I was pleased last week to speak on why I didn’t think much of podcasting at the recent daVinci Institute Podcasting Bootcamp event. Surrounded by people who were doing smart and interesting things with this new medium, however, I started to have some doubts, but when it was time to take the stage, I managed to come up with an idea or two worthy of discussion.
And, to show that I can eat even the proverbial dogfood I might not like, I used my own audio recording equipment to record my 12 minute talk and am making it available here for your own listening pleasure as my first ostensible podcast.
The gist of my argument is that…
Podcasting is Boring
- How do avoid the “podcasts are boring” problem?
- How do you avoid the persistence challenge, where the number of podcasters who make it past their third or fourth show are miniscule (just as the vast majority of bloggers last about 3-8 entries then give up)?
- How many nationally recognized radio personalities are there, compared to the number of people trying to break into the radio talk show industry? What does that tell us about the difficulty of being an interesting voice-only personality?
- What if you just don’t have anything interesting to say?
- What happens when everyone on the planet has their own radio show?
Tip: If you want to be a good podcaster, spend a lot of time listening to commercial or public radio. Listen to timing, intonation, give and take of a good interview program.
Podcasting is Dreadfully Inefficient
- How do you digest lots of information efficiently?
- It takes 30 minutes to listen to a thirty minute podcast, but if you give me 10 pages of material to read, I can scan through it in 15-30 seconds. I follow over 150 Web sites daily with my RSS aggregator – but I couldn’t digest 150 podcasts every day because there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.
- Therefore, I need to rely on others to find interesting podcasts for me, people like my friend Amy Gahran, in which case she becomes a magazine editor and if she doesn’t find interesting new stuff, neither do I.
- Currently, we can’t use search engines to find podcasts about a specific topic or, more importantly, to segments within individual podcasts.
- podcasts make too much of a time demand: Unless you’re phenomenal, I’m not going to devote 45 minutes of my time to listen to you.
I wrap up with some less negative comments, because all of these concerns aside, I am excited about podcasting and am looking forward to finding new and interesting people to listen to and watching how the collective innovation gene of our industry overcomes these hurdles and makes podcasting fun, engaging, efficient and useful.
Until then, however…
Well, have a listen to what I say:
Dave’s Arguments Against Podcasting (MP3, 7MB)
Note: for some odd reason, I can’t include the MP3 link in the main part of this blog entry, hence it being here in the extended entry. If any Movable Type guru wants to help me out with this hiccup, I’d love to hear from you, because I’d prefer to have the download link easier to find.