Will "the Mighty" Strohl

Comparing the DotNetNuke Podcasts

I wasn’t really listening to podcasts until a few months ago.  I just really didn’t find anything that truly interested me to the point of putting down my personal 60+ GB of music and streaming my favorite radio stations.  Not to mention, I am a fan of the popular streaming service known as Pandora.  Anyway, I found the DotNetNuke Podcast about that time, and shortly after, DNN Voice was born.  Since I am so passionate about DotNetNuke®, I began listening.  Right now, I only know of those two DNN podcasts.

I have been listening to both podcasts for a while now.  Honestly, I like them both.  They have a different focus, and because of that focus, both are going to have a different fan base. 

DotNetNuke Podcast

DotNetNuke Podcast Address:  http://www.dotnetnukepodcast.com
Host(s):  Lee Sykes and Richard Wooten (cannot find personal blog links)
Background:  Lee Sykes is the original person behind the DNN Creative Magazine website, which sells DNN tutorials and videos.  It has become one of the primary places to get DNN “how to” information on the Internet.  Richard Wooten is also part of DNN Creative, since February of 2008.  Both have been using DNN for a long time, and have a great deal of knowledge in using DNN.

It is fun to listen to the DotNetNuke Podcast.  Lee and Richard have a great chemistry, and it translates well into the podcast.  They basically speak about of the new things that they have heard about in the DNN ecosystem.  It almost feels like they each have a separate list of bullet points.  They talk about community news and information, but it usually not very much of their podcast.  Overall, they have some great information.

I love their summary on their website for each episode.  While it doesn’t look like their is a whole lot of organization to the information, it is well laid out for us to follow along on their site.  There is an RSS feed that is available to you to help you keep track of new episodes.  I have also seen Lee promote the shows on twitter.  Since I check twitter more often than I do my RSS reader, that’s how I usually get informed of the newest episodes.

In their About Us page, they ask for community input for the show.  That is really cool.  I haven’t noticed them mention any of their content coming from this feature though.

Some of their ecosystem “news” is sponsored.  While I understand why, and I don’t disagree with it (I am beginning something similar on my blog), I would much rather hear about ecosystem products and news that they find interesting or are passionate about for personal reasons.  In the end, it is still good information though, so it isn’t a deal breaker at all for me.

I am disappointed that community information doesn’t take a higher priority in the information they pass on to their listeners.  In my opinion, the community information is often more important than the ecosystem information.  Sure, they mention something about community here and there, but it is clearly not as much of a priority as I think it should be.

Something I really do not enjoy is the other tech news that get injected into the podcast, and this is a deal breaker.  The podcast is called “DotNetNuke Podcast”.  When I listen to it, I do not expect or want to hear about other technologies unless they have a relationship to the word “DotNetNuke”.

DNN Voice

DNNVoice Address:  http://www.dnnvoice.com
Host(s):  Chris Hammond and Tom Kraak
Background:  Chris Hammond is a DNN Core Team Member, and the Project Lead for the Wiki Module.  In addition, he is the for Engage Software, the Official DotNetNuke® training provider.  Tom Kraak is an SEO Expert and principle consultant at Seablick Consulting, specializing in the DNN ecosystem.  Like Richard and Lee, Chris and Tom have been using DNN for quite a while and have a great deal of DNN knowledge.

Full Disclosure:  Even though I feel that I am pretty good at being objective, I do feel that it’s only fair to let you know that I have developed a personal relationship with Tom and Chris.  We speak regularly on twitter and the IM, and I have had them speak at our ODUG meetings.  Also, I did give some input to Chris about the podcast for the first few episodes.  So, while I believe that my review here is completely objective, you can use your own judgment and form your own opinion when I am done.

The DNN Voice podcast is very well-structured.  I has a pre-defined format that it follows the same path for nearly every episode.  For those of us that are techies (most of the audience), it gives us the routine that we typically enjoy.  I really like that the various sections have an audible queue to let us know when the next section is coming, and what it is.  Like the radio, it helps us to know when the next segment is coming.

Similar to Richard and Lee, Chris and Tom also have a great chemistry and it comes across well during the podcast.  Both podcasts do a great job of keeping each episode fun in the same way.  It sounds like we are eavesdropping on two friends having a good time talking about technology.

DNN Voice places a much higher emphasis on listener input by making it a prominent link on all pages on the site.  They also make this part of each episode, making it clear to the listener that their input is not only welcome, but they might hear it on the show.

In general, I do not think that we could have a podcast that isn’t sponsored in some way.  We must find a way to justify the time we spend on projects such as this.  DNN Voice’s sponsorship is less transparent than the previous podcast.  It is clear that the podcast has an affiliation with Engage.  Once again, this is not a deal breaker.

The main thing I really love about DNN Voice is that it appears to be a much better mix of community and ecosystem information.  This is very important to me.  In my opinion, the ecosystem is only successful and exists because of the community.

Like the DotNetNuke Podcast, DNN Voice makes its announcements for the podcast available through RSS and twitter.  However, DNN Voice takes this a step further by making the show available as a subscription through Zune and iTunes.  Also, while both podcasts offer up a comments mechanism on their site, DNN Voice takes this another step further by allowing their visitors to rate each individual podcast.

In Conclusion

Each podcast definitely has its own focus and specialty.  DotNetNuke Podcast seems to cater to the DNN’er who is mostly concerned about technology in general, and the DNN ecosystem.  DNN Voice appears to have its focus pointing directly at the DNN community member, and still includes more information, but stays within the DNN umbrella. 

I think it’s clear that I prefer DNN Voice over the DotNetNuke Podcast.  However, I cannot say that one is better than the other.  That depends on what you want in a podcast.  They each fill a void in the DNN podcast market.  However, all of the voids are not yet filled… Any new podcasters out there? :)

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