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Mashable’s beginners guide to SoundCloud

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Image from Mashable

If you already have a podcast or are interested in creating one for the first time, check out Mashable’s Beginner’s Guide to SoundCloud.

With a variety of subscription levels, it is easy to find something that will fit your needs.  A majority of the members use the site to host and distribute  music or podcasts. The functionality allows you to embed audio clips on to other sites, as well.  

From a customer experience standpoint, the streaming is seamless and clean, especially with the popular commenting functionality inside the audio player. 

 

 

Link: Guide to YouTube Privacy

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Mashable posted a guide to YouTube privacy settings. It outlines four main areas to take note of when setting up a YouTube profile or channel and how to manage the settings.

Click here to read the entire article.

As with all online platforms, take a close look at the privacy settings. Only share what you feel comfortable sharing.

Some sites frequently change their privacy settings and policies so keep in the loop with these updates.

General tips on starting a podcast

If you have the time and desire, podcasts are a great way to drum up interest in your work.

There are a lot of different types of podcasts. There are audio podcasts and video podcasts.  The content structure can vary. For example, a podcast can be a straight-forward interview format or feature monologues only.  You can create a call-in format or have an interview subject sit with you in person.  You can do a hang-out with your colleagues on Google or Skpe. It all depends on the space and technology available.

Once you figure out the type of program, you will want to brainstorm topics.  Even the most seasoned professionals occasionally run into issues with dead-air. Although these moments of silence are easily editable in the post-production process, it is important to prepare notes and potential talking points for when you start recording.

Just like with a blog, make sure your podcast has a brand and voice.  If you’ve already have a brand on your blog, make sure the podcast corresponds to what you’ve already established.  Your online image should flow through all of the social networks and platforms in order to help make that brand recognizable across the web.

Do your research on software options and read reviews.  Just as we suggested when it comes to choosing blogging software, your colleagues often offer the best recommendations. You will want to get quality microphones and headphones to assist with the initial recording of the ‘cast.  It is important to note that you may already have some of the tools required. For example, many Macs come pre-installed with programs like GarageBand (to edit the audio) and iMovie (to edit video).

Start small.  Aim for a 20 minute podcast and then build up to longer recordings once you are comfortable. Preview it to some colleagues and to others about their experience.

Once you are comfortable with the finished product, use your social networks to promote the recording. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are all excellent sources of free promotion for your project.

Here are some links to browse about podcasting tips:

– Mashable’s 7 tips to launch a podcast
– Social Media Examiner published a list of 6 tips that includes suggestions by those with already successful podcasts
– Here is a list of reasons not to start a podcast, from BasicBlogTips.com

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Hey readers!  

You can also in the reply box below or email us at authorblog@wiley.com. We’d love to answer any individual questions or address specific topics in the future.

Mashable’s best video editing apps and platforms

We’ve been posting a lot about low-cost marketing activities that you can do yourself.  One of the most popular activities is videos.  Creating videos can help to publicize you, your book, or your subject area.  The hardest part about videos is editing.  We rarely get things perfect the first time around and always want the finished product to be spotless.

Mashable posted two lists on the topic of video editing.

First, there is a list of editing apps.  These are mobile programs that allow you to edit videos on your mobile device.  Usually, these apps are free and let you add tiny tweaks, like filters and transitions.

The other list is of editing software and platforms.  These types of programs are a little more involved. They require a certain amount of trial and error (and expertise) but the results are noticeably more professional. You can cut and paste scenes, add text, and upload directly to video sites (like YouTube and Vimeo). These programs can be expensive so make sure to investigate the differences in features and buy based only on what you will actually use.

Be sure to look at the videos created by your colleagues in order to get a feel of what others are doing.  Ask around, as a recommendation from someone who knows you is usually the best bet. And if you need any tips, feel free to reach out to us.

Link: CNN on outstanding Vine and Instagram videos

In the past week or so, there have been quite a few technology announcements relating to videos.  With the release of Instagram Video, it seems like everyone is getting on the short video bandwagon. With the time constraints instituted by Vine and Instagram, creating a memorable video can be tough.

CNN aired a video segment about this video technology with a corresponding article features some general tips.

First off, you should be picky about your subject without lingering too long on one image.

You also want to pay attention to audio. For example, if you want to create a video where you pan around your office, make sure that there isn’t any outside audio that may ruin the shot.  Check your phone’s settings; if your phone is on silent mode, you will not hear audio during playback.   Make sure the sound settings are right on so that those viewing the video will only hear what you want them to hear.

Play around with the app. Experimentation is a good thing and can only help you become more comfortable with the technology.

With these points, you can easily create and publish videos promoting yourself and your work.

The article also features examples of successful Vine and Instagram videos, including short tutorials, use of stop-motion, and cute animals.

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For all posts on “videos” , click here.

Instagram to allow users to embed images and videos

Instagram developers announced that users will now be able to embed images and videos into their blogs or other sites (not including Twitter).  Currently, this function is only allowed through a desktop web browser to those who have public profiles.

The directions are as follows:

“Now, when you visit an Instagram photo or video page on your desktop web browser, you’ll see a new share button on the right side of your photo (just under the comments button). Click the button to see the embed code. Copy the block of text it gives you and paste it into your blog, website or article. When you hit publish, the photo or video will appear.”

You can read the full official announcement on the Instagram blog.

Here are some links from across the web:

Mashable has step-by-step instructions on how to embed your images and videos.

CNET also features a how-to guide.

All Things Digital says that Instagram added this feature in order to stay relevant in the “real time” space.

Instagram launches Vine-like videos

In response to the popularity of Vine, Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) released its own video application.  It is integrated into the already popular Instagram app and will have the a few features that the Vine app does not have.  For example, you will be able to take 15-second videos and add filters to each video.

Instagram’s co-founder, Kevin Systrom, posted a full description of this new functionality on the Instagram blog, along with a video.

Systrom says,

“Today, we’re thrilled to introduce Video on Instagram and bring you another way to share your stories. When you go to take a photo on Instagram, you’ll now see a movie camera icon. Tap it to enter video mode, where you can take up to fifteen seconds of video through the Instagram camera.”

It seems pretty easy to access if you already use Instagram as a photo-sharing tool.

How can this new application help authors?

Video are an integral part of your self-promotion process.  Like with Vine, you can create a short video to show off the front cover to your new book. You can film teases to your longer videos. If you are comfortable with showing a more personal side of yourself, you can use these short videos to pan around your office or home space.    But unlike Vine, Instagram videos can be up to 15 seconds and you are able to add filters to jazz up the look of the video.

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CNET posted an article about how Instagram video and Vine are two separate pieces of technology mostly because of the different type of user each app will attract (Click here).

CNNMoney focuses their analysis on why Instagram will overtake Vine’s market share (Click here).

TechCrunch outlined the difference between the two apps with easy to read charts (Click here).

New York Times’ Bits Blog pointed out that Facebook is betting users prefer 15 second videos (Click here).

Click here and here to read our previous posts about Vine.