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Re: Podcasting is "dead"?

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  • RatbagMedia
    ... Well the main complication is that podcasting re-invents radio and suffers from the many handicaps that radio has had to deal with for so many decades.
    Message 1 of 23 , Feb 2, 2009
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      --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, Dan Hughes <danhughes@...> wrote:
      >
      > I think there is a general feeling that podcasting is dead because it
      > never became as popular as it should have.
      >


      Well the main complication is that podcasting re-invents radio and
      suffers from the many handicaps that radio has had to deal with for so
      many decades.

      Podcasting's problem was in effect the low ebb in radio as a means to
      communicate stuff to listeners. I think it would be very difficult for
      people to come in cold to podcasting and start listening if they
      didn't first harbour a penchant to listening to stuff -- on radio
      especially.

      So thats' its burden -- ears only, when the media preferences are now
      very different. That doesn't mean that podcasting is old hat, only
      that the vogue is focused elsewhere.

      I've taken up videoblogging and I prefer it to (audio)podcasting for a
      number of reasons.

      (1)Video is treated much better on the web. The housing and
      presentation platforms(eg: automatic conversion to flash single
      episode and channel players) leave podcasting in the shade.I can also
      easily upload and share my files on many free sites -- such as BlipTV
      -- which offer me no end of service and options. Nothing is like
      that in podcasting. On Blip too I can also cross post to range of my
      preferred other sites and also get my videos archived.

      (2) While I also use YouTube (and can cross post to it via TubeMoghul)
      the amount of traffic you'll get to your item on YouTUbe can leave the
      podcasting sites way behind.

      (3) Video is a major dialogue media on the web when audio is not.
      Despite a few initiatives such as on ODEO for a time -- it's video
      rather than audio which people prefer to engage a discussion with.

      (4) Some of my podcasting was taken up by community radio but my video
      output is in greater demand than I imagined possible.(it just goes to
      show you how much poor quality video there is on the web).

      (5) Video is so much easier to edit and format than audio. It's the
      graphic cues you get. I can edit up video footage in a twice compared
      to some of the ongoing hassles with drawing together pieces of audio
      -- if shot/recorded while out and about..But all my paodcating
      experience enriches my audio edit for video.

      (6)However, I don't think video makes a very useful podcasting option
      -- ie: ran on a feed -- because of file size and customized
      preferences. Thats' where audio rocks -- and the fact that you can
      port it away from your computer so easily. The problem is that that is
      the web's best kept secret -- and while I may listen to hours of
      podcasts each week no one else I know does.They cannot see past video
      if they see at all.

      So I'm shifting my focus a lot. And while I try to offer a mix of
      media on site -- I am getting much more interest from video production
      than audio.I also prefer to work in video because it is more
      descriptive and you don;t have to lay down so much explanation.I can
      also do video to DVD and present my work in real time gatherings. in a
      way that audio doesn't suit.

      I have a portfolio in the way audio doens't allow.

      Essentially the cultural preference has shifted from auditory inputs
      to visual ones and it is hard to buck the trend with the density of audio.

      The other complication was that podcasting aped radio as it tried to
      reproduce a web version of the AM/FM band. Aping radio when radio
      could still be had only meant that radio too became podcastable -- as
      is what has happened.

      So where do these media newbie others fit in? Where;'s the niche that
      was sustainable? In fact podcasting fed that by trying to be very
      regular and very episodic -- the terror of the RSS feed -- instead of
      maybe slowing down and doing less often but quality products that
      could live on the wed as a ongoing archive.

      Podcasting's complication was one of poor quality...that dragged the
      medium down in popularity. There's heaps of crap video too on the web,
      but it is much easier to sift through that.

      That's what video teaches you -- the quest for quality and substance
      --when video on the web is so often neither, and audio podcasting on
      the web is still an unknown in that regard.

      So the format can be a tyranny. This desire to replicate the "program
      ' entity in time, place and subject.

      It's the radio trap.

      I think the way to proceed is to mix media and draw in the best
      options from video, audio and text. And always always look to your
      content. I think content rules and, as Marshal McLuhan argued, can
      always determine your medium -- and vice versa.

      dave riley
    • Matthew Wayne Selznick
      ... The point of any media is to get it into the eyes / ears of the audience. If YouTube is the best way to do that (user familiarity, access on an increasing
      Message 2 of 23 , Feb 2, 2009
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        On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 4:05 PM, tom_a_sparks <tom_a_sparks@...> wrote:
        > but I think that a lot of the so-called podcasters started doing
        > videoblogs, but they f*cked up and started using youtube, Not a
        > downloadalbe format like mp4/wmv etc

        The point of any media is to get it into the eyes / ears of the
        audience. If YouTube is the best way to do that (user familiarity,
        access on an increasing number of Internet-enabled devices) then so be
        it. Why download something when you can stream it on your
        Internet-enabled portable device?

        Video podcasters aren't fucking up when they use YouTube. They're
        putting their content in the largest distribution stream available.

        Now, I think it's smart to be on YouTube *and* offer a downloadable
        option, as with my Teen Poetry podcast... but to say podcasters are
        "doing it wrong" by using YouTube is as misguided as any right-wrong
        "rules" when it comes to this medium.

        --
        Matthew Wayne Selznick
        Author, Podcaster, Social Media Authority
        ************************************
        "Reggie vs. Kaiju Storm Chimera Wolf"
        Signed and numbered limited edition chapbook
        http://www.mattselznick.com

        "Brave Men Run -- A Novel of the Sovereign Era"
        Paperback, Ebook, iPhone, Kindle, MP3 CD, Free Podcast
        http://www.bravemenrun.com
      • the Encaffeinated ONE
        ... Interesting... It s a shame that audio-podcasting didn t come a few years earlier, then, before radio became (generally) such a wasteland.. ... This echoes
        Message 3 of 23 , Feb 2, 2009
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          On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 10:40 PM, RatbagMedia <ratbagradio@...> wrote:

          > --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, Dan Hughes <danhughes@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > I think there is a general feeling that podcasting is dead because it
          > > never became as popular as it should have.
          > >
          >
          >
          > Well the main complication is that podcasting re-invents radio and
          > suffers from the many handicaps that radio has had to deal with for so
          > many decades.
          >

          Interesting... It's a shame that audio-podcasting didn't come a few years
          earlier, then, before radio became (generally) such a wasteland..


          > (1)Video is treated much better on the web. The housing and


          This echoes a question I made months ago: what's the Youtube for
          audio-podcasting? Can it be? The general opinion seemed to be that there
          wouldn't be one, because audio is such a different medium, and the
          portability of audio trumped the social nature of a share listening space.
          Also, audio not being an inherently visual medium but the web definitely
          being one seems at odds.

          (2) While I also use YouTube (and can cross post to it via TubeMoghul)
          > the amount of traffic you'll get to your item on YouTUbe can leave the
          > podcasting sites way behind.


          I think one of the reasons for this is actually the structure of Youtube:
          you go to a central place to experience many different productions, carry a
          profile for your entire experience across all productions, and can
          share/communicate/rate all the things in one place.

          There are directories for audio podcasting, but they have not taken on to
          the same level.

          There might also be a problem with audio presentation lacking any chapter
          cues. I can skim through a video and have some idea where I'm skipping to by
          the frame of video that comes up. In audio, I will likely have to wait
          longer for a cue as to where it is. While there are chapters in the AAC
          format (I think that's the one), the process for making them always seems to
          be extraordinarily arcane and/or limited by platform or software
          availability.


          > (3) Video is a major dialogue media on the web when audio is not.
          > Despite a few initiatives such as on ODEO for a time -- it's video
          > rather than audio which people prefer to engage a discussion with.


          This I find strange, because the engagement is mostly textual, and that's
          just as easy for audio as it is for video. And audio is so much easier to
          feed back with, as long as you put mechanisms in place like a voicemail line
          or live call-in feature.


          > (4) Some of my podcasting was taken up by community radio but my video
          > output is in greater demand than I imagined possible.(it just goes to
          > show you how much poor quality video there is on the web).


          The sorry state of radio stations has lowered the expectations of people for
          what radio can be like, I suppose. I wonder if the omnipresent position of
          the CBC here in Canada is what gives me a very different perspective on the
          matter.. I should imagine that NPR listeners and BBC radio listeners might
          also be more willing to give audio podcasts a chance..


          > (5) Video is so much easier to edit and format than audio. It's the
          > graphic cues you get. I can edit up video footage in a twice compared


          That's the first time I have heard *anyone* suggest that! Most insist that
          video is dramatically harder than audio, because you have multiple streams
          of information which must be patched together as seamlessly as possible.

          Also, audio manipulation is far easier when one considers non-local
          contributors; I do Skype chats with people in 4 time zones: we could never
          do video.

          Finally, audio allows more easy manipulation for tricks such as multiple
          voices (or multiple characters with my own voice).

          (6)However, I don't think video makes a very useful podcasting option
          > -- ie: ran on a feed -- because of file size and customized
          > preferences. Thats' where audio rocks -- and the fact that you can
          > port it away from your computer so easily. The problem is that that is
          > the web's best kept secret -- and while I may listen to hours of
          > podcasts each week no one else I know does.They cannot see past video
          > if they see at all.


          I'm interested if people have suggestions about how we can reform the
          "image" of audio, how we can build a good community site like Youtube and
          also keep the portability.

          Devices like the iPod Touch and the iPhone give me hope that we can have a
          richer experience with audio and feedback. Imagine a podcast player
          application which has a "comment on this" button beside every "play" button.
          Press it, and voila! A feedback window (with both text window and audio
          recorder controls) pops up. You put in your comment, and the application
          delivers it to the feedback address given in the podcast episode itself.

          If someone could please plug that into iTunes and Juice, we'd capture a lot
          of the audience and start a revolution, I suspect... After all: that's
          exactly what RSS did, from what I understand, create a simple technology
          with an application, let it flow out..

          Oh, and create a nice, standard Wordpress plugin and centralized YouHere
          (HearHere? YouListen?) website where a podcast producer can put it all up in
          one place. Include community functions (commenting, rating, "you may also
          like X", recommendations, profiles, etc.).

          If I had time, I would have already built this. There are attempts at this,
          but they all seem very cumbersome, slow, misdirected energies for the most
          part.


          > So I'm shifting my focus a lot. And while I try to offer a mix of
          > media on site -- I am getting much more interest from video production
          > than audio.I also prefer to work in video because it is more
          > descriptive and you don;t have to lay down so much explanation.I can
          > also do video to DVD and present my work in real time gatherings. in a
          > way that audio doesn't suit.
          >
          > I have a portfolio in the way audio doens't allow.
          >
          > Essentially the cultural preference has shifted from auditory inputs
          > to visual ones and it is hard to buck the trend with the density of audio.


          The trend had switched from honest presentations to vacuous but slick ones,
          too, but that's changing..

          Until we all move to be chipped and deliver info to our brain, we will
          always hear, and we will always listen to one thing and do another. I don't
          believe audio is dead and gone, just abused and rusty..

          The other complication was that podcasting aped radio as it tried to
          > reproduce a web version of the AM/FM band. Aping radio when radio
          > could still be had only meant that radio too became podcastable -- as
          > is what has happened.


          I think this died away very quickly. Sure, there are still some things that
          are distinctly radio-like, but most things quickly have diverged away from
          that, and are diverging more and more. That's not say that they left them
          behind: radio has many years of hard-won lessons to teach, and ignoring the
          history and significance of that would probably be foolish..

          (I would be quick to point out that I don't think that the vast array of
          empty, robotized, copy-cat stations are worth emulating, but their
          predecessors are.)


          > So where do these media newbie others fit in? Where;'s the niche that
          > was sustainable? In fact podcasting fed that by trying to be very
          > regular and very episodic -- the terror of the RSS feed -- instead of
          > maybe slowing down and doing less often but quality products that
          > could live on the wed as a ongoing archive.


          I think one of the problems I've had is there is plenty of good stuff out
          there, and since I subscribe to it all (it feels like), I get behind on all
          the conversations. And anyone who wasn't there from the beginning is left
          out or has to run fast to catch up. It's a very good point that we might
          want to reconsider the linear, building-up nature of the medium of
          podcasting and consider more drop-in, drop-out or ambient conversation
          styles, or consider something to be taken at a time wholly different from
          when it was produced.

          That said, some audio is bound to be continual, some to be an ongoing
          barometer of current events or a measure of progress so far in some
          discussion.



          > Podcasting's complication was one of poor quality...that dragged the
          > medium down in popularity. There's heaps of crap video too on the web,
          > but it is much easier to sift through that.


          What makes it easier to sift through? Why can those tools not be applied to
          audio? I think the medium has grown in use to the point where there are
          almost always good quality programs in many niches, so much so that the
          lesser quality programs fade away. I don't think that it is easier to sift
          through the loads of crap video, I think that there are better tools to
          aggregate the sifting and make the better quality programs rise to the top.

          That's what video teaches you -- the quest for quality and substance
          > --when video on the web is so often neither, and audio podcasting on
          > the web is still an unknown in that regard.


          It is difficult to compare the medium of web video with the medium of
          podcasting (audio or video). They are *not* the same, I'd suggest, with web
          video largely consisting of a mountain of individual videos, largely
          disconnected from each other, and podcasts consisting of a series of related
          items. When you consume web video, you are looking for a one-off experience.
          When you consume a podcast, you are subscribing into a continuing, ongoing,
          periodic experience. It is a bigger committment to subscribe to a podcast,
          and that committment must be described and vetted with adequate description,
          features, commentary, social standing, etc..

          So the format can be a tyranny. This desire to replicate the "program
          > ' entity in time, place and subject.
          >
          > It's the radio trap.


          "The medium is the message," calls the ghost of McLuhan. But the medium is
          still malleable, and before Youtube the web video medium was pretty much
          crap.


          > I think the way to proceed is to mix media and draw in the best
          > options from video, audio and text. And always always look to your
          > content. I think content rules and, as Marshal McLuhan argued, can
          > always determine your medium -- and vice versa.


          Well, that interpretation is a little different from the ones I've heard;
          from what I understand, he was really suggesting that an awareness of the
          limitations and opportunities a medium can offer -- how it speaks to the
          consumer -- is vital to really understanding what you can say, and how it
          gets received. The content doesn't dictate the medium, but rather it is
          shaped by it. The podcast episode doesn't shape the podcasting medium, but
          is itself shaped by the periodic, linear, subscription, continuing, two-way,
          conversational, direct, interactive nature of the system.

          Podcasting is not radio; web video is not TV. They learn things from them,
          but go beyond them. There are limitations, but these are not hindrances,
          merely signals that we might change the medium if necessary, or embrace them
          and push them as benefits..

          This has been a very stimulating discussion! I hope that others will chime
          in with other suggestions of what we, the producers of podcasts (and also,
          in most cases, some of the consumers as well) can do to expand or understand
          our medium..

          encaf1/MK

          [image: Encaffeinated!] <http://encaffeinated.ca> *the Encaffeinated ONE
          * *"It Is by beans alone that I set my mind in motion."*
          Podcaster. Announcer. Audio Actor. Writer. Programmer. *Geek.*
          Host of The WEIRD Show <http://theweirdshow.com> and Wandering Out
          Loud<http://encaffeinated.ca>
          Crew of The 9th Heroescast <http://www.heroescast.com> and Buffy Between The
          Lines <http://buffybetweenthelines.com>


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • tom_a_sparks
          ... I dont want to be charged a dollar a second/Kilobyte to access the internet via my 3G internet-enabled device (I dont have one anyway) ... i understand
          Message 4 of 23 , Feb 2, 2009
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            --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, Matthew Wayne Selznick
            <mwselznick@...> wrote:
            >
            > On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 4:05 PM, tom_a_sparks <tom_a_sparks@...> wrote:
            > > but I think that a lot of the so-called podcasters started doing
            > > videoblogs, but they f*cked up and started using youtube, Not a
            > > downloadalbe format like mp4/wmv etc
            >
            > The point of any media is to get it into the eyes / ears of the
            > audience. If YouTube is the best way to do that (user familiarity,
            > access on an increasing number of Internet-enabled devices) then so be
            > it. Why download something when you can stream it on your
            > Internet-enabled portable device?

            I dont want to be charged a dollar a second/Kilobyte to access the
            internet via my 3G internet-enabled device (I dont have one anyway)
            >
            > Video podcasters aren't fucking up when they use YouTube. They're
            > putting their content in the largest distribution stream available.

            i understand that view, but the limitions of youtube is what turn me
            off youtube see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_YouTube,
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blocking_of_YouTube and also the youtube
            corporation is making money of your video submitions

            > Now, I think it's smart to be on YouTube *and* offer a downloadable
            > option, as with my Teen Poetry podcast... but to say podcasters are
            > "doing it wrong" by using YouTube is as misguided as any right-wrong
            > "rules" when it comes to this medium.


            Wasn't the idea of podcasting to officer a downloadble file to be
            placed on your non-internet-enabled media player?
          • Matthew Wayne Selznick
            ... Google makes money off of your content in exchange for infinite bandwidth, near-perfect uptime, and infinite storage. Plus, if I tell someone, My video s
            Message 5 of 23 , Feb 2, 2009
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              On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 8:56 PM, tom_a_sparks <tom_a_sparks@...> wrote:
              > i understand that view, but the limitions of youtube is what turn me
              > off youtube see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_YouTube,
              > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blocking_of_YouTube and also the youtube
              > corporation is making money of your video submitions

              Google makes money off of your content in exchange for infinite
              bandwidth, near-perfect uptime, and infinite storage. Plus, if I tell
              someone, "My video's on YouTube," they know exactly what I mean.
              Can't count on that if I say, "Have you seen my podcast?"

              There are plenty of ways smart people make money off their videos.
              Also, I believe YouTube offers ad service through AdSense to folks who
              upload videos, so you could even earn money directly.

              > Wasn't the idea of podcasting to officer a downloadble file to be
              > placed on your non-internet-enabled media player?

              No. The idea of podcasting was to deliver files (audio, video, or
              anything else) via RSS. You still need the Internet to get the
              content at some point.

              Has anyone noticed that YouTube is starting to offer downloadable video..?

              --
              Matthew Wayne Selznick
              Author, Podcaster, Social Media Authority
              ************************************
              "Reggie vs. Kaiju Storm Chimera Wolf"
              Signed and numbered limited edition chapbook
              http://www.mattselznick.com

              "Brave Men Run -- A Novel of the Sovereign Era"
              Paperback, Ebook, iPhone, Kindle, MP3 CD, Free Podcast
              http://www.bravemenrun.com
            • joshuamcnichols
              ... This may be true. But I contend that a smaller number of people prefer audio to video because it is a more intimate medium. I know video can portray
              Message 6 of 23 , Feb 3, 2009
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                >
                > (3) Video is a major dialogue media on the web when audio is not.
                > Despite a few initiatives such as on ODEO for a time -- it's video
                > rather than audio which people prefer to engage a discussion with.
                >

                This may be true. But I contend that a smaller number of people
                prefer audio to video because it is a more intimate medium. I know
                video can portray intimate things. But audio has a special way of
                getting directly into your head. I believe it's because audio can be
                akin to the human voice, whereas video has all these layers between
                you and the content - a screen, a smaller scale, and the distractions
                in the room. Furthermore, I appreciate that audio podcasts allow me
                to do other things while I'm listening. Garden, exercise, wash
                dishes, rock my baby to sleep.

                I work in radio rather than television because I felt the intimacy of
                audio, and felt alienated by television. If video is inherently
                BETTER than audio, then why doesn't PBS make NPR obsolete? I know NPR
                is suffering financially, but it's doing way better than PBS.

                Audio is definitely a niche in a world dominated by video. But it's a
                time-tested niche with real strengths.

                That said, having photos or other web features to draw people into the
                audio-only content is critical in a world where web pages are the
                portals to audio work. Then once people tune in, the audio can do its
                work.

                My favorite model for audio content is PRX - the public radio
                exchange. It requires registration, but if they eliminated that and
                enhanced the ability to embed, they'd have something very much like
                you-tube.
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