A Canadian Family

First Nations, French Canadians & Acadians

What the heck is podcasting? Ask Dick and Mike!

In a recent article What the Heck is Podcasting? Dick Eastman talked about this recent technology which allows genealogists to publish audio files online and even design their own “radio” shows. I’ve been reading Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter for several years now but this article caught my eye because my post on the Irish Aylwards of Shippagan, New Brunswick, was included in an podcast just last week.

If you’d like to see a great example of podcasting on a genealogy/history site, then you must visit the Irish Roots Cafe, where Michael (Mike) C. O’Laughlin supplements traditional media like book publishing, radio and blog with a premium series of podcasts organized around three themes: Irish Families Worldwide (where A Canadian Family appears), Irish Song & Recitations and the Irish in America. He also uses a form of  computer-generated blog reader to display his show notes for upcoming editions of Irish Roots Cafe.

Dick Eastman says that “podcasting is spreading like wildfire” and I imagine that “wildfire” might be a good analogy because it might be a bit of a fad that flares up and then dies down again. But I certainly think that it has something to offer family historians in at least three ways:

  1. Podcasts are perfect for sharing certain types of family history information (e.g. oral interviews, songs) where much of the flavour can be lost in the transcription.
  2. Some people are just great oral communicators – what a wonderful way to shine!
  3. Podcasts will be a boon for the visually-challenged.

irish roots cafe

August 16, 2009 - Posted by | .


  1. Oh how I wish I had some oral history to showcase. I started this journey late and there was almost no one left to talk to who remembers.


    Comment by Lori E | August 16, 2009 | Reply

    • That’s true, Lori, but you can start your own oral history. I work with my 11 year old students and have them do interviews of their parents asking questions such as “Where were you on 9/11” etc. As I write my blog I constantly realize how different the world is from back in the fifties when I was growing up.


      Comment by evelynyvonnetheriault | August 16, 2009 | Reply

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