From Written To Oral – Blog to Podcast the iTunes Way

Mashable has this great how-to article on modding your blog to podcast via text-to-speech conversion. The article highlights Odiogo, but lists a number of alternatives providing similar services. In Odiogo, your posts can be heard from a website or within iTunes, downloadable to iPhone or iPod. The steps listed in the Mashable article are as follows:

1. Join Odiogo.

2. Download the player button plugin that you will need depending on the blogging platform that you’re using. Odiogo will work with several popular blogging platforms such as: WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, BlogEngine.NET and Terapad. Note: In this example, we will use a WordPress blog.

3. Upload the directory odiogo_listen_button to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory via FTP.

4. Login to your WordPress admin account.

5. Click menu Plugins and Activate the Odiogo Listen Button plugin.

6. Click menu Setting > Odiogo Listen Button.

7. Enter your Odiogo Feed ID and click Save. (You’ll receive this feed ID in email after joining)

8. Click menu Presentation > Widgets (or Sidebar Widgets depending on your WP version).

9. Drag and drop Odiogo Subscribe Button from Available Widgets to Sidebar.

10. Click Save Changes.

The service creates a feed for your blog and a button to access that feed. The new podcast can be subscribed to within iTunes or Juice, accessed from RSS readers, such as my fav Newsgator, shared on social networks or played individually by the player that shows up next to each post.

Needless to say, text to speech conversion is a boon for the visually impaired readers and a nice alternative for when your eyes are needed elsewhere. Think I might put Odiogo though my own beta test.

The Filing Assistant You Only Have To Tell Once

If you use Windows, you might be interested in this handy little application called Download Mover that allows you to automatically download files into designated folders, such as images, zip files, pdf’s, etc. The dialog box shows “watched directories”, “new”, “remove”, and “files to move” with a slot for extension type and new location. Any file downloaded with the designated extension will be routed to the indicated location.

Thanks, Lifehacker, for the organizational help in advance of my impending New Year’s resolution, which invariably includes improved organization.

"Mr. Tweet", At Your Service

The Twitter experience definitely overwhelms, particularly if new to the game. If you have begun the process of identifying who you are interested in following, say lawyers or legal marketers, you can easily enhance that experience by employing “Mr. Tweet.” Mr. Tweet reads your follower and following lists and compiles a report of who among your followers and the broader network of influencers you should follow. The process is simple: on the site simply click the “Follow Mr. Tweet” button and in a few days, you will receive a direct message that Mr. Tweet is ready to compile your report. The report allows you to select “influencers beyond your network” and “followers you are not following” with a descending list ranked by popularity, relevance to you and likelihood of reciprocity. The individual entries show others who follow them, their profile description, number of followers & following, the ratio between those two numbers, reciprocity, frequency of updates and information.

I found the list helped me to flesh out my network of lawyers, legal professionals, legal marketers and social media experts, many of whom I was already familiar with from my blog reading. Mr. Tweet provides a nice quantitative / qualitative means of improving your on-line microblogging connections, which in turn improves your overall social experience and viral marketing plan. And, Mr. Twitter’s creators are promising new features and applications to improve the connections even more. What more can the social media swimmer ask for?

Status Quo?

Free (read “cheap”) and efficient (read “lazy”) are two of my favorite qualities. Thanks to Tom Mighell over at Inter Alia for a tip on an application that helps you fill in that pervasive status line on your various social networking sites so you don’t have to think about it. Called generatus, the site describes its service as follows:

How many hours have you wasted trying to think of something suitably witty, funny and original for your status on Facebook or Twitter?

Let’s face it, a status like “Dave is mowing the lawn” or “Kate is asleep” is not going to impress that huge entourage of friends you’ve amassed.

Never fear! Your days of boring status updates are over! Simply type your name, indicate whether you are a boy or a girl, then hit Generate.

You will be served up a brand new, sparkly status all ready to be copied and pasted into Facebook, Twitter or whichever social networking site you like best.

They may be onto something. I am a Monty Python fan and my first generated status was “Martha is being repressed.” My next status read “Martha is wondering: why does the sun come out during the day, when it would be so much more useful if it came out at night when it was dark?” Yup, that fits both my profile and the 140 character Twitter limit.

Not sure how this will promote your law practice or business within the social media realm, but it is fun and may earn you a few laughs.