is.

Now I recognize that I didn’t really explain exactly what a podcast is. I didn’t speak of RSS feeds and subscriptions and all the ways to listen to a podcast, but that wasn’t the point. I just wanted to explain what I did and what a podcast is in easy-to-understand language that would leave the questioner educated and able to ask for more if they wanted to do so.

Which most did.

“Why would I do a podcast?”

“The companies that hire us want to emotionally connect to an audience of customers and prospects that are local, national or, because of the nature of the Internet, international.”

“How does that work?”

And so it went. It was fun seeing the light come on when somebody quickly got a glimpse of what a podcast was and how it could help a company. And I, I must admit, enjoyed taking a small bit of vacation time coming up with the response. It did, however, remind me that most people still don’t know what a podcast really is. Just think what’ll happen when the majority of people do know!

How about you? How do you explain what a podcast is? Let’s see where I can tweak my response to make it even better.




Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 · 8 Comments


8 Responses to “Describing What a Podcast Is”
  1. Stefan Holt says:

    Wonderful explanation! I’ve been trying to come up with the same verbage every time I get asked about my new business, Acktive media, pardon the shameless plug at I first started telling them, I produce content. I tell them about video, audio, blah…blah. That didn’t go over well. “what do you mean content?” or “content…hmm…I don’t get it.” Now, you’ve given me another way to tell everyday people. So if I uncover a need by a business to “get the word out” about their product or service and can tell them I help people get their own radio shows on the internet. I produce podcasts. Love your podcast work. Let us know about the response you get from the LVCC. Most of us will or have gone through the same thing with our local CCs.

  2. scott whitney says:

    The response from the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce presentation was amazing! However, I did not just talk about podcasting. . .instead I spoke about a wide range of online marketing issues revolving around websites, email marketing, search engine optimization, social networks, blogs and podcasts.

  3. FWRTim says:

    I usually describe our show as an internet radio show that you can download and listen to whenever you want, or just listen to on a web site. After I then explain WHY anyone would want to listen to our show, I give the example of NPR. People like a number of the stories or features on NPR. If you explain that they can get their favorite shows at the end of the day and listen to them on their own schedule, much like how they use their DVR for TV, people tend to get it.

  4. KaRi says:

    I say it’s an internet audio or audio/visual program you can subscribe to and Listen At Your Leisure. I say, “Imagine a doctor keeping up with the latest surgery techniques and tools. Instead of reading trade magazines, journals, researching the internet, etc. s/he subscribes to the latest via a specific podcast.”

  5. Fantastic description! As much as I hate using the “inaccurate” terminology, it’s a wonderful bridge for helping people get from one point to another in their knowledge.

    I’ll share this on my how-to podcast sometime!


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  1. […] what about the overall awareness of podcasting? As I’ve said before [post: Describing What a Podcast Is], many folks still don’t know what a podcast is. And if you read enough press, they’ll […]

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Live Streaming Video – Business Podcast – Web TV Consultant – Las Vegas, Nevada