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Integrating Podcasting into Your Institution's Web Site. Paul Kruczynski, Senior Web Implementation Specialist Brett Essler, Web Publications Editor November 8, 2005. What is podcasting?.

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integrating podcasting into your institution s web site

Integrating Podcasting into Your Institution's Web Site

Paul Kruczynski, Senior Web Implementation Specialist

Brett Essler, Web Publications Editor

November 8, 2005

what is podcasting
What is podcasting?

Podcasting is a means of distributing audio and video programs via the Internet that lets users subscribe to a number of files, also known as "feeds", and then hear or view the material at the time that they choose. A feed is usually in the MP3 audio format. (Wikipedia)

buffalo state s web site
Buffalo State’s Web site
  • Current Web site launched in September 2004
  • Site is housed within Ingeniux XML-based content management system
  • Five-person Web team, part of the College Relations Office
  • Features:
    • RSS (news, headline subscriptions)
    • Database-driven events calendar
    • The Daily – campus e-newsletter
    • BBS (prospective student and faculty/staff)
podcast project origins
Podcast project origins
  • Outgrowth of March 2005 “fun stuff” brainstorming meeting
  • Purpose: build community, add a interactive, multimedia features to the site
  • Needs assessment, project scope, scheduling, budget, staff roles
  • Funding appropriated for purchase of four 20-gigabyte iPods, each with a Belkin microphone adaptor and a Shure microphone
staff roles
Staff roles
  • Web Administration Director: Project management, budget, deadlines, outreach to stakeholders
  • Web Implementation Specialist: Integration with CMS,create XML schemas, modify and create XSLT, develop CSS and XHTML for site integration, implementation
  • Web Systems Administrator: Database creation, administrative interface, modify calendar system to pull podcast data
  • Web Graphic Specialist: Design, iconography, supporting print materials
  • Web Publications Editor: Content (audio and written), documentation
initial challenges
Initial challenges
  • Content generation
  • Campus buy-in
  • Time management
  • New form of online community
  • Few campus models (in March 2005)
  • Site integration
integration with existing site features
Integration with existing site features
  • Podcast section
  • Larger goal – Creating relationships between content sources
  • Associated with events calendar
  • Serendipity – Users will find podcasts “by accident” when viewing past events
  • Design elements had to reference current site, but also be updated
features presentation and archiving
Features: Presentation and archiving
  • Multiple access points to content
  • Headline link
  • Link to sound file
  • [more…] link to additional content
  • Archives centered around date-based approach
  • Permalink to listing
  • Using terminology familiar to blog/podcast users; industry standard
  • Allows for discrete URL; unchanging link to individual podcast
  • Challenge: first introduction of terminology on campus
  • Led to use in other features
  • Tag concept and terminology associated with current Web trends
  • Tags provide multiple ways of sorting
  • Greater flexibility in sorting (vs. category/keyword)
  • Drives user to associated topics/content
  • Allows for “tagged as” grouping with discrete URL
the google mini
The Google Mini
  • Focused search within podcasts section
  • Alternative (and complement) to date- and tag-based search
  • Proximity of targeted search box aids improves user experience
populating the podcast database
Populating the podcast database
  • Demonstrate uses by example
  • Broad variety of content (events, entertainment, instructional)
  • Attend and record numerous campus events
  • Outreach to early adopters:
    • Student radio
    • Poetry club
    • Undergraduate research
    • Lecture series
content generation process
Content generation process
  • Source (iPod, existing audio, radio broadcast)
  • Edit files using Audacity
  • Encode with iTunes
  • Describe, tag, and upload content: administrative interface
  • About: Describe new technology and its uses for campus community
  • Instructions: Detailed instructions for creating and listening to podcasts; continued updates based on user comments and changing technology trends
  • Print documentation: PDF wallet-sized manual on recording with iPod
  • Sign-out sheets for iPod
  • Soft launch: late June
  • Launch: July 28
    • Promoted via home page news items, banners, spotlights
    • Print flyers posted on campus and distributed to student groups
  • Apple iTunes launch: October 17
    • Promoted via home page news items, banners, spotlights
    • Flyers distributed at technology fair
an apple itunes a rss feed and thou
An Apple iTunes, a RSS feed, and thou
  • During development of podcast site integration and valid RSS feed, Apple iTunes 4.9 launched
  • Huge distribution base? Great! New tags for RSS feed? Alas!
  • Prompted evaluation of content coming from the database, to ensure it was useful in both RSS and iTMS. Had to do previous step again when the iTunes tags were revised to v2.0
  • Adding to store allows one-click subscriptions for user. No need to worry about RSS or get additional software.
  • Raises chance of discovery by casual users, browse-bys, non-edu-based-audience
cross site integration
Cross-site integration
  • WBNY-FM 91.3
    • Student-run radio station provides content from talk radio programs
  • Niagara Movement Lecture Series
    • Lectures and press conferences
  • Undergraduate research
    • Interviews from Research and Creativity Celebration further college goal of promoting undergraduate research
  • Poetry Club
    • Library-affiliated poetry readings


July 28-November 6, 2005

Pageviews: 14,998

Daily Average: 147

itunes effect i rss
iTunes Effect I: RSS

Precipitous drop in RSS after iTunes launch

itunes effect ii documentation
iTunes Effect II: Documentation

Spike in subscribe/listen documentation after iTunes launch

itunes effect iii name recognition
iTunes Effect III: Name Recognition?

Arun Gandhi surge after iTunes launch. Recognizable name?

itunes effect iv mid week spikes
iTunes Effect IV: Mid-week spikes?

Spikes on Tuesday and Wednesday: New Music Tuesdays?

top 5 podcasts
Top 5 podcasts

Freshman Convocation (8/26) 152

WBNY Sports and Leisure (8/1) 144

Niagara Movement (10/20) 110

WBNY Oracle of Enlightenment (7/25) 101

Arun Gandhi Lecture (4/7) 100

continuing challenges
Continuing challenges
  • Shifting expectations as standards rapidly change
    • Video
    • Apple iTunes
    • Yahoo!
  • Campus technology gap
    • Campus adoption slow
  • Limitations of iPod Voice Memo function
  • Time management
    • Content generation
goals short term
Goals: short term
  • Curriculum
    • CIS 101 Computer Fundamentals
  • Creative uses
    • China research diary
  • Further site integration
    • Audio spotlights that tie-in with campus events
  • WBNY Glorified Rehearsal
    • Local music show
goals long term
Goals: Long-term
  • Increased campus participation/awareness
    • Students
    • Faculty
  • Campus technology
    • Software and hardware in campus computer labs
  • Vodcasting
  • Expand administrative interface
  • “Electrify!” – better, more (more better) content
  • Questions? Comments?
  • View our podcast page: