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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Podcasting Inefficient?

I found this blog entry through Podcasting News, and I could totally see it spurring yet another debate on the value of podcasting.

Peter Davis says on his site that, "In the time I can listen to an average podcast, I could have caught up on my 50 favorite blogs, or read a chapter in a book, or read the latest issue of Red Herring magazine. I do read super fast. ItÂ’s a habit I learned as a grad student. You learn to read fast in grad school, or you get crap for grades. Podcasts deliver information slowly."

Well, I think it all depends on when you listen to podcasts. For instance, I started listening to 7th Son while my parents were here last week and I couldn't sleep, but couldn't come down and be on the 'puter, and didn't feel like reading or watching the tele. I know that Jack over at the Sonic Society has his own time that he listens to podcasts.

It also depends on what you listen to as well. After all, you can't get things like this, this, this, or this from a book, reading on the internet, or the television. However, though I listen to alot of political podcasts, I still prefer to read as well.

Again it's suggested that podcasting is just another bubble that will eventually burst, and I certainly do not see that happening at all. When people say that- I always get angry and want to rant in a podcast about it. Hey- maybe I will sometime! :-D

Anyone care to weigh in?


DecoderRing said...
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DecoderRing said...

Yeah... I'm not sure the real function of Podcasting has ever been to efficiently "deliver information". Even with shows of a political or news nature, things like opinion and commentary are crafted through the careful choice and skillful use of words, not blurted out as quickly as possible.

It seems like a very silly argument, crafted largely around someone's strange desire to point out that they were once a grad student. An unusual boast, or perhaps I've just known too many grad students. I digress.

Its an apples and oranges thing. In the time it takes me to watch a movie, I could run a half marathon or eat sixty boxes of Golden Grahams, but that has nothing to do with the value (or lack thereof) of any of those activities.

Certainly, in the case of audio drama, podcasting has made the influx of new shows possible. It has put worldwide distribution directly into the hands of those creating the shows at minimal cost, and none of that has anything to do with how many one-armed pushups a former grad student could have done in the time it takes to listen.

I don't know what the future of Podcasting is, and I think that anyone who claims to is to some degree a charlatan, if well-intentioned. But I look forward to finding out, and I'll be somewhere in the trenches when we all do.


Rick Stringer said...

Reading and audio both have their place. I certainly can't read an article or a story while I'm driving, doing things around the house, or working on my artwork. Podcasting has been great for me.

I see it getting much bigger before it gets smaller.


Jamie said...

I had the same initial reaction that Gregg does, namely that this seems like an excuse on the author's part to talk about how fast he reads and that he was a grad student once.

I listen to podcasts during times when I can't read -- whether it be in the midst of the day job (I can have one part of my brain doing stuff on the CAD system and another part taking in the latest Yog Radio, Decoder Ring Theatre or This Week in Tech. (Sorry, too lazy to make links today.) Also sometimes while driving, doing housework, etc.

Trying to characterize podcasts as "inefficient" just seems silly to me, on so many levels.

His loss, I guess.