On Blogging and Podcasting

Episode 7: On Blogging and Podcasting.

Everyone has a different idea of what blogging and podcasting is for. I thought I’d take a few bytes to explain my views. It’ll help readers and listeners understand what motivates me to share the information I share.


Hi, I’m Maria Langer. Welcome to Maria Speaks Episode 7: On Blogging and Podcasting.

Everyone has a different idea of what blogging and podcasting is for. I thought I’d take a few bytes to explain my views. It’ll help readers and listeners understand what motivates me to share the information I share.

My blogs and podcasts are separate and, in most cases, do not overlap. This entry is one exception; it’ll appear in both.

My blog, which is called Maria’s WebLog, contains over 270 entries written since October 2003. These entries cover a wide range of topics dealing with my everyday life and opinions about what I see going on around me.

I consider Maria’s WebLog to be an online journal. My main purpose is to share my experiences and views with readers. Part of it is to journalize my life so I can remember events in the future. The other part is to let my friends and family members know what’s going on in my life. I’m surprised when I meet someone and they tell me they’ve read my bLog. They’re welcome to read it, but they need to understand that I’m not writing it for them. I’m writing it primarily for me.

I don’t know how many people actually read my blog because it’s hosted on my .

Mac account and there isn’t any stat software for me to track it. But it appears that it is widely read by people all over the world. (If you’re reading it now, you might want to take this opportunity to use the Comments link to check in with your name and location, just for kicks.)

Some people read my blog entries and are offended by them. I think that’s pretty funny. There are so many things in this world that are far more offensive than anything I could write. But these people focus on a comment or observation or opinion I made in these blogs and use it as evidence that I’m some kind of evil person. Whatever. I think people like that need to get a life.

I made an entry the other day that left people wondering whether my entries were truth or fiction. What do you think?

One more thing about the bLog. I maintain it using iBlog software, which is a Macintosh-based blogging client. iBlog is a really cool little software package because it runs on my Mac and does not require access to the Internet to use. Instead, it keeps a database of all my blog entries as I write them. When I’m ready to publish, I connect to the Internet and click a button. This was really useful when I took my laptop to my place on Howard Mesa, which is off the grid. I’d just hit the coffee shop in Williams a few times a week and use their wireless access to update my blog and check my e-mail.

Maria Speaks is my podcast. For the folks reading this transcript in my bLog, here’s a brief definition. A podcast is an audio recording saved in a format that can be listened to on a computer or MP3 player, like an iPod. I call my podcast Maria Speaks because it’s me talking and I couldn’t think of a better name.

My idea of a podcast is that is should share useful information with listeners. After all, that’s why I subscribe to and listen to podcasts.

For example, I’m a big fan of NPR and now that I’m not tuned in all day, I like to listen to NPR stories as podcasts when I’m driving or flying.

I’ve tried a bunch of podcasts that I thought were a waste of my time. I don’t listen to them anymore. If there’s no value in what I’m listening to — if I can’t learn something or be entertained by something I can’t hear elsewhere — then what’s the purpose? There are too many podcasts full of talking heads that aren’t saying anything worth listening to. I don’t want my podcast to be like that.

So when it came time for me to do my own podcast, I had a choice. I could either vocalize my existing bLog entries by reading them — like I’m doing here — or I could create new content of interest to listeners. Since I don’t think my bLog entries are informative enough to attract listeners, I decided to go with new content.

I make my living writing about computers and there’s always some tip or trick I could share. So I decided to focus on computer-related topics, including tips and tricks for being more productive. I’m primarily a Macintosh user, so most of my podcast entries are about Mac computing, although I did publish a cross-platform episode about Microsoft Word yesterday. And because I’m not comfortable recording without a script, each episode has a transcript available online, complete with screen shots if necessary.

Please don’t get the idea that Maria Speaks will only be about using computers. I hope to come up with other interesting topics to enlighten listeners. I also encourage all listeners to visit the Maria Speaks home page and leave comments about what they’ve heard. Was the episode helpful? Not helpful? Boring? Interesting? What do you want to hear? All I ask is that you be gentle with me. Harsh comments don’t get results.

You can find links to the home pages for Maria’s WebLog and Maria Speaks on my Web site, www.aneclecticmind.com. Those pages include links for subscribing to the RSS feeds for both.

Well, as usual, I hope you found this episode interesting. You can read its transcript on Maria’s WebLog. Thanks for listening. Bye!

What do you think?