I received an email today from a blog reader who is using the “listen to this post” link at the bottom of many of my posts to hear rather than read my posts. She is having trouble listening to my post on John Seely Brown’s interview with Steve Hargadon. Her email prompted me to login to Talkr (the company that provides this service for free) and view some reports on downloads. I was amazed, since the first of the month people have listened to over 1400 of my blog posts!

Report on Talkr access

I added Talkr to my blog on October 25th last year. Between that date and the end of the year, people listened to a little over 2800 posts.

This information is very helpful, and I think it brings home the importance of accessibility and the importance of providing people with CHOICES in the ways they access content and ideas.

This also relates to providing podcasting audio files in the most accessible formats possible. I know Apple would love it if everyone used iTunes to subscribe and listen to podcasts, but the fact is many people don’t. (I love iTunes and Apple, but my overriding reason for podcasting is to share ideas with others more than promote use of a particular product. That’s why I don’t release podcasts in exclusively m4a or m4v formats, which are QuickTime-only.) Here is a current graph showing the types of podcast aggregators (podcatchers) subscribers to my podcast have used in the last 30 days:

Podcast subscribers for last 30 days

At one point, about half my podcast subscribers were using iTunes, but currently it shows that just about 36% are using iTunes. An equal number of people are using Feedblitz, which is a free email notification service for any RSS feed. For me, this means it is more important than ever to release all podcasts (even enhanced or video podcasts) as audio-only mp3 versions. I also like the free WordPress plugin podpress, since it enables people to use an embedded flashplayer to play the podcast in their browser. I’m guessing that feature is especially useful for people who are getting podcast updates via email, and then clicking a link to view/access podcasts using a web browser.

Section 508 accessibility requirements for schools may not be legally binding for private individuals, but I think we should all strive to make our content as accessible as possible. The new “read-only” of the 21st century is about CHOICES for the formats of media people consume, as well as choices for the TIMES and PLACES they consume media. (I discussed this at MacWorld.)

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5 Responses to Blog post listeners, podcatchers and accessibility

  1. Wes,
    I used to routinely listen to your podcasts, but do not any more. I just cannot stomach the mechanical voice and miss yours!

  2. John Martin says:

    Hi Wes,
    The link to the Talkr WordPress plug-in no longer works. Do you happen to have a copy of the plug-in available? One other question, how does Talkr handle the audio content in your podcast posts?


  3. Wesley Fryer says:

    You are kind Pam! Maybe the Talkr folks will offer some better voice options in the future that will be more palatable!

    John, the Talkr podcast plugin root url states “Database migration in progress. If the site goes a little crazy, please bear with it.” I’d recommending checking back in a week or so to see if the author has things worked out. The plugin I’m using is in beta, so maybe it is going to be released in a finished version? Hopefully so, I think this has great functionality and I’m sure others want to integrate it as well on their blogs.

  4. DBragg says:

    I got it to work. Thanks for the help and I was thrilled to see all that you learned from it.

  5. Tracking Back to accessibility and podcasting…

    I was able to take a look at Wesley Fryers blog.  His blog came up with a google search for podcasting and accessibility.  His blog encompasses much more than accessibility.  He branches into instructional theory, conferences on technology and more….

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