We’re checking out podcasts in Thing 19. This is a technology that I’ve been curious about since hearing that it was popular for museums to use for tours. The first place I went to listen to a podcast was Minnesota Public Radio because you can’t go wrong with MPR. I found a podcast series called Grammar Grater. After listening to one episode through iTunes on my computer, I added the Grammar Grater feed to my Bloglines account. (See? You really can’t go wrong with MPR.)
The next thing I did was to go to a couple of podcast directories listed with Thing 19. I looked at (or attempted to look at) Podcast.com, Podcast.net, and Podcastalley.com. I couldn’t load Podcast.net (even with high-speed internet, which is why I didn’t link it), so I don’t have an opinion on the service. As for the other two, I wasn’t overly impressed. Sure, they list podcasts, but you don’t really know what you’re going to get by simply looking at a title. Podcast.com had descriptions, but without knowing the source, I wasn’t inclined to check them out. (Limited time cuts down on the curiosity.)
Instead of fussing with these directories, I decided to go directly to a couple of sources that I figured might have podcasts – the Walker Art Center and the Minnesota Historical Society. I was right. The Walker has podcasts of tours that you can download and offers other methods of listening. I clicked to download one for the Sculpture Garden, but it didn’t look like anything had happened on my computer, so I moved on to the Minnesota Historical Society. I simply googled “Minnesota Historical Society podcasts” and got a page from the collections department with podcasts that you could open as pop-ups. I listened to Marcia Anderson talk about the Bishop Whipple exhibit.
Meanwhile, the Walker Art Center tour was apparently quietly downloading to my computer because I got a screen that told me it was done. The download came as zip files, so I’ll have to unzip them before I can listen to them, which I shall do later.
This is one Thing that I will have to examine in greater detail because I can definitely see possibilities for using it at the Weyerhaeuser Museum. There’s the obvious potential for tours, but I’m sure there are some other fun things we could do with podcasting if we put on our thinking caps and have a little brainstorm.