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A few week's ago, I was browsing through one of my social networking sites and saw a friend post a message that he was about to attend a session titled “Podcasting Is Dead.” I happen to know the person who gave that talk. Since I was not there to listen, I'm not going to comment on what he actually said against or in support of podcasting as a medium for delivering content to niche audiences.

True be told, there is no shortage of bloggers that are suggesting that “podcasting is dead“. I'm here to shout from the mountain top that this simply is not true! Podcasting is not only alive, it is thriving!

When I started podcasting in 2005, I didn't know anyone locally who had ever heard of a podcast. Today, almost everyone I know is aware that their local church “podcasts” their weekend sermons, that their local news station makes the evening news available via podcast, or that their favorite tv show is likely to have an “official podcast” put out by either the creator, wriiters, or producers of their favorite tv show.

For those of you who do not know this about me, I left a very successful career in insurance after 11 years to pursue a career in podcasting full time. I'm now entering my eleventh month and I've not experienced a single dime of debt from day one. I'm consistently contacted by people who hear about me via word of mouth and who want to be consulted about how to start their own podcast.

I've fallen in love the the medium of delivering content via rss technology that I'm working on a business model that will allow me to earn a majority of my income from producing my own content alone. Just a few short months ago, I decided to take my podcasts to a partial premium content model, charging $10 per month. In just a few short months, I've already have already had one 163 people join up as gspn.tv Plus Members, with new members added daily.

I introduce the fact that I was an insurance agent for eleven years to explain to you that that the insurance industry as a whole is an industry that is always the last to embrace the latest technology. Many insurance companies still do not accept credit card payments on their websites. Most of those that do, still charge you up to five dollars for the convenience.

A majority of insurance agency offices today are still filled with up to 10's or 100's of four drawer letter file cabinets full of manila folders with years worth of paper copies of client policies. You'd laugh if I told you the number of agents I know that have an email address, but have no idea how to check or send an email. This is an extreme example, as most agents do use email on a daily basis. However I bet that less than 10% would know how to scan a document into pdf format and email it as an attachment. Being as technology driven as I am, the fact that the insurance industry simply could not keep up with my taste of early adoption was one of many factors that led me to make the switch to my new career.

I share all this background to share the following email I got from an insurance industry continuing education company. A quick look at their website will prove that they haven't done a refresh of their web design in the past five years. However, this insurance related company has adopted the technology of podcasting.

With the trend that I've seen in the adoption of new technology, the following email is an early indication that your grandmother may be asking for an iPod for Christmas so she can subscribe to the podcast for AARP radio.



CEUNEWS

CEU.com Adds Downloadable Course Audio
Continuing education podcasts allow students to take material on the road

You’ve come to expect the best in convenient, high quality continuing education courses from CEU.com. After all, you just need a computer and an internet connection, and you can get the courses you need any time, day or night. What could be easier?

Well – what if you could study the course material when you are away from the computer? When you are driving, riding the train, or even working out at the gym? Now that’s convenient!

CEU.com is happy to announce that we now offer downloadable podcasts of our course audio. This means that when a student signs up for a course, he or she can save the audio to an iPod or other MP3 player. Then the course can go with the student on the road, to the gym, while doing housework – wherever an audio player can go. He or she can review the material as many times as necessary without having to sit at a computer the entire time.

Audio learning is a great way to conveniently incorporate brief study sessions into your daily routine, and this can actually improve your ability to learn. In his book 400 Ways to Stop Stress Now and Forever, G. Gaynor McTigue emphasizes that frequent, short study sessions are the best way to keep information fresh in your mind. Using this method of learning allows you to better understand and retain the material on a deeper level, and it is far superior to trying to “cram” all the material at once. You are also less likely to procrastinate, since these short sessions fit so painlessly into your schedule.

“At CEU.com, we pride ourselves in using technology to its greatest advantage,” said Bruce MacMillian, CEU’s president and CEO. “Making the audio from our courses downloadable makes perfect sense, and it’s a great use of the technology. Freeing our students to take the audio with them to review at their convenience will help them to retain and utilize the information to enhance their careers, and that’s what continuing education is all about.”

Downloadable course audio is now available at www.ceu.com.

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