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What is Podcasting?

Hello everyone! I can’t tell you all how excited I am to be podcasting again! It feels like a dream from some other time. But you’re not here to listen to me rave about my joy at returning to the Podosphere, you’re here to learn more about podcasting.

In this blog post and the ones found below, I will be addressing three things:
•    What is a Podcast?
•    Rhetoric use in Podcast Promos
•    Big name podcast novelists / who they are & why the podcast

Part 1, What is a Podcast?

Audio Companion Episode direct download

The first thing you have to understand about podcasts is that they’re relatively new. Most podcasters have been creating content for more than three years, and they’re still going strong. Some podcasters like DragonPage have crossed the internet/real world barrier, and have their shows nationally syndicated as radio broadcasts or on online radio networks like Sirius Satellite.

But that doesn’t really answer the question that most people ask you right off the bat when you tell them about this awesome podcast novel you found the other day: what is a podcast? It’s a simple enough question, and ironically, the most confusing and difficult one they can ask. Most professional podcasters will tell you that a podcast is “the automatic delivery of media (audio, video, PDF, etc) using RSS feeds”. They will also follow this explanation up by telling you a podcast is free. All of these things are true, but the average Internet user doesn’t even know what an “RSS feed” is, or what the format of a podcast really is like.

The best “what is a podcast” explanation I have found is by the Podcast 411 podcast. In his tutorial, podcast411 takes the stance that he is explaining podcasting to someone who can’t even operate his or her VCR (yes, the reference is a little old, but those people probably haven’t bought a DVD player because the very thought scares them to the core of their soul). After you finish reading his tutorial, even if you had never opened iTunes before, you would understand what a podcast is.

“Explain to them that Podcasts are like Magazine Subscriptions.  With a magazine subscription you register for a magazine (podcast) and then every so often the publisher (podcaster) will send one to your house  (Granted with podcasts the aggregator goes out and fetches it – But you are talking to a Flashing 12 – So stop trying to confuse them with Geek Speak).  Now after the Magazine is delivered, it sits in your Mailbox (aggregator) until someone removes the Mail and puts it on the Kitchen Table (iTunes).  You then decide when you want to read that magazine (Daily Source Code) or some other magazine (podcast411) or you can just throw it away because it no longer interests you (Yeast Radio).  You can also cancel any subscription at any time.”

A podcast is usually an audio recording, usually in the form of a talk show, with one to several hosts. Like other radio shows, podcasts sometimes have advertisements in them, but these are promos made by other podcasters trying to promote their own shows. Sometimes podcasts are video shows, like Ask A Ninja. Podcasts can be downloaded from various places on the Internet, usually from the websites, or “blogs”, that host the files, and most can be found in podcast directories such as iTunes. But the most important thing to remember about podcasts is that they are FREE.

That’s right: you don’t have to pay a single cent for your podcasts. The producers, or “podcasters”, of their show are giving their work away for free. Many people in mainstream media frown at this practice, but the facts don’t lie. When an author like Scott Sigler can give his books away through podcasting, gain over 40,000 loyal viewers, and snag a three book deal and a movie option for one of his hardcover releases, then this “free content” must be working.

Part 2, Rhetoric use in Podcast Promos

Everyone who pitches something uses basic rhetoric tools to spice up their offer, even if they are using them instinctively. Podcasters are no exception.

The perfect example of successful rhetoric use in a podcast promo is Scott Sigler’s promo for his podcast novel, Nocturnal.

First, he uses edgy music, which feels vaguely threatening. It almost seems to be building up to something, just like the opening lines of the promo: “Beneath the streets of San Francisco, they are waiting…”

He also has the lines for the promo read by a man using the classic “movie trailer” voice, that deep husky one that utters, “In A World…” that you are so familiar with from the countless trailers you have seen in the theaters. But this is what Scott is counting on: this voice gives impression that the subject of the narration is something interesting and good enough to merit an announcer, not just the author’s voice.

Then there is the element of the text itself. The opening hook describes a very vague aspect of the story, but you really want to know what the announcer is referring to. Creatures that drag you away in the night, what’s up with that? Who are they? And who is this “Queen”? Next, there is the description of the other book that Scott Sigler has released, Ancestor, which is described as a #1 Bestseller. That line really grabs your attention. You may be thinking to yourself, “oh, he’s a best selling author!” Lastly, there is the closing line, “get your scare on at scottsigler.com”. This line helps reinforce the overall tone of the promo: creepy but exciting.

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December 10, 2008 Posted by | discusion, podcast | Leave a comment

J.C. Hutchins: Social Media Master and Evil Clone

J.C. Hutchins can best be described as a cheery optimistic fellow with a smile bigger than his face will allow, but don’t let this exterior of sunshine fool you: his head holds the mind that created the 7th Son Trilogy, a gripping podiobook thriller in which 7 men meet their makers… literally. In a epic quest to save their families, their friends, and their country, these men uncover a world wide terrorist organization bent on world domination, government secrets blacker than the most top secret folder with the reddest stamp, and a secret about themselves that will change their lives, or what they thought of as such, forever.

J.C. Hutchins got his start in journalism, but quit in 2002 and began work on his aforementioned thriller trilogy, 7th Son, unaware that it would be one of the most brilliant career move of his life. His trilogy quickly became one of the most popular podcast novels of all time, but J.C. didn’t stop there: he forged onward, creating the first ever podcast anthology set in an existing universe, 7th Son OBSIDIAN. J.C. is also the host of another innovative podcast, The UltraCreatives Interviews Series, where he interviews movie producers, indie artists, and podcast novelists, including author Cory Doctoro and film producers Patrick Lussier and Matt Venne, creators of the movie “White Noise 2”.

In my interview, we discussed many subjects, both new and old to podcasting. As summarizing the entire one hour long interview is nearly impossible, and contains enough material to base a thesis on, I present a list of topics we discussed, in chronological order:

•    Who is J.C. Hutchins?
•    Digital technology in the Mainstream Media scene
•    Building your “platform
•    Why did you decide to start podcasting?
•    Why do you podcast?
•    How do you approach podcasting?
•    What type of audience are you trying to reach?
•    How are you appealing to these audiences?
•    How are you trying to target different audiences to bring in new listeners/readers?
•    How are you including the audience in your podcast?
•    When promoting your podcast(s), what kind of approach do you take?
•    What decisions do you make in the presentation/rhetoric of your podcasting?
•    When writing, do you write with the podcast in mind?
•    If yes, do you find yourself writing differently than for traditional print? What decisions do you make?
•    When writing specifically for the podcast medium, what decisions/changes do you make in your writing?
•    When producing/recording your novel, what decisions do you make in the presentation of the text?
•    Did you decide to create a character for yourself to show to the podcasting community?
•    How do you promote your character?
•    What is your definition of a Podcast / Podiobook?
•    The Future of Podcasting: the possibilities

J.C. Hutchins one of the leading innovative names in the Podosphere, as well as a well informed authority on social media and networking in relation to podcasting. All of his work can be found at jchutchins.net.

Be sure to look for J.C. Hutchins’s hardcover debut, Personal Effects: Dark Arts in June 2009, and the first printed installment in the 7th Son Trilogy, “Descent” in the Fall of 2009 from Saint Martins Press.

•    J.C. Hutchins’ definition of a Podcast

“The 101, Part 1: What is a podcast?

Podcasts are free audio and video files that can be automatically downloaded to your computer, thanks to a technology called RSS.

RSS connects audiences and content creators in an innovative and worry-free way. Using a computer program called a “podcatcher” (iTunes being the most popular), you can subscribe, for free, to episodic video and audio programs like the 7th Son trilogy. Downloading this content is easy, requiring a few mouseclicks.

This free content is stored on your PC, and you can experience it any way — and at any time — you wish: at your computer, on an MP3 player … you can also burn it to a CD. Better still, new content will automatcially download to your PC when the author releases it.

iTunes is J.C. Hutchins’ “podcatcher” of choice due to its ease of use. Download it here, and read on to learn more about podcast fiction.”

Audio Companion Episode direct download

December 10, 2008 Posted by | discusion, interview, podcast | Leave a comment

Chris Lester: Story Teller and Mad Scientist

Chris Lester is a soft-spoken man with a genuine love for story telling. Although he has a masters degree in Biology and is currently employed as a science teacher in California, and refers to himself as a “Frustrated Scientist”, Chris id quickly making a name for himself in the Podosphere with his anthology of short stories set in the techno-magical modern fantasy realm of Metamor City, but most notable for his current podcast novel which blurs the line between podiobooks and audio drama, “Making The Cut”. This production features over 30 voice actors and fellow podcast novelists, and won the Podcast Peer Award for Best Produced. Chris has also lent his voice to many other multi-voiced podcast productions, including Babylon 5: Three Edged Sword, and Chasing the Bard.

Due to some thoughtlessness on my part, the first half of Chris’s interview was cut off, and was rerecorded at the end of the interview. As a result, the questions will be out of order until I can put in the 2+ hours it will take to fix the file.

You can find the majority of Chris Lester’s work at MetamorCity.com, as well as links to his other podcasting contributions, as well as a full cast listing with bios for the Making The Cut audio production.

•    Chris Lester’s definition of a Podcast

“A podcast is an audio program that is distributed over the Internet. Podcasts are similar to radio programs in many ways: they are usually focused around a topic or theme that is consistent from episode to episode, which may be anything from alternative music to a hobby-oriented talk show to a full-cast audio drama. A podcast usually has a regular format, episode length and release schedule that the producer attempts to adhere to. Many podcasts contain promos for other podcasts, similar to the commercials on radio shows, which help to introduce listeners to new programs while also providing variety in the listening experience.

The main difference between a podcast and a radio program is that you can listen to a podcast whenever you want to; all you need to do is download the episode and you can listen to it whenever you wish. Some people play podcasts directly from their computers, using music software like iTunes; others burn episodes to CDs to listen to them in their cars, or download them to portable audio players like the iPod or Zune. This power to listen to an audio program whenever and wherever you want is the chief advantage of a podcast over radio, and it is this advantage that gives the podcast its name — the “POD” is an acronym that stands for Portable, On-Demand.”

Audio Companion Episode direct download

December 10, 2008 Posted by | discusion, interview, podcast | Leave a comment

Episode #10: The Great Drunken Anime Rant!


Yes, here we are again. I’m late and you probably all hate me for it. All three of you who actually read this. I won’t bother to explain why we’re so late because it’s in the podcast. So without further complications, here it is: The Great Drunken Anime Rant of MDNN! (please strap your children down)

!! WARNING !!
This episode of MDNN contains racey material and is not meant for the younger audiences.

“Speed Racer ran over my show notes at 100 mph!”

Intro & Outro Music
– Intro – Vintage Punk, provided by The Un-Man
– Outro – “Her Collapse” by Joe Jasko, Shell Of Summer

Reviews
– All the bad Anime in the world at the same time, at both ends of the spectrum. Its possible. Just listen.
Speed Racer (anime, The Un-Man: resonates relevance for its time)
Gantz (manga, The Un-Man: ridiculous, over extended, but bloody)

Un-Man Audio
– The Unedited Promo (meet the cast of the cast!)
Promos
– J.C. Hutchinsss…s’ “7th Son: Obsidian(when the lights go out, chaos reigns!)
Random Audio
– All sound effects provided by The Freesound Project.
– “Over 9000”, “the death of Jeff”, and “Read a Book” taken from YouTube.

Next, on the MDNN, when we go around the corner…
– A blooper episode of untold proportions.
(maybe possibly) Scott Sigler NY Pub Crawl audio.
– And so much more… ( you can’t even possible imagine!)

Contact Info
E-mail – mdnn.cast@gmail.com (FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, EMAIL US!)
Skype – MDNNcast
AIM – LightningMonk007
Facebook – search “Multi Ninja” in groups
– No call-in line, but you can send us mp3s, like “Larry” did


Important Announcement!!: We encourage all members of MDNN to sift through your copies of the episodes, choose the best lines, moments, and shrieks from the cast and crew, and send them to mdnn.cast@gmail.com. They will be judged for use in a techno remix of MDNN.

Direct Download 10

June 18, 2008 Posted by | announcment, podcast, Un-man | Leave a comment

SSM Episode #5: Sex Dwarf, isn’t it nice?


Get your whips, its time to listen to MDNN’s Soul Seering Music! We have a very “special” song for you this time: Sex Dwarf. Isn’t it nice?


“Leading Disco Shownotes to a life of vice!”

Music in this Episode:

“(Your) Reflection” – 2FB

“Sex Dwarf” – Soft Cell


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!!! – We encourage all members of MDNN to sift through your copies of the episodes, choose the best lines, moments, and shrieks from the cast and crew, and send them to mdnn.cast@gmail.com. They will be judged for use in a techno remix of MDNN.

SSM Direct Download 5

June 15, 2008 Posted by | podcast, SSM | Leave a comment

Vidcast #1: Meet the Crew!

This is it! The first instalment in the Video portion of MDNN! Here, you will be getting creative videos and short films envisioned, directed, and produced by me, The BenT One. Expect some great things from here. OK, not that great, but you’ll enjoy them. If you want to watch the first experements in video that I worked on, go to www.youtube.com/bigborthertv and check out my Vlog, Big Brother Tv.

Vidcast Direct Download 1

May 25, 2008 Posted by | announcment, podcast, promo, vidcast | Leave a comment

Episode #9: Gurren Lagann gets a Parasyte from watching the Biomega OVA


I’m late. So sue me. OK, I’m REALLY late. There is no excuse for this, except that this is another soon-to-be-fun-filled episode of the great and glorious MDNN! It’s even shiny and stuff! Oh, well, on to the chopping block… I MEAN Audacity to work on the next episode, which may feature Scott Sigler. Again. Yeah, he’s just that bad ass. Ok, this episode we talk about more BLAME! related material, some manga that sounds like an INFECTED rip-off, and Gurren Lagann! Now, strike your best Kamina-sama pose and get ready to listen to MDNN, Episode 9!


“The show notes had the measles, so we’re filling in.”

Intro & Outro Music
– Intro – “Tommy” by The Who (please forgive the Grim One)
– Outro – “Minna no Peace (Everybody’s Peace)” by Afromania

Reviews
Biomega (manga, excellent – read it now!)
– Russian bears with guns. Da.
BLAME! OVA (anime, FILTH! – let it rot on the shelves)
– I actually cut a lot of out bitching out.
Parasyte (manga, excellent – read it now!)
– No, I do NOT have a parasite…
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann! (anime, WATCH IT NOW!)
– EVA Jell-O. Don’t ask

Un-Man Audio
– Dr. Nowhere and Dr. Emptiness review the radio
– Our deepest apologies to the artists reviewed. You knew this was coming.

Promos
– Scott Sigler’s “INFECTED” (I had no choice: his assistant made me)
– Matt Wallace’s “The Next Fix” (Cyberpunk. ‘Nuff said)

Next, on the MDNN, when we go around the corner…
– A new S & M episode featuring another smash hit not unlike Candy Rapper (give me MORE psychic energy, my ninjas…)
– (maybe possibly) Scott Sigler NY Pub Crawl audio
– And so much more…

Contact Info
– E-mail – mdnn.cast@gmail.com (FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, EMAIL US!)
– Skype – MDNNcast
– AIM – LightningMonk007
– Facebook – search “Multi Ninja” in groups
– No call-in line, but you can send us mp3s, like “Larry” did


Important Announcement!!: Buy Infected on April 1st and help our Future Dark Overlord™ Scott Sigler take over the world. Get flyers, stick stickers, even put him on your phone! It helps inflate his ego. Just buy the damned book, OK? Scott’s “official assistant” told me to play the promo, so just humor the bald guy with the stick, please.

Direct Download 9

March 19, 2008 Posted by | podcast | 2 Comments

Listener Feedback Episode #1: The Rubber Armed Death Gods of Anime Reviews

We’re back and better than ever. Well, maybe not that good. Anyway, we have been bad, lazy podcasters and haven’t responded to any of our listener’s feedback. So here it is, the first ever MDNN Listener Feedback episode. Lots of crazy comments, plus a very strange audio comment. We hope you enjoy it. BANZAI!


“These shownotes are making me uncomfortable in my place of work.”

Music in the Episode
“(Your) Reflection” by 2FP
“MDNN Blues” by The Un-Man
“The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” by Leonard Nemoy (Spock)

The Comments

iTunes

“Candy Rapper ROCKS! very funny stuff! Cracking us up all the way down in Atlanta!”
– ktina76 ( * * * * * ) five stars

Facebook

“Curse you and your oddly addicting podcast! Curse you!”
– Phil

“I love this show! The skits are pretty funny and the manga and anime reviews are pretty good. I had totally forgotten about FLCL until you guys reminded me and now I am remembering all the innuendo that flew over my head as a kid! Keep it up!”
– Lizzie

“AMERICA
JAPAN
FRUSTRATED
BASEBALL

BASEBALL!

I was there, but no one would have ANY IDEA.”
– Kelsey

“Why are carrots orange?”
– Some dude named Tim

Blogspot

“I like the way The BenT One and Raw Sushi go at it in the reviews here on Episode 8. These are complementary voices that belong together, like peanut butter and jelly. Or maybe like cancer and chemotherapy. I enjoy the way The BenT One babbles blithely on, trying almost to make sense, while Raw Sushi continually delivers witty short sharp sidekicks to his goolies. Result: disorientation, nervous twitching. This is good. Every true loving heart needs a dream, and every weasel needs some flesh to tear, eh?

I’m perhaps one of the few middle-aged phutzes on the planet, outside of Japan where they apparently have nothing better to do (except yearn futilely after all those big-eyed schoolgirls in British-derived skirt uniforms that drive young men mad and make old men young) who has actually commenced the NOISE manga, reviewed in this podcast. I affirm that the architectural backgrounds are very fine graphic art.

Future grim in this book? Oh, grim grim grim. But grim with a moody, visually rich grimness that will make the actual future, even tomorrow’s gym class (or, for the gray-and-paunchy set, retirement to a dying ground in Florida) seem a veritable heaven by comparison, which is always nice. Or wait. Isn’t the bleak dead empty ugly city that can’t stop building itself to infinity simply what America already is?

Speaking of grim grim grim, I highly commend to the attention of both the BenT One and Raw Sushi two works of classic and very, very nasty prose SF, “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” and “A Boy and His Dog,” both by Harlan Ellison and both available at any local public library that has not yet been purged by narrow-skulled genetically engineered Republicans whiffling and squealing about Family Values (the family values of a hairless mole-rat nest, they mean, where the young are kept deep underground and fed, literally, on the excrement of their elders in order to imbue them with behavior-controlling hormones — true fact!). But since many libraries have indeed been so purged, or have long been governed by librarians too feeble-minded and bestseller-driven to stock the classics, I hereby undertake, if requested, to photocopy and mail to The BenT One said very very nasty classic stories for sharing with Raw Sushi and assorted tough-minded others to be chosen at his discretion. Nasty, I think I said? You have been warned. I am not responsible. For the content or for anything else whatever.

By the way, I’m consistently amazed, in manga, by how little plot can transpire in a 223-page book. Why is this? And if I skin a cat to make a hat, can I dice a beagle to feed an eagle?

Onward to oblivion!

PS. It is rumored than Ellison’s classic SF tale “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” is a rewrite of an earlier story that was rejected by publishers, “I Have No Muffin and I Must Scream.”

Actually, I just made that up. Aren’t you proud?

Clearly, I would rather do anything that work this afternoon. But now I shall work.”
– Larry

Audio mp3

Another comment from Larry. This one’s a song, and not an essay.

Pornos… I MEAN Promos!
The Metamor City Podcast (cyberpunk + magic + fantasy)

Next time on MDNN…
Raw Sushi returns!
“Gurren Lagann” anime review and “Parasyte” manga review
– more BLAME! related talk
– epicosity (listen in to find out just what this work means)

Contact Info
E-mail – mdnn.cast@gmail.com (FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, EMAIL US!)
Skype – MDNNcast
AIM – LightningMonk007
Facebook – search “Multi Ninja” in groups
– No call-in line, but you can send us mp3s


Buy Infected on April 1st and help our Dark Evil Overlord™ Scott Sigler take over the world. Even put him on your phone! It helps inflate his ego.

LFEP Direct Download 1

March 2, 2008 Posted by | podcast, SSM | 1 Comment

Episode #8: Obscure Anime takes the BLAME!


Well here you have it: Episode 8 of the MDNN! It’s a good show: We have a new member, Raw Sushi, do a TON of reviews, and the Un-Man tells us how the military influenced your favorite Sci-Fi flick. It is a good show, filled with baseball, cats, falic imagery, and insanely powerful guns. If you don’t listen, donkey ears will sprout from your elbows. Rather than having to explain that, just listen. Trust me. And I apologize for the screwed up sound levels.


“Don’t listen to anything Raw Sushi says, he’s crazy. Oh yeah, Shownotes.”

Intro & Outro Music
– Intro – “What’s Up, People” by Hormone the Maximum
– Outro – “BLAME! ending music” by ????

Discussion
– Good & Overlooked Anime
Ghost in the Shell (invisible hoodies)
One Piece (rubber arms)
Last Exile (the ending sucks!)
EVA (enemy designs)
– Anime that sucks
DBZ (5 episodes: what the hell, man?)

Reviews
– Yeah, we got carried away…
BLAME! (manga/CGI movie) – Read it now
Death Note (manga/anime) – Read/Watch it now
Noein (quantum physics just got cool)
FLCL (baseball)
– Baseball (nudge nudge wink wink)
– Falic imagery gone wild
– Gutterize your mind
Miyazaki Films
Howl’s Moving Castle (little old ladies kick ass)
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (don’t fuck with the forest)
The Un-Man: Militarism in Sci-Fi

Promos
Anime World Order (discover “The Truth” about anime)
Ninja Consultant (OTAKU EXTREME!!!)
Transistor Rodeo, a Podcast novel (Battle Bots + Jumanji)

Next, on the MDNN…
– A new SSM episode featuring another smash hit not unlike Candy Rapper
– Shout-outs to our loyal fans (I meen it this time)
– “Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann” anime review (more falic imagery)

Contact Info
E-mail – mdnn.cast@gmail.com (FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, EMAIL US!)
Skype – MDNNcast
AIM – LightningMonk007
Facebook – search “Multi Ninja” in groups
– No call-in line, but you can send us mp3s


Buy Infected on April 1st and help our Dark Evil Overlord™ Scott Sigler take over the world. It helps inflate his ego.

Direct Download 8

February 1, 2008 Posted by | podcast | 1 Comment

Episode #7: I Am Legend (and so can you)


Now that Christmas is over, we can finally get back to doing some podcasting! Both me and The Grim One took a road trip up to Vermont to visit The Un-Man, and we got some killer recording done. We did some reviews and clowned around, but the important thing was that we had The Un-Man “live” on the show. It’s a more serious show, but you’ll still enjoy it nonetheless. No skits this time, though. Hope you all had a very merry Christmas! Now, on with the show!


“All the shownotes you have ever known are DEAD!!!”

Intro Music
Intro“Forces” by Susumu Hirasawa

Reviews
The Un-Man
“The Omega Man” staring Charlton Heston (Sci Fi)
The Grim One
“I Am Legend” staring Will Smith (Sci Fi)
The Supreme Narutard
“Berserk” (Anime)

Promos
Black Shadow, a Podcast novel by Steve Saylor (Bat Man is a pussy)
Morevi Remastered, a Podcast novel by Tee Morris (Pirates Vs. Ninjas)
Stranger Things, a Vidcast produced by Earl Newton (Tell one friend)

Next, on the MDNN…
– Reviews of BLAME! and DEATH NOTE
– A new co-host, Raw Sushi
• Contact Info
E-mail – mdnn.cast@gmail.com (FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, EMAIL US!)
Skype – MDNNcast
AIM – LightningMonk007
Facebook – search for “MDNN” in Groups
– No call-in line, but you can send us mp3s


Important Announcement!!: everyone and anyone who enjoys this Podcast needs to subscribe to it, if you haven’t already. Go on over to the Blogspot site and click on the RSS button at the top of the side bar that says, “Subscribe to a reader”. Then, just subscribe in your favorite RSS reader and we will be good to go!

Direct Download 7

January 12, 2008 Posted by | podcast | Leave a comment