Monday, May 29, 2006

Idea in the Works

I like to listen to other podcasts out there on the Internet. One of my favorites is TWiT, a podcast about technology hosted by Leo Laporte. If you are the geeky type who used to watch ZDTV, which later became TechTV, or you read tech magazines, you know who Leo Laporte is. He's one of my heroes. In any case, he does something that I've been thinking about doing for a while for the podcasts. TWiT has a panel of experts go over some of the latest developments in IT. Regular guests include John C. Dvorak, Patrick Norton, Chris DiBona, and Amber MacArthur. What makes this show so cool is that the panel is not usually in the same room or city. Many of the participants of the show are in on an internet teleconference. The call is recorded, edited, and posted on the web. This is a much better format for a podcast than having one person, me, talking to a computer screen.
This is along the same idea that I have for a SpinRGV podcast, to have a weekly roundtable of bloggers go over the events of the week on a teleconference. It would be held on the Saturdays when everybody has free minutes on their mobile phones. This would give me enough time to make edits and prepare it for posting on Sunday. The reason why free minutes is important is because each participant would have to call in to a conference phone number, dial in to a room number, and then go at it. On my end, I would join the conference, moderate, and record it through my Gizmo Project account. I'm really keen on Gizmo because they are free for PC to PC calls and 1 cent per minute to any phone in the U.S. I use my Gizmo service to make my website business calls. For the weekly teleconference, the software also comes with built-in call recording, allowing me to record the whole event. Something to keep in mind is that if you also use Gizmo and are on the teleconference, you too could record the call to post on your website.
One of the benefits of setting up a weekly roundtable of bloggers is that it would, in some way, bring the RGV blogging community a little closer through weekly discussions. When you deal with somebody frequently, you can't help establishing some level of relationship. Another benefit for bloggers is that it would allow us to choose a weekly guest for the "show" and we could all ask the guest questions in a round-robin fashion (we would all take turns asking questions). We could all then take the interview as source for our blog posts. Despite being on the same conference call, I'm sure we'd all have different takes on the same interview. It would be interesting to see the different opinions. This would be particularly interesting during election season. Imagine having an online debate amongst candidates. The major difference between podcasts and traditional media is that we would not have time constraints. If a podcast goes too long, it could be broken down into parts for download. In short, there are so many possibilities.
Of course, there are some downsides to the project. For one, our guests would have to be willing to make a long-distance call to join the teleconference. This isn't so bad as anybody of consequence can generally afford to do it by a landline, through free weekend minutes on their mobile phone, or even by VOIP. Another disadvantage is that there may be the appearance of collusion on who gets interviewed. The biggest downside is that we would not be able to have anonymous bloggers in the mix without identifying their gender or, possibly, their identity. This limits the panel to "out in the open" bloggers.
I don't know how available high-speed internet is where I'm going; this project may have to wait until I come back. I thought I would throw this out there for my fellow RGV bloggers to consider. I could, technically, do the same show without high-speed internet, but it would be really frustrating to upload through dial-up. For now, let's consider file it under future reference. I am interested in learning about your thoughts on this project if you are an RGV political blogger. Please contact me at rgvlife at yahoo dot com with your thoughts and opinions.
RGV Life Podcast

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