I’ve been grappling with that leadership meme that’s floating around (thanks, Christian & Rick, for keeping me up the other night) but until then, can someone tell me what’s the point of podcasting? What’s your game here?
I’ve listened to maaaaybe a couple of podcasts in my life, so it’s possible I’m simply not the audience. I’m an irregular audience for a photography podcast, NPR’s This American Life, and Slate’s Spoiler Special. Given the comments, I’m not sure what an avid podcast-listener looks like, but I’m pretty sure I ain’t him. Whether this constitutes an informed opinion of podcasting is, as it always has been, up to the discernment of the reader. From my perspective, the medium has offered up a survey of its advantages and disadvantages without much of a struggle.
In return, for the podcasting enthusiasts, here are a few reasons why your podcast isn’t feeding my iTunes jukebox, why I secretly wonder if podcasting is only on the guest list of Educational Tech Initiatives simply Because It’s There, if it’s simply ed-technology for its own sake.
- My time is really important to me and I read faster than you speak.
- My daily commute is five minutes each way. (Don’t throw things. Ow ow … okay ….)
- I tried working out to Brian Dvorak’s education podcast but my heartrate never got into the red.
- From my experience, podcasts are largely unedited and free-associative.
#1 and #4 are my most most salient concerns, really. If you have to drive a lot or if you, for whatever reason, spend a lot of time with earbuds in, it doesn’t seem that large a leap from audiobooks to podcasts, so that’s great for you.
But I was listening to someone awhile back — forget who, but he podcasts on his drive home — and I dug the immediacy of it, the sense that someone very smart was talking to me. But I couldn’t help wondering if, well, this couldn’t have been, y’know, a little tighter. If, maybe, edited on paper, this could’ve been a more potent experience. From the perspective of one who invests a lot in writing and drafting, who carefully deploys even sloppy colloquialisms like “gotta,” I just can’t trust my ideas to my voice, which wavers, stammers, and can’t double back on itself for proofreading.
The most annoying thing on this blog to me is my only foray into podcasting. I included it as a memento for myself (that was a big day) but nothing I say over the course of those 20 minutes wasn’t written better in the accompanying seven-page manifesto.
So what about it works well for you?
Update from the comments:
I feel powerless when listening to podcasts…like I’m on the podcaster’s schedule, and I have no control over what the podcaster’s topics are nor how long he/she rambles on about them.
He prefers RSS, which feels familiar to me. More crucially, I think, is his remark, “I’ll stick with NPR in the car ….”
The Internet has democratized video and audio distribution and, while the cream has risen dramatically to the top in video, I don’t think we’re seeing the same growth in podcasting yet. I say that tentatively, given that I haven’t heard all that many edu-podcasts, but how many educational podcasters reading this sit down to their desks a là NPR with a script, a semi-professional mic, and a copy of Audacity for post-production editing?
Tim shifts the discussion to the value of podcasting for students and Eric brings up several examples of podcasting put to good use, including: language learning, presentations from conferences, and speakers he couldn’t otherwise attend or see.
Eric and I both wonder “if [we] might just be missing something.” Can anyone offer a more nuanced perspective here?