How do I get started editing my podcast with GarageBand?

Last year I bought a Mac. It came with GarageBand preinstalled. I’ve used Audacity for years to edit the Inside PR podcast. However, I think it’s time to bite the bullet and give GarageBand a shot.

Audacity is great. But I want to learn a new tool. So that I’m not dependent on a single tool. Because so many other podcasters tell me they use GarageBand, and I want to understand why they like it. And so that I can reassure myself that Audacity has kept up with the times.

So I open up GarageBand and go to the Help files to learn how to use it. Where’s the tutorial? There’s no tutorial! What the heck, Apple?!?!

Yes, there are Help text files and pictures. But they seem to be geared to people who want to produce music. Nothing I can find in the help files really guides me in creating a podcast.

Time to turn to Google and search for “GarageBand tutorials.” Long story short – the Google results are led by tutorials. They’re good. But I don’t really want to purchase a subscription to

Where else can I turn? YouTube, of course. A quick search on YouTube turns up several tutorials posted by enthusiasts, people who love to create things and publish them to help others.

I find exactly what I’m looking for – thanks to Ryan Palmer. His video, embedded in this post, shows me how to create my audio track, add a musical intro and outro, and export my finished file as an MP3. These are exactly the basics I’m looking for, the things that any podcaster needs to get going.

Ryan helped me with his video – offered freely to me and others. So, what could I do to thank him? Well, this post with the embed to his video is one small way I can say thanks. At the time that I viewed Ryan’s video, it had 11,184 views and 111 recommendations. If you discover this post and watch Ryan’s video and give it a thumbs up – if it gets even one more view, I’ll feel that I’ve given back to him the best kind of thanks I can offer.

So, if you are a podcaster wondering how to get started editing your podcast in GarageBand, watch Ryan’s video. I’m sure you’ll find it useful.

And if you do, think about recommending it to someone else.

Thanks Ryan. Your video was exactly what I needed to get me started in GarageBand. :)

Native Advertising: When it’s good, it’s very very good

I’m not a big fan of native advertising. But I have to admit that this video worked for me. It made me miss my own King Charles Spaniel. It made me want to rush out and bring home a puppy. And it made me think positively about Puppy Chow. A content marketing and native advertising trifecta. Emotion tapped. Intent formed. Positive connection (with the brand) established.

Marketers take note: Make video for mobile users

New research from Google and Ipsos MediaCT provides further evidence that the future belongs to mobile and the future of mobile is video.

According to Google,

  • “people who view videos on their phones are 1.4X as likely to watch ads as those who view videos on desktop computers or televisions.
  • “Smartphone viewers are 1.6X as likely as TV viewers to turn to their peers in person and talk about the video content they’re watching.”
  • “smartphone video viewers were nearly 2X as likely as TV viewers to feel a sense of personal connection to brands that show video content or ads on their devices and 1.3X as likely as desktop viewers.”
  • More than 50% of the smartphone video viewers we surveyed said they used video to help them make product decisions in stores or on company websites…” and
  • one in three shoppers actually prefers to use a smartphone to find additional information rather than ask a store employee for help….”

Video has an impact on our online behaviour and our in-person behaviour. So, if it hasn’t already, it’s time for marketers to adopt a new perspective on video.

Are you thinking about your mobile audience when you produce video? Are you producing video that works best on the smaller screen? Or are you still producing video with the desktop in mind?

The world is going mobile. Are you?


A welcome improvement: WordPress 4.2 “Powell”

Today, WordPress got even better with the introduction of an update to its “Press This” extension. I use the Press This extension in my browser to quickly post notes like this to my blog directly from my browser. Quick and easy.

This video provides an overview of the most important upgrades in today’s release of WordPress 4.2 “Powell.” (And you don’t have to be a jazz fan to enjoy the benefits.)

Source: WordPress › WordPress 4.2 “Powell”

Google+ and the lesson of Owned vs Rented Spaces

Screenshot 2014-07-28 10.42.54

The pending breakup of Google+ holds a lesson that we should keep in mind: Social networks serve the business interests of their owners first. It’s as simple as owned vs rented spaces.

The terms, conditions and even basic operations of social networks can and do change at the whim of the owners if they see business advantage in this. If you don’t own it, if you’re just a renter, don’t be surprised if you wake up one morning to find the place has been sold out from under you.

Google gave us a stunning illustration of this on Sunday night when, with a Google+ post, Bradley Horowitz signalled the demise of Google+ as we know it.

The changes at Google+ underline something that savvy social media users should remember: Use your owned spaces to post your valuable content and then use social networks to promote it. Your owned spaces are as permanent as you want them to be. Social networks are as ephemeral as the owners want them to be.

Best Practice: Disclosure by a Journalist

In the world of native advertising, sponsored content, journalists supplementing their income with paid speaking gigs and the freelance economy, it’s hard sometimes to know where “news” content is coming from and what has influenced it. The personal disclosure statement is a helpful tool in identifying potential sources of influence and conflict of interest.

Trust matters

David Akin

David Akin

David Akin is a capable journalist who found himself, along with 200 others, out of a job when the Sun News Network ceased broadcasting last week. I’ve followed his Twitter feed, Facebook profile  and online writing for several years. So, when news broke that Sun News Network, where he hosted a nightly news program, had abruptly shut down, I wondered how this would affect him. Yesterday morning, he posted a piece on the Maclean’s site about Sun News and its controversial programming. And at the bottom of the post, he included a link to I clicked on it out of curiosity to see what is there. Basically, it’s an online business card site. But with one very important distinguisher. One of the clearest disclosure statements I’ve seen from a journalist. Here’s Akin’s disclosure in full:

DISCLOSURE: I am a freelance journalist and, as result, the journalism I do is paid for by the news organizations that purchase it. I receive no fees, considerations, etc. for organizations or individuals I write about or speak about. I may, from time to time, accept speaking engagements from non-news organizations. I will endeavour to keep a list of those here. I am not, nor have I ever been during my 30 years as a professional journalist, a member of any political party. No member of my immediate family is a member of or campaigns on behalf of any political party. Neither I nor anyone in my immediate family own shares or equity in any corporation or business. Any investments I have are in widely-held mutual funds. If you think other disclosures are appropriate in this space, I’d like to hear from you. All of my contact details are always at

Pretty clear. No equivocation. Akin clearly draws a line about what he does and doesn’t do. The man’s not for sale to corporate interests. In this era of equivocation about journalistic standards, David Akin’s disclosure stands out like a breath of fresh air. I wish every journalist could be this straightforward in their disclosure.


Jay Rosen has taken a diary approach to his disclosure.

Jeff Jarvis discloses business and media ties, investments and a wide variety of potential sources of influence on his views.

Richard Gingras and Sally Lehrman wrote about the steps that might be taken to earn trust in journalism.

Target’s messy end in Canada

Target Canada got itself into big business trouble in Canada. And it got itself into even bigger reputation trouble with the way it is leaving the country.

It has become commonplace for companies to care about being seen to be responsible corporate citizens. And this involves both doing and being seen to exercise their corporate social responsibility. To make the communities in which they operate better places. To give back as well as to receive.

We expect that corporations will want to be seen to be doing more than the bare minimum they can get away with. And perhaps that’s why Target Canada has garnered so much bad media in the wake of their decision to pull out of the Canadian market. They were perceived as doing as little as the law required them to do in order to get out of the country.

Whether this was justified or not, the company seemed almost to be playing rope a dope, absorbing the blows without attempting to fight back.

Did Target give its employees, its suppliers and its partners a raw deal? Were they inept or calculating in their communications? Will this affect their reputation in the United States?

Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and I explore these questions on this week’s Inside PR podcast. Give it a listen and make up your own mind. Does Target deserve the target on its back?


Here is a selection of the media coverage and commentary around Target’s retreat from Canada.

Target closes all 133 stores in Canada; Seeks creditor protection

Target Canada owes more than 5 billion to creditors

Target Canada owes advertising, marketing and PR partners

Top Target Canada Managers get big cash payouts as stores close

More must be done to help laid off target employees 

Target closure causing crisis for independent pharmacies, owners say

Target Canada patient records sold

Ontario pharmacists fighting Target Canada

Target Canada liquidation sales draw crowds and mockery


This is a cross post from the Inside PR podcast blog. Listen to the complete podcast.

Is innovation in social media over?

Social media on blackboard

Is the period of innovation in social media, of fresh ideas and brilliant breakthroughs over? And if it is, is this something that we can change? Or do we even need to?

In a year-end post on his blog, noted tech investor Fred Wilson offered a couple observations that caught my eye. Wilson suggested, among other things, that:

1/ the social media phase of the Internet ended. this may have happened a few years ago actually but i felt it strongly this year. entrepreneurs and developers still build social applications. we still use them. but there isn’t much innovation here anymore. the big platforms are mature. their place is secure.

This reminded me of something that Shel Israel said way back in 2006, before social networks, when blogging was new, shiny and rapidly evolving. Reflecting on what he had heard at that year’s New Communications Forum, Israel wrote,

Blogging is normalizing.  It is following the usual adoption trends taught in Marketing 101. The number of marketing people watching blogs, starting them and evangelizing is going to inevitably eclipse the number of technology developers who got this all going.

Looking back, Shel Israel was spot on. In a few frenzied years, blogging had evolved rapidly from Blogger to Typepad and then into WordPress and Tumblr (with some other platforms along the way). Then two things happened. The technology folks moved on to social networks, analytics, mobile-enabled apps and all of the next new things that followed on. As this happened, bloggers – the people using the software – converged on  a few platforms. And the pace of innovation in the underlying publishing software slowed down.

Rapid change yields to predictable user experience

A decade ago, blogging revolutionized my relationship with others in my community of interest. In 2007, Facebook gave me a window on my friends and family, a means of signaling affinity and connecting with them. That same year, Twitter provided me with an instant newsfeed and connected me with the trends and topics that matter to me. And along the way, other developments provided annoyance (think LinkedIn) and temporary diversion (think Quora or foursquare.).

However, as I look back on more recent years, I realize that my use of social networks and social publishing platforms has varied little. In fact, I cannot remember the last innovative social publishing or social network innovation that truly changed the way that I publish or connect with people online. I’ve settled into a routine, using several tools, each for the thing that I find it does best.

Here is what I use every day.

Facebook, to connect with my friends and to share random thoughts of a more personal nature.

Twitter, to see the news as it happens and to find interesting topics suggested by people whose perspective I find interesting.

Google+. Yes I’m still on Google+. I regularly participate in a number of special-interest communities such as the FIR Podcast Community and the Podcasting Technology Resources community. People with a niche interest coming together around their shared interests.

LinkedIn. The network I dislike but cannot ignore. LinkedIn is one of the tabs that opens on my browser every morning. And it’s also the one with which I spend the least time and close first. Too self-promotional. Too self interested. I just can’t warm up to LinkedIn. But I can’t ignore it.

Instagram. I joined Instagram early and then stopped following it. In 2014, I returned to it. I’m still on the fence about whether it will be part of my long-term digital consumption.

Medium. Medium comes closest to being a breakthrough innovation. And that’s ironic. Because really it looks like a return to the longer form publishing that I remember from the Golden age of blogging. (So far, I’ve been a reader, not a publisher, on Medium. I’m having trouble generating good content on my blog. And I’ve been reluctant to cross-post. However, I’m considering cross posting some content on Medium simply so that I can establish some credentials there.)

WordPress. Yes I had to put WordPress in here because I still use it as the publishing platform for this blog, the Inside PR podcast (which I co-host with Gini Dietrich and Martin Waxman) and my various business blogs. I love this software. It’s intuitive and robust. May it never go away!

Feedly, my go-to newsreader app, which I use to subscribe to the digital publications and commentators whose perspective and voice I want to follow on an ongoing basis

Diigo, to annotate and save the things I find remarkable and may want to find or share at a later date (That’s how I retrieved Shel Israel’s 2006 post. I had tagged it “normalization” in delicious, a precursor to diigo.)

ITunes podcast App. You may wonder why this is on this list. But I spend my daily commute listening to podcasts. It’s a rare day that I will turn on live radio. Instead, I find myself drawn to podcasts for both information and entertainment.

Fred is right. But is that a good or a bad thing?

So there is my list of social publishing and social networks that I use regularly. And as I look at it, I realize it is essentially the same list that I could have described at the beginning of last year.

So, yes, Fred Wilson is right. We have reached a period of stability in the social networks.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Do you miss the innovation in platforms that characterized the early years of social media? Or are you happy that things have settled down?

Update: Yes, there is a conversation about this.

It’s just not really happening in the comments section of my blog. Instead, it’s taking place on Facebook.


Time to write again

173485323It’s the Christmas break and, after a challenging year, I found the time to read and think. And I realized that I’ve written in this place less and less frequently in the past year. It’s time to change that. It’s time to write again.

If you’re still subscribed to this feed, I thank you. Really.

And starting now, I’ll try to publish more frequently.