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NETSPEAK

Podcasting: emerging scenario netspeak

Service‘Jobs in Pods’ illustrates new application of the technology

This edition of NetSpeak takes a re-look at the current trends in podcasting and introduces an online service enabling live/interactive podcast content.

As mentioned in the past ( http://www.hindu.com/biz /2005/06/13/stories/2005 061300341600.htm), sharing audio/video content with webfeed is called podcasting.

Podcasting is fast catching up with professionals and business community, given the plethora of podcast content available on the Net. In this regard, you may check out the podcast directory, ‘Education Podcast Network’ (http://epnweb.org/) that provides a list of subject specific podcasts.

Search services like Podcastready ( http://www.podcastready.com/) may help in locating relevant podcasts.

In addition to being used in traditional disciplines such as education, podcasting technology is being tried out in other fronts as well. For instance, an emerging trend in the personnel arena is the adoption of podcast technology for recruitment. ‘Jobs in Pods’ (http://jobsinpods.com/) is a career podcast service, illustrating innovative application of the podcasting technology. This service podcasts interviews with employers and stores them under appropriate categories. Apart from announcing the potential job opportunities along with the job description, the employer gets the opportunity to describe her/his company, its work environment and potential career prospects.

To generate podcast content, audio recording tools like the free software ‘Audacity’ can be used. And to create content with people geographically dispersed across the globe, we can use Net telephony services like Skype. Blogtalkradio, a service that lets you broadcast, interactive/live audio content is another means for generating interactive podcast content.

Blogtalkradio allows you to hold an interactive talk show with unlimited participants at a specified time. The service records/archives the entire programme automatically. You can either download the content as an MP3 file or embed the recorded show on your podcast site. To use the service, register and login to the site ( http://www.blogtalkradio.com/). When you register with the site you get a host telephone number (for you, the host) and a listener dial-in number, for the listeners to interact with you. Now, to start your talk show you need to schedule it by accessing the option ‘Segments’. Here, enter the show details, such as title, description, category and start time. The service lets you upload audio files that can be played during the talk show. You can make the talk show start with your own signature audio file, if you wish so.

To begin the show, log-in to the account, access the option, SwitchBoard, where you can view the host telephone no. and PIN. You have to dial host number and enter the ‘PIN’ when prompted to do that. Once successfully logged in to the talk show, you can control it via the ‘Swithchboard’. During the talk show, anyone can contact you over the telephones provided for this purpose. All the shows conducted by a user can be accessed by anyone via her profile page (like this: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jmurali). One shortcoming of this service for non-U.S. users is that they have to make a phone call to a U.S. telephone number. This author got around this problem with the help of the VOIP service OovOO ( http://www.oovoo.com/) that now allows you to make phone calls to the U.S. for free.

Blogtalkradio may serve as a sharing platform for experts. So, even if one is not inclined to create a programme with it, she may still find it useful.

Quintura

Apart from mainstream search services, NetSpeak readers are familiar with several other special search tools as well. The recently released visual search engine Quintura ( http://www.quintura.com/) is yet another service worth a trial. Here, in addition to displaying the search output, Quintura analyses the search string or query words and presents a cloud of terms related to it. For instance, if you invoke a search on ‘Economics’, along with the output, you will get a cloud of words pertaining to economics. By clicking on the appropriate word, you can easily refine the search output and zoom on to relevant links. When you point to a word on the cloud the search output gets automatically updated by integrating the selected word also in the query.

J. MURALI

He can be contacted at: jmurali@gmail.com

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