There’s always something to howl about RE.cast? Envisioneering a YouTube-like distribution system for podcasts . . .

The folks at Zillow Blog and Mike’s Corner have been working on a great new idea:

How about a YouTube-like system for distributing podcasts? Content originators would submit their podcasts to a server run by Mike Price’s MLPodcast, and then that content would be available from any weblog running a widget to be built by MLPodcast.

The benefit to individual weblogs? The demands on your file server and its bandwidth are off-loaded to specialized multi-media content servers. Plus which, your podcasts get a much wider distribution.

Is there a downside? People may find your content at other sites, which may be an issue for ad-supported weblogs.

There are big questions to be settled, so now is the time to speak up if you are interested:

1. What kind of content should be accepted, and what should be omitted? Feelings are running strongly against spammy or self-promotional podcasts — for instance, video virtual tours of listed homes.

2. How local is too local? Obviously I am strongly biased in favor of general-interest, nationally-focused and industry-oriented podcasts. Should locally-focused podcasts be accepted, and, if so, should any limits obtain on what kind of local content should be accepted?

3. What’s a good length? I personally prefer podcasts that run from 45-75 minutes, the length of a good workout. The Sales Success podcasts we’re putting together will run from 10-30 minutes. What do you think is a good length?

4. Finally, do you have plans either to create or to subscribe to real estate podcasts, and, if so, would a system like this appeal to you?

Other weblogs will be entertaining these ideas as well, so speak up if you want to be heard…

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    10 Comments so far

    1. Joel Burslem February 28th, 2007 2:45 pm

      I think it’s a great idea Greg. Personally I like podcasts that are 30-60mins long.

      I’d put a condition on locally focused podcasts that they include more than one perspective. i.e. a roundtable discussion on say, Portland’s real estate market would be acceptable but a single voice on the state of the market might not be.

      Definitely no spammy stuff. But a user ranking system of sorts might help sort that out.

    2. Tom February 28th, 2007 2:55 pm

      Personally, I like podcasts in 2 flavors.

      Either a 2-5 minute quick hit, ie People Magazine style story that I consider part of my web browsing time, or a 45-60 minute podcast that is in the background while I am doing another task.

      What needs to be done with this system is a way of tagging or categorizing the podcasts so they are delivered in a way that I can sift through them. The last thing I would want is going from a nice puffy conversation on what car to drive as a real estate agent to one that discusses the pros and cons of agency.

      So give me them organized by time and topic and I think it will be a winner.

    3. Drew Meyers from Zillow February 28th, 2007 3:25 pm

      I like Joel’s idea on the local front of allowing roundtable discussions with numerous participants from a certain market. Podcasts are much more interested/entertaining with at least two people speaking.

      Whatever is decided, I think everyone agrees we should keep the standard very high.

    4. Michael Price February 28th, 2007 3:50 pm

      I think we need to spend some time establishing the rules regarding relevancy and content. Self promotion will have to be at the top of this list as a no-no, as such, listing promotion should be banned. I’m not saying that just because it cabbages our business, it just makes sense that it not be a part of the community we are trying to establish. I like the category idea, perhaps the blog widget can display the category with the freshest episode linked, clicking through would give you access to the rest of the episodes in that category.

      As far as length goes. I rarely listen to any podcast more than 10 minutes long. I’ve kept up with just about all of the relevant stats on podcasting but I haven’t seen anything on the average length or metrics on what the average person is willing to consume in that regard. I just can’t imagine someone listening to an hour long podcast. Greg maybe you’re more of the norm on that, I don’t know but will certainly check into it. Our system displays content with the freshest episode first on the list.

      Lets keep the ideas flowing.

    5. Todd Carpenter February 28th, 2007 4:46 pm

      If I were a real estate agent, I would do my own video podcasts and place them Utube and my blog. I would hire a pretty face who lives in the neighborhood that I market/prospect in and pay them to explore everything that’s great about living in that neighborhood. Sort of like the programs that air on HGTV or the Fine Living Network. One episode would be a tour of coffee houses, another would be a trip to the local spa…

    6. David G from February 28th, 2007 7:05 pm

      One thought (I have more) is that if we do this and I thin we should, let’s re-think branding. “Carnival” is too obscure & a bit clunky. Something like “Real Estate Radio” may make more sense. What do you think?

    7. [...] My previous post discussed the idea of creating a ZebraCast, an audio podcast for the blog. This post sparked an email from Mike at MLPodcast that involved me in a discussion about creating a place for bloggers to post podcasts for the world to find and hear. Mike felt that bloggers should cover the topic in future posts to judge the demand for such a thing. I think it is a great idea, and Greg recently wrote a post raising a few questions about how the whole thing would work. He asked: 1. What kind of content should be accepted, and what should be omitted? Feelings are running strongly against spammy or self-promotional podcasts — for instance, video virtual tours of listed homes. [...]

    8. Allen Butler March 1st, 2007 12:28 am

      I think this is a fabulous idea. Definitely want to ban listing information, virtual tours, etc. I frequently listen to podcasts or watch videos that are pretty lengthy. Also, this seems like it may be something that is for our industry, to share insights & such. However, if there is any intent to promote this idea to the general public, agents will naturally gravitate towards self promotion. Perhaps there should be a consumer-oriented section and a real estate agent section. Anyway, great idea!


    9. Greg Swann March 1st, 2007 9:08 pm

      On the subject of length: It’s not a major big deal to me, but a length between 30 and 90 minutes appeals to me because it coincides with other tasks: A long drive, scut work in the office or working out — especially the latter.

      Two cents’ worth to the penny.

    10. Jim Rake July 17th, 2008 4:57 am

      Great idea. Would echo Todd’s comments, “explore everything that’s great about living in that neighborhood”, with tags/categories.