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May 12, 2005

Podcasting is more challenging than blogging

Stephen Baker

My first evening researching the podcasting story, and I've come across some really... boring stuff. Someone suggest some interesting links, quick! (Don't need the porn. I see there's plenty of it.)

I think podcasters face a tougher challenge than bloggers, because while bloggers demand a few moments on your computer screen, podcasters want your time. The eyes can skim a blog. But if the first minute or two of a podcast are boring, I'd bet listeners turn it off and never return.

Yesterday afternoon, I asked my colleague Adam Aston View image if he knew any good podcasts. Adam knows a lot more about radio than I do, and is the first to try out different gadgets and software. He said that he uses podcasts like a Tivo, to time-shift his radio. But he only listens to mainstream broadcasts, like NPR. He said the amateur podcasts he had heard were "radio hell."

Send me recommendations for Adam, to prove him wrong.

04:00 AM

podcasting

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Hi Steve

We're on show seven at http://ilovepdg.blogspot.com - have a look at the topics and see which one appeals - don't listen to show one the sound quality was rubbish...

I've posted about my thoughts on the differences between blogging and podcasting on my blog + we talk about it in show seven.

Our target audience is the design, marketing tribe - feedback is that people enjoy our approach (and cute British accents!!)

Posted by: davidcoe... at May 12, 2005 04:40 AM

I'd take a crack at Keith's (that's Asterisk's D. Keith Robinson from Seattle at http://www.7nights.com/asterisk/) new site ipod army... http://www.ipodarmy.com ... http://www.ipodarmy.com/index.php?feed=rss2&category_name=podcast

I was listening to it today and it was mainly music but seemed very well done. But yes most of the podcasts I've heard are pretty ordinary.. its in it's infancy though. I guess the first machinima productions were rather crass as well...

Posted by: nortypig at May 12, 2005 06:26 AM

check out Mass Hysteria, Coverville, and Insomnia Radio's Double Shots. All of them are better than the crap that's on FM radio these days.

http://www.mahysteria.com

http://www.coverville.com/

http://hardcoreinsomniaradio.blogspot.com/

also, here are my delicious links for more on podcasting.

http://del.icio.us/fredwilson/podcast

Posted by: fred at May 12, 2005 06:27 AM

As you are not very specific on what you would like to see, some examples ...

Business podcast examples

http://www.wehatesheep.com/americancopywriter/

http://www.cubicleescape.com/

http://www.forimmediaterelease.biz/

Probably all the stuff from itconversations.com

Serialized books:

http://podiobooks.com

several Science Fiction related

http://dragonpage.com

Posted by: Nicole Simon at May 12, 2005 07:43 AM

If you haven't already been e-mailed about it by one of the bloggers behind these particular podcasts, I recommend checking out the weekly podcast of the various Vermont-based members of Candleblog: Friday Coffee Blogging.

In my opinion, the best show so far (i.e., the one most worth listening to) is the 4th installment from last week (05/05/05), especially once the discussion(s) featured and included guest and Seven Days j-blogger Cathy Resmer of 802 Online.

Now that they have done four podcasts together, I think their shows will continue to improve.

References:

Friday Coffee Blogging:

http://www.candleboy.com/fridaycoffeeblogging/

802 Online:

http://7d.blogs.com/802online/

Posted by: mwb at May 12, 2005 08:49 AM

I think podcasters face a tougher challenge than bloggers, because while bloggers demand a few moments on your computer screen, podcasters want your time. The eyes can skim a blog. But if the first minute or two of a podcast are boring, I'd bet listeners turn it off and never return.

That's indeed true. In fact, one of my blog readers made that observation when I started out: hey, I can read your long posts in a coupla minutes, but now you want me to listen to you ramble for 15-20 minutes? He now listens to every cast, as do a lot of other skeptics.

My latest cast I think demonstrates the potential of the medium: http://www.dohiyimir.org/2005/05/ntoddcast_for_w.html

Helluva lot more appropriate than a standard blog post, and I'm pretty sure it ain't "radio hell".

Posted by: NTodd at May 12, 2005 08:54 AM

I produce a weekly 5-6 minute podcast on business communication. Sure, it's not a $5000 per episode style of broadcast, but the last couple of editions have been worth a listen...

The links are on my blog at http://bettercomms.blogspot.com, or else click on my name below to whip across to the download page.

Cheers,

Lee

Posted by: Lee Hopkins at May 12, 2005 08:57 AM

Stephen,

There-in lies the problem of podcasting. Even when you find a good one, you still have to download it and pop it on your MP3 player. That's a lot of work for the possibility of listening to something worthwile.

If you enjoy wine, try graderadio.com. These guys seem pretty passionate about the subject matter.

Best,

Ken Leebow

Posted by: Ken Leebow at May 12, 2005 09:13 AM

steve...check out the whole wheat radio folks.

http://www.wholewheatradio.com/

imho, the thing that makes WWR, and podcasts in general, really unique is that this is an opportunity to "broadcast" with an incredibly strong focus. "boring" for one may be "riveting" to another. the format allows for both, and having just five hundred, or fifty, or five listeners is OK.

agreed, a subscriber can simply tune out if the 'cast is boring to them, but that's the case for any medium, isn't it.

the real opportunity for podcasts (and other emerging media) is to not only to "publish," but to also create *community* around that content that is being created. WWR does this as well as anyone. they're not just playing songs...they've created an entire community where listeners - participants, actually - banter about songs while they are playing, suggest songs for upcoming podcasts, interact with each other. for their niche (thoughtful, thinking person's jangly guitar music), it's an incredible resource.

more thoughts on why the community aspect matters here:

http://www.socialcustomer.com/the_social_customer_manif/2005/02/passion_amplifi.html

Posted by: Christopher Carfi at May 12, 2005 09:47 AM

Hi Stephen!

The best site I've found for good Podcasts is Podcastalley: http://www.podcastalley.com

There you'll find a Top 50 podcasts list. I've listened to a few of them and they are good quality, of course most of them are not on the same level of sound quality as Adam's Curry DailySourceCode (he has a great setup for podcasting), but on the content area they are pretty good.

We need to take into account that Podcasting is a lot younger than Blogging, so the quality of some Podcast leave a lot to be desire. But it was the same way when Blogging started.

Cheers.

Jorge Rodriguez

Posted by: Jorge Rodriguez at May 12, 2005 10:03 AM

After suffering through many highly recommended podcasts (Curry, Dawn/Drew, etc.), I'm like your friend Adam, back to the mainstream (NPR, ITconversations, etc).

Podcasts take too much time/concentration to waste it on drivel. In most cases, I wish they would have just blogged it so I could scan and move on.

Most podcasters should never have gotten close to a recording device :-)

Posted by: PXLated at May 12, 2005 10:21 AM

The best podcast about marketing is from THE CHURCH OF THE CUSTOMER. Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba sound professional yet not slick. They take time to edit out the 'uhms' but leave in the spontaneous exchanges. Relevant links include: http://customerevangelists.typepad.com/blog/podcasting/index.html ........ http://customerevangelists.typepad.com/blog/2005/05/what_makes_for_.html

Posted by: johnmoore (from brandautopsy) at May 12, 2005 10:36 AM

Two More Items:

By the way, "[an]other Vermont podcaster, the Panton Community Baptist Church":

http://www.chestnutbay.com/pcbc.htm

via 802 Online

http://7d.blogs.com/802online/2005/05/friday_coffeebl.html

In addition, links to another Vermont based weeklly podcast are available within the right-hand column of the Vermont Happening blog, listed under "Recent "Happenings" at:

Vermont Happenings:

http://www.vthappenings.com/

it is a 4 1/2 minute news program done by Grace and Rama: "Every week Vermont News Happenings explores how we as individuals can affect big changes in our world through small seemingly inconsequential actions. Suitable for commercial and non-commercial programming."

It is very professionally done and is news oriented with a local flavor of pure Vermont Maple Syrup.

Posted by: mwb at May 12, 2005 11:19 AM

Lot's of recommendations here...I just spent 45 minutes sampling. So far none struck my fancy.

As a previous poster (Christopher) mentioned, the audience for a podcast can be as few as five. To find the ones you are the audience for is just way too time consuming. One can check out fifty blogs in the time it takes to download and check out one podcast. Who's got the time? Obviously some people :-)

Posted by: PXLated at May 12, 2005 11:34 AM

"Even when you find a good one, you still have to download it and pop it on your MP3 player. That's a lot of work for the possibility of listening to something worthwile."

That's true, and one of my fellow podcasters has made similar observations, but keep in mind that we're still taking baby steps here. Eventually I can see aggregators built into browsers and even iTunes, Bluetooth enabled MP3 players that automagically sync up with your PC, etc.

And even people I know who have resisted podcasting now are into it. "It's so cool that I can listen whenever I want!" They see it as a Tivo. And once they find content they like, it's really not all that much trouble to grab the latest cast to listen on the drive to work.

"The best site I've found for good Podcasts is Podcastalley"

I second that. Now if only I could get back into the Top 50... :-)

Posted by: NTodd at May 12, 2005 11:37 AM

Finally found one...Church of the Customer...thanks John. Well done and fits my interest. But, I still hold to the opinion that the process of finding/sampling podcasts is a killer.

Posted by: PXLated at May 12, 2005 12:11 PM

Check out some of the casts we've done at EchoRadio-- SpotCasts, JungleCasts and DJCasts!

http://radio.echoditto.com/spotcast

http://radio.echoditto.com/djcast

http://radio.echoditto.com/junglecast

=T=

Posted by: Tim at May 12, 2005 05:49 PM

Stephen:

You gotta go here. It's mandatory:

http://www.normaugustinus.com

Rose Blaylock

Posted by: Rose at May 13, 2005 12:51 AM

Best use of podcasting ever -- DVD-style commentary for new episodes of an ongoing TV show:

http://www.scifi.com/battlestar/downloads/podcast/

Although I listen to it on the train, after I've seen an episode (not while watching the ep, as suggested).

Posted by: Blueblazer at May 13, 2005 01:51 AM

I agree. Text is infinitely easy to skim. Heck, I can digest the gist of about six business books (helps that they tend to be repetitious) in three or four hours.

I only have so much time. Ain't no way I'm listening to a half-hour podcast, sorry. I think podcasting was intended for those snatches of "time to kill" - waiting in line, riding the subway, on your morning commute. I'm just one that prefers silence at those few and far between times - non-mental empty time helps with my creativity and productivity.

But I think perhaps the technology will start allowing for hyperlinking. I know that Jon Udell over at InfoWorld was investigating and looking into this. I'd be much more interested if say someone pointed me to a specific segment WITHIN a video or audio clip, "Hey, you just got to watch THESE three minutes." That capability should also give more of the remixing nature to the medium that bloggers enjoy now: cut and paste just a snippet with a link and add my own context around it.

Posted by: Evelyn Rodriguez at May 13, 2005 06:49 PM

This one just started pretty recently but it is pretty fun! Check it out.

www.thesiblingrivalry.org

Posted by: Newy but a goody at September 15, 2005 05:38 PM


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