Today, one of the few non-English language podcasts I regularly listen to -- Le Québec en baladodiffusion. "Baladodiffusion" is the French term for "podcasting" -- it comes, I presume, from the combination of "baladeur", which is what a Walkman (or other portable audio device) is called, and "diffusion", distribution or diffusion (of sound, in this case).
And "Le Québec en baladodiffusion" is the podcast of Montrealer Sylvain Grand'Maison. Sylvain is an enthusiastic podcast devotee who decided, last summer, to start one of his own. It's loosely modelled on two other podcasts in regular rotation on my iPod -- the Canadian Podcast Buffet (which I wrote about in the last iPodius post), and Ted Riecken's Island Podcasting (which I'll write about at another time).
Sylvain, like the CPB, presents a view of the technological, legal, and social aspects of podcasting. And also like the CPB (whose hosts also organize the Canadian Podcast Directory) Sylvain has created a listing of podcasts produced in Québec.
But like Ted Riecken (who also, by the way, discusses many of the issues involved in new techology and the podcasting world), Sylvain also makes an effort to give us a sense of place, the place he lives in -- Québec -- through soundseeing tours, through interviews, and by telling us about his life.
You may have noticed that the podcasts I enjoy the most are the ones in which the podcaster gives me a real sense of what it's like to live where he/she does, what are the customs, the culture, the local or family traditions that are important to him/her. What's interesting with LQEB is that it really is a learning experience for me, culturally speaking. I learned to speak French in France, and not only is the way I express things different, but also my French-language cultural base is purely French. Québec really is a mystery to me, but through Sylvain's podcast, I'm learning more about that province and its culture. In fact, one of the really fascinating episodes for me featured an interview with a French ex-pat living in Québec -- boy, could I relate to some of the things he talked about, which strikes me as really funny given I'm a Canadian. And sad, in a way, because I realize that I know less about some of my fellow Canadians than I do about another culture on the other side of the ocean.
But there is another reason that LQEB is on my mind this evening -- it's because I've been thinking about Podcasters Across Borders. Eleven days remain to register and pay the early bird discounted price -- after that the registrations fee goes up to $100 (still a bargain, if you ask me). And I wanted to encourage anyone who is podcasting to think about attending -- but also, I wanted to encourage anyone who is thinking about starting a podcast to consider going as well, because PAB will be not only a place to learn about the fine details of the craft, but also a place to learn the ins and outs, to get a start, and to make connections with some of the really fascinating people already doing it.
And the connection with Sylvain and his podcast? Last year, Sylvain attended PAB. He wasn't yet podcasting, but he was interested. He went to PAB and immediately afterwards started LQEB. He found the inspiration and encouragement to take the final leap at PAB, and he has produced what has turned out to be a Very Fine Podcast. Actually, it was a Very Fine Podcast from the very beginning, which is impressive in of itself -- but over the course of 17 episodes, he's managed to fine tune things, which wasn't easy to do, given how great his podcast was from the very beginning.
I don't know Sylvain well, but I do know from listening to his podcast that he's enthusiastic and upbeat. What I've also discovered is that Sylvain also offers encouragement to other podcasters -- he's one of those folks that sends an email just to find out how someone is doing, to encourage them to keep podcasting when sometimes life gets in the way. He's a great model for the podcasting community.
So, if you're toying with the idea of attending PAB, or if you know someone who might enjoy the experience, or heck, if you're a podcast junkie and you'd just like to hang out with some of these great people, then seriously, think about coming to Kingston in June. I'm sure you won't regret it.
And if you're francophone, or if you're learning French and want some practice, then think about checking out Sylvain's podcast, Le Québec en baladodiffusion -- I'm sure you won't regret that, either.