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October 26, 2004

Podcasts help the little guy

GILLMOR GANG -- One of the goals of my Mass Communication and Culture course is to spotlight "Power to the People Technology" and for that reason we have focused on the exciting prospect that we will have a podcasting channel on our own. This means our efforts will reverberate across the internet and join some of the most diverse personalities who are trumpeting the benefits of podcasting. Our academic trail starts with understanding how to support enclosures in aggregators (important for dial-up users) and culminates with making podcasts that target study material for third year courses.

There are compelling reasons to learn podcasting. It opens up a wide swath of listeners for emerging bands. What blogging did for writing, podcasting can do for music. Once you know how to podcast, you can distribute stuff effortlessly and your potential listeners can download it effortlessly too. We are teaching how to bypass big media, produce our own content, send it to subscribers who will wake up with new MP3s on their iPod (or any MP3 player).

As Rory Blyth notes "It's about much more than just a technical debate. From a technological point of view, (podcasting is) only marginally interesting. The same ... could be said of radio, telephones, and television. From the point of view of people are who into this for more than the ones and zeros, this is a way to avoid having to hear that Wal-Mart is going to drop you because your song or your show isn't exactly what it should be, and it that would be nice if you moved everything to the right by a few inches."

Just as there are successful blogs, there will be highly successful podcast channels. The best ones will offer quality metadata. Yet you can simply roll a podcast feed and get on with the narrowcasting.

It's important to understand that podcasting is not audio blogging. Podcasting is a syndicated method of distributing binary content. It would work for MP3s, SWFs, and other formats. The potential audience doesn't want ot read or cannot read in the context where they digest the podcast.

The Gillmor Gang chats about podcasting (67 minutes 31.6 MB MP3)
Rory Blyth -- "Podcasting: Let's Chat"
Let's not. Scott Hanselman -- "Podcasting = Verbal Incontinence"
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