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    NevOn is the archive weblog of Neville Hobson, a British business communicator based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a record of commentary and conversations from December 2002 until 22 February 2006. This site is no longer updated - please visit www.nevillehobson.com.
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    For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report - A bi-weekly podcast for professional communicators from Neville Hobson, ABC, and Shel Holtz, ABC.

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« Smart companies stimulate disruptive thinking | Main | Direct audience engagement with live podcasting »

04 August 2005


Lee Hopkins

G'day Nev!

That is TRULY an appalling pun! {grin}. Next you'll be expecting his congregation to be singing "Priest release me, let me go...".

I've been podcasting our church's Sunday Sermons for most of this year now -- http://www.stirlingfamilychurch.org/word/word.html (but I had to take them off the download page while I transfer the files across to libsyn) -- and recently when our Head Pastor was up in Sri Lanka on some missions work one of the crowd came up to him and said, "I've heard you before".

Our pastor thought the local chappy had heard him speak at one of the many missionary meetings and pastor training sessions he'd conducted over the years, but the local chappy corrected him - he was a regular listener to the Sunday Sermons courtesy of broadband, iPodder and rss.

I am struggling to get *any* of our local church community to visit our website, and some bloke several thousand miles away is a regular fan! "Go figure" as our cousins would say...

David Tebbutt

This is very interesting.
As a journalist who does a lot of research, I love referring to the written word rather than the spoken one. This is because finding and extracting quotes from audio files/tapes or transcribing them is such a time consuming business.
Clearly, the 'real world' sees things differently. Why should a normal person want to read the text of a sermon, when it can be listened to?
I'm getting there Neville...slowly.

Love the pun by the way.

And I thought for a moment the earlier commenter had mentioned a Head Poster! Oops.


That's a terrific example, Lee. It seems to me that sermons are a natural for podcasting. And getting them via iTunes - that's something!

You hit it on the head, David, re why read the sermon when you can listen to it. You can still do that, of course, and podcasting a sermon is purely another means of communication.

Time-shifted church-going ;)

Tim Hicks

Why read the sermon when you can listen to it? Because you can: skim over the boring parts; get through it seven times faster; look back almost effortlessly to prior words; copy it into a document or an e-mail (within legal bounds of course) and even highlight key points or add comments if you want to; click on an embedded link; print it out and scribble snide comments on it; follow along with your finger if you are easily distracted; ... other than that, no reasons at all.

And that is why I am disappointed when good ideas are offered in listen-only mode.


Ahh, Tim.

But the difference between audio and text is not simply built around being able to scan the contents. The whole point of audio is that you can communicate nuances that are extremely difficult to deliver through the written word. And you can listen to audio when reading a printout is impossible - like when walking the dog in the wind and rain.

I agree wholeheartedly on the usefulness of having the sermon in the written form (and students of highly-regarded 17-20th Century ministers revisit their sermons in text form) and the ideal would be to have BOTH text and audio available -- aka 'user choice'.

However, my pastors often extemporise and involve the congregation in their delivery. Such unscripted moments are hard to transcribe. That's why we do the best we can by allowing our visitors to download not only the audio but also any powerpoint slide shows that were used.

A transcription would be fantastic to also offer -- but in a community of volunteers, finding someone with the necessary software, skills and available time can be a significant challenge.

But don't ya just lurve the blogosphere for allowing a conversation like this amongst thinking peers to even take place? Thanks for kick-starting it, Neville...

Tim Hicks

There's your explanation. You podcasters are all dog owners, so you are used to having the pace and sequence of your life controlled by another entity.


Good points, Tim, and great response, Lee.

You made the point, Lee, re user choice. That really is the point. Not only can you listen to a sermon in person, by going to church, you can also get hard copies to read at your leisure. And now you can get a recording to listen at your leisure.

If you don't want to do that, then that's fine. Others might wish to. And just wait for videocasting - that's next.

Tim, I thought all podcasters were cat owners?

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