Local Podcaster Jennifer Snoddy demonstrates the tools of her trade in The Brazil Times office Thursday.
She uses the device hanging around her neck, manufactured by iRiver, to record her show on the fly, sometimes hanging it from her car's rearview mirror to record while she drives.
To her students at Indiana Business College, Brazil resident Jennifer Snoddy is a cheerful computer instructor, genially guiding them through the ins and outs of Microsoft Office. But to the numerous, far-flung fans of her podcast, she's the "Girl on Tech," a technology pundit of international renown.
Snoddy has been producing her own podcast for just over a year now. Called "The Girl on Tech," Snoddy's show discusses trends in technology and fields tech-related questions and comments from listeners. Her show was included in the first wave of podcasts made available on Apple's iTunes download site, and she said she has around 500 regular subscribers from around the world.
Podcasting is a relatively new field of broadcasting whereby pre-recorded audio or video programming is made available for download over the internet. Snoddy said she learned of the technology when she saw an interview with ex-MTV veejay Adam Curry, who had traded his gig introducing rock videos to pioneer the burgeoning technology of podcasting.
About a month later, she posted the first episode of "Tech Chick Weekly" (she changed the show's title earlier this year due to copyright issues related to the 'Tech Chick' name).
In a sense, Snoddy's "Girl on Tech" persona acts as an ambassador of technology, avoiding jargon and explaining complex concepts in simple terms.
"I want people to not be afraid of technology," she said. "It doesn't have to be scary-- it can be fun. You can make technology fit around your life, rather than fitting your life around technology."
A self-professed "geek," Snoddy's love affair with technology began at a young age. As a 7-year-old student at Jackson Township Elementary, she was fascinated with the primitive Texas Instruments computers in her classroom.
"I just took to it right out of the gate," she said. "I think the teacher told my parents, because that Christmas I got the very same computer in my room."
Snoddy majored in broadcasting at Indiana State, then went on to a series of tech-related jobs, working as a technology instructor at Ivy Tech State College and within the Clay Community School Corporation. In addition to her job at Indiana Business College, she is employed as a content manager for Rawvoice Media, a podcast production company.
At the urging of one of her mentors, successful podcaster Madge Weinstein, Snoddy launched a new podcast in April of 2005. Called "The Journey," it chronicles her struggles with her weight and her decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery. (Jennifer has not yet undergone surgery.) She said subscribers to the show can sign up for an account on its Web site to tell their own stories.
Snoddy tries to update her podcasts as regularly as possible, but admits that, sometimes, "life gets in the way." She has posted 13 episodes of "Girl on Tech" since its inception in October 2004, and she's produced eight episodes of "The Journey" since April.
As she steadily gains recognition in the world of Podcasting, more opportunities are coming her way. Snoddy said she is being considered for an established podcast called "Eat This Hot Show," which features well-known Podcasters including Weinstein, Wanda Wisdom and Reagan Fox.
Snoddy doesn't mind the recognition, but her interest in podcasting is inextricably linked with her passion for technology. She said hosting "Girl on Tech" allows her to connect with other technophiles around the world, and to indulge in something she truly relishes.
"We just get geeky."