Community College Libraries

As I have mentioned on here, I have been taking a few classes at the local community college.  One of the unexpected benefits of being enrolled as a student is that I have access to the community college library.  The physical library itself is fine, but what's really cool is that I have online access from home to all manner of databases, full text news articles, academic journals, even LexisNexis.


To subscribe to all of these services individually would be far more than the cost of taking a single class.  It's a great benefit even though I don't really have the time or inclination to do much independent research.  Maybe I'll start?

Disappointed About Kindle Newspaper Options

I am taking a journalism class this semester as a way to ease back into the academic world and finish up my degree.  Part of the class is to stay on top of the news, which I am generally good about.  I listen to the BBC World Service, NPR, and have a subscription to The Economist.  But I do not read a daily newsprint newspaper.

I'm not overly excited about the idea of subscribing to a paper edition of The Washington Post or New York Times and I'm also not a big fan of reading the paper on a computer screen.  I was hoping this might be a good push to motivate me to pick up a Kindle.

Unfortunately from reading the reviews of the New York Times on Amazon's Kindle store, it appears that the Kindle edition is abridged.  I could understand that some photographs and perhaps even charts wouldn't translate well to the Kindle edition, but it turns out that they don't even publish all of the stories in the Kindle edition.  That really disappoints me as I'm not going to buy a Kindle and pay the somewhat expensive monthly subscription charge for an abridged edition of the newspaper.

If they change that in the future I will be a customer, but for now I think I'll stick with the web edition.

Amazon Unbox Purchases Now Available through TiVo

I didn't see an announcement on my TiVo about this, but I received an email from Amazon letting me know that I can set up a PIN to purchase Amazon Unbox content directly on my TiVo. I tried this out and it does indeed work. I think this is going to make Amazon Unbox all the more popular. I know it will drive my usage of it. Sometimes I'm watching TiVo and someone references a movie and I think, "Oh I want to watch that." This will drive impulse purchases of that content if I can pause what I'm watching and grab the movie directly from my TiVo.

Unfortunately the available content for Unbox on TiVo is still pretty limited, but hopefully that will change down the road.

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VoiceDaddy


I signed up for a RadioDaddy.com account ages ago. This is an online exchange for people to trade radio promos, and is also popular with the podcasting crowd.

I received an email today from Leo Ashcroft announcing VoiceDaddy.com. An excerpt from the email:
I just wanted to let you know about the new site we have created for free voiceovers. From the creator of Radiodaddy.com comes VoiceDaddy.com! As a current or former RadioDaddy member, we would like to invite you to be the first to beta test the new site and help get some posts built up. Right now we're naked! Youch! And everyone knows you don't want to see me that way! So pop on over and give us a look, and help us get started.

Sounds interesting to me.

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Marketwatch Article about Podcast Listener Numbers

This article on MarketWatch quotes a yet to be released national survey which shows that the number of people who responded that they had ever listened to a podcast was only up slightly in the last year. This is in spite of the fact that there is a lot of mainstream press about podcasting and videoblogging and the like.

There is speculation in the article that the technical hurdles required to listen to podcasts are still too high. I don't buy into that. iTunes has supported very easy podcast subscription and listening for quite some time now. And iPods, the kind of the portable mp3 player market, also have good support for playing podcasts.

The real issue is content. As with all media, and especially emerging media, content is king. Just as shows like The Sopranos drive up HBO subscriptions, so too will "must listen" podcasts drive listener adoption. I'm still bullish on podcasting for the long run, and I'd say that survey results of 11-12% of Americans having listened to a podcast are actually high numbers not low numbers given how new the space is.

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