For the most part, I’ve taken a pretty laissez-faire attitude toward all the recent podcasting fervor. Spewing opinions over the internet is nothing new, and neither is the concept of an internet radio station. But as has been the case with weblogs compared to traditional web sites, half of what makes podcasting a powerful meme is the fact that publishing and distribution mechanisms are simplified and streamlined, standardized into easily consumable information streams.
If 99% of everything is crap, the same is true of weblogs and podcasts. Unfortunately, because you can’t time-condense podcasts the way you can skim an online publication via RSS, podcasting presents more of a temporal demand than does blog skimming, not to mention the technical hurdle of teaching non-geeks to subscribe to them, sync to audio players, etc. Still, if you can find a bit of time to listen, and are able to sift out the good feeds…
I don’t see the radio industry shaking in their boots exactly, but this is day one for the technology, after all. The newspaper industry didn’t think much of blogging at first, either. I’ll be working with J-School radio classes next semester to set up their first podcast distribution system.
After Jamie Wilkinson pointed out that NetNewsWire 2.0 has really slick RSS/MP3 enclosure handling abilities (it’ll even transfer downloads right into an iTunes playlist of your choice, ready for sync’ing), I decided to try listening to Slashdot Review and IT Conversations on my run today, rather than to The Slits and Plastic Bertrand. Made me feel old and dusty at first — continued erosion of my dwindling opportunites to rock out, but really enjoyed it and finished the run feeling like I had gained something.
Podcast Alley is teeming with options. Help me winnow the field here — any personal fave casts you’d like to recommend?
Update: Check out Darren Barefoot’s Why I’m Not Smoking the Podcasting Dope.