Got a biggish serve from Jeff de Cagna about my Podcasting - Meteor Passing in the Night piece. Its interesting that I can disagree completely about this with someone whose views on Best Practice I think are totally spot on. But of that later, this is about Podcasting and right now I go with Mark Cuban, Podcasting is a tool that is marginally useful for distributing some material, especially repurposed audio, but that it ain't, and wont become, a business any more than buying airline seats is a business.
When there are predictions of massive growth, a new wave, all that stuff from the mavens of Internet investment, its like the shoeshine boy giving stock tips, time to get skeptical. When you look at the early days of the net, email, IM, blogs, the common factor is that the big names dumped on the technology because, frankly, it wasn't glamourous enough.
The "future" was all about web TV, the Internet "audience", "capturing" the network yadda yadda. But podcasting has the necessary zing, its about one way traffic, not being argued with, debated, interactivity, its the sage on the stage and the media does that in spades, and the financial industry loves the control, it offers the kind of certainty that investors will bank on.
All wrong, and even the Scobelizer gets the wrong end of this stick, he asks, "I'm confused, we're supposed to be making money doing this?" Actually no, Mark is hoeing into those who think that Podcasting IS a business and his answer is, it ain't. Oh, and a few corrections to Jeff's piece.
Your criticism of podcasting demonstrates that you don't get it. I'm never surprised when someone from terrestrial "Radio" dumps on podcasting. In fact, it pleases me, because it reveals the underlying flaw in your argument: that the goal of podcasting is to emulate radio. Dead wrong!
I'm from radio, gave it up 10 years ago after 20+ years because I knew that the net changed everything. And no, I don't think Podcasting is trying to emulate radio, although some podcasters think this is a way to do something that they couldn't get the job they wanted in MSM.
The problem is that Podcasting uses the broadcasting model on the net, that's what the "casting" bit of the Podcasting is, and old media models don't work here.
Podcasting gives voice to people whose voices have been constrained by the limits of the traditional media. Podcasting adds flavor to our conversations because you can hear the passion and energy of the podcaster, guests and listeners. It's getting easier to produce good audio outside studios and it will continue to get better in the months ahead. But creating the kind of overproduced, unoriginal monotony that comes from terrestrial radio isn't the goal.
The net gives people a voice, the audio is neither here nor there. Yes I can hear the passion and energy, I can also hear the waffle, the verbal incompetence, the poor communication, the inappropriate verbal tropes, the padding, the crutches, the self aggrandisement - the metadata of the spoken word.
Sadly, Jeff doesn't have the chance to listen to much good radio, he is stuck in a market where huge companies syndicate crap content across the spectrum. That certainly is overproduced, unoriginal etc, but its also the worst of radio, take that as your bar and clearing it is child's play.
It is a different kind of free and democratic self-expression offering a new kind of engagement with the audience. The rules are still being written.
There is no engagement with the audience, that's the whole problem I have with podcasting, I can't call in to a podcast, I don't get to debate the issue or argue the point, I can't even agree. I can't trackback to it, I can't comment on it or engage with it, I sure as hell can't create a responding audio track and link to the original and so far there are no tools for me to listen to Jeff's piece, mark and extract the bits I want to quote and include in my own piece.
Podcasting, like overproduced monotonous radio is isolated from its audience, and I suspect that's the attraction.
I am a blogger as well as a podcaster, but I find that I can bring more of myself to the podcast. Sure, it's more work to develop a decent podcast and I don't do them as often as I would like as a result, but it is a richer experience I think.
And God forbid that you might have to pick up a pen and write down a URL...that seems like a pretty dumb reason to criticize podcasting. Get over it.
And yet Jeff, on Associations Unorthodox, adds a whole bunch of text with links, table of contents and synopsis because, whether he likes it or not, he recognises that we don't write down the URL's, we want links, we know the podcasts are linear not random access, so he tries to make up that deficit. He may not agree with what I say, but I agree completely with what he does about it.
But then he provides the website feed in a tool that doesn't let me skip ahead to the bits I want, he forces me to listen from beginning to end.
Control, seems like its important.And that's an old media impulse.