"Don't bother building it, cause I'm not gonna come."
Ah, podcasts.. I’ve tried a sampling of podcasts and have been very disappointed. It seems that learning how to speak clearly, avoid breathing into the microphone, and not saying “um” after every few words are essential skills to producing a quality radio program, and the production landscape for podcasting is severely lacking in this regard. It turns out, quite simply, that owning a microphone and some MP3 recording software doesn’t make you interesting.
We live in a technological era where any Joe Schmoe garage band can burn their own CD and distribute it. That doesn't mean it will be any good.
The real issue I’ve found with the few podcasts I've taken the time to sample is that they’re significantly devoid of substance. Often they spend more time talking about the podcast than the topic, or they are full of off-topic "cutsie" "aren't we kewl" type jokes and the like.
If you are, like me, looking for quality content, this kind of bullshit wears on you pretty fast. It seems that people who are pretty good blog / print authors in their own right just fall to pieces when they start a "podcast".
And the worst thing about podcasts (and even webcasts, like those online Microsoft Multimedia presentations) is the fact that most people with an above-average IQ are going to get bored rather quickly, because you have to either wait until the junk flies by to get to hear the "good part" (if there is any) or you have to skip all over the place trying to find it. In the webcasts, at least there is usually a table of contents and a transcript. Have you ever seen a podcast with these features, indexed by hyperlink to the spot in the audio stream?
At least, with a print article or blog entry, it is pretty easy to quickly scan the whole thing and make a determination if the piece has any real value to you. And finally, pod "Casting" as the suffix implies, is broadcasting -- which is a one-way deal. There's no interaction, no feedback. You can't make a comment, as with somebody's blog.
And finally, before you jump into a new Podcasting career, consider the important fact that the content in your Podcast will never be indexed and searchable via Google or MSN Search as is text content on the web.
So folks, you can podcast until your face turns blue. I really hope you enjoy producing them.
But, Peter Bromberg won't be listening. I might be listening to J.S. Bach, or the Phillip Morris SuperBand, but I won't be listening to your podcast.