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Posts Tagged ‘Alice M. Fisher’

Podcast Production Tips

August 5, 2015 Comments off

 Image Credit: Getty ImagesIf your spend some time now making decisions about how you plan to format your podcast, it will only make your show more enjoyable for your listeners, but it will also save you a lot of time and frustration in the future.

Spend a little time deciding how long your podcast will be, how often you will post new show, and what your typical show outline will be, and your boiler plate messaging, links and call to action messages.  These are important decisions that will affect your time commitment and enjoyment making your show. They will also determine what kind of web hosting you will need. Now onto a some tips for planning and producing a podcast.

Preliminary Podcast Production Planning Steps:

  1. Research & Planning

  2. Messaging & Talking Points

  3. Actual Interview

  4. Recording, Production, Editing

  5. Publishing/ Supporting Blog Content

  6. Hosting, Listing, SEO/SEM/RSS

  7. Distribution

  8. Promotion

Research & Planning Your Podcast

We know you are probably anxious to record and get your voice out to your community. But a little planning will help you focus. In the end you will produce a better podcast that will attract and keep more listeners. This will also make your job a lot easier, or we can help. In the planning session we will ask a few questions for you to consider and help you make some important decisions about:

  1. Podcast Topic

  2. Podcast Format

  3. Choosing a location to record your podcast

We’ll also talk about how to outline and plan each episode of your podcast before you record. And, we want to help you make a quality podcast that will attract and keep more listeners. Here are a few things you need to decide for your podcast:

  1. What’s the topic of your podcast?

  2. What’s the format of your podcast?

  3. How long will each episode be?

  4. How often are you going to release new shows?

If you take just a little time to think about these things now, then your podcast will turn out much better. A well planned podcast will get more listeners. Here are the questions to consider when it comes to choosing a format for your podcast:

  1. Will you be doing a solo podcast or will you include other hosts?

  2. What segments do you want to produce (e.g. tip of the day, reviews, breaking news, interviews etc.)?

  3. How long will your podcast be?

  4. How often will you release new  podcast episodes?

  5. Will you just be talking or will you play music and sound effects as well?

  6. Maybe you’ll come up with something completely different?

NOTE: If you plan to insert music in your podcast that you did not produce, then you need to get permission to use it. We can help with this as well. It’s not legal to use copyrighted material in your podcast, without permission. You should form a basic idea of how you want to structure your podcast.

Also, just because we are talking about a “plan” and a “format” does not mean that this stuff is set in stone. You will certainly change your mind as time goes on. You will add things and drop things. Eventually you will find your groove and settle into what works well for you.

But it’s good to start out with an outline so that  you have an idea of where you’re headed. We can guide you on this. It will make the process easier and also help make your podcast better. A better podcast means more listeners and more fun for you!

Let’s talk about a few things to consider when you choose a format for your podcast.

Should You Have A Co-Host

It’s up to you. There are a lot of solo podcasts out there. Some podcasts have two or more hosts. There are also podcasts with several participants discussing a topic at the same time, like the fairly new entertainment podcast

You can even co-host a show with someone who lives in another state or another country. This is often done using Skype or a similar platform.

There are advantages to having a co-host:

  • Listeners find the discussion between multiple hosts more interesting than just one person talking for 20 minutes
  • With multiple hosts you can split the work required to produce the podcast
  • There are more people to come up with creative ideas and content

This comes with the added complication, though, of coordinating the schedules of multiple people, maybe even across time zones. The advantage of doing it solo is that you’re totally in control.

What Kind of Segments Will Your Podcast Have?

What do we mean by segments? Well, back before podcasting, we drove to work in the city and we listened to the local radio drive shows. They had certain segments that they did every morning. We always knew that they would do the serious news, then later the silly news, then the “funny” people awards, then an interview or two and so on.  These were the segments that they always did. If you watch the morning shows on the TV or radio shows on NPR it’s the same. There are certain segments that they do on each show.

So, what segments will your podcast have?  Your listeners will want to know what to expect. Familiarity and structure are comfortable. And, it make your job easier. Having a planned structure, maybe even an “editorial topic calendar” will also make producing your podcast easier for you. The point is that a little thought and planning is helpful at this stage.

Here’s an example segment structure for a localized podcast:

  1. Intro & Welcome, Date

  2. Announcements

  3. Shout Out for the Top 10 in the Community

  4. Mid Roll Ad Spot

  5. Commentary

  6. Quick Tips & Resources

  7. Outroll Theme Music

This is just one example. Find a structure that works best for you and your intended local listeners and don’t be afraid to mix it up. You can be spontaneous.

Music in Your Podcast?

Even if you don’t have a music podcast, you may still want to use music in your podcast. Music is a great way to change things up and drive the show forward. You can use music to transition between segments. This adds variety and keeps things moving. It also serves as a cue that you are moving into something new or changing gears. Music makes a good intro. Having an intro theme song is useful for a couple reasons:

  • When your listener hears your theme song, it instantly cues them in that they are listening to your show.

  • An intro song raises the energy level and gives you some momentum going into the show.

If you think you’ll want to use music in your podcast, there are some legal and copyright considerations.

How Long Should Your Podcast Be?

The beauty of podcasting is you’re not limited to the typical broadcast radio timing. If you listen to a talk show on the radio, everything is timed to the commercials and the “top of the hour”.

But now you’re in control. Your podcast can be five minutes or it can be 45 minutes. We suggest between 10 and 20 minutes. When you decide how long your podcast is going to be, you should think about what’s going to work for your audience. How long of a podcast will your audience will actually listen to? If the purpose of your podcast is to cover the latest community information on a certain topic, then you probably want to keep it to 10-20 minutes.

Your Podcast Should Be As Long As It NEEDS To Be

Too general?  What we mean is, make it long enough to serve its purpose, but not so long that you will bore listeners. There is a point where it’s just right and then wrap things up. With time, you will find the happy medium. We suggest being consistent in how long your shows are so your listeners know what to expect.

In GENERAL, our personal opinion is that a 10-20 minute show is a good length. Your listeners might listen to a lot of podcasts. If you want your podcast to be one that they listen to regularly, then you don’t want to take up more of their time than you need to.

In the end, you know what’s best for you, your show and your audience.

How Much Time Will It Take to Make A Podcast

Just because you do a 10- 20-minute show doesn’t mean that you will only spend 20 minutes a week creating your podcast. Your time and our time commitment will vary depending on how much preparation you need and your experience and the amount of technical help we provide.

Keep in mind that the longer your show is, the longer is it will take to produce it. Many podcasters spend 2-4 times the length of their show just on preparation before and publishing afterwards.

How the Length of Your Show Affects Your Web Hosting

We will talk more about podcast web hosting later, but for now you need to know that the longer your shows are, the more storage you will need. The longer the show, the larger the MP3 file.

Also, a larger show means you need more bandwidth for your web site. Bandwidth is the amount of information transferred to and from your web site each month. There is a limit to how much you can transfer. With most web sites this is not a problem, but with podcasts it can be a problem because of the size of the MP3 files. We will talk more about bandwidth later, and where you can host your podcast. For now just know that the longer your podcast, the larger the MP3 file and the more bandwidth you will need for your hosting.

How Often Will You Post Your Podcast?

Will you do your show daily, weekly, monthly or just whenever you feel like it? This will depend largely on how busy your life is. How much time does your job, family or other obligations take up? Take an inventory of your life and estimate how much time you will have to work on your podcast.

Stay in Regular Contact with Your Listeners

It’s important, if possible, to have a regular schedule for posting your show. If you have a regular schedule it will help with listener loyalty. They will know when to expect from you and look forward to your new shows.

With our busy schedules, we don’t always get our podcasts out when we plan to. But do your best. we’re working on getting better at this.

If you’re podcasting for an organization or fund raising promotion, then we would suggest doing at least one podcast a week. Bi-weekly may work, but it’s important to have regular contact with your listeners. Every day that goes by your listeners can easily forget about you a little more.

People have short attention spans and short-term memory. You want to stay in the minds of your listeners on a regular basis. Bandwidth is an issue here, too. The more often you post your podcast, the more people will be downloading from your site which requires more bandwidth from your hosting.

How Often Can You Get Fresh Content for Your Podcast

How much fresh content is available for your show and how often can you get it? For example, if your podcast is women sports-based, how often does interesting news on your topic come along? How often can you create the content for your show?

Technically Producing, Editing and Hosting Your Podcast

This is where we help you to open the mic and just start talking (or whatever else you plan on doing in your podcast). We can coach you on this!

But, there’s a lot of back end production work that goes into the final polished podcast.  And, this is where we come into play with our technical expertise. Once you’ve created your first podcast, we need to prepare it for editing, publishing and then hosting it on the Internet. This involves some of the following:

  • Editing for sound quality
  • Taking out umms, ahhs and pauses, coughs and sniffles
  • Inserting music
  • Inserting ad spots ( if appropriate)
  • Creating an MP3 Files
  • ID3 Tags for Podcasts
  • Podcast Hosting (blogs, web hosting, RSS feeds)
  • Free Podcast Hosting
  • Naming Your Podcast File ( 3-4 words)
  • Uploading Your Podcast
  • Writing Podcast Show Notes
  • Posting Show Notes

NEXT STEPS & SUMMARY

With all this in mind, remember, you know what’s best for you, your show and your potential audience when it comes to the length and frequency of your show.

One final suggestion, is spend some time listening to other podcasts. My previous post has a list of some women podcasters.  Pay attention to how long they are. How long of a podcast do you like as a listener? Take note of their structure and the segments used in each show. What segments do you find enjoyable? Brainstorm on some ideas. Now we need to determine a location for us to record your podcast.

Our Brief Suggestions for Promoting Your Podcast

Of course you’ll want more listeners for your podcast. We will work with you during a special planning session and talk a bit more about how to find and build listeners for your podcast.

Email me at alice@flatlandsavellc.com for more information on how we can help get you started with coaching, planning and helping your host a podcast.

Podcast Trends & Women in Podcasting

August 5, 2015 Comments off

Microphone

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Hi everyone! With technology being so ubiquitous in our daily lives, I want to talk first about some evolving podcast trends, as there are some changes going on out in the pod-stratosphere. And, then in my next post I’ll move into some basic podcast production tips.

Earlier this year I read an article in Wired Magazine about how Podcasting has enjoyed an increased amount of media attention of late. And, even PEW Research shares the same inclinations towards the continued but substantive growth of Podcasting in their Podcast Fact Sheet.

  • “Mobile devices are increasingly the preferred way to listen to podcasts. Libsyn also recorded that, of their 2.6 billion podcast downloads in 2014, 63% were requested from mobile devices – up from 43% in 2012.

  • In 2014, there were about 22,000 active podcasts (up from 12,000 in 2012).

  • An additional indicator of the strong growth of podcasts is the launch of three relatively new podcast networks by public radio alone: Radiotopia by PRX, SoundWorks by PRI, and Infinite Guest by APM.

  • In the following excerpt from Dorie Clark, a Forbes ccontributor, wrote that: “…New York magazine declaring a “great podcast renaissance.” There’s been practically no mention of podcasting from 2008 to 2013,” says Harbinger. “Why? That’s because it wasn’t new anymore, so nobody was talking about it. But, if you look at the statistics…podcasting has been growing steadily, in great numbers.” Indeed, Rob Walch of the podcast hosting service Libsyn agrees, noting that “Smartphones, and specifically the iPhone, have really been the driver of growth the last few years” because they make podcast downloading and consumption easier….”

  • As of February 2013, men hosted 70 percent of the world’s 100 most popular podcasts. Two years later, the disparity in the top-100 remains woefully the same. But other podcast trends suggest a shift is underway. Late last year, massively popular true crime show Serial, hosted by Sarah Koenig, became the fastest-growing podcast ever, hitting five million downloads.

IMHO, podcasting is coming of age ( especially for women in the field) and it was ahead of its time. More importantly the following two new podcast examples are produced by women. This is unique in and of itself, because as I noted the market is saturated with male podcasters. Farther below I provide a more extensive list of some women podcasters, but I want to highlight the following two new comers to the podcast arena.

  1. Pushing Hoops with Sticks, hosted by Ayesha A. Siddiqi. There needs to be more shows like this, period. Her show examines race (often within the creative community, like comedy and music) and does so in such an important and direct way.

  2. Baby Geniuses, hosted by Artist Lisa Hanawalt and Emily Heller.

  3. Two Brown Girls, hosted by Fariha Roisin and Zeba Blay. Fariha and Zeba are writers and critics whose show is a mix of topics, ranging from culture, politics, pop culture, style, feminism, race, and politics

  4. Death, Sex and Money, Hosted by Anna Sale. Anna’s podcast, which interviews people about the topics we all struggle to speak openly about, is about to celebrate it’s one year anniversary and his been a major hit since it first hit WNYC’s airwaves.

  5. The JV Club, hosted by Janet Varney. Janet Varney happens to be one of the funniest people around, so when you combine her with some incredible female guests, speaking about what it was like to be a teenager

  6. Hot Grease, hosted by Nicole Taylor. Currently on sabbatical. Nicole’s podcast is dedicated to the American south and all the ways it interacts with (and influences) local food and culture in other places. There are over 160 episodes in her archives.

  7. Design Matters, hosted by Debbie Millman. She tackles more serious issues within the design community.

  8. The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva). The Kitchen Sisters produce a show for NPR and other content for public media across the country. With a long history in radio, these incredible women cover stories ranging from food to serious discussions of life and death

  9. Strangers, hosted by Lea Thau. Lea is the former director of NPR’s beloved Moth series, and her show is dedicated to the same concept – sharing personal stories that mean something to both the teller and the listener.

  10. Black Girls Talking, hosted by Alesia, Fatima, Aurelia and Ramou. This round-table format show. Think of The View.

  11. Rendered (formerly Destination DIY), hosted by Julie Sabatier. This is a show predominantly about design and “maker” talk online.

  12. Radio Cherry Bombe, hosted by Julia Turshen. Food and Cooking. First two years interviewing women in the food industry.

  13. The Spin, hosted by Esther Armah: Esther’s show launched last year and it’s a fantastic weekly show that discusses race, politics, culture and personal stories with women of color.

  14. Strangers

  15. Fugitive Waves with The Kitchen Sisters

  16. On the Media

  17. Answer me This!

  18. Fresh Air

  19. Pop Culture Happy Hour

  20. The Longest Shortest Time

  21. Design Matters with Debbie Millman

  22. Criminal

  23. The Business

  24. The Digital Human

  25. One Bad Mother

  26. Wham Bam Pow

  27. Destination DIY

  28. Sawbones

  29. Slate Culture Gabfest

  30. Slate Political Gabfest

  31. Shortcuts

  32. Re:sound/Third Coast

  33. DecodeDC

  34. Grammar Girl

  35. Serial

  36. Josie Long’s All of the Planet’s Wonders (only 4 episodes)

  37. Sex Nerd Sandra. Sandra Daugherty discusses a broad range of topics from the instructional to the philosophical, including kissing, fetishes, healing after abuse, and, in the most recent episode, the intersection of sexuality and the Bible.

  38. Ronna & Beverly. Two vaguely disapproving Jewish mothers you’ve always wanted but never had. The characters, played by Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo, have an elaborate forty-year backstory, including ex-husbands, children, and a book they coauthored.

  39. Girl on Guy. The format of comic-interviews. Aisha Tyler, the titular girl—who you may recognize as the voice of Lana from Archer—has her own spin on it, where she interviews a guy (sometimes a girl) who is successful in a creative field. It’s more of a conversation than an interview. Her podcast is always a good listen, especially the Self-Inflicted Wounds segment near the end, where she invites her guests to tell a story of a time they humiliated themselves.

  40. Slumber Party with Alie & Georgia. Alie and Georgia first showed up on the Internet’s radar in 2009 when they crafted the McNuggetini out of a chocolate milkshake, vanilla vodka, a barbecue-sauce-rimmed martini glass, and a chicken nugget garnish. Now they have their own show on the Cooking Channel as well as their own podcast, which what it sounds like, pajamas, pillow forts, ghost stories, snacks and all. They almost always have a guest—although a few solo episodes have been recorded—and they have fun regular questions, including, “What did you learn this week?” and, “Who is your Internet crush?”

  41. Go Bayside! When I first heard there was a podcast dedicated to discussing Saved By the Bell, I thought it was a ridiculous idea. But then Paul F. Tompkins was a guest. April Richardson, who grew up watching reruns on TBS, is happy to address it, one episode at a time, on her couch with a weekly guest.

  42. Thrilling Adventure Hour The Thrilling Adventure Hour, performed and recorded live, is a throwback to the Golden Age of Radio. There are several recurring segments, but two of the most frequent are Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, and Beyond Belief.There’s also a great rotating cast of guest stars, and since it’s recorded in LA, you never know who might show up.

  43. Who Charted? Kulap Vilaysack (once you learn how to say it you’ll want to do it all the time) acts as a guide (and occasional translator) for the glorious anarchy of her co-host Howard Kramer. Together, they count down three top-five charts, one related to music, one to movies, and one grab bag, all with a weekly guest.

  44. Throwing Shade. In Throwing Shade, Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi, self-described “femme-nasty” and “homo-sensual,” locked in a love/hate friendship, talk about current events related to feminist and LGBT issues. Every week, they each bring an issue to the table, and if that sounds boring, you should know that the two met performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in LA and are contributors to Funny or Die. Episode 111  is relevant.

  45. How Did This Get Made? This is a podcast dedicated to breaking down bad movies. Paul Sheer hosts, with Jason Mantzoukas and his wife June Diane Raphael making up the rest of the regular panel. The three of them seem like they’re friends in real life, because they’ve played off each other perfectly from the first episode, when they dissected Burlesque.

  46. I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman. Do you know Jen Kirkman from Drunk HIstory or Chelsea Lately? Well, hear her podcast recorded from her bed, it kind of feels like you’re on the phone with one of your best friends after a long day.

  47. Raise Your Hand Say Yes With Tiffany Han

  48. A Better Life with Rachel Rofé

  49. After The Jump – Grace Bonney

  50. Creative Living – Jamie Ridler

  51. The Lively Show – Jess Lively

  52. One Part Podcast Jessica Murnane

  53. This Girl Means Business – Carrie Green

  54. Lady Business Radio – Jessica Kupferman

  55. Off The Charts – Nathalie Lussier

  56. The Sarah Bagley Podcast

  57. Online Marketing Made Easy – Amy Porterfield

  58. Natalie Sisson’s The Suitcase Entrepreneur

  59. The Broad Experience – Ashley Milne-Tyte

  60. Elise Gets Crafty

  61. The Introvert Entrepreneur With Beth Buelow

Do you have a favorite female podcast show? And, are any of you looking for more women-hosted podcasts? Bitch Media has a list of great women-hosted podcasts

Want to start your own podcast? Get in touch with me via email at alice@flatlandsavellc.com. Anyone looking to help women get involved in podcasting can reach out.

Is Your Creativity Dead?

March 16, 2015 Comments off

Let the Elephants RunI worked on a different blog today, it’s a project I participate in through Canadian Made Audio with a colleague of mine named Rita Rich.  This particular blog is about David Usher, and although I have not read his book, yet. I am going to buy it!

The reason being is that I do consider myself a creative sort. But, the older I’ve become, the more I’ve noticed that somewhere along the way I’ve lost or misplaced large portions of my innate creativity. Life seems to literally suck it out you and away from you. And, if you are TOO creative, well people think you are weird. Many of you may not know this but I actually oil paint. I love art. And, I have not painted in a very long, long time, or at least not regularly.  For some reason I do not feed this side of me, the side which is the core of who I am, quite frankly. I always have to get the chores or other tasks done first.

So, I wrote this blog and well David is many things, a musician, artist, author, public speaker, business entrepreneur and activist.  He is also British-born Canadian, and CanadianMade Audio producer Rita Rich talks with David about his new best-selling book, Let The Elephants Run.  Listen to her interview with him here.  I am inspired!   

Well, David’s new best-selling book is all about letting our creative pink elephants run wild. Let the Elephants Songs From The Last Day On EarthRun shows us how to reignite creativity whether in the head office, the home office or the artist’s studio.  He says in this latest podcast interview with Rita Rich, that in today’s world with the Internet, five people are likely working on the very same idea you are, at the same time.  But, it’s not so important about being the first to come up with a creative idea anymore, but in fact, being able to deliver that creative idea.

It seems that our day to day lives tends to stifle all the creativity out of us. But, David believes creativity is in our DNA; it’s in everyone, not just the one in the creative art class. We all start our lives as very creative beings, but for many that spark becomes lost over time. How do we jump-start our creative process as adults? What does it means to be a creative person? How do we follow through with our ideas and turn them into tangible outcomes?

Read more about David Usher, his book, his music, and his business here at www.canadianmadeaudio.com

Holiday Shopping| E-tailers

December 2, 2012 3 comments

Save GreenThe initial purpose of this post is to help you save some “green,” and to be greener during the holidays. And if I can help you save you some time and save the environment by cutting down on your use of gasoline while holiday shopping, then that’s great.

By far, my favorite shopping App is Redlaser!  It is a “Top 10 Must Have App for your IPhone” ―says  The New York Times ,  “If you only have one shopping app on your cell Phone, this is the one to have.”― Digital Trends.  I have used it for ALL of my holiday shopping both online and locally and have saved several hundred dollars already.

A Selection of Useful Holiday Shopping Tidbits:   

Consider making your own homemade holiday gifts as well.   I would love to hear from others who have made their own unique gifts.

I have sprinkled in some other social news  below for additional holiday cheer.

It’s Official: Facebook Apps Have a Share Button (AllFacebook). Users asked for it, and Facebook responded. The social network announced Thursday that its native applications for iOS and Android devices now include a share button. That means that folks using either app can now pass on their witty musings, puppy pictures or daddy daughter dance pictures to their online friends with a simple tap in their news feeds [Engadget]

There is now a BandPage Connect Plugs Bands Into Promoters, Fans, Facebook [AllFacebook}]

TechCrunch Facebook’s iOS users have long been able to tag friends in posts, but had to append them to the end of the update as “with [Drew Olanoff].” That made for some funky grammar, or redundancy if you needed to refer to a specific friend in the text of your update. Now you can tag friends in-line so your prose flows.

LA Times / Tech Now Additionally, Apple device users can now send each other Facebook messages with smileys and other icons from the emoji keyboard. The keyboard can be enabled in the iOS Settings app.

When Colleges Woo Students Through Social Media: Less Viewbooks, More Facebook (Time)
When Ashley Romero found out she had been accepted to the University of Georgia, it wasn’t through a letter in the mail. It wasn’t even by logging onto her computer and visiting Georgia’s admissions website. It was on her iPhone, as she and a friend were driving down the highway toward summer camp.

Who Mapped It Best During Election 2012? (CJR / Between the Spreadsheets).  As CJR‘s Meta Newsroom showed, a glut of media outlets incorporated digital innovation into their reporting during the recent election. One resurfaced over and again: the map. For the outlets just dipping their toes into the data journalism sea, maps presented a relatively easy opportunity to make interactive. For the heavyweights, it was a chance to wade in much deeper.

Upcoming Events: 

Inside Social Apps  – Developing & Monetizing on Social & Mobile Platforms, December 3 | New York City
Inside Social Apps brings together today’s leading developers of social and mobile apps and games for an intensive summit on the future of app and game growth and monetization on social and mobile platforms. Register now.

Online Production for Writers and Editors – starts November 20 | ONLINE
Create multi-dimensional content for digital mediums. Learn more.

My Sources Today Came From: Morning Media Newsfeed & Mashable

Morning Media Newsfeed Say they needs you! Send them your story tips, job changes, insider gossip, and all that other good stuff: tips@mediabistro.com. More than 160,000 people in the media business read this email every day. To learn about advertising or other creative partnerships, contact Dave Arganbright at   (212) 547-7931  or via email.

List of 200 Blogs

September 4, 2012 1 comment

blogs in the cloud, blog cloudThere are SO many types of blogs these days.  They range from free public blogs to paid blog enterprise platforms as well as personal blogs, corporate and organizational blogs, and even blogs by genre or topic. For example, there are blogs by topic such as environmental blogs.

Blogging is a broad topic, especially if one is trying to wade through the forest to get to trees and it could be daunting. I hope this post sheds some light on the subject. With so many choices, I would love to hear from you, please tell me about your favorite blog and why?

The following list provided by Greenedia provide links to popular environmental subtopics:

All Blogs | Alternative Energy | Batteries | Biodiesel | Biofuels | Carbon |Cleantech | Conservation | Electric Vehicles | Energy Efficiency | Energy Policy | Energy Prices | Environmental Economics | Environmentalism | Ethanol | Fuel Cells | Geothermal Energy | Global Warming & Climate Change | Green Asia | Green Building | Green Business | Green Canada | Green Europe | Green Politics | Green Venture Capital | Hybrid Cars & Trucks | Hydro Energy | Incentives & Rebates | LEED Building | Nuclear Energy | Peak Oil |Renewable Energy | Research and Studies | Solar Energy | Stocks & Investing |Sustainable Development | Wave and Tidal Power | Wind Energy.

My Green LogoI am providing a link to a cool environmental blog and website which are combined as an initiative of the Montgomery County, MD, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  This blog is supported by several County departments and agencies. The website and blog help County residents find local programs, services, resources and answers to en environmental questions in one place. It is written by Maryland’s Montgomery County Government.

The following list below provides other worthy blogs which cover a broad range of select environmental topics  (I am sure there are more, please let me know if you have some you like):

  1.  HuffPost Green,  has  bolstered its editorial staff and original content
  2. Time’sEcocentric, does a good job covering business and energy
  3. RealClimate’s commentary, a blog written by working climate scientists
  4. Civil Eats, if food is your thing
  5. Streetsblog, which covers transportation and planning
  6.  Grist
  7. Treehugger
  8. OnEarth Blog
  9. The Guardian: Environment Blog
  10. Discovery News: Earth
  11. High Country News: The Goat
  12. The Cleanest Line
  13. The New York Times: Dot Earth
  14. Mother Jones: Blue Marble
  15. Yale Environment 360
  16. The New York Times: Green

There are also blogs by media type and even blogs comprised of videos which are called vlogs.  And, blogs comprising of just links is called a linklog, a site containing a portfolio of sketches is called a sketchblog or one comprising photos is called a photoblog.  There are blogs with shorter posts and mixed media types are called tumblelogs.  And least but not last, there are blogs which are written on typewriters and then scanned which are called typecast or typecast blogs; see typecasting (blogging).

There’s a rare type of blog hosted on the Gopher Protocol is known as a Phlog.

Blogs can also be defined by which type of device is used to compose it.  For example, a blog written by a mobile device like a mobile phone or PDA or moblog.  One early blog was a Wearable Wireless Webcam, an online shared diary of a person’s personal life combining text, video, and pictures transmitted live from a wearable computer and EyeTap device to a web site. This practice of semi-automated blogging with live video together with text was referred to as sousveillance.  Such journals have been used as evidence in legal matters.

Reverse blogs

A Reverse Blog is composed by its users rather than a single blogger. This system has the characteristics of a blog, and the writing of several authors. These can be written by several contributing authors on a topic, or opened up for anyone to write.

If you are looking for more information and resources try some of the links below?

  1. More about the history of blogging  can be found in greater detail on Wikipedia.
  2. Check out the open source resources at wikimatrix.org
  3. Technorati’s Top 100 blogs to keep up
  4. Blog Search Engines:

Directly below are 13 free blog sites to checkout if you are thinking about starting your own blog. And finally, below the list of the 13 free blogs,  is a much longer list of about 200 blog sites and blogging platforms. I have left out the URL links to these, so you will need to just copy and paste any that interest you into your Internet browser.

1) LiveJournal
2) Busy Thumbs
3) WordPress
4) Tublr
5) Blogger
6) Edublogs
7) Open Diary
8) TravelPod
9) Posterous
10) Weebly
11) On sugar
12) Text Pattern
13) Serendipity

And, finally here is a list of some 220+ Blogging Platforms:

  1. Typepad.com
  2. Blog.com
  3. Yahoo 360 // Service Discontinued
  4. Freevlog.org
  5. Multiply.com
  6. Windows Live Spaces // Service Discontinued
  7. Xanga.com
  8. Netcipia.com
  9. Weebly.com
  10. Soulcast.com
  11. Journalfen.net
  12. Blogabond.com
  13. Blogs.bigadda.com // Indian Service
  14. Blog.co.in // Indian Service
  15. Perfspot.com // Indian Service
  16. Blogs.rediff.com
  17. Hubpages.com
  18. Opera Community
  19. vox.com
  20. 9rules.com
  21. newsisfree.com
  22. peopleconnection.aol.com
  23. members.freewebs.com
  24. bravenet.com
  25. angelfire.lycos.com
  26. boingboing.net
  27. snap.com
  28. squarespace.com
  29. diaryland.com
  30. blog-city.com
  31. zefrank.com
  32. antville.org
  33. blogher.org
  34. blogrankings.com
  35. textamerica.com
  36. weblogs.us
  37. bloghub.com
  38. portal.eatonweb.com
  39. blogsearchengine.com
  40. blogowogo.com
  41. bloghi.comweblogger.com
  42. blogrox.com
  43. inknoise.com
  44. bloggar.cjb.net
  45. blogsome.com
  46. salon.com/blog
  47. fotopages.com
  48. blogdrive.com
  49. twoday.net
  50. blogspirit.com/en
  51. jaiku.com
  52. blogs.botw.org
  53. weebly.com
  54. ziki.com
  55. alivedirectory.com
  56. blogger.de
  57. pitas.com
  58. blog.co.uk
  59. insanejournal.com
  60. blogharbor.com
  61. terapad.com
  62. motime.com
  63. easyjournal.com
  64. findory.com
  65. 20six.co.uk
  66. myblogvoice.com
  67. weblogalot.com
  68. viddyou.com
  69. deadjournal.com
  70. lsblogs.com
  71. blog.ca
  72. danchan.com/weblog
  73. ourstory.com
  74. supersized.org
  75. etribes.com
  76. 21publish.com
  77. thespoke.net
  78. iseekblog.com
  79. blogates.com
  80. loudblog.com
  81. upsaid.com
  82. writetomyblog.com
  83. openserving.com
  84. beanrocket.com
  85. blogslive.net
  86. bloki.com
  87. botablog.com
  88. thumblogger.com
  89. zorpia.com
  90. maktoobblog.com
  91. zoomshare.com
  92. memebot.com
  93. tabulas.com
  94. snapvine.com/blog
  95. weblog.ro
  96. blogster.com
  97. tblog.com
  98. blurty.com
  99. ebloggy.com
  100. today.com
  101. clearblogs.com
  102. aeonity.com
  103. blognow.com.au
  104. bloghoster.net
  105. weblog.com
  106. thoughts.com
  107. blogr.com
  108. alkablog.com
  109. shoutpost.com
  110. 2pt.net
  111. blogeasy.com
  112. mydeardiary.com
  113. blogstudio.com
  114. okayblog.net
  115. deardiary.net
  116. seo-blog.org
  117. blogupper.com
  118. phlog.net
  119. blogdog.com
  120. wikyblog.com
  121. globenotes.com
  122. my-journal.com
  123. blogladder.com
  124. livelyblog.com
  125. blogs.xanco.com
  126. atom5.com
  127. blogtastic.com
  128. johndoe.org
  129. journalfiend.com
  130. jeeran.com/blogs
  131. avblog.userplane.com
  132. blogtv.com
  133. blogs.skaffe.com
  134. getjealous.com
  135. blogsavy.com
  136. blogit.com/Blogs
  137. journalhome.com
  138. conservablogs.com
  139. hosting365.com
  140. my-diary.org
  141. blogetery.com
  142. newblog.com
  143. bloxster.net
  144. blogyx.com
  145. manhattanservice.com
  146. dakotablogs.com
  147. blogtext.org
  148. blogmyway.org
  149. dragid.com
  150. blogadr.com
  151. outblogger.com
  152. blogbeee.com
  153. iuplog.com
  154. blogiversity.org
  155. blogthing.com
  156. blogomonster.com
  157. egoweblog.com
  158. myblog.net
  159. inube.com
  160. journalhub.com
  161. blogcheese.com
  162. wordcountjournal.com
  163. livelogcity.com
  164. blogbud.com
  165. blogcityusa.com
  166. theblog.cc
  167. reger.com
  168. blogpod.com
  169. planet-travels.com
  170. talkingforest.com
  171. crablog.com
  172. tooum.com
  173. bahraichblogs.com
  174. rememory.com
  175. monkee.biz
  176. blog-dir.blogspot.com
  177. myitblog.com
  178. xlogz.com
  179. shoutpost.com
  180. hyperblogs.net
  181. blogsarena.com
  182. blogsboom.com
  183. nowblogging.net
  184. zeroblogs.com
  185. eblogger.com
  186. bloty.com
  187. theblogs.net
  188. www2.globbo.org
  189. blogspex.com
  190. blogisme.com
  191. pagebuildr.com
  192. blogmole.com
  193. shinyblogs.com
  194. myhappyblog.com
  195. webcamfreeblog.com
  196. speedytown.com
  197. tennerblog.com
  198. avatale.com
  199. lonelymind.com
  200. knowwizard.com
  201. blogonfly.com
  202. blogema.org
  203. ebzzo.com
  204. jaoblogs.com
  205. blog.allyouwant.cn
  206. perfectfreewebhosting.com
  207. free-blog-site.com
  208. greatestjournal.com
  209. mytypes.com
  210. buddypress.org
  211. mindsay.com
  212. freewebs.com
  213. pagebuildr.com

Good News, One Person at a Time.

July 8, 2012 Comments off

Today, our news is filled with accounts of sensationalized news, recent horrible storms, a terrible record-setting heat wave with temperatures reaching 105 degrees, and other bad news; such as the economy, unemployment, murder, crime, war and the like. There has indeed been a substantive amount of news lately, and even more complaining about certain local electric company’s inability to fixing things fast enough.

 Well, yesterday I heard a story, by word of mouth, from a friend (about 15 miles away in Germantown, Maryland) where an 86 a year old woman had walked to the big box food store in the 100 degree heat to buy some food and ice as she was out of her small ration of food which she had kept on ice in a little cooler which contained bologna and cheese for sandwiches.
More critically, no one, not a single person had checked in on her and she had no family in the area. She mentioned to the deli worker that there were a lot of elderly in her neighborhood.  She did not have any AC. She did not own a car anymore.  She did not have a cell phone. She did not have the Internet.  And, she had survived the intense 100 degree weather by sitting in her doorway step to catch a little breeze when it came through.
 I was shocked, no I was mad actually to hear about this.   No one had checked on her or the other elderly in her neighbor.  But, she assured my friend that she was fine, just a little hot.My friend could not leave her job with 35 people in line buying food in the aftermath of the storms and electrical outages, but she gave her personal phone number-just encase she needed anything-at any time. The elderly woman then walked back home, in the 100 plus degree weather.
 It is my hope that you will take the time to go take some food and ice with you to the house bound, and the elderly who are possibly shut ins, check on them and offer to take them to nearby cooling centers or a local mall.
 The heat has indeed been daunting (and winter time is also another tough time for specific at risk populations. Please go early and check on your neighbors, go door-to-door if need be. It will only take about a half hour of your time.
 And, lest we forget the power of good and how just one single person can make a difference in the lives of others, I would like to share the following story I came across this morning.  I would like to encourage those of you reading to take a look at the short video clip directly below.

If you have not ever seen this before, it is a moving experience recently annotated (2008-1009) more than some 70 years later about Sir Nicholas Winton’s impact.

I hope we all can take to heart the quiet example of this one person and apply it to our lives today, without a lot of fan fare and news coverage.  In 2009, Sir Nicholas Winton turned 100 years old and he is now 103 years old. 
His advice from a long life: “Don’t be content in your life to just do no wrong, be ready everyday to do something good”

For more information here are a few other links:

Sir Nicholas Winton

A short news documentary by Joe Schlesinger:

A short student documentary about students’ experiences during the Bratislava History Project included meeting Sir Nicholas Winton and HM Queen Elizabeth II. It is a student film produced by 12th grade IB Film students at the British International School of Bratislava.

May each of us remember the potential impact for good we each have in our own lives to touch others.

We do not need modern technology to do some thing genuinely good for others, but because of modern technology we are able to learn of the selfless deeds of one man some 70 years earlier.

 

The Penny Press in France & Le Petite Journal Illustre

April 24, 2012 5 comments

Image

It has been unseasonably cold and rainy the past couple of days, so I thought I would tackle a little history project. I’ve wanted to write about a particular little penny press newspaper.

As of January 2012, the New York Times raised its daily price to $2.50! Think back to the penny press at the turn of the last century, have you ever wondered what such a paper would cost today, inflation adjusted? Answer: a quarter (Source Article: (Jeff Jarvis). The picture to the left is a copy of an original penny press newspaper which I own and bought in the south of France, in 1994.   I had just completed my public relations degree and was studying the French language in Aix-en Provence.  At the time, I considered not bringing the two antique newspapers with me because I and my two children were carrying backpacks and only one small rolling bag. I was afraid of damaging it on the flight back to the United States. I am so glad that I chose to hand carry it and it survived.

In the 1880’s, this newspaper only cost a penny! The original historic art print alone is priceless, in my humble opinion. Journalism has been a career thread which has run in our family, but I did not know that when I started my course work.  I only learned of it later from my father once I began taking journalism courses during the second year during my undergraduate work.   My grandmother, Edith Faulstich was a Philatelic journalist.  Below is a short list regarding some of her writing history:

1)‘Newark Sunday News’ for 26 year (Nov. 24, 1946–1972)
2)‘The Record”, Hackensack, New Jersey ( 1961–1966)
3) ‘Bergen Evening Record” (Jan. 16, 1922 -Sept. 14, 1968)

Faulstich was also editor of: (see publication source addresses here)
4) ‘Postal History Journal’ from May 1957 (Vol.1. No.1) to 1967
5) ‘Western Stamp Collector’
6)‘Covers’, and
7)‘The Essay-Proof Journal’

But, I digress a bit. As this is post is about this specific Penny Press newspaper from France.

The ” Little Diary “is one of the oldest newspapers in France. It began publication in 1863 and the creation should be considered as one of the events most deeply embedded into the life of Parisians of yesteryear. In the history of the press, that is more that a mere episode, that is the memorable date of a revolution, not only in journalism but in social manners.

The present generation can not imagine what newspaper industry was like before the appearance of the five cent newspaper. This popular newspaper brought it within the reach of every budget in France.  But, it was also during a time when the press did not enjoy any freedom of the Press.

Legislators had made it suspicious  and was newspapers were relegated extensively.  The Government of the day placed heavy bonds; censorship, jealous watching  of publishers -very closely, and with the slightest hint of criticism, the slightest allusion to political bashing, heavy fines fell upon the publisher as thick as hail; to recidivism, that was the prohibition of the times. The prohibition of free speech, in France.

As a result it is enough to say that the masses of people, workers, employees, petty bourgeois were condemned not to read newspapers. The wealthy themselves are looked at twice before they subscribed to a newspaper. Some would only read the newspaper reading room, on the others’ subscriptions when they heard of their neighbors  taking out a subscription to one of the largest newspapers of Paris.

Millaud had, by way of creating the Little Diary, other intentions. Rather, to give each person an every day look at life, an echo of national life: information, news story, inspired by the chronic current events, talks about the theater, variety, novels, but no politics! The Government Policy, that was then certain death. And news had to live. The Diary lived indeed.

~ Jean Lecocq. (Almanac 1940)

Le Petit Journal (Journal was sold for a penny: 5 centimes) was created on January 2, 1863, by Moses (said Polydore) Millaud, non-political and therefore not stamped, at half-size, consisting originally of four pages, eight pages as of 1898 and six in 1901.

The aim was to attract the maximum number of subscriptions and to attract advertising. The dominant strategy was to sell at the lowest possible price. In 1863, Moses Polydore Millaud widely publicized “Le Petit Journal” and is the first French newspaper whose strategy was to create access based on the sensational. The selling price was also low in order to make it a popular newspaper, for everyone.

For failing to pay the stamp (5 cents per issue) that made the business impossible, the newspaper was apolitical. The authorities of the Second Empire favored the development of this cheap sheet and its competitors.

After September 4, 1870, with the stamp removed, Le Petit Journal was able to talk politics.

Despite some crises – in 1870, more than 400,000 copies were sold, and in 1892, one million copies.

Girardin took control in 1873. In 1937, it drew more than 150,000 copies when it became the organ of the Social français.

Replié in Clermont-Ferrand in June 1940, Le Petit Journal lived, poorly, until 1944, during which time he/it received a monthly grant from the Vichy government. Schedules of weekly publications, the most famous was his Supplement illustrated in color, whose images offered a picturesque example of the sights and popular ideology of the century.

The success of this penny newspaper caused a surge in a new type of periodicals (eg the Petit Parisien. Le Petit Parisien founded by Louis Andrieux, 1879, the first No. 16-10-1870.

The press has, throughout of 19 th century, evolved according to its industries and new technical possibilities. After the 1881 Act and during the 1890s, the press was still characterized by diversity, each with its French newspaper owner.

At the end of the century, the ground was laid, for the crisis that will soon shake the country: newspapers become a real power of the people.

Printed on the rotary machine chrono-type Marinoni

The Diary, in those heroic days, had not his print to it. No one knew yet that a single printing process: the draw that flat n ‘impressed that a copy of four pages at once and, because of the slowness s’ did the work, inevitably it restricted the paper’s circulation. Readers soon answered so many of the calls, that the printing Serrière declared himself unable to drasw enough alone.

It was therefore necessary to provide for the best merchants at the time, and use multiple printers. However, printing at that time, was not a free industry. We had to open one, buy a patent, and patents, whose numbers were limited, were in the hands of the printers who guarded them jealously and shared customers by various specialties: Books, newspapers, catalogs, paperwork , etc.. Newspaper printing was grouped around the Grange-boat-and growing. One of the busiest was the printing Schiller, 10 and 11, Faubourg Montmartre: it was responsible for some of the copies of Diary.

The First Rotary Press

Hippolyte Marinoni could have been, in the words then of a spiritual writer, “a romantic hero for his own newspaper” The son of a policeman of Corsican origin, he had in his childhood, kept cattle. And, he was far from being ashamed of his humble origin. Marinoni was a laborer in a factory of hand presses and type-founder.

Finally, in 1872, he realized the extraordinary invention of the rotary press with automatic feeder and continuous paper, regularly pulling 40,000 copies per hour. Some years after, he built the great Marinoni rotary multicolor printing press, which churned out 20,000 copies from a single shot in six colors, which were printed as illustrated publications, succédanées of Petite Journal, including the  Illustrated Diary , which were hand drawn, once a week, and printed up to twelve hundred thousand copies.

History of How the “Little Illustrated Journal” was Published

(Imperfectly Translated from French).  The Department of this newspaper asked its readers to stay in close communion and this wish was fulfilled for a longtime as a result of the huge number of letters received,  offering approval and very sincere encouragement. Therefore, we thought it would be nice to keep the paper alive, showing a little of thier lives, and the succession of different yet consistent efforts, necessary for the manufacture of a newspaper, and to penetrate deep Behind the Scenes – dare I say – of a large illustrated weekly like ours. 

 Here, as elsewhere, the division of labor was required. Above all, who is the Director, based on experience and knowledge to satisfy the public, giving directions to follow and supervise its execution. Under him, the writing service, editor, general secretary, implements and oversaw that her designs are shown.  Thus, each week, the Director took care of the editorial materials, which would form the number for the following week. These materials were of two kinds: first, what is known in terms of the business, the “copy”, that is to say, articles and stories, then the illustrations, including drawings and photographs. 

It was very delicate work back then, not only because it had to please the greatest number of readers, because everyone did not have the same tastes, but also because it had to be interesting to follow the news. News was and still is fleeting. What is interesting one day may no longer be the week after. But the manufacture of a weekly is infinitely longer than a day. We may at any time be too late. 

The materials were gathered into the hands of the editor. It then went immediately to the internal executing agencies.  The “copy” first, was sent to he service composition without review. Previously, they couldn’t  ignore it, because they knew that the composition of type had to be done by hand. The characters, distributed into the type compartments with lead  “breaks”, for each and every line of news which was laid out one by one, all by hand by a worker who formed lines. It was very time consuming labor.

 “Today”, much has been simplified and enables this work to be completed by using machines called linotypes. These have a linotype keyboard not unlike that of typewriters. Just to the operator – which is often an operator – to press each key on the keyboard so that the matrix of the corresponding letter comes down in a compartment intended for receiving. When the line is complete, a single shot lever activates the machine. The set of matrices is shown in the orifice of a home with molten lead. The result is a small tablet which bears on one of its edges, the embossed characters of the entire line. Matrices are automatically removed and distributed into the store from which they emerge, again, then the operator presses the corresponding key. 

Just as there were typists more skillful than others, there were also more skilled operators. On average, a good operator dialed 6,000 letters, 150 lines per hour. 

 The picture to the left is titled” Component of youth operators for creating   newspaper articles sitting at the linotype machine”

When an entire article or a story was composed, we made a test by passing over the surface of the thick ink, and then laying on top of it a sheet of paper and hitting it with a big brush. The test thus obtained wass assigned to a grader, who read the test “copy” and pointed out errors in the composition. Errors were corrected to the linotype by redoing the entire line.
Only the titles were still made with movable type, one by one by hand. It was the beginning of the use of making specialized headlines.

Meanwhile, the illustrations are processed by the photo etching. The illustrations were created in black ink and photographs are reproduced by a process, common in those days, whose origins date back to Talbot’s invention in 1852 . 

For the longest time, it’ is true that we only knew of the woodcut pictures which were only created and obtained by arduous manual labor from an artist, sculpting virtually on a board of boxwood and engraving it, chiseling the art worked well.  Thanks to an ingenious use of photography, they mechanically reproduced art on zinc or copper plates for the illustrations for the newspaper. 

The process is similar, though more delicate and complicated for large color compositions, which were located on the first and last page of the Illustrated Diary. Note, however, we had a need to get as many pictures as there were colors in the universe. For black, blue, yellow and red, that’s four shots that would be later set on the press and on which turned the white paper into colorful art.  Four colors, you say! But there were more than four colors in the prints that illustrated the newspaper? No doubt, but the green is obtained by superposition of blue and yellow and other colors by layering the same kind.

And they met the “copy” and illustrations clichés. Then begins the work of layout.  This job runs on large tables that, for a very old tradition, we continue to call “home plate”. Under the supervision of Secretary of writing which indicates the position of articles and photographs, these are arranged in forms or large cast iron frames that tightly clasp. When this work is completed, it is, the content of each form, a race named special “morass.” The morasses are revised by the corrector, which seeks to track the latest faults are forgotten or layout errors.Then the editor examines in turn and, if it has no comment to make, given the right to shoot.

If we drew on hardware platforms, we could immediately bring these forms to the printer. But everyone knows that more these days, are used for rotating the huge prints of the great modern newspapers. Transformative work is still needed. He runs to the stereotype.  There, introduced forms are placed in a special machine that molds them on a print taken by a kind of wide paper carton hurry. This blank, it curves to give the exact shape corresponding to the rotating rollers. Finally, each blank, and curved, is used to make one or more curved, and it is these images, the result of a sequence of transformations, which will finally get the newspaper.

The stereotype where the forms are used to make cylindrical clichés, is noted to the right. Now, this is the last part of when the job execution begins on one of those admirable rotating machines in which the invention is due to Hippolyte Marinoni, both creator of modern printing and for many years director of the Petit Journal.

Under the orders of the chief driver, snapshots from the stereotype are set on the rollers of the machine and the big roll of paper begins to unfold its leaves through the endless maze of wheels, connecting rods and countless bodies of steel.

Despite the appearance, start-up demand meticulous care. Because of the four different inks used for color prints, you must engage in a very delicate work of identification. We must also adjust the pressure on the plates and the arrival of the inks so that the text is neither too gray or too dark. Finally everything is ready, after many hours of experience and tests. The great “roto” starts to devour the paper at full speed and make it in the form of copies printed, folded, cut, such that we can finally see, a few days later, in depositories and in news agents all over France.
It will be appreciated by comparing two numbers, the benefits of rotary flat on the machine, it once drew an average of 2,000 sheets per day. The rotary Illustrated Diary , though less rapid than that of a newspaper, printed only in black, delivers 10,000 copies per hour. – R

The presses were used every week to get the ‘Petit Journal Illustrated and printed for circulation”  

Thanks for reading about the history of this newspaper from 1894. If you have any tidbits of history to add or comments about the paper, or the history of the penny press I welcome insights and more information.

Now, onto finding out the history of my other little French newspaper printed March 1891, Le Soleil du Dimanche, all 16 pages!

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