This afternoon my oldest daughter and I created an enhanced podcast about her recent hedgehog science fair project. It is just 6 minutes long, and turned out well. The photographer of one of the attribution-only creative commons Flicker images we used (a cute one of a hedgehog yawning) has a Japanese Flickr contact named Tsuda.

Tsuda has some breathtaking winter snow photos of Shirakawago, Japan. Shirakawago looks like an amazing place to go on vacation, especially in the winter! 🙂 Connections like these through web 2.0 technologies are remarkable. As I have just been typing this post, I added Tsuda to my Flicker contacts list, and he responded in kind by adding me to his. His website is written all in Japanese– I can link to his wiki and blog, but have no idea what is written there. But his Flickr images speak for themselves and need little explanation. He actually has some titles and descriptions in both English and Japanese. Web 2.0 continues to amaze.

Back to the subject of podcasting… In the past week, I have created my first video podcast with my son (about his science fair project on solar energy) and my first enhanced podcast about hedgehogs. I have probably created somewhere around 50 audio-only podcasts since this summer for various podcast channels, but these are my formative forays into the world of enhanced and video podcasts.

I am really impressed with Garageband3. I had previously used Garageband2 to create podcasts, but since it was setup for making music rather than podcasts, it was not quite an ideal software program for podcasting. Garageband3 is a huge step forward, and I am really enjoying it. The iWeb program (which is new in iLife06) is also excellent, because it makes the process of publishing podcasts (including a subscribable RSS feed) literally just a matter of a few mouse clicks when you have a .Mac account.

I’ll be demonstrating how to create podcasts with Garageband3 at our state technology conference (TCEA2006) in Austin in two weeks at the Apple booth. I think I’ll be doing four or five demo sessions, which will each be about 45 minutes long. Should be fun!

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2 Responses to Hedgehogs and Japanese Snow

  1. Paula Boon says:

    Hi,

    My second comment in a week! We must be on the same wavelength.

    Thanks for the links to the images of Shirakawago. I lived in the next prefecture, Toyama, for three years, and you’re right: Shirakawago is an absolutely beautiful place to visit at any time of year. We probably went there about seven times; we loved it so much we wanted to share it with every visitor who came to see us.

    And staying in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) is something I’d highly recommend as well. If you’re not familiar with them, it might be best to start with one in a major centre like Kyoto, where they often have little signs in English explaining which slippers to wear where, how to use the bath, and where your futon (bed) is hiding.

    Ahh… memories. If only plane tickets to Japan weren’t so darn expensive.

    Thanks again,

    Paula

  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    Wow, glad I triggered some good memories Paula! That connection to those images in Japan was almost random, but it was enabled through Flickr photo and contact sharing. My daughter is studying Japan in school this week and if it was possible, I would love to arrange even a short videoconference with her class (they have Polycom equipment in the room) with a classroom in Japan. Given schedules and usual connection difficulties I doubt this would be possible, but if you have any connections to teachers in Japan who might be interested I would love to make contact with them!

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