With millions of Americans using portable listening devices such as iPods, MP3 players, and smart phones, government agencies have embraced podcasting as a low cost and efficient method of communicating information to their constituents. HowTo.gov provides a comprehensive look at podcasting from a government agency's perspective at: http://www.howto.gov/social-media/podcasting. For those who are new to this medium this site offers valuable "how to" and background information.
For those who are interested in finding examples of government podcasts, a good place to start is the U.S. Government Podcast Directory. Here you will find government podcasts organized by topics including: business, environment, history, arts and culture, health, and science and technology. A couple of interesting podcasts to check out include: the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' HealthBeat, which provides daily health tips, and the National Gallery of Art's VIDEOS & PODCASTS, which offer lectures and conversations with various artists and collectors.
At the State level, the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation has a podcast library that includes topics on college financial aid, managing student loan debt, and avoiding identity theft. And the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services has created several informative podcasts on criminal justice topics.One of the major benefits of the podcast medium is convenience. Once the podcast is downloaded onto a device the user can listen to it when and where they want. This flexibility makes podcasting a welcome tool in the age of information overload and a valuable part of your public outreach efforts.