Tom Mighell and I have recorded another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast and it’s now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here. The episode is called “A Podcast Listener’s Guide” (show notes here), and it’s sponsored by Clio. A special thank you to readers of this blog who listen to the podcast – consider trying out an episode or becoming a regular subscriber.

Here’s the episode (#35) description:

Lawyers have started to dabble in listening to and creating podcasts. Most of the emphasis we see is on how to create podcasts. However, listening regularly to podcasts can bring you a treasure trove of timely and practical information, especially if you don’t have time to read everything in your “to read” stack. In this episode, co-hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell offer some great tips and techniques for improving your use of podcasts, making the most of your listening time, and generally opening the doors to an underused information resource.

I’ve talked to a number of people recently who listen to the occasional podcast, but don’t really seem to take advantage of greats ways to use podcasts. People tell me that they listen to podcasts they find a direct link to or they visit the website of a podcast to download an episode from time to time. In most cases, they don’t seem to take advantage of the best way to consume podcasts – subscribing to them.

At the same time, I noticed that most of the articles and posts I see about podcasts, especially for lawyers, seem to focus on whether and how to produce your own podcast.

As in most aspects of the Internet these days, you can get benefit from being a producer or a consumer. Too often, people neglect the significant benefits of becoming a smart consumer of content. Hence, the idea for this podcast.

I’ve listened to audio content (books on tape, seminars, CDs, etc.) for many years. I’m definitely an audio learner.

I also noticed several years ago that you could listen to commercial radio on a short car trip and never hear anything other than commercials or DJ promotional chatter for your whole trip. Even National Public Radio, which reduces the “commercials,” still gives you the audio content in the order they want.

As we mention several times in the podcast, the key way to think about podcasts is as “Tivo for radio.” This is especially true since organizations like NPR make so much of their daily content available for free later as podcasts. By subscribing to podcasts, you can listen to programs when you want, where you want and in the ways you want. You might listen on an iPod or on your computer, in your car or office or while working out.

Two key points:

First, the big benefit I see to podcasts is the control it gives you as a listener. You can determine what you listen to when and where. It’s difficult to overestimate the value of portability. If you use iTunes, you also are able to use its control features (organizing into playlists, listening at double speed, et al.).

Second, you really need to take advantage of the ability to subscribe to podcasts, either through iTunes or via an RSS feed. By subscribing, the podcasts automatically come to you and you never have to go out again and look for individual episodes. Your task becomes one of management rather than finding.

We go into all of this in a good amount of detail on the podcast. I think you’ll find it helpful.

As a note, if Tom seems surprised at one point, it’s because he actually was surprised that he had convinced me to change my approach and use the method he uses. I actually am willing to consider good ideas and and make changes based on them.

In our “Questions and Answers” segment, we anticpate our audience question (i.e., “What podcasts do you listen to?”) and provide a list (and mini-reviews) of some of our favorite podcasts these days. You can put together a pretty good list just by taking notes from this section.

We end the podcast with our Parting Shots – practical tips you can use right away. Tom, a huge fan of e-books, recommends Calibre as an e-book management tool. I note a great little Internet Explorer 8 tip our friend Adriana Linares tweeted recently – simply hitting the key will reveal the standard menus (File, Edit, View, etc.) at the top that are missing from the standard view in IE8. It’s a simple tip that can make your life just a little easier.

Give our new episode a listen and let me know what you think. Show notes for the podcast are here. And try some of the back episodes as well. You can also now follow the podcast on Twitter at @tkmreport.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]

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Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at Twitter: @collabtools