Google's First Impressions

A recent Google search for a company in my area yielded some surprising results. I saw a former coworker’s employer on and decided to check out the company. Well, it turned out to be an information technology consulting company. The first few hits were all from third-party job posting sites. Note: all of the postings were for mainframe positions–Yuck!

Anyway, I kept looking for the company’s home page to show up. It didn’t–well, not at first. It wasn’t until page 2 of the Google results. Here’s the kicker: the first page to show up for the company in my Google search was not the home page–it was the company’s online exit survey!

The first presentation I receive from the company is an automated

exit survey! How much turnover do they really have that they would need an online exit survey? At least they’re somewhat organized about how they process exiting employees.

Don't like “Podcast?” How about “Syndicast?”

Some people are confused about what the term “” really means. While it originally involved a reference to , the term has expanded to mean much, much more. I heard somewhere that “Blogcast” was the substitute I heard offered. However, .

I think there’s a better word, still: syndicast

. Syndication and broadcast combined. of describes several alternative names for podcasts in .

The problem with coining a new term and supplanting the old term is difficult. “Podcast” is already a powerful meme. I don’t suspect that it will make much difference proposing it, but I couldn’t keep a clever idea to myself.

And for another perspective, says some people think it’s “not important”: “.”

It’s nothing more than Internet radio at its core, folks. It’s audio, on-demand, that’s easily synchronized with your computer system / portable media device…

Podcasting, or syndicated downloadable content, by whatever name, is definitely here to stay.

Welcome

This is my first post using WordPress.  I’m debating about using it as the default system for my home website: .  In fact if you are reading this now, you are probably looking at outpost516.com.

Anyway, I plan on converting all of my Xagronaut blog entries () to either WordPress or Drupal.

Blog Audio: Odiogo, FeedForAll, and TextAloud

iTunes decreases my blog consumption

After all this time, I’m finally blogging again. I think the issue has been the lack of time (other things are more important?) and the lack of motivation (i.e., burning desire).

Oddly enough, I think podcasts have taken me away from blogging. Since I no longer use and to download podcasts (I use instead), I spend less time in my news aggregator. Oh, I still consume blogs, and I think that they’re still a great innovation, but I’m not using them like I used to.

A twist on blog consumption: Text-to-Speech conversion

One new product that puts a twist on consuming blogs is . It’s software that will “audify” RSS content to create MP3 audio consumable by your media player or portable audio device.

This is similar in concept to a combination of products I saw a while back: mixing , an RSS publisher, with from . This combo allows you to create a “podcast” version of your blog. TextAloud also has other uses for text-to-speech conversion as a stand-alone product.

Odiogo, on the other hand, combines an RSS aggregator

with a text-to-speech converter in one product

. The price is fairly accessible at $29.99. I may try it. There are some available.

One thing I noticed is that Odiogo seems to offer only one voice (male). TextAloud, on the other hand, offers multiple voice options with a range of sampling rates from vendors including , , , and . TextAloud comes only in a Windows version and costs $29.95.

FeedForAll costs $39.95 and is available for Windows and Mac. They have offering complimentary products related to RSS feed consumption, RSS-friendly web hosting, and podcast creation.

Conclusion

I may try the audio blog content option. Unfortunately, most of my podcast solutions involve a lot of manual labor to put it onto my player (my Palm Zire 72 with an SD card). The other downside is that the text-to-speech output can sound somewhat bland, causing me to zone out instead of actively listening. I’ll put it on my Someday/Maybe list ().