How a Podcast Differs from a Blog

Most would agree that blogging typically entails a written entry. Podcasts, they can also include written commentary, include audio and/or video on a regular basis. Posting your favourite song on your blog does not necessarily make it a podcast. Podcasts are recognized as regular broadcast that usually cover a certain topic or range of topics. What you choose to broadcast is up to you, but frequency or regularity is a key component in calling yourself a podcaster. Think of how radio shows air on a regular schedule, and listeners know to tune in at the allotted time. Podcasts do not necessarily need to adhere to a strict schedule, but having some regularity will keep your listeners coming back.

What can be confusing is how podcast and blog are different, and in reality, they are not entirely different in how they are published. It is more about what is published, and how often, that clearly defines podcasting and blogging. The nice thing is that while there is a method to the madness, there is also great flexibility. If you have the creativity, you can probably figure out how to combine blogging, podcasting, and video blogging all in one neat little package.

What is a Podcast

A podcast, in simplest terms, is a media file that is broadcast over the Internet by the use of syndication feeds. Podcasters record something, whether it is music or talking, into an audio file, usually in the MP3 format. The podcaster posts a link to this media file on a blog. The blogging software, in turn, compiles a list of the entries with the linked media files into a list file called an RSS feed. Subscribers can use these feeds to download those media files and listen to at their leisure via a mobile device or web browser.

Protecting your Copyrights

If you post photos you have taken, you need not worry about infringing on someone else's rights. However, you do need to keep in the back of your mind that you have rights to protect too. Copyright laws are there to protect you. Be sure to place a visible copyright notice on your blog or website, and if necessary, watermark your image. Watermarking, or placing an opaque mark over your photo can deter photo swiping, but also lessens the overall impact of your image, so keep that in mind.

To create a watermark on a photo, you will need some type of photo editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop. Or plug watermarking into a Google search to find out about watermarking software and tutorials.

Setting up Moblogging with Flickr

  1. Log in to your Flickr account.
  2. Click your screen name, located in the upper-right corner. This takes you to your account settings.
  3. On the Email tab, click the Create an Upload-to-Flickr Email Address link. Flickr assigns you a special email address that you can use to send photos and text with your mobile phone or PDA.
  4. From your mobile phone or PDA, enter this special email address and send your photos. They are automatically posted to your Flickr account.
  5. Click the Your Account link on the top left to get back to the Email Tab.

Setting up Moblogging with Vox

  1. From your Vox account online, click Account.
  2. Click the Mobile Settings link from the left navigation link list. Vox displays your mobile posting options along with a mobile email address to send your text and photos to.
  3. Select your privacy options from the Share With drop-down list and then click Save below the drop-down list to save the settings. You can choose to have Vox automatically set a default privacy level. Share your moblogging posts with anyone, your Vox neighborhood, or friends and family.
  4. (Optional) Set default moblog tags for your entries from the Tag With drop-down menu. You can tag your entries with identifying keywords.
  5. Choose when to post from the Create Post drop-down menu and then click Save below the drop-down menu. Choose Yes to create a new post in the blog with your moblogged photo or text, or No so you can handle it later when you have time.
  6. (Optional) If you have created multiple contact groups, choose to which group these photos should be visible. Click the link next to Post to Group, and in the small window that appears, select the applicable contact groups. Click Save.

Setting up Moblogging with TypePad

  1. From your TypePad account online, click Control Panel.
  2. Click the Profile tab.
  3. Click the Mobile Settings link. The Mobile Settings page opens.
  4. From the When I Send Text Messages by Email, Post Them to This Weblog drop-down menu, select which blog to post text messages to.
  5. From the When I Send Photos by Email, Post Them to My drop-down menu, select which blog to post photos to.
  6. Fill in any email addresses you will be sending your content from. For example, if you use a free email account when travelling, a work email, and a mobile or PDA email address, provide those to TypePad in the five available fields.
  7. Copy and save the secret email address provided by TypePad. This is the email address where you will send your text and/or photos from your phone or PDA. Program it into your phone's address book feature for easy access. Anything you send to this secret address will automatically get published to the blog you specified in Steps 4 and 5.
  8. Click Save.

What You Get with Flickr

Flickr is an extremely popular online photo management and photo sharing website that has transformed into a massive photo community. If you procrastinate, this is the best way to spend your procrastinating time.

Flickr houses the portfolios of thousands of talented photographers ranging from professional to amateur, in addition to a vast collection of photos from people with point-and-shoot cameras. Flickr allows you to upload and share your photos in a gallery format and provides a comment/blog-type of atmosphere. You can have your very own Flickr account to share photos for free of charge.

Signing up for a Flickr account is quite easy. Flickr, in its growth, joined forces with Yahoo!, and you are required to have a Yahoo! account to sign up. If you do not already have one, you can sign up for one in a few minutes.

All basic Flickr accounts are free and allow you to post, rotate, tag, and share your photos with the world. You are also granted the ability to sort your photos into sets and collections. Basic free accounts give you three to start off with. You can accept comments, set privacy levels for friends and family-viewing only, and the best part, you can post your photos from Flickr right into your blog. Flickr supports blogging your photos with LiveJournal, Blogger, Movable Type, and TypePad, to name a few.

Another charming feature is the note system. You can draw small squares on points of interest in your photos and label them, and you can give your Flickr friends permission to note your photos too. You can also tag your photos and search all of Flickr using them.

Adding Photos to Your Blog Entries

Adding imagery or photos to your posts can have a really positive effect on your entries. People are very visual, and considering that your readers are staring at a computer screen, keeping them entertained can make an impact. Impressions are made quickly with a point of interest to catch the eyes of readers, bringing them in to stay.

Of course, all of this is subjective and depends on the content of your site, your audience, and your goal. If you are blogging for fun, you will have a totally different set of guidelines than if you are blogging for profit.

Personal bloggers might want to share photos of themselves, their family, friends, or pets to illustrate the point of a post. A blogger looking to build a following might consider posting images or photos to back up a story or show details to drive home a point.

Gossip blogs are the perfect example of blogs with photos. Gossip bloggers spend their days uploading coordinating shots of celebrities to go with the gossip du jour. Of course, with publishing anything, particularly photographs, there are copyright issues to consider. If the photos you choose to post are yours from your very own camera, no problem. But posting photos taken by anyone else can pose a problem. The rule is: Get permission.

Creating Live Bookmarks

With so many different types of computers, operating systems, and browsers out there, you have a cornucopia of options on how you subscribe to feeds.

Newer browsers such as Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox allow you to subscribe to feeds with a built-in feed reader. This is called live bookmarking. If a site is publishing, or syndicating a feed, the option to subscribe via live bookmark will be apparent by the orange feed icon appearing somewhere near the top of the browser window. In Firefox, the orange feed icon is located in the address bar. In Internet Explorer 7, it is in the top right-hand side of the browser window.

Just find your preferred browser, fire it up, and get ready to start subscribing to feeds.

Choosing a Feed Reader

The best way to organize your feeds is with a feed reader, which syndicates website and blog feeds so that you can subscribe to them and read them all in one place. You can choose from three types of feed readers. How you choose a reader depends on the web browser you most commonly use and how much flexibility you desire. Here are some quick guidelines:
  • Browser-based: If you are kind of a homebody and do not plan on reading your feeds anywhere else, browser-based feed reader might suit you just fine. These are generally built right into your web browser and allow you to subscribe to a feed with one click. This is sometimes referred to as live bookmarking.

  • Web-based: If you are on the go and want to be able to check your feeds from any web browser or mobile device, such as a PDA or a cellphone with Internet access, the web-based option is recommended, as it is the most flexible and most popular of choices. You will find several web-based feed reader services in the market. The majority of them are free and easy to use.

  • The Combo: Most of the newer browsers incorporate, or give you the option to incorporate a web-based reader, such as Bloglines, which is available in the Firefox browser, with their built-in reader, so you have the best of both. The one-click ease of live bookmarking with the go-anywhere convenience of a web-based reader. Reading feeds using Firefox and Bloglines. You can do The Combo with Internet Explorer 7 by installing an add-on to make it work.