Bonnie asks a good (and loaded) question here:
How could I bring the podcasts onto the team blog?
Well, a few of you noticed that I tried to test a podcast through my blog/feed the other day. I did that to help Bonnie from HVWP to do a podcast for her tech team. Then, Karen challenged her to write up what she did here. Hooray, Bonnie!
I think that what her experience shows is that there are multiple (sometimes overlapping, sometimes conflicting) ways in which we can post podcasts. And, the technical fact of the matter is that you will get a podcast up doing any one of them.
However, the aspect of this that I am interested in is the critical/rhetorical one. Does it matter where we post our podcasts? What service we use? Whether it is on Archive.org or through a site like Odeo? How does that change the “instructions,” especially if you hit a snag? How does it change our understandings of what a podcast is and what it does?
We have struggled with this issue of creating tech guides at RCWP for a long time. I have often been asked to write “how to” guides, and I have only done one. Why? Because the set of instructions that I wrote was out-of-date by the time I did the workshop that night due to a technical change in the site we were using. Sigh… My “how to” guides are usually very fluid and, as of lately, always on a wiki so people in the workshop can help me co-construct the guide as we go along. Here is the pre-NWP trip guide.
To me, learning to be digitally literate is not only about the technical aspects, but about knowing enough to troubleshoot along the way (perhaps choosing a different hosting site because the one you want isn’t working at the time you want to post the podcast) and think about the critical/rhetorical aspects of that choice. Does it matter, for instance, that I post something on Archive.org or Odeo? In a technical sense, no, because the podcast will be delivered if you create the enclosure in your blog post.
However, I think that there is more to it and would answer, yes, it does matter, because the type of license that you can choose for copyright on these sites is different. How the file gets saved (and perhaps streamed) is different, and you need to know where to get the permanent URL if you really want it to be a podcast that is downloadable. Whether and how you “own” your podcast is based on where it is stored, from a critical and rhetorical sense, an important issue. Thus, any “how to” guide that we create has to be tempered with these discussions.
This is not to say that what Bonnie has produced isn’t valuable, because it is for her, her tech team, the TL network, and other readers of her blog. Like the RCWP TCs who created some podcasting instructions a few months ago, these guides are important for our own learning about the technical aspects of posting a podcast. And, despite the many, many help guides that are out there, figuring it out with one-to-one help is always useful. Moreover, we know that these guides will change over time, and it is important that we understand what little changes in the overall process will do to that process.
I just want us to remember that there are a number of choices that we make in any act of digital writing, and many of them have ethical considerations that we should keep in mind as we do it. Thanks again to Bonnie for helping me think through some of these issues this week.
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