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ERIC Number: EJ748118
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1041-7915
Launching into the Podcast/Vodcast Universe
Sampson, Jo Ann
Computers in Libraries, v26 n10 p10-12, 14-15 Nov-Dec 2006
In the fall of 2005, the Orange County Library System (OCLS), located in the Orlando metropolitan area of Florida, launched a mission to explore podcasting. This article, written in the form of a "captain's log," prepares the reader for their own journey into the universe of successfully launching podcasts and a vodcast (video podcast). This article describes how the author and her staff brought podcasting and vodcasting to the one million-plus clients of the Orlando (Fla.) Public Library and its 14 branches in the Orlando metropolitan area. In implementing podcasting and vodcasting in the Orange County Library System, the author had a three goals based on the OCLS Strategic Plan: to provide greater customer satisfaction and ease of access, to expand the OCLS's range and variety of services, and to expand the residents' use and awareness of library services. Three specific podcast feeds were designated (a children's podcast, a teen podcast, and an events vodcast) to mirror the OCLS's target audiences. In launching the first successful podcast, the author researched bandwidth issues, audio delivery options (MP3, Windows Media Audio, etc.), hosting services, and how to accomplish multiple feeds simultaneously. The first events vodcast demonstrated that size does matter: future files will be smaller than 50 MB and 15 minutes or less in length. When both the vodcasts and podcasts were operating, it was time to market them. Marketing began when staff was educated about podcasting to competently promote it to the public. A page was created on the OCLS Web site to give patrons access to the podcasts. Links to the podcast page were also on the OCLS Web site. Through the online library catalog, patrons could also download podcasts and vodcasts. By the end of the first six months, the OCLS produced six podcasts for kids, five for teens, and eight vodcasts for the events feed. The total number of requests for content have surpassed 2,000. Initial evaluations of the podcasting efforts led to these four conclusions: (1) The numbers show that the MP3 format is the popular choice (70 percent of all downloads), but the Windows Media Audio (WMA) format percentage (30 percent) is significant enough that the OCLS will carry both; (2) The podcasts are experiencing steady increases in usage, but OCLS should seek more cross-promotion with other marketing efforts to expand the audience; (3) Mentioning the podcasts at outreach events is very important; and (4) The OCLS should also consider using more patron-created content to inspire further word-of-mouth marketing. The author and her staff are considering expanding the podcasts and vodcasts to include educational (not just entertainment) offerings.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida