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.
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:
- Training. (Although it is not using DailySplice, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department video podcasts training to its deputies.)
- Crime prevention, including intelligence-led policing and soliciting community feedback.(The Saanich (British Columbia) Police Department’s podcasting solution was the subject of a DailySplice case study.)
- BOLOs and Amber Alerts.
- Cold cases, especially those for which camera footage is a factor.
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.