Podcast: The B.S. Report

There are many different podcasts out there on the internet but it is my belief that ESPN consistently puts out the most well-produced and interesting sports podcasts that gives a different perspective than their radio and T.V. shows such as SportsCenter. My personal favorite out of their suite of podcasts is The B.S. Report, featuring the sportswriter and journalist Bill Simmons. It is generally produced weekly covers all the sports of the weeks as well as going off-topic on ramblings on various celebrities, news in the world, movies, t.v. shows, and pop culture in general. Many times he has guests that recur on the show such as the clip I chose here with the comedian Cousin Sal. He has had other entertainers, athletes, sports writers, and personalities on the show in the past as well. There is no real structure to the show as te host tends to discuss subjects that he wants to which many times lead to him talking about his love and at times disgust for his Boston area teams. In the clip below he discusses the outcomes of the games on Sunday for the NFL as well as how he won his gambling bet with three tams. It gives you an idea of the kind of flavor he brings to the show. It isn’t just a dry radio host giving you information; he gives you an interesting and often times humorous view on the world of sports. His words can sometimes be controversial but he does not bite his tongue and says what’s on his mind which is why he has become so popular. I recommend this podcast for anyone who is interested in sports but gets tired with the boring ways that it has been covered by the media and are looking for something fresh. There is a reason why it is always near the top of the overall iTunes list for podcasts and now is as good a time as any to find out why.

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How To Podcast

When you decide that you want to create your own podcast there are a number of steps that need to be followed. First, I would say that you need to be committed and stick with it. I would say on average that you should post a new podcast around once a week. Before you actually record yourself it is good to have a general idea and plan on what it is you are talking about. Before you turn on the mic you should´nt have a word for word script but you should have an outline on what you´re going to say. You should decide the topic and format and how long you generally want it to be. This will give you a focus that will help you to gain more listeners. Then you need to create the podcast. Nowadays there are many different audio programs you can use that allow you to record your voice and edit it with just your computer. One of the best programs to use is Audacity. Afterwards, you have to decide which way you want to upload it to the internet so that people can subscribe to it and download it. There are many services such as Soundcloud and blip.tv that allow you to upload mp3 files and share it with others. It is important to come up with a name for your podcast that catches the attention of people. Also, when uploading your podcast make sure to create an ID3 tag, which can be done in Audacity, so that you can put the information of your podcast there. The final step is for you to do some self-promotion of your podcast through any and all channels you can. Whether it´s your Twitter, Facebook, website forums, it is important that you draw attention and get people noticing your work. Once you follow all of these steps you will become a podcast-making expert.

Podcasting

Podcasting is a fairly new idea in the realm of web 2.0 that has revolutionized the way we listen to and watch our favorite shows. In the spirit of everything 2.0 podcasts allow the user to choose what they want to watch, when they want to watch it, and where because you can take it with you on a any one of your portable devices. There are a variety of different podcasts out there from comedy to music to how-to shows. Many websites and radio shows now have their own podcasts to add additional content for viewers who want something extra. The key feature of podcasts is that you can subscribe to them through RSS feeds or other ways that can download them to your iTunes directly once a new show is released. Podcasting has almost allowed people to make their own radio stations for themselves. Before when you turned on the radio you had to listen to whatever was on at the time. Now, you can edit your own podcast together bringing in parts of your favorite shows such as sports, politics, world news, and so forth and you don’t need to rely on your own radio dial. It is also another way for the average joe to get their voice out and create their own type of radio show with friends or by themselves and distribute it to the world very easily. If you are good enough, you can gain a following and become famous on the internet through your podcast. It is a great and new way to make a living through the power of technology. The greatest podcasts are those that give us new and original content and not just re-purposed information that can be found on a radio show or website. They can give us new insight into topics on the world or be shows that are there to entertain us with humor. Whatever you wish to listen to it is all at your fingertips due to the power of podcasting.

Here is a great list that Paste Magazine made of their 10 favorite podcasts.

Are Corporate Blogs Good Or Bad?

In the age of information that we live in now everybody is always trying to be in constant contact with each other. That philosophy is no different to a huge corporation that now realize they have to be engaged with their consumer base in order to stay at the top. One of the ways that companies now try to stay in touch with their audience and get feedback is through corporate blogs. Some companies try to have different employees give their accounts on what is going on and others have a general blog for the company that informs people on changes being made, addresses problems, and lets people see what is on the horizon. In some ways these blogs can feel less than genuine as it can seem like the company is being fake in order to have more supporters of a product. To me, it works best if you have various employees writing on what is on their mind that is less academic and can give the audience a sense of transparency and make a huge billion dollar corporation a little bit down to earth. I believe it´s important for companies to always have a sense of constant communication with the people who support them. You want to feel to these people that you care so you can have that dialogue with a specific customer in the comments section. Before the world of web 2.0 people felt completely distant from these monolithic corporations that were seen as only interested in your money. Now, you can build a strong positive brand image by connecting with the people in an honest way through corporate blogs. Nowadays, the market is so competitive and everyone has a choice in everything. One of the top ways to build up a big consumer base is to have a strong presence on the web whether through a corporate blog or through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. In the end, the blog helps the relationship between consumer and producer as well as keeping the corporation on their toes and always delivering the best products.

New Music: Yelawolf ft. Eminem & Gangsta Boo “Throw It Up”

On this brand new track from the fast-spitting Alabama MC he enlists his boss, Eminem, and Gangsta Boo, the female rapper who was affiliated with Three 6 Mafia and hasn’t been heard from in awhile. Certainly not a trio you would expect on a hip-hop song but somehow they all manage to gel together with lyrics that hit as hard as a ton of bricks. Over a heavily piano-driven southern club banger all three manage to talk as much mess as they can to anyone in their way. Yelawolf and Eminem both use their sped up flows with Yelawolf even stuttering his words to the piano keys. Remember that Radioactive, Yelawolf’s debut album on Shady Records drops next week, Nov. 21, 2011.

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia

As a part of our study abroad program here in Barcelona they occasionally take us on excursions over the weekend. For this most recent weekend, we took a trip to Valencia. I had never been there before or really ever heard of the city but I enjoyed my time there. Easily the most impressive thing I saw there and the city’s foremost tourist attraction was the City of Arts and Sciences. The architecture alone of this area is truly a sight to behold. The project was set up by the Generalitat de Valencia in order to create a landmark that would show Valencia as a place for culture and tourism. The construction of the “city” was completed on April 16, 1998 and it has been expanded upon with newer buildings since then. The area is meant to be a place for cultural and entertainment center that is comprised of five main buildings and other architectural landmarks. The L’Hemisferic is a planetarium and Imax cinema whose architectural structure resembles that of a huge marine isopod. The second main building is El Museu de les Ciencies Principe Felipe that is a three-story interactive science museum, which is shaped like a whale’s skeleton. L’Oceanografic is the largest aquarium in all of Europe with a space of 110,000 square meters and housing 42 million liters of water. It’s shape is designed off of a water lily. El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia is dedicated to music and the performing arts that contains inside an opera house. The final main building is L’Agora, which is an area for open concerts and sporting events such as the Valencia Open 500, a professional tennis tournament. Here is a video to give you an idea of how some of the structures look and are set up.

The complex was built on the end of an old riverbed named Turia that became a garden after the great flood of Valencia in 1957. Two prominent Spanish architects named Santiago Calatrava and Felix Candela designed the structures and buildings. The modern architectural style and color choices of white and blue was meant to merge the idea of the traditional Mediterranean sea and light with a futuristic style that can show Valencia as a modern city with a large past and deep history. Much of the area is surrounded by shallow reflecting pools and the architect Calatrava has spoken on why he chose to design the complex in that way: “As the site is close to the sea, and Valencia is so dry, I decided to make water a major element for the whole site using it as a mirror for the architecture.” All of the structures and surrounding areas tie into the theme of the Mediterranean Sea in some way. There is a large walkway on the side of the buildings called L’Umbracle that consists of many plants and wildlife that is indigenous to Valencia that change depending on the seasons. It also has an art promenade that is an outdoor art gallery that has many sculptures from contemporary and modern artists. All of these structures combine together to make this unique city unlike anything else like it.

The main centerpiece of the entire city is the Science Museum located in the middle of the complex which I was allowed access to on my trip there. It was first opened in the year 2000 and has reached over 25 million visitors since that time. This is a very modern museum in the way that it presents its subjects and helps you to learn about them. It takes a very interactive and hands-on approach to teaching you about the various different scientific exhibits. The museum changes its exhibits depending on the seasons and time of year. For example, when I went they had a Marvel Comics exhibit, which they used their famous characters to teach younger children how science works.

In this way, this museum is forward thinking and revolutionary because it manages to make science fun to kids who would normally be bored by science. The motto of the museum is  “Forbidden not to touch, not to feel, not to think” and it gives great insight into how the museum is run and the values it was built on. This allows for the visitor to always be an active participant in the exhibits as opposed to a traditional museum where you are passive and just are fed boring information. The way that this museum is set up fits with the theme of what the whole area was built upon: to be futuristic and modern. The most interesting exhibit on hand to me was the Science and Sport with Valencia C.F. It showed how science and sport are so dependent on each other, which many people don’t think about. Part of it was a history of the storied football history including foosball tables, jerseys, trophies, and an interactive screen, which allows you to relive all the magical moments from the club’s past. The other section delves into how our physical bodies work in conjunction with science to allow for great feats of athleticism. It shows how physics change a trajectory of a soccer ball on it’s flight to the goal depending on how you hit it. It also focuses on health sciences such as seeing your vertical jump, and ways to measure your body mass index depending on your height and weight. This exhibition and the museum as a whole allow us to look on everyday things and seeing the way science plays a vital role in all of our lives. Whether it is climate change, space travel, marvel superheroes, or soccer we can all learn some important scientific facts while having a fun and interactive experience at the Science Museum Principe Felipe at The City of Arts and Sciences.

Above is a video I recorded by interviewing a visitor to the museum to see what he took away from the experience he had.

Catalunya Radio Visit

For one of our classes we took a field trip to Catalunya Radio, the top radio station for all of Catalunya located in Barcelona. Our professor works there so we got a chance to get a tour and see how it all works. While being there I started to think about how the radio fits into our 2.0 world. How does the radio continue to survive when you can get your information so much quicker and you have the choice to select which news or music you want to hear. If you look at the iPod it has changed how we get our music. The newest music is now almost always released on the internet first before you can hear it on the radio. To me, I think the radio is generally listened to by older people who have a longer commute to work and don´t really use technology like the iPod. But you can see the way radio has tried to adapt to our Web 2.0 way of thinking. Many different radio stations such as Catalunya Radio have presences on various social networks like Facebook and Twitter. They use their website and these other avenues to get in touch with their audience and have a constant conversation with them. The problem becomes when you have too many ways to get in touch and everything gets scattered all over the place. Our professor was telling us that it was a problem for Catalunya Radio because they had to tell everyone so many different options to get in contact with them. It was important to find a centralized way in which to relieve and respond to messages from viewers. That is one issue sometimes with this information age that we live in: sometimes there can be too much noise and you can get overwhelmed with everything. It spreads everything out so there is not one place you can go. My solution to that would be to have all the complaints or comments be able to be directed to the main web site of the station. That is where people get the majority of their information from about the shows and different aspects of the station itself. This way they can get everything they could want to know about the station all in one place without being pulled in many directions.