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The Podcaster’s Blogger Press Kit

Austin Kleon posted about his Blogger’s Press Kit that he has put together for his books. Once he finishes a book, he wants to be sure people can share his work easily and with good-looking artwork. This is what spurred him into action. He writes:

Everybody’s heard of press kits, but the aim of a Blogger’s Kit is spreadability—images and videos that are easy to embed, post, and disseminate on the web.

Austin recommends a Blogger’s Kit should include:

  • author photos
  • the book cover (front and back)
  • “3-D” shots of the book in space
  • excerpt shots of the book spreads
  • a video of someone flipping through the book

This is a great idea for authors. In my recent writing about podcasts I run into the problem of not having good artwork for the show. It’s hard to find good artwork. I’ve resorted to screenshotting the album art from my podcatcher to use. Promoting something should be easy and podcasts are no different. With that in mind I now present you…

The Podcaster Blogger Press Kit.

Podcasters, I love your shows. You put a lot of work into them. I want to share them with the world! I want to help you get those coveted stars in iTunes.

Here is what you need for your Blogger’s Press Kit for Podcasters.

  • A decently sized copy of your cover art
    You know, that beautiful art you spent so much time on to for iTunes and podcatchers. I’d like a copy of that too.
  • Podcaster’s photo
    We’ve all heard your lovely voice. Now let’s see your beautiful face. This can be an “action shot* of you talking into the mic or editing tracks. It could be you looking goofy/serious/whatever with headphones on looking contemplative. A good example is imyke’s photo. It’s fun. It’s memorable. It gives the post about your show something visual to grab readers.

  • Photo of your podcast in your player of choice.
    Show your podcast, with cover art clearly visible open in your favorite podcatcher in the wild. Josh Ginter has some beautiful shots from his Overcast review.

  • Recommended episode(s)
    If your podcast episodes reach into the triple digits, it can be daunting to start listening. Do I need to start from 1? Can I listen to any of them and it won’t matter? Give the blogger a starting point to recommend to their readers.
    This is a tough problem and it’s one Merlin Mann asked his listeners for help with. The result was this list by Supertrainee on Huffduffer.

  • For bonus points, include some clips of your show.
    Give a new listener a taste of what they’re getting themselves into. Find 60 seconds of something interesting. Snag a 5 minute clip of an interesting discussion, or funny bit. Make a trailer for your podcast.

Cover image: Overcast podcast app by Kārlis Dambrāns

A selection of podcasts I enjoy

I love podcasts. I’ve listened to them for years. Starting with Leo Laporte’s [TWiT Network(http://twit.tv). I listened to Boagworld and the Web 2.0 Show. Seasonally, I enjoy some fantasy football podcasts and other things blip on and off my radar. I use Huffduffer to save single episodes of shows and listen to them through Overcast.

I’ve struggled with how to write about the shows I enjoy and why I enjoy them. There’s also the question of what is a podcast?

I got my answer recently when heard Jordan Cooper explain them on The East Wing: The East Wing 2: Hate-Listening to Talk Radio – Jordan Cooper.

Podcasts are on-demand radio.

Succinct and relatable. Perfect.

As I listen to the shows, I make notes of lines I want to remember, or they made me laugh, or I thought they were memorable. Below is the collection of quotes from various podcasts.

Technical Difficulties, and it’s spin-off Dawn Patrol are two of my absolute favorite shows. Technical Difficulties has amazing shows notes that serve as the textual accompaniment to the audio. Dawn Patrol is a group of friends talking about their current wants/struggles/loves with technology in their lives. It’s akin to eavesdropping on a group of friends nerding out. And I love it!

From Technical Difficulties 076 – What’s Living in Gabe’s Closet?

  • “You have to have access to your blinking lights.”
  • “Don’t worry about my NAS Dobermans.”

  • My iPad doesn’t do a whole lot more than my phone does. It’s got a little bigger screen but it’s a whole lot less portable.
  • I don’t understand the governing philosophy of Windows. I don’t think there is one.

From TechnicalDifficulties: 080 – A History of Computing with Dr. Drang


From 001 – The Skyping is Coming from Upstairs

Did you unfollow me again?
I didn’t have to. You never tweet.
You unled!


Isometric is a show I listen to on and off. But this particularly episode had me laughing as I walked home.

From Isometric: 17: The 90s Were a Dark Time

  • So Twitch proposed to Amazon and Amazon said yes. And they’re getting married. And there’s going to be a lot of DRM at the wedding.

At least we have two evil corporations right.
So they can battle each other.
Yeah like Kaiju.


The Nerdist podcast is another one I skip depending on the guest. The latest episodes with Benedict Cumberbatch, Wil Wheaton and Adan West were a lot of fun. The Nerd/Geek jokes between Chris King of the Nerds Hardwick and Wil Wheaton was hilarious.

From The Nerdist: Kevin Smith #3

Comedy is like Boggle. All the answers are there but you can’t always see it.
Failure is just success training.
Your story is the only currency you have in this life.

From The Nerdist: Ron Perlman Returns

That’s why I couldn’t come up with any names of heroes is because I’m just so fucking tired of knowing everything about everybody. Before I can begin to admire someone on my own the world is doing it for me.

From The Nerdist: Corey Taylor

French Tips:
It makes everything that you do with your hands impossible.
Who needs 10 styluses on their fingers trying to work a phone?
French tip capactive styluses is a great idea. With Bluetooth.

So it’s like a Renn Faire for thrashers.
I encourage everyone to wear their poet shirts.

It’s 9 dudes in masks playing crazy metal from Iowa.


Futility Closet is quickly becoming one of my favorite shows. It’s a random collection of interesting stories through history. If you have a passing interest in history or enjoy trivia, you’ll enjoy this show.

From Futility Closet: 031-Pigs on Trial

Insects? They did trials for insects?
Those were held in a different court in part because you can’t haul a swarm of locusts into court. You have to try them in absentia.

If you were a pig hauled into court you were given a lawyer.

From Futility Closet: 027-The Man Who Volunteered for Auschwitz

In September 1940 Polish army captain Witold Pilecki volunteered to be imprisoned at Auschwitz. His reports first alerted the Allies to the horrors at the camp and helped to warn the world that a holocaust was taking place.


99% Invisible was a show I avoided listening to for a long time, despite seeing people rave about it in my social media circles. It was referred to as a “great design podcast” so I thought it would talk about CSS or web development just like the 50 billion other design shows out there. Boy was I wrong!

It’s a fascinating podcast, similar to Futility Closet in its research into real-world design and architecture challenges and history. A couple of their recent shows discussed a 113 year-old light bulb, flag design, and how to design a chair.

My favorite episode has been about flailing arm men.

From 143- Inflatable Men

You see them on street corners, at gas stations, at shopping malls. You see them at blowout sales and grand openings of all kinds. Their wacky faces hover over us, and then fall down to meet us, and then rise up again. Their bodies flop. They flail.
They are men. Men made of tubes. Tubes full of air.


I have long been fascinated with how people work. What do you spend your days doing? What kind of work keeps you busy all day? Slate has taken up the cause and started a fantastic podcast called Working

This is my new favorite show. It’s short, always interesting and they’ve covered a wide array of people and professions.

While there are memorable and interesting bits to everyone’s stories, I’ve only collected one from the first episode.

From Slate’s Working: Working: Stephen Colbert

My show is a shadow of the news so I need to know what shadow it’s casting so I can distort it in my own way.

Have you ever wondered how a pastor works? What about a perfumer? What’s a perfumer? Someone who develops new scents of perfume. It’s a world I’d never once thought about but was fascinated with the process to create new fragrances. How about the a porn star? And finally, a lexicographer. I had no idea what that is either. She defines words that go into Marriam-Webster’s dictionaries.


Analog(ue) is show all about The Feels™ from Casey Liss and Myke Hurley. They discuss the life around technology. So many tech podcasts talk tech and forget about the humanity behind it. This show celebrates that humanity.

From #3: White Whale Syndrome

Nobody in my family swears up.

Suffering creates a fraternity of people who “share your pain”

From #5: The Only Way Out Is Through

It can also be isolating.
When life hands you something crappy it doesn’t matter what your neighbor got handed.
Be supportive even if you can’t relate directly.
It’s scary. It’s hard to reach out to someone. People will meet you where you are if you let them in. So please let them in.

From #6: Work/Work Balance

If you’re working more than 40 or 45 hours per week, something is fundamentally broken.


Overtired is a show from Brett Terpstra and Christina Warren about pop culture. This podcast sounds like my college apartment. We’d talk about TV shows, movies, technology and the internet for hours. We’d ramble and cover all sort of weird topics. This show is that and I love it. It is worth noting this show recently moved to the Electric Shadow Network. So if you’re interested in following along, subscribe at ESN but the first 18 episodes are at 5By5. Got it?

Overtired: 18: Death to Pop Culture

“That is not the right Filth.”

You can rent from YouTube? What? Why?


From Overtired: 19: Schooled

I have a great library of stuff I don’t know about.


What’s less focused than Defocused?
Uuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

The next show is one of my favorites where I don’t understand most of what’s going on. And it’s great! The Defocused Podcast is hosted by Internet SuperFaver Joe Rosensteel and Arizona-sufferer Dan Sturm.

The show purports to be about movies. Or special effects. Or something like that. But mainly it’s a trip into Joe and Dan’s Excellent Adventures. The podcasts I most enjoy can be summed up as friends talking about something they really like to each other.” And this show is no exception. Joe and Dan are a delight to listen to and I look forward to each new episode. While I don’t understand most of the special effects talk, I enjoy their opinions about the movies and where their brains take them in discussing the films. It’s interesting to hear the people talk about movies who also have a perspective in how movies get made.

If you have to start anywhere with this show, their crowning achievement to date has to be EP. 19: “WORK YOUR TABLESCAPES”

This episode is about The Rocky Horror Picture Show. They lead into the movie with this exchange:

D: Is it just your Florida past that sweat makes you so uncomfortable?
J: Maybe it is Dan. My post traumatic sweat disorder. I have no idea.
D: post traumatic Florida disorder.
J: Well there’s a lot of problems with Florida.
D: Well you probably can’t be blamed for something like that.
Mmhhmm Being blamed for Florida? J: All of Florida? My bad guys. Florida’s all my fault.
D: I mean you did spend a lot of time there. We don’t know how much you caused. You just left it in shambles and bailed for fancy Los Angeles.
J: Yeah I didn’t lock the doors or anything. Left the toaster oven on. I left the iron going.
D: Left the sinks running so they’d know all the houses were robbed by the same bandits.
J: The Wet Bandits.
D: The Wet Bandits.
J: That’s a different movie Dan.
D: I hear that’s a bad way to go because then they can tie you to all the other crimes.
J: And then you can come back in the sequel and you can be The Sticky Bandits and then Tim Curry can be in the movie and Tim Curry was in Clue and Rocky Horror Picture Show and we’re back to the movie. YAAAAY! I did it!

It’s important to properly understand how to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

I don’t participate in any way in any of the theater things because I don’t any to be around people.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to stand up in my apartment and sing or dance along to certain parts of this movie. Which I think is totally normal and reasonable.
– Joe

The episode ends with a Rocky Horror fantasy team casting that I won’t spoil here. But it features Matt Alexander as Dr. Frankenfurter, Casey Liss as Rocky, and John Roderick as Meatloaf.

And since we’re started with 19, we’ll work backwards with some choice lines from other episodes.

From Defocused: 18: “Tim Curried Bacon”

I’m not writing fan fiction for the singing telegram girl in Clue.

From Defocused: 17: “The Clipping Plane from Heaven”

You couldn’t stop yourself from eating our entire social engagement platform?

From Defocused: 15: “Chekhov’s Law of Omega Thirteens”

My love has a final frontier. – Joe

From Defocused: 12: “Server Farm to Table”

It’s a free sweat lodge. You’ve wrapped yourself in blankets in Arizona in the middle of the summer.

Podcasts I Enjoy – Song Exploder

Hrishikesh Hirway has put together a wonderful podcast called Song Exploder. Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.

I learned about it from 99% Invisible: 118- Song Exploder. Another podcast I’ve only recently fallen in love with.

Open Mike Eagle is my favorite interview so far. He talks about loving with a beat and how a song evolves as his relationship with that beat grows.

For me to really, really get ready to write a song, I have to let the beat get me pregnant almost. I have to let the beat live inside of me to the point where I can recreate the beat in my head when I’m away from it over and over again.

It’s about finding a frequency and answering whatever the questions this beat is asking me.

The episodes about Bob’s Burgers and House of Cards were fun since I was very familiar with both of those themes. I hadn’t realized just how much the House of Cards theme changed between seasons. And I never knew there was so much hidden in the Bobs’ Burgers theme song.

Brian Reitzell talks about scoring a video game. He has done work for video games prior to Watch Dogs and talks about the particular challenge of video games. How do you write a modular, looping piece of music that doesn’t feel like it’s looping? Video game sounds are interesting to me since the music is often so overlooked or ignored completely. It’s an interesting challenge to score something like a game.

I could not stop giggling during the Garbage episode because they kept saying this sounds like Garbage.

If you like music, I think you’ll enjoy this podcast too. It’s short, about 20 minutes per episode with the artist talking about how they create their songs and sounds. And at the end, the entire song is played so you can hear the song they’ve talked about if you’re not familiar with it.

Subscribe to it at songexploder.net/.

Since the podcast only comes out twice a month, I subscribed to his newsletter Five Song Fridays. This week’s newsletter was all about Movie Music.

Podcasts I Love

I started listening to podcasts when I would commute into DC everyday on the Metro and I got tired of listening to music everyday.

My love of podcasts is best summed up by Andrew Marvin in his post Talk Show Thoughts.

That’s the beauty of podcasts: you can listen to thoughtful conversations on the topics that you love.

Most of the podcasts I listen to fall under this idea. They’re tech related and I enjoy listening to the people I respect talk about topics that interest me.

There is one notable exception to the list which is a throwback to the old radio dramas. I remember listening to the radio on Sunday nights growing up. My dad, brother and I would be in the car going back and forth between his house and mom’s house where we lived most of the week.

We would listen to GunSmoke among others as the truck rumbled along the gravel road. Somehow, that gravel road and the rumbly old pickup truck added authenticity to the stories we’d hear on the radio.

In that same vein, I love We’re Alive, which is a drama about life after the zombie uprising. It follows a group of survivors and their trials and tribulations with the living and the undead. It’s brilliantly acted and the production quality is top-notch.

I highly recommend it if you enjoy survival stories or zombie fiction.

Can’t Miss Shows

Enough

Patrick Rhone‘s ongoing quest for balance in the form of Enough. He and Myke Hurley ask the question, What is enough for you? He does a “How Bare Is Your Air?” segment where he asks guests if they had a stock 64GB MacBook Air what they would install on it. I have become a devout follower of Patrick Rhone’s. I had the pleasure of meeting him for lunch a couple months ago and having a wonderful conversation over BBQ. He truly is the nicest guy on the internet. He embodies the idea of Enough in all that he does. He is a deep thinker and each episode makes me think about something in a different way than I had before. I am seeking what truly is “Enough” in my own life. I’m not there yet but I don’t think anyone ever truly arrives. It’s a journey, not a destination.

Back to Work

Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin‘s weekly zany talk about working culture, recapturing your time, funny voices and pearls of wisdom. Very long but always worth the listen. The show often goes completely off the rails, and over into the next galaxy and other times is spot on and absolutely world changing. You never know what the next episode will hold but they’re all good in their own way.

Mac Power Users

David Sparks and Katie Floyd dive deep into a topic that matters to Mac Power Users. They also host “Workflows” episodes which dive deep into how people do what they do. The interviews they conduct are excellent they are both very knowledgeable about the Mac and using it to make their lives easier and more productive.

512 Podcast

Stephen Hackett‘s love letter to Mac tech, sometimes old and sometimes new, and journalism. He talks with Myke Hurley and it’s a great listen for the old Mac nerd. Recently, they talked about the entire history of the iPod from start to present and the history of the Apple Display. A little geekier than your usual tech show but very informative and a lovely stroll down Mac memory lane.

Build & Analyze

Hosted by Marco Arment and Dan Benjamin – Don’t let the name fool you into thinking it’s a development show. It’s a show about coffee, parenting, Macs, Instapaper, Coding, Computers, and text editors. There is also talk of development from time to time. I really enjoy Marco and Dan’s talks. It’s replaced a spot in my lineup that Leo Laporte’s used to fill. I think Dan and Marco have a great chemistry and they clock in at less than 2 hours.

Rising Stars & New Arrivals

Mikes on Mics

Mike Vardy and Michael (he whose name must not be spelled) Schechter are like two brothers who are best friends but know exactly what buttons to press and how to playfully incite disagreements. The show covers all sorts of topics about productivity, focus, working with people and working for yourself. There is a segment each show called what are you drinking where they share what beverage they’re enjoying as they talk to each other and to us.

ZenGeek Podcast


Zengeek is a newcomer to the podcasting scene but is quickly becoming a can’t miss show. Andrew Marvin of Quarter-Life Enlightenment and Jeffrey Inscho of StaticMade discuss topics like money, sports and the written word from their diverse backgrounds. The differences in age, background and geography lend themselves to the topics they choose to cover. They choose one topic for the episode and dive deep into it and explore it from their individual perspectives. The resulting conversation is always interesting and constructive. They’re only seven episodes in so start listening now to catch up.

CMD+Space (formerly The Bro Show

When I started this review, this show was still called The Bro Show and starred Myke Hurley and Terry Lucy talking tech news together, often with a guest. The show has had a metamorphosis with Terry stepping down from the show and Myke describing the format as a “late night talk show” and his goal is to move it more in that direction. Tired of rehashing the same news everyone else does, the show was relaunched August 1st with Merlin Mann, who Myke managed to keep fairly on topic, as its first guest. I liked the show before but ever since the relaunch, Myke has been on fire and the show is only getting better and better. Each week Myke sits down and dives into the world and interests of his guests asking interesting questions and exploring their areas of expertise. The show was good and has only gotten better since it became CMD+Space.

Home Work

I don’t work at home but Dave Caolo and Aaron Mahnke talk through a lot of things that not only help the home worker but is solid advice for all people who have to work with teams, battle distractions or have a side project they’re trying to work on from home. The show is valuable every week and Aaron and Dave are a delight to listen to and I look forward to their voices in my headphones.

Systematic

Systematic is Brett Terpstra‘s new show. I feel the man needs no introduction but he is a programmer with AOL, he had written a markdown previewer called Marked, contributes to the Notational Velocity fork called NVAlt, has an array of TextExpander snippets among other things. Brett is a man of many talents and seemingly never sleeps or slows down. He may or may not be a robot. However, when he’s not writing fantastic scripts, developing his own software, contributing and helping out anyone who asks and somehow working to support himself, he has a show now. The show has been excellent. It is still in its infancy but eight episodes in, it has quickly become one of my favorites. Brett is the kind of guy you’d want to hang out with and pick his brain because he knows so much about so many things and is a genuinely nice guy.

Seasonal

The Fantasy Football Guys


I love football season and I run a fantasy football league every year for a few friends. It’s friendly and fun and it gives me something to pay attention to when my home team is having abysmal year. Kevin and Lyle podcast and poke fun at each other each week and answer questions from the community. They’re knowledgeable and always fun and they’ve put the time in watching games and looking at players so I can make smarter moves.

Hidden Gem

Huffduffer is little known but absolutely vital part of my life. Huffduffer will allow you to take any audio from the web and save it for later. This is great for listening to a single episode of a podcast, or for capturing audio from a blog post like an interview you want to listen to later.

Huffduffer allows you to collect these various audio files from across the web and turn them into a podcast by providing an RSS feed. Then, I can take the RSS feed and put it into iTunes and it will download the audio I add to my feed and when I sync my iPhone, it will pull those interviews, single podcast episode, and whatever else I’ve found.

If you enjoy podcasts or want to capture audio for listening to later, you need Huffduffer. And the best part is it’s free.

Huffduffer, the Instapaper for audio.

Practice > Tools

Tools aren’t important, it’s the practice that makes good content.

From Warren Ellis

My problem with this emerging narrative is that doing a podcast is a relatively low-tech, cheap enterprise. Beg or borrow a microphone and a laptop. Use a smartphone and earbuds with a mic. Process in something free like Audacity or Garageband. Look at apps like Opinion or Anchor before spending real money on Libsyn or a WordPress front end. It can be easier than you think. If you have something to say or do and audio is your thing, don’t dismiss podcasting just because other people are telling you it’s becoming professionalised.

Figure out what you want to do. Pre-record three episodes and upload them all at once as your launch. Keep it simple, always. Get things out into the world. And then tell me about them, please. Thank you.

I saw the excerpt from Warren Ellis’ newsletter on Twitter earlier and it made me think about a similar post I saw.

The tools aren’t important. Practice is important.

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