I recently became aware of an interesting new development in the world of podcasting. Called Talkshoe.com, this site combines a conference-calling phone bridge with a chat client, streaming audio, and digital recording to create the first automated call-in podcasting system. If Podcasting and Shoutcasting are the Internet’s broadcast radio, Talkshoe is its call-in talk shows. It’s a fascinating idea, elegant in its simplicity: a host creates a show, guests and listeners phone in, and after the show is recorded, it is then made available for download or RSS syndication.
As a result, I’m doing a call-in show called The Biblio File. The subject matter for the show is books, in general or specific. I’m planning to do an episode centering on E-Books this Saturday, December 2nd, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time (10 a.m. Pacific, 6 p.m. Universal Time). I am hoping to have a round-table discussion among several members of the e-book community as to what e-books are, why they haven’t performed as well as some expected, who is managing to get the most out of e-books, and other such topics that might come up. I have asked for guests and received tentative RSVPs from a couple of members of the E-Book Mailing List; however, since they are uncertain they will be able to make it I am hesitant to name names at this point.
Anyone and everyone is welcome—indeed, urged—to call in and be a part of the show. To do so, you need only register at TalkShoe (free), download their free Java-based chat client (requires at least Java 1.5), and phone in to participate. You may also listen and participate via text chat only with just the registration and client, or listen without participating without needing to register.
Phoning in can be done in three ways:
- Call from an ordinary landline or cellular phone. It is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania number, so long-distance charges may apply.
- Call from Skype. Until the end of the year, Skype is allowing its users within the US and Canada to make free calls to any phone number within the US and Canada. However, Skype’s touch-tone generation system is somewhat flaky; you may need to dial in three or four times (or more) before you can successfully log in. Also, this will not work for guests outside of the US and Canada.
- Call using a SIP Voice-Over-IP-enabled phone, such as SJPhone (free). Instructions on how to configure it to reach Talkshoe may be found in this PDF file. This method is not yet “officially” supported by Talkshoe, but it will allow European, Australian, and other non-North-American callers to dial in for free.
I hope I will see as many listeners and readers there as possible; if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me.