Thursday, August 31, 2006

Global Nature of Podcasting

I was listening to a podcast today and was amazed at how Toronto-centric it was. The subject of the podcast can apply to most professionals in the English speaking world, but references to Chinatown and the CN Tower are not known to a global audience.

I recently interviewed Steve Pratt, Director of CBC Radio 3. CBC Radio 3 is a podcast that features independent Canadian musical artists. He said that about 70% of those who listen to his podcast are outside of Canada.

When podcasting, remember that the majority of your listeners will come from outside your geographical area, whether its your city, your province/state, your country, even your hemisphere.

Here are some tips to help you to be more cognizant of your global audience:

  1. If you mention a landmark, explain what it is. It's not enough to say, "I couldn't see the CN Tower on my way downtown due to the smog," without adding, "The CN Tower is considered the world's tallest free standing structure that's in the heart of the downtown financial district and on a clear sunny day, you can see it from about 100 kilometres north of the city where I live."

  2. If you say an acronym, explain what it means. Unless you're speaking to your industry peers, avoid jargons and acronyms. If you do use them, explain 'em. Once, I used the acronym NBA in a podcast interview. I then explained that the NBA stands for the National Basketball Association and they're a professional league in North America. I distinctly remembered that I'm reaching out to an international audience and not everyone will be familiar with what NBA means.

  3. Release your podcast the same time each week and ignore time of day. Since you're releasing a podcast that will be listened to by a global audience, you will never be able to satisfy the different timezones that your listeners live in. Some will be fast asleep when you release your newest episode. Instead, aim to release your podcast on the same day each week, rather than killing yourself to get it out at a particular time each day every week. Less stress in my eyes.
Just 3 things I can think of really quickly. Can you add any more?

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