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Re: [podcasters] Re: The latest #1 on podcastalley.com: another rant for the month

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  • Pab Sungenis
    Quoting Stephen Eley ... I remember Sturgeon using...saltier...language in the original quote, but the concept is still valid. I ve
    Message 1 of 25 , Apr 29, 2005
      Quoting "Stephen Eley" <SFEley@...>

      > This is all inevitable and entirely natural. I've mentioned
      > Sturgeon's law before: "Ninety percent of everything is crud."

      I remember Sturgeon using...saltier...language in the original quote, but
      the concept is still valid.

      I've compared the current state of podcasting to the early days of radio,
      and I think it's an apt metaphor; not the golden age of radio we tend to
      think of as "old time radio" nowadays, but the REAL early days before the

      Radio was run by hobbyists turned professional in those days. The product
      ranged from mediocre to sublime. As time went on, the better products held
      on to listeners, and the not-so-good ones lost audience as the novelty wore
      off. More people bought radio sets, and listenership grew. Then and only
      then did people figure out a way to make money off of it.

      The difference with podcasting is that our bandwidth, to use the radio
      comparison, is nigh unlimited. Feeds don't compete with each other for
      space the way radio stations do, and one feed doesn't interfere with another
      if the power is too high or the contour is bent the wrong way. Thus,
      there's no need to license or limit podcast "stations," and anyone who wants
      to can start one up (as is evidenced by the sheer number of casts out

      As for quality, I had a leg up, as did the other radio shows that started
      podfeeds of their programs. We were used to producing programming and knew
      the tricks. Not to say that the amateurs who are the real heart and soul of
      this medium won't improve the quality of their casts by leaps and bounds in
      almost no time; I was listening to some tapes of my radio show from college
      (18 years ago, groan) the other day and couldn't believe how I sounded then
      compared with how I sound now. Practice makes perfect, and a lot of the
      "microphone and sound card" people, as they improve their production skills
      and tools, are going to produce stuff that puts modern commercial radio to
      shame before long.

      > Of course in the real world it's more complicated than that. There
      > may be some excellent podcasts that are unpopular because their
      > producer doesn't know how to give them visibility, or they never
      > achieve word of mouth, or just bad luck. It happens. And there may
      > be some REALLY excellent podcasts that never make it to the top
      > because they appeal to a niche audience.

      Handy place for my shameless plug: The Pab Sungenis Project. RSS feed at
      http://www.lowbudgetradio.com/rss.xml :) If you like it, vote for me at

      > Supposing for the sake of
      > argument that Grape Radio was the best podcast on the planet, you
      > still wouldn't listen to it if you didn't care about wine.

      Yes, but the beautiful thing is that a program like Grape Radio wouldn't
      even be available on commercial radio today, no matter how beautifully
      produced and hosted. With podcasting, it's available to its audience

      > But then there's the ninety percent. I submit that the vast majority
      > of podcasts will never make it because they just aren't good. I don't
      > think I could define "good" without provoking a flamewar, but I also
      > don't think I have to. If you don't agree, try bringing up Podcast
      > Alley and listen to all five of the "5 Random Podcasts." How many of
      > them made you want to listen again?

      See above about early radio. The cream rises. Of course, then it gets
      scraped off. :)
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