Writing not for you? Try podcasting

The Saanich, BC police use DailySplice podcasting to connect with their community.

The Saanich, BC police use DailySplice podcasting to connect with their community.

Not everyone is a writer. I get that. No, really, I understand. Although I think best when I’m writing, many days the words don’t come easily. Even when I’m simply transcribing someone else’s words from an interview. It takes time to capture context, whether it’s the jumble of your own thoughts, or something that came out of a dynamic conversation.

Not everyone has the patience or the time or, yes, the skills to do that. In fact, most of the law enforcement officers I have ever worked with are more comfortable on the phone than emailing their thoughts to me.

I am not. On the phone I ramble. I can’t edit my thoughts, refine what I mean (at least without confusing the other person). And listening? I have to be able to write down what I hear. Otherwise my attention wanders.

I just described what writing is to many people. Writing, to them, means throwing their thoughts down on paper, then growing frustrated when it doesn’t read like the great magazine article they just read. Reading means wandering thoughts, a line that reminds them of something they have to do or something they experienced.

Enter podcasting

Just as many people don’t have time or energy to write, many don’t have time or energy to read. (Even me. My Google Reader count is in the 700s.) But podcasting is easier for them to digest. It helps fill the time during repetitive tasks or work that doesn’t require much attention, or for that matter, commutes.

This one reason why the folks at DailySplice.com are focusing on law enforcement. Why is this valuable? Mainly because podcasting is an underutilized tool among police.

A few months ago I talked with Rian Bowden, co-founder and CEO of DailySplice, about what they help agencies do. He provided four examples:

The advantage: “Rich media which allows commanders to maintain authority as primary information sources in any situation,” says Bowden. This is important because sites like YouTube, with their additional content, can be distracting.

Because the DailySplice interface allows for real-time updating, it can be a valuable way to balance the rumors and misinformation that start to appear on other real-time sites like Twitter and Facebook.

In fact, because the podcasts are syndicated via RSS, they can be “plugged in” to Facebook and other sites. And civilians who subscribe to a cast’s RSS feeds can share the content just as easily as they can status updates—without needing to sign up on Facebook or Twitter or anywhere else (except perhaps with a feed reader).

Cops 2.0 coming to podcast?

Podcasting is a great way for people who prefer to talk to reach people who prefer to listen. For those who (like me) feel like they’re talking to themselves, there is the interview format, like the ones I did for Inside the Core and more recently, with Mike Waraich and Lauri Stevens for DailySplice.

DailySplice has invited me to set up an account and podcast more frequently. While I have to figure out how it will fit for me and my business strategy, I plan to join in future discussions, and meanwhile the DailySplice website offers a number of resources including webinars.

Might a podcast be a better fit for your agency than blogging?

4 thoughts on “Writing not for you? Try podcasting

  1. Mike

    Thanks for the great article and DailySplice mention, Christa!

    Podcasting is very much social media vocalized, and although it is not the first social media priority for most PD’s, look for it to become much more popular in the near future as police become aware of the benefits sharing real-time audio clips and automatic delivery can have.

    Looking forward to your podcast contributions, especially some good interviews!

  2. Pingback: Podcasting: Law Enforcement Communication for the 21st Century « The Crime Map

  3. Chris aka Da_BigKahuna

    Mahalos for the info on DailySplice, Christa!
    I’ll be speaking with my group to see about utilizing podcasts for our CyberSafety education and awareness programs.

  4. Christa Miller Post author

    Thanks all for the comments (James for the backlink)! Mike, I’m hoping more PDs realize the power of video podcasting in particular, though audio has a place too. (Hey, I’d like to see you address that in your blog — which applications are best for which kinds of situations?)

    Chris, that’s awesome! Mike could not be a nicer guy to work with, and though I’ve only spoken with Rian once, he’s a good guy too. Good luck and please let me know how it goes!

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