Casgle and the Podium Project

I’ve written in the past if iMorphosis.com. They are now Casgle.com. Their iLink product is now called Podium. You might have ran across them at last years Podcast Expo.

I also mentioned in previous postings that I was considering joining their advisory board (compensated). I have done so and the paperwork has been signed accordingly. Disclosure completed.

The Podium product is a device that plugs into an Internet source via ethernet cable. It then registers with Casgle and delivers Podcasts through the device. It can connect to an iPod or other MP3 players that mount as a hard drive. It does not work on the Zune yet, they’re very interesting in talking to Microsoft about the opportunity.

Like the answering machine of old, the red light flashes when there is a Podcast waiting – and to put the content on your device, you simply dock your player. It charges and syncs. You don’t need to turn on a computer anywhere.

Heck, you don’t even have to have a computer. Yes, few people have a high speed Internet connection without a computer, but the founders of the company have had great success providing their Moms with Chinese media content they could not get any other way. Everything is set up through a Web interface.

A significant percentage of my audience will look at the product and laugh with a “I’d never use one” response. To them I’d dare suggest this product isn’t for you.

Let me suggest some possible, and very exciting, uses for this product:

  • A training program delivers content through the Podium device as a means to both protect their content and track usage of their audience. We will be using Podium to deliver Podcast Secrets (launching oh so soon).
  • An office with concerns of podslurping and/or security provides a row of Podium devices for their employees. Nobody has to install iTunes and the corporate computers but everyone can have fresh content as needed.
  • A family of Podcast consumers (and they’re coming) with only one computer can share a Podium dock for everyone.
  • A commuter who would rather die than turn his/her computer on when he/she gets home (sound familiar?) can both charge their media player and put new Podcast content on it without waiting for anything to boot up.
  • Anyone who thinks iTunes is too complicated, or “only works on Apple”, or [insert token complaint here] can have a Podcast delivery mechanism as easy as pie.
  • A firm testing the listening / consumption habits of any audience can provide their audience with players and Podium docks that report back on real consumption, not the stuff they claim they do to get into the right study groups.
  • Etc. etc. etc.

We launched the Podium Project Blog over at WordPress.com to track this. Comments are open and we’d love to hear what people think. We’re going to invite product users and Podcasters to post their experiences to the Blog as well. Should be a great experiment as well.

We also are working on a the Web-based Podcast directory for Podium and want to do a few things in this directory differently than others. We’re going to do our first revision of the directory with just ten Podcasts – to test out some of the fun things we’re attempting to do. Slot #1 is already taken, and he’s sold a lot more books than you or I have – but we still need #s 2-10. You can apply to be one of “the next nine” at the Podium Project Blog.

I’m excited about anything that moves the consumption and delivery away from the desktop computer paradigm. I still don’t understand why we need a thousand dollar computer to deliver a free recording to a $250 portable hard drive.

And I guess we don’t anymore.

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