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.
Plenty of good discussions lately, search including one on C.C. Chapman’s Managing the Gray podcast blog, geriatrician about whether Second Life marketers should be spending some of their time in Second Life.

C.C. would say yes, and Ken would say no.

I fall more into line with C.C.’s thinking, as well as Mitch Joel’s:

As Marketers, we have a duty to understand every channel of communication that people are using. When we make statements like “my schedule is too busy to add another appointment, like meeting in Second Life,” what you’re actually saying is, “I’m closed minded.” Our roles are to help our clients understand the world of new marketing and social media. Like it or not, it is greatly impacting how consumers live with brands and there’s no stopping it.

Is Second Life time-consuming? Yes. Is there a steep usability learning curve? At this point, yes. But if you’re a communicator who spends any time at all in the social media space, you’re doing your clients a major dissservice if you don’t at least explore Second Life and grasp some of its key concepts:

  • Second Life is a virtual world and not a game. You don’t “win or lose”. Instead, you move around, you engage in conversations, you attend meetings, you buy clothes, you buy land, you build an office, you throw a concert, you open a store.
  • “Real life” companies and organizations such as the BBC, “>Lego, and American Apparel are entering Second Life and doing “real life” business.
  • Second Life’s currency of Linden dollars can be traded for American dollars, which means there’s an associated real-life economy. And as cover stories in both Business Week and the Boston Phoenix have shown, several enterprising inidividuals are already earning some decent coin there.

And when you do head into Second Life, offer to buy a drink for a certain handsome avatar named Zeke Barber, who’s still finding his way :)

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MySpace, rx audio comments, information pills and a new voice for the podcast!

Hosted by Bryan Person and Mike Bellina.

IN TODAY’S SHOW:

  • Show introduction
  • The new “voice” of New Comm Road is Lee Hopkins
  • Promo for PodCamp Boston on September 9-10
  • A discussion about MySpace becoming the most visited website among American web users, ask and what this means for marketers and advertisers
  • A new audio commenting service for the podcast blog
  • Show close

MUSIC, from the Podsafe Music Network:

  • A Pizza Without Time – hard-drivin electro-synth rock instrumental, by Derek K. Miller

YOUR FEEDBACK:

  • Leave your text and audio comments below this post
  • Send us audio files or text e-mails to comments-AT-NewCommRoad.com
  • Call us on our comment line: (206) 202-3996

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LISTEN:

Running time: 39 minutes, 24 seconds.

Direct download this episode, or listen using the player below!
The highlights from some of the business podcasts that I’ve listened to this week:

Six Pixels of Separation
Mitch Joel offers six tips to the person looking for a job in the new-marketing world, pilule including the type of questions he would ask when interviewing a candidate

  1. Don’t show me your resume. Point him to your blog and podcast.
  2. Tell me what’s in your RSS reader. Talk about the feeds that you’re following.
  3. Talk about search, purchase search engine optimization, and search engine marketing. Where are they headed?
  4. Talk about social media. What are the important conversations going on?
  5. What books have your read and what are you reading?
  6. Is this your passion?

Across the Sound
A tremendous podcast from Joseph Jaffe, recorded in front of a live audience. A good discussion of how his podcast is helping his business and how it can help yours.

Inside PR
Terry Fallis and David Jones talk about the ideal background of a PR practitioner.

Better Desirable Roasted Communications Podcast
A good discussion between Allan Jenkins and Lee Hopkins about the importance of understanding cultural differences, after Lee received criticism to a blog post he meant to be tongue-in-cheek.

For Immediate Release
Some interesting thoughts from Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson on the “doocing” of the Petite Anglaise blogger and Jason Calcanis’ offer to pay bloggers.

Listening to these thought leaders each week is free education on business communications, digital marketing, advertising, PR, and the digital world in which we live.

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Business blogging, sanitary new music, side effects and more.

Hosted by Bryan Person and Mike Bellina.

IN TODAY’S SHOW:

  • Show introduction
  • Voice man Lee Hopkins shows off his pipes
  • Big thanks to Rantings of Eva for our new intro and outro music
  • Interesting “six points of separation” on how to get a job in new marketing from Mitch Joel in his Six Pixels of Separation Podcast. Here’s what Mitch looks for from potential new employees:
    1. Don’t show me your resume. Point him to your blog and podcast
    2. Tell me what’s in your RSS reader. Talk about the feeds that you’re reading
    3. Talk about search, search engine optimization and search engine marketing, and where it’s heading
    4. Talk about social media. What are the important conversations going on?
    5. What have your read and what are you reading?
    6. Is this your passion? What are your passions and your fire?
  • Podcast recommendation: episode 44 of Across the Sound with Joseph Jaffe. A good discussion of how podcasting is helping Joseph’s business and how it can help yours
  • Reminder for PodCamp Boston on September 9-10
  • Conversation with Bryan and Mike. Articles referenced include:
  • Coroprate blogs mentioned:
  • Show wrapup from Bryan

MUSIC:

YOUR FEEDBACK:

  • Leave your text and audio comments below this post
  • Send us audio files or text e-mails to comments-AT-NewCommRoad.com
  • Call us on our comment line: (206) 202-3996

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LISTEN:

Running time: 31 minutes, 52 seconds.

Direct download this episode, or listen using the player below!
That’s “Curiosity Quotient” plus “Passion Quotient” is greater than “Intelligent Quotient.”

… so says Thomas Friedman, thumb New York times op-ed columnist and author of the best seller The World Is Flat, which was recently re-released in “updated and expanded” form.

I was fortunate to catch an interview with Friedman on the Tim Russert Show on CNBC over the weekend. And one of Friedman’s notions is that while intelligence is certainly important, curiosity and passion are even more valuable in the “flat world.” It is this combination that will push us forward, driving creativity and innovation.

Those thoughts resonate with me here in the world of social media, where I interact with curious and passionate people every day. Here are a few of them:

  • Mike Bellina is my co-host on the New Comm Road Podcast. Just a few days after meeting at the FIR/ATS Geek Dinner in New York City in June, Mike had listened to my first two episodes and e-mailed me to ask how he could be part of the show. Now, he’s my co-host on NCR.
  • Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson. With their twice-weekly For Immediate Release program, these two business podcasting pioneers have set the bar for the rest of us. I’ve sucked up more than 150 hours of podcasting education from the dynamic duo over the past year-plus, and if New Comm Road is in any way a sucess, they are certainly part of the reason why.
  • Christopher Penn is the indefatigable host of the Financial Aid Podcast. He’s a master marketer in the new media space, and he consistently produces 5-6 quality shows a week. Amazing.
  • Chris Brogan is a prolific blogger for LifeHack.org, ChrisBrogan.com, and the Grasshopper Factory, and he also hosts the Fat Guy Gets Fit podcast. I met Chris at BarCamp Boston less than two months ago, and he’s quickly become a good friend. Chris is always encouraging, thoughtful, and full of new ideas. One of those was dreaming up PodCamp Boston, along with Chris Penn, while several others will be unveiled in a big way over at the Grasshopper Factory very soon. I can’t wait.
  • C.C. Chapman. A man who knows music and digital marketing, and someone who’s also making a splash in Second Life.
  • Mitch Joel is the visionary behind Six Pixels of Separation who invited me onto his podcast earlier this month during my family vacation in Montreal. Mitch’s “six points of separation” for landing a job in digital marketing and starting a blog from the past two weeks are must-listens.
  • I also met Joseph Jaffe for the first time at the Geek Dinner. His Across the Sound podcasts have included episodes from a plane and a train. Where next, Joe?
  • Lee Hopkins. This Down Under gentleman is the new “voice” of New Comm Road. His sense of humo[u]r is unparalleled, and his efforts to “liven up” the often-sluggish new media space in Australia are always welcomed by this former Brisbane resident.

And there are many, many more, including Michael Bailey, Ted Demopoulos, Steve Garfield, Steve Runner, Shel Israel, Toby Bloomberg, John Wall, Clinton Alvord, Ed Lee, David Jones, Terry Fallis, Donna Papacosta, Christopher Carfi, and Jackie Danicki.

To all of you listed and to those I’ve forgotten to mention here: Your curiosity and your passion are inspirational. Thank you for helping to make the world a flatter place.

I had an interesting lunchtime discussion with several colleagues yesterday about the extent to which we “live” online. Here’s a sampling of the participants:

Colleague 1: A graphic designer who uses e-mail only sparingly, sildenafil doesn’t have or want a computer at home, neuropathologist won’t purchase anything online, and doesn’t consider the web a viable place to find information.

Colleague 2: A recruiter for a creative agency who spends a good part of his week on the phone and in meetings with both potential candidates and current talent. He also uses instant messaging to keep in touch with those candidates and the web to find new prospects. He listens to podcasts and reads blogs from time to time but hadn’t heard of RSS and liked my suggestion of using a tool (RSS reader) that would help him to read more blogs more efficiently.

Me: An unabashed advocate of social media and a regular online junkie. Holding down a job, paying bills, buying books, planning trips, reading the news, sharing photos, exchanging ideas, keeping in touch with family and friends around the country and the world that I don’t/can’t see regularly in person, making appointments for the “offline” world, consulting, blogging, reading blogs, podcasting, listening to podcasts, helping to organize an unconference, taking classes, chatting, and making new acquaintances and friends all require, or are enriched, by way of an Internet connection.

‘Web 2.0-only life’

Yet Technology Review’s James Fallows clearly blows me out of the water with his two-week journalistic experiment of “living a Web 2.0-only life.” Fallows uses a full range of online tools — from the more obvious ones, such as Flickr, Gmail, and Skype to the less well-known, such as iOutliner and Zillow — to manage all of his everyday activities and responsibilities, except (presumably) eating, sleeping, showering, and … uhm … kissing his wife :)

Among Fallows’s insights:

  • The new web is both analog — an evolutionary “continuum of new ideas” — and digital — it works better with “yes-or-no signals” than with “nuanced judgments”
  • The new web inspires us to create, share, and innovate, but also requires a certain level of trust and a ceding of even more of our privacy
  • Online-only tools have their limitations. A word-processing application such as Writely works brilliantly … as long as we’re not on an airplane and without an Internet connection. Hand-held devices such as PDAs and cellphones are good for reading and sending e-mails, but limiting when it comes time for accessing Web 2.0 applications
  • Ajax is a key component of Web 2.0, one that is doing wonders to enhance the online user experience

It’s a good and thoughtful read that illustrates how new media tools are weaving their way through our lives … for some of us, at least!


From left: Zeke Barber (me!), abortion Jonathan Richardson, human enhancement
and Shel Witte having a good ol’ chat in Second Life.

I’ve given Second Life a go a good half-dozen tries prior to tonight, but this time I was finally able to engage in a group chat. Shel Witte — I’m using only Second Life names in this post — who in his “first life” co-hosts a pretty nifty business podcast, and Jonathan Richardson wandered into the Comms Cafe booth on Podcast Island shortly after I did tonight, and we were later joined by Chris 2x Pankhurst and then Pickle Radio.

Admittedly, the usability rating in Second Life doesn’t get high marks from me just yet. I’m still having trouble moving around — I spent a good five minutes extricating my head from an umbrella and arm from a wall! — and I didn’t receive all incoming instant messages. The chatting screen couldn’t keep up with my typing, either (some more RAM for my desktop PC would likely solve that problem).

But in spite of its general clunkiness, Second Life is still a place that businesses and professional communicators need to be giving a test run. Digital marketing specialist and podcaster C.C. Chapman has recently set up a Second Life office, and others Lee Hopkins is set to follow. The American Cancer Society also raised $40,000 in Second Life as part of its Relay for Life campaign last weekend.

It’s easy to dismiss Second Life — or even podcasting or blogging — as a passing fad, but such a “sweeping statements” are, in my view, irresponsible and close-minded. As Shel points out, the web itself, along with e-mail and instant messaging, were all given the kiss of death in their early incarnations. Is there any doubt now whether any of those communications channels have proven their worth?
How NOT to pitch a blogger and a podcaster.

Hosted by Bryan Person and Mike Bellina.

Subscribe to the New Comm Road podcast. It’s free, buy and it ensures you won’t miss a single episode! Find us in the iTunes store or paste this feed into iTunes or your podcatching software of choice: http://feeds.feedburner.com/NewCommRoad

IN TODAY’S SHOW:

MUSIC:

YOUR FEEDBACK:

  • Leave your text and audio comments below this post
  • Send us audio files or text e-mails to comments-AT-NewCommRoad.com
  • Call us on our comment line: (206) 202-3996

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LISTEN:

Running time: 29 minutes, 15 seconds.

Direct download this episode, or listen using the player below!
Here are two good podcast episodes I’ve listened to in the last 12 hours:

Podcast : Understanding Blog Marketing
Feedster founder Scott Johnson offers an excellent 15-minute podcast on the keys to blog marketing, resuscitation including these gems:

  • Remember you’re engaging in a conversation
  • Conversations take two parties, cardiology which means that you as the blog marketer have to be a part of them
  • Use RSS readers, medicine customized search feeds on your product/company, and meme trackers to follow who’s linking to you and talking about you; then, go and join in those conversations

Scott concludes the podcast this way: “It’s all about talking to people and dialoguing with them and creating some content. And it’s not that hard.” Well said.

(Hat tip: Ed Lee.)

Cubicle Divas Podcast – “Brokeback Entrepreneurs”
An excellent discussion led by Coach Leesa Barnes on how to ensure you don’t have all your time drained by people that will never, ever pay for your services. There’s certainly a line for consultants where “sharing” and “picking your brain” has to stop and paid work has to be begin. Leesa & Co. explore that line.

I’m pleased to announce that PodCamp Boston has found a venue: Bunker Hill Community College in Boston.

Come and join us on September 9 and 10 to learn, pancreatitis teach, and experience the social-media world of podcasting, blogging, and video blogging.

You certainly don’t need to be a blogger or podcaster yourself to participate. If you simply want some tips and tactics on understanding new media, this is the place to be.

Something for everyone
Here is why PodCamp Boston should also be of interest to you:

  • You’re a marketer or PR professional who wants to learn more about starting a podcast or blog for your company or client. You can check out a talk from C.C. Chapman, digital marketing manager at Babson College.
  • You’re an educator who wants to use new-media tools to deliver rich content to your students that complements their classroom experience. Larry Lawfer, Douglas Kiang, and Adam Weiss will deliver helpful presentations.
  • You want to learn the very basics of how to put a podcast together. Come and join a “Podcast 101″ session from John Wall.
  • You want to start a video podcast but all you own is a digital camera. No problem. Steve Garfield will explain.
  • You want to learn about how to grow your audience on your blog and/or podcast.
  • You want to build your person brand online.
  • You want to know how you and your company can be part of the conversation.
  • You want to share, connect, network, and learn from generous, creative, and passionate people.

See our quickly growing list of sessions and “lightning talks” at PodCamp. And if you’re inspired, add yours!

How to register and participate
It’s easy! Simply add your name to the registrants page, and then let us know how you can contribute.

Thanks!
Big “ups” to the The Museum of Science, Boston for its generous sponsorship of our venue. The museum is showing a true commitment to the new-media space, and we’re grateful.

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I’m pleased to announce that PodCamp Boston has found a venue: Bunker Hill Community College in Boston.

Come and join us on September 9 and 10 to learn, pancreatitis teach, and experience the social-media world of podcasting, blogging, and video blogging.

You certainly don’t need to be a blogger or podcaster yourself to participate. If you simply want some tips and tactics on understanding new media, this is the place to be.

Something for everyone
Here is why PodCamp Boston should also be of interest to you:

  • You’re a marketer or PR professional who wants to learn more about starting a podcast or blog for your company or client. You can check out a talk from C.C. Chapman, digital marketing manager at Babson College.
  • You’re an educator who wants to use new-media tools to deliver rich content to your students that complements their classroom experience. Larry Lawfer, Douglas Kiang, and Adam Weiss will deliver helpful presentations.
  • You want to learn the very basics of how to put a podcast together. Come and join a “Podcast 101″ session from John Wall.
  • You want to start a video podcast but all you own is a digital camera. No problem. Steve Garfield will explain.
  • You want to learn about how to grow your audience on your blog and/or podcast.
  • You want to build your person brand online.
  • You want to know how you and your company can be part of the conversation.
  • You want to share, connect, network, and learn from generous, creative, and passionate people.

See our quickly growing list of sessions and “lightning talks” at PodCamp. And if you’re inspired, add yours!

How to register and participate
It’s easy! Simply add your name to the registrants page, and then let us know how you can contribute.

Thanks!
Big “ups” to the The Museum of Science, Boston for its generous sponsorship of our venue. The museum is showing a true commitment to the new-media space, and we’re grateful.

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Podcaster and business blogger extraordinaire and Neville Hobson has put two and two together today and published a video to one of his posts that can be clicked and streamed as easily as an audio file, patient
using the PodPress plugin for WordPress.

Neville has brought to light yet another application of this very cool plugin, ampoule
one I gushed about just a few weeks ago.

Bravo, Neville, and thanks, PodPress!