New Media: Blogs, RSS and Podcasting

These are all the new rage. Since you are reading a blog, I don't have to tell you about them, except to marvel at the fact that there are way over a million blogs in existence now. I wonder how many of them are worth reading? I wonder if this one is worth reading? (evil grin) Nah, I go out of my way to try to make it interesting and relevant and useful. Now, thanks to the magic of RSS and MP3, it is possible for anybody to get on the web with audio and "podcast". I recorded a podcast this August editorial, which isn't out yet. It was a no brainer. I can see a lot of relevance to the enduser in process automation here. Oh, sure, you can listen to my dulcet tones, but really, you can also listen to recorded instructions about maintenance procedures, how to calibrate a particular instrument, and so forth, all on any inexpensive MP3 player, or over the Internet. We are getting pretty close to the day when the correct manual will be at your beck and call, and factory service specialists won't snarl, "RTFM!" as they hang up on you. I remember when I was a field tech, how nice it would be to have a voice in my ear reciting the step-by-step instructions to calibrate the flow sensor that is hanging three feet outboard of the catwalk, 48 feet in the air, without anyplace to prop either the multimeter, calibrator, or manual. I dropped a Fluke 8020A that way, from about 30 feet up, and was dumbfounded to find that it lived! Podcasting is coming, from magazines and vendors near you! If you are interested in the mechanics of podcasting, Dan Janal, one of the leading gurus of online media, and an old friend, is hosting a one-hour audioseminar on podcasting tomorrow, August 4, at 1 pm Central Time (2 pm Eastern, 11 am Pacific). Contact Dan at 952-380-1554 or for information. What do you think? Is podcasting for real? Walt