Mobatalk developer Michael Bailey has teamed up with Dan Kuykendall on an enhanced version of the Podpress plugin for WordPress that has added a whole new layer to blog commenting.

Podpress version 6.6, visit web health system released late Tuesday night, now allows blog commenters to quickly and easily leave audio comments directly to a blog post. All you need is a cheap, basic microphone.

Here’s how:

  1. Click on the comments or title link at the top of this post to be taken to the permalink page
  2. Scroll down to below the text commenting area, and click on the Insert Audio Comment link
  3. Once the Java applet has loaded (you may need to approve its use the first time), click the Record button and start talking. Comments are currently limited to 30 seconds, but that will be changing very soon (to two minutes)
  4. When you have finished, Preview your recording if you like. Once you’re satisfied, click Attach
  5. Add in any additional text comments as you normally would. Then, Submit the comment.

And that’s all there is to it. The audio comment will either a) be available for immediate listening through the regular Podpress player or, b) in cases where a blogger has moderated comments turned on, appear as soon as the comment as been approved.

For podcasts and podcasters, where audio comments are almost always encouraged and welcomed, this Podpress upgrade truly is a dream plugin. Easy for the commenter. Easy for the podcaster. And a richer experience for the readers and listeners. An all-around winning combination, and one that Mike Bellina and I will be talking about in the upcoming edition of the New Comm Road Podcast.

Give the plugin a try by leaving your audio comment to this post!
Podcasters Mitch Joel and Bryan Person
Six Pixels of Separation
host Mitch Joel and I at CaseCamp Montreal

A belated note on last week’s CaseCamp Montreal, neuropathist which I attended during my family vacation (somehow, I was able to sweet-talk my wife into granting me a few hours of “non-family time”).

The photo above is one of several from the event that I’ve uploaded to my Flickr account.

CaseCamp Montreal was the perfect example of what an unconference can and should be. It was almost entirely self-organized through a wiki, and in the span of just two to three weeks, attracted some 65 registrants (about 50 of whom ultimately turned up). Mitch Joel had gotten the ball rolling in mid- to late June with a couple of blog posts and mentions on his Six Pixels of Separation podcast, and the word-of-mouth nature of the new-media space took over from there.

CaseCamp Montreal comprised five marketing case studies — four in English and one in French, and all of the presenters stuck to the “rules.” They stayed on message and on time, and drew plenty of questions from the audience.

And thanks to CaseCamp and my good fortune, I can now also call Mitch Joel a friend. Listen to the both of us recap the night on the most recent edition of the New Comm Road Podcast.

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… but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy.

In this audio report, contagion I talk more about planning and preparing for the first-ever PodCamp Boston, pill which is set to begin, as well as my attempt to win a free trip to Ireland.

Sites/people mentioned:

Listen

Direct download audio file.

Running time: 4:46.

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I received this e-mail message this morning to my comments@… New Comm Road inbox:

Hi, epidemic

My name is Chad and I wanted to drop you a line and let you know I really enjoy your podcast.

I am starting a new website to try to help people find new podcasts and help podcasters get bigger audiences.

The site is called [removed]

I thought I’d start getting the word out about it by emailing the podcasts I listen to regularly. Check it out and feel free to add your show if it’s not already on there. If you want to tell your listeners about the site so they can
review your site and others it will help us market podcasts and get the word out even more!

Take care,

Chad

A canned, impersonal message like this one is just about the worst way to pitch a podcaster. Here’s where Chad went wrong:

  • He never addressed me or my co-host Mike Bellina by name in the message
  • He never mentions my specific podcast
  • He says he “really enjoy[s my] podcast,” yet doesn’t say why.
  • He asks me to add my show to the site “if it’s not already on there.” If this were a personal message, Chad would have taken the time to check his own site to verify that my show isn’t already listed, and then would have made a note of that to me.

There was no personal touch from Chad in his initial message (nor in his subequent reply to my reply) that showed any indication that he has ever listened to New Comm Road, let alone that he truly enjoys it.

Most podcasters tend to be open to learning about new ways to promote their shows. Heck, there isn’t a podcaster around who doesn’t want more listeners (I know I do!). But if you want to engage us, you have to take some time to find out what our podcasts are about.

Here are some easy ways to endear yourself to a podcaster:

  • Leave a comment about a particular show on the podcast blog. At the minimum, offer a suggestion for the show or note a part of the program that you enjoyed or found particularly compelling. When you leave a comment, you can also drop in your URL after your name, and I’ll likely visit your site. You’ve made time for me, so I’ll do the same in return
  • Leave a trackback to the podcast blog where you continue the conversation
  • Leave an audio comment!
  • Send me a personal e-mail with your honest thoughts about the podcast

Send me an impersonal pitch and you have no chance, but show a genuine interest in my podcast and the conversation I’m having, and I’m willing to listen.