Smithsonian: Blogs is a good place to find all the blogs, podcasts, and RSS feeds from the Smithsonian Institution.
Did you know that The Smithsonian Institution Libraries is participating in Library Thing? I didn't until I read it on the Smithsonian Libraries blog. (SIL Joins LibraryThing, Oct 1, 2008.) It is one of a dozen SI blogs.
And the podcasts look great! The Folkways Collection, Global Sound Live Vodcast Series, and more!
And, there are almost two dozen RSS feeds in addition to the feeds from the blogs and podcasts!
Today we welcomed a new state agency podcast to our government podcasts directory:
Outdoor Oklahoma - This is a video podcast of a weekly TV show produced by the Department of Wildlife Conservation. It appears to be archived on iTunes.
We're always on the lookout for new podcasts by government agencies. If you know of that isn't in our directory, let us know. Remember, to be a podcast, there must be a way to subscribe to the program. A pointer to a list of audio/video files that someone must visit to determine new content is *not* a podcast.
My Google Alert for podcasts works in strange ways. Today, for example, it sent me a podcast episode by Sen. Barack Obama done in 2006. Why it's flagging it now, I don't know.
But it's an interesting episode that addresses a major FGI interest, net neutrality. You can find the episode at http://obama.senate.gov/podcast/060608-network_neutral/. I think he sums up the issues well:
"It is because the Internet is a neutral platform that I can put out this podcast and transmit it over the Internet without having to go through any corporate media middleman. I can say what I want without censorship or without having to pay a special charge.
But the big telephone and cable companies want to change the Internet as we know it. They say that they want to create high speed lanes on the Internet and strike exclusive contractual agreements with Internet content providers for access to those high speed lanes.
Everyone who cannot pony up the cash will be relegated to the slow lanes."
If you're aware of other candidate statements on Net Neutrality, feel free to post links to them in comments. Interestingly, Sen. Obama's last podcast seems to have been on April 12, 2007. See all of his topics at http://obama.senate.gov/podcast/. If you're aware of him podcasting somewhere else, let us know by leaving a comment.
A reader recently left a comment on our Government Podcasts Directory informing us about the Spotlight on Science podcast from the Smithsonian Institution. This led us to the Smithsonian Institute podcast portal at http://www.si.edu/podcasts/. According to the 2007-2008 US Government Manual, the Smithsonian Institution is a quasi-official agency of the US Government and so fits our critera of a federal agency.
The podcast portal page has a wide variety of podcasted programs, including:
- The Folkways Collection
- Freer and Sackler Galleries Curatorial Conversations
- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Podcasts
- Smithsonian Institution Libraries Podcast
- National Museum of the American Indian Podcasts
- African Art Museum Podcasts
Interestingly, the Spotlight on Science that we were originally pointed to isn't listed on the portal page. That may be because its last podcast appears to have been from April 2007.
If you know of a federal, state or local government podcast that isn't listed in our directory at http://freegovinfo.info/node/174, please leave a comment on the directory page, or here, or send an e-mail to admin AT freegovinfo.info.
The newest entrant to our government podcasts directory is the AIDS.gov podcast from the federal department of Health and Human Services. The podcasts are short videos (3-5 min) that focus on news and conversations about AIDS. Despite the fact that these podcasts have been going out since February 2007, we seemed to have scooped our friends at usa.gov because I didn't notice it on their Health Podcasts page as of October 16, 2007.
This is a decent example that publishing on the web isn't the same as either distributing a document or proactively informing the public or press. Posting something to the web without further efforts means the content lays there until stumbled upon -- in this case by my Google Alert that looks for podcasts in the dot gov domain.
In this particular case, I'm sure the aids.gov folks, far from hiding anything promoted their podcasts to their constituencies, but the effect for the rest of us was the same. We don't find stuff like this unless we're looking for it. Ideally, there should be some outlet - usa.gov, GPO, etc (I don't know) where new content like this would be pushed out to people the moment it is published.
The Federal Digital System (FDSys) seems like it will promise this sort of functionality for government documents published with GPO's knowledge. I'm looking forward to seeing how that promise holds up.
Weekly Recall Review is a 3-5 minute summary of product recalls and other consumer safety news from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. According to the podcast website, the 8/31/2007 show included "highlights back-to-school safety, including clothing with drawstrings, art supplies, playground equipment, portable soocer goals, and helmets"
This podcast joins its siblings on our government podcasts page. Have a listen and if you're a podcaster, consider dropping in part or all of one of these public domain podcasts into your own podcasts.
FGI Podcast #3 is now available. Our 45 minute show included the following segments:
Scott Matheson's LOCKSS presentation
Spring 2007 Depository Library Council Proceedings
Scott's LOCKSS Slides
Outro - Broadband Connection downloaded from the Internet Archive's Open Source Audio collection and created by Sinister Dexter. Used under Creative Commons license: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.
What did you think about today's show? Let us know! We have three ways you can give us feedback or make suggestions for future shows:
- Make a comment on the show blog at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/154
- Send a text comment to admin AT freegovinfo DOT info
- Record an audio comment up to 5MB and e-mail it to danielcornwall AT gmail DOT com.
Text messages will be read on the air and audio comments will be played unless you ask us not to.
We'd love to have some listener feedback to make our show better and to have more content. So if you like, love or hate anything about our podcast, do let us know.
As episode 3 of the FGI podcast starts to go into production, we've opened a new poll asking your opinion about the two podcasts we've completed so far. The first episode was very scripted and the second episode more free form. Did you like either, both, neither? Let us know.
And if you're in a commenting mood, please leave a comment here or on the poll page letting us know how we can improve the podcast.
If you haven't heard our podcast yet, please go to our podcast page and check them out.
FGI has a launched a podcast and completed two full episodes of different styles. We'd like your reaction:
Show notes for FGI podcast #2
Note: We still have things to learn about podcasting. This time it is audio leveling. The sound does go up and down a bit but hopefully won't be too distracting. If you have tips about equalizing volume levels in Audacity, please send them our way in one of the comment options listed below:
Today's 40 minute show had the following segments:
- FGI Roundtable - Jim A Jacobs, James R. Jacobs, Shinjoung Yeo and Daniel Cornwall discuss what led them to work with Free Government Information and what we see as the big issues facing the government information community.
- Elizabeth Cowell discusses the GPO LOCKSS pilot project at the Spring 2007 Depository Library Conference.
- Podcast Sampler - we take a quick listen to Profile America, a podcast from the US Census bureau intended to be played by broadcasters. Check out other government podcasts.
- Outro music - Scary Guy by Maria Daines used by permission. According to the story behind the song, this song was inspired by the global Scary Guy project.