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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Do I Talkr or take the time to podcast?



Podcasting is so important and is a vital new medium for blogging. I've taken some time to podcast a little and enjoy it. The question is, do I have the time?

Automate podcasting your blog with Talkr


As my Saturday morning tradition dictates, I try something new first thing. This morning, I tried Talkr. This service takes blogs and converts them to talk format.

I tested it out on my Are you a bobblehead or bumblebee? post. You can hear the results here.

Listen to this article Listen to this article

Talkr will automatically generate a podcast for each of my blog posts. People have e-mailed me that they'd rather download it into their iPods and listen than have to check bloglines, so I may add it to my template today.

The Pros and Cons of Talkr
I have to think about it first:

  • The voice is a little mechanical on some words. The word "datastream" came out sounding more like "deetee stream" in one post I listened to.
  • I do not have the time to podcast each post. I'd love to, but as a teacher, the best I can do is to type my blog entries and then as I can record my podcast. Even with the Southern accent, I do think my voice is better than the Talkr voice. But I think the Talkr voice is better than nothing.
  • They do reserve the right to add advertising (though you can opt out) and one post got stuck at the end as it said "there is a graphic inserted here" several times at the end of one article."
  • I'm not sure how some of my Southern vernacular will come out (I'll be careful not to type "y'all" -- oops I just did!


However I think I will give it a try. Here is how you can get set up.

Add Talkr to your blog

Wordpress
Wordpress users, you're lucky because you have the Talkr Podcast Plugin should make it simple to add audio links to your blog.

Blogger
Fellow Bloggerites- it may take a little longer for you, but here is how I made it work!

1. Sign up for a free account at Talkr.

2. If you use blogger, you will also need to use feedburner, so sign up for a free account there.
(To add your feed to feedburner, go into your blogger dashboard and click on Settings and Site Feed, you can then highlight the feed that includes the word "atom" in it and paste it into the box in Feedburner for burning your feed. If you have trouble with Feedburner, comment and I'll do a how to there.)


3. Copy and paste the feed URL from feedburner into the feed for talkr.
(In feedburner, go to My Feeds and then click on the grey XML button to the left of the name of your feed, mine has the format http://feeds.feedburner.com/CoolCatTeacherBlog)


4. In Talkr on the RSS feeds tab, click the button that says "Add an audio link for each entry".

5. Follow the intructions, for me in blogger I then copied the code at the bottom of the page and went into my blogger dashboard.

6. I clicked on the Template Button.

7. I went just after the body section and just before comments (you'll have to scroll way down) and pasted the code.

8. Replace [template variable for permalink] with <$BlogItemPermalinkURL$> if you're using blogger. If you're using another account, use whatever your company uses for the Permanent link.

9. THIS IS IMPORTANT! Preview the template and test it. If it doesn't work or you've made a mess, click off the template button and abandon those changes. Otherwise, publish the template and there you go!

How to Subscribe to Cool Cat Teacher over your iPod or MP3 player
So, I'm using talkr and you can subscribe to my podcast using talkr and have it download into your iPod by clicking on the following "chicklet". I will also add this to my template. (To add it just select the button "add chicklet" to blog.)


Download my podcast into your iPod
Link to Podcast (RSS feed) for this blog


Tell me what you think. The jury is still out on this one!
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