Why Podcasts SUCK

There has been some interesting talk over the last couple of days about Podcasting - Notably from Tim Bray and Jeremy Zawodny which is where i put my 2pence worth in on the subject.

A couple of hours ago Stephen O'Grady joined his voice to the choir and now im adding mine. Follow the title link above for the full post.

I've spent a fair few hours listening to podcasts over the last few weeks and guess what? Most of them SUCK! - No surprise really eh? After all, not everyone is cut out for "radio" and like blogs, any monkey can do one (er.. except this monkey, who cant get his mic to work on linux heh..). The points being raised by the above three chaps with the notable exception of our resident search spammer hehe... Russell Beattie who actually finds Adam Curry interesting to listen to (gasp!), are these:

  • Podcasting is Broadcasting
    There is no "interaction" in a standard cast
  • Because of that, dialogue is nonexistent and thus podcasts are boring

Here's a snippet from Tims post:

’casting Isn’t Conversing Any activity with “casting” in the name suggests one-to-many, and indeed, I think podcasting is way less interactive than conventional blogging. The reason is that when I’m reading a blog, I’m 100% engaged and I’m sitting at a keyboard. If something strikes a chord, it’s a matter of seconds to write in response; either one-on-one to the author, or to the author and the world via ongoing. ¶

Which is SPOT ON

Where podcasting is interesting to me and it seems Russell is in multi authored casts (no, i cant think of a better term..) and interviews/talks like the stuff going on over at ITConversations.com where interviews and group conversations are published regularly - im becoming quite the fan, there was a very neat one with William Gibson recently for example.

I have no idea how they do it, but recent posts about Skypecasting might provide a way forward for ordinary folk like me to get a handle on this and produce something worth listening to.

So, podcasts are all the rage, and as Tim pointed out about Adam Curry:

Would I Listen? Probably not to Adam; maybe once he gets past talking about podcasting all the time

it's likely to become as annoying as all the blog noise - but there is some good to be had of it i think, and im going to (eventually) have a go at doing something with it myself.

If you listen or have listened much to podcasts from around the web then do note any particulary good sites here and generally talk about what this stuff could be useful for...


Sure, 90% is dreck. 90% of b

Sure, 90% is dreck. 90% of blogs, "search engines", and self published books/ebooks are dreck. But there are some key differences from other media.

Podcasting is opt-in only. Podcasting can target a micro-niche market. While almost anyone can do it (see dreck above) podcasting will be hard for the corporate suits to control - that is a good thing. The cream will rise to the surface.