"Talk Show America" Featured in Local Magazine Article

The fresh air of podcasting

By Scott Zoback

Twelve months ago �podcasting� was little more than a nonsense word for most people. And for some, it still is. In its most basic form, podcasting is a cross between an audio blog or diary and a radio show saved on the Internet for anyone to download and listen to. Users are able to �subscribe� to particular shows, and have them download automatically whenever they are updated.

Over the past year or so, the number of casts has exploded dramatically, with little more required than a computer and a microphone. While many die out, several widely ranged casts currently broadcast on a regular basis. As a sampling, there is a Limbaugh-esque conservative talk show; a decidedly liberal show called �Queerspresso,� another one dedicated to electric cars, and yet another with the sole purpose of getting new and great hip-hop music out to the world. Certainly a wide variety, yet the Worcester shows go unheard by many not in the know.

Podcasting has been around for a while, even if it wasn�t known by that name or was as popular as it has become over the past year or so. Joseph LaFlower, the Warren police officer who runs and hosts the daily conservative talk-cast �Talk Show America,� says that, �It�s a show I�ve been doing on the Internet for five years.� It�s also a show that has run � and continues to run � on various airwaves and Internet radio stations around the country.

More than anything, podcasts have given a forum and a voice to people who didn�t have the same opportunity � or the same perception of that opportunity � 11 months or a year ago.

�That�s what podcasting is about,� says Andy Douglas, a pillar of the RainbowPodSquad lineup. �It connects to fans more than radio.� It also allows for podcasters to reach a wider audience, with LaFlower getting thousands of daily listeners between the live show and the downloads; �I have hundreds more from the podcast alone,� he says.

And while the relative ease of podcasting has turned everyone into a pundit, comedian or music guru, it is not always an easy process. The podcast universe is littered with failed shows that lasted one or two episodes before falling by the wayside. As anyone who has done radio will tell you, filling a significant amount of airtime with valuable content is a challenge. Add to that some of the technical hurdles. Douglas says that for any individual show, �you can spend anywhere from one hour to two-and-a-half editing, recording, researching, etc.� It is a lot of time for something that is not a money-making venture, but as he adds, �the point is to have fun and interact with people.�

Scott Zoback may be reached at szoback@worcestermag.com.

Read the complete story here: Worcester Magazine

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