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August 05, 2005
Changing Dynamics of Podcasting
Here's a story I did on podcasting for the magazine. I wanted to focus on the changing dynamics ushered in by the iTunes podcasting service, and delve into the approaches that different indies are taking to stand out.
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Talk about a cautionary warning, you say "Once a podcast drops off the top 100 list, it's almost impossible for a casual visitor to find it." I thought all these "RSS search engines" and related technology were supposed to democratize (small-d) all of this stuff. Oh well.
Yes, "Indie podcasters can distinguish themselves by creating something truly different", but is Apple or anybody going to post a "truly different" list and *who* is going to decide what's "truly different"? Well, users should decide, but has anybody put a system in place that demonstrates user input while deterring spam and unfair heckling and ballot-box stuffing?
Now, where are those pesky "Paricipatory Culture" guys... they still haven't convinced me that they have a handle on this list/search/categorize/guide problem either. To the extent they really do allow and encourage slick MSM "products" to compete with indies, the results may not be a whole lot better than what you reported.
Key phrase: "stand out". In the visual and audio of the real world we viscerally know how to "stand out", but in the hyper-democratic world of digital information and keywords, how *do* you stand out? There will be plenty of work for the search engine optimization and buzz-generation folks, but the concept of "truly different" is not likely to be catapaulted to be be king of the hill.
So, we have an explosion of content while at the same time we have a distinct lack of basic research and innovation for the "search" problem.
-- Jack Krupansky (14 days to go)
Posted by: Jack Krupansky at August 5, 2005 01:03 PM
It's a great point, that the creativity has gotten ahead of the search and discovery. I think that it will catch up, as people and companies who are interested in surfacing different voices, work on it. Already, Odeo and even Yahoo are working on and rolling out ways to address the search problem, either through straightforward search engines or from relational technologies that match like tastes or similar creative works.
Ah...see you're doing the countdown....
Posted by: Heather Green at August 5, 2005 01:32 PM
A fair article, but I put zero faith in the iTunes Top 100. It's been proven to be flawed in recent days where anyone bored enough to click on their subscribe button for a few minutes over and over can bounce them up the charts.
Apple isn't talking publically about how they do their rankings, but shows come and go constantly on the list and it's very strange to see happening.
The voice of the Indie isn't going anywhere. I think in the next few months your going to see services that will help the Indie be heard. I bet we see more corporate "podcasters" fall along the side of the road then we do the Indies.
Posted by: C.C. at August 9, 2005 09:27 AM
Glad to hear your comments on the story. I really look forward to seeing the emergence of the kinds of services you wrote about!
Posted by: Heather Green at August 9, 2005 09:58 AM