Podcasting Skeptic

Darren chimes in with several reasons why he’s not buying the podcasting hype:
Audio doesn’t compress.
You can’t skim a podcast. This is a problem inherent in the format of audio. The more podcasts I listen to the more I just want to say get on with it! Content, dammit! A blog’s strength is brevity and granularity – podcasts have neither (yet). I wish that podcasters would chunk their content in easier to navigate segments instead of ‘shows’. I want to listen to only certain segments of a show I have to stream it and use the show notes to navigate. We’re still in the phase of ‘I’ll get listeners simply because I’m podcasting, not because of any sort of content quality.’ That should shake out eventually.
Not anybody can really do it.
Eh… I suppose. There’s a ton of crappy boring blogs out there and ergo there will be a ton of crappy boring podcasts. If you’re serious about your message, you’ll learn some tech skills to equalize your audio or add an intro track.
Diversity limits attention.
I don’t totally agree with this point. I think that we’re all either complaining about all the white male bloggers reigning or that anyone/anywhere can do these things. I think this will become more important as listeners find content exactly suited to what they want to listen to.
I don’t commute.
I don’t either. I don’t sit in a car or train for hours going to or coming home from work – prime audio-browsing time. I think that is one beef I have with podcasting. I don’t like having a lot of jabber in the background.
I enjoy experimenting with podcasting and I think the biggest use for businesses (not media companies) will be distribution. Like an ezine, or a blog or any other ‘channel’. Reducing the barriers to get listeners to download and enjoy your content is always going to be a challenge. Having one more way for content delivery for a specific, focused audience is always important.
The smartest thing is the confusion people have over podcasting as a format versus a delivery mechanism.
I share Darren’s skepticism that podcasting will revolutionize the media landscape. Big corporate-owned, mainstreamed media is here to stay and they have already turned their eyes towards this new Oooh! Shiny! thing. I still think it is an evolution instead of a revolution… one more gateway to distribution.
Great comments on the entry:

Finally, someone said what I was thinking. Why did posting a short mp3 file to your website and letting people download suddenly get a new fancy name?

Believe it. If the word ‘pod’ were not in the term. It would never have gone anywhere.

But, for the rest of you radio star wannabes, go back to blogging, I can read faster then you can talk.

Or:

Podcasting goes against everything the Web stands for. It demands that the user take things exactly as the podcaster presents it, which is often a rambling, unedited stream-of-consciousness rant.

Yup – the Content dammit! thing I was talking about earlier. Just because you can record yourself in a taxi talking about your late morning coke-binge doesn’t mean we give a crap.
Another thing I realized after reading the comments to Darren’s post is that just because all the homogenized media channels start podcasting doesn’t mean that it still won’t be the same boring mainstream stuff that listeners avoid no matter how it is delivered: print, web, audio, TV, radio…
I still think podcasting is pretty damned cool. I also think that the ‘blogging about blogs’ bloggers need a new ‘revolution’ to latch on to. There always has to be that one new thing that only we’re doing.

2 thoughts on “Podcasting Skeptic

  1. Lyle

    I remember the hype around something called the World Wide Web. And, yes it has changed the way we do business. But…
    there a bajillion crappy web sites, still!
    And, oodles of hype about how ya can make a million on the Net. Sure, if ya want ta sell porn or it’s equivalent.
    There are old farts like me who will likely never buy an iPod or the like. And, I don’t see Gen-Xe’rs going for content.
    Whether pod cast, blog, ezine or web site — content is critical.
    E.g. i read this Blog for content and provocation. I’ve seen lots of pretty Blogs that I ignore now cause the content is sh-t or not relevant.
    Enough said.

    Reply
  2. Geoff Farnsworth

    It’s way too early to foretell what exactly role podcasting will play. The technology needed to make and distribute quality podcasts will become more available to the general public and as it does we will hear some great audio content and content will attract more listeners. Hey, maybe I’ll be inspired to do a podcast myself. In the meantime I’ll enjoy listening. Geoff

    Reply

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