This is the first post in a three-part series on podcasting. This post is about the history of podcasting and why it has exploded in the last couple of years.
The second post will be about the podcasts I listen to and why. In this post, I will also discuss the podcasts wherein I have been interviewed. A few of these might surprise you!
The third post will be about the Repurpose Your Career podcast that I plan to launch in the fourth quarter of 2016. The podcast will help to support my launch of the 2nd edition of Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life.
What Are Podcasts?
Podcasts are just like the music you listen to on your computer, smartphone, or any mp3/audio player (think iPod—if you still have one!). These are audio files that stream directly to your device. You will find a plethora of available podcasts on Apple iTunes, on alternative podcatchers like Stitcher, or directly on your favorite podcaster’s website.
I will use Roger Whitney’s Retirement Answer Man podcast as a good example. You can listen to Roger’s latest episodes on the RogerWhitney.com site in the podcast section. When you do this, there is no need for a smartphone or any other device. You can listen to the podcast directly from your computer. By the way, I am a big fan of Roger’s podcast and I have been included in his podcast three times.
Podcasts are produced by radio stations for various shows—like NPR where their programs are released as podcasts, by corporations like Fidelity Investments, by small businesses like Roger’s Retirement Answer Man, or by individuals like Ryan Rhoten’s Brand New You Show.
Anyone can create and publish a podcast. If you would like to learn about how to create your own podcast, take a look at Cliff Ravenscraft’s website Podcast Answer Man.
History of Podcasting
Podcasts originated in the 1990s, but they became relevant to the mass market with the introduction of portable audio players like the iPod in October 2001. Although I can’t find specific proof, I will make a bet that the term podcast is derived from the iPod name. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Together with iTunes, which is really just a directory to find podcasts, podcasting became mainstream around 2005. With the advent of the iPhone in 2007, the popularity of podcasting grew significantly.
However, by 2012, the growth of podcasting slowed. Then came the next technology revolution—bluetooth integration in car audio systems. In 2016, most new car audio systems allowed you to stream audio from any device within the vehicle that supports Bluetooth. Now you can take a smartphone into your car and make hands-free calls, but more interestingly, play podcasts and audiobooks.
Why Should I Care?
There are just 24 hours in a day. With work and other life responsibilities, there is a finite amount of time to learn new things. Listening to podcasts is an easy way to consume new information anytime and almost anywhere.
I listen to podcasts when I am:
- Driving – I listen to the radio less than ever before
- Walking – I now have a routine of getting up at 6 AM and walking to my favorite coffee shop—all while listening to my favorite podcast
- Exercising – When I go to the YMCA and get on the elliptical trainer, I listen to podcasts
I have accelerated my learning by listening to about a 10-15 hours of podcasts a week. That is 10-15 hours of learning that I have integrated into my week without adding more time.
As a solo-entrepreneur, listening to podcasts has become a vital tool for my business.
If you want to stay relevant in this fast-paced world, listening to relevant podcasts or audiobooks on a daily basis will accelerate your learning.
My next post will be about the podcasts I regularly listen to, as well as listing the podcasts I have appeared on. A few are a bit eclectic, but you have to remember the opening line in my LinkedIn Summary section:
I have had an eclectic career, to say the least.
Recently, I enrolled in a service that will book me for interviews on relevant podcasts every month. Look for these interviews in the weekly Career Insights, which is sent to Career Pivot subscribers every week.
Do you have sparked interest or curiosity? Are you ready to give it a try?
Do you have Bluetooth audio in your car? Let me know if you use it.
Do you listen to podcasts or audiobooks?
Leave a comment below with your answers to any of these questions.Marc Miller
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