Seth Godin, Keep Thinking About Podcasting

    June 1, 2005

Of all the people I would actually *like* to see pickup podcasting, Seth Godin’s on my short list.

He’s authored numerous best selling business books, he also has a personal blog and now a book blog too, but don’t expect a purple cow podcast anytime soon.  Why?  Three reasons, according to Seth:

1. First, you can’t browse a podcast. Which means that you won’t know what you like until you get it.
2. Problem two is that listening is a real time commitment. I can surf 300 blogs in the time I can listen to just one podcast.
3. Which leads to the last bit of bad news: you can put up a blog post in two minutes, but it takes an hour to make a podcast.

Some valid points here, but I think most of these issues will be put to bed soon enough.  For example, you can’t browse a podcast?  That’s a real pain, in fact it’s something I’ve complained about too.   Enter Media RSS.  As this syndication format gains momentum, I think this promises to open up a rich layer of metadata that will change how we zero in on audio content.  Also, I think some of the more sophisticated podcasting services on the horizon (cough, Odeo) will enable content slicing and hopefully chaptering too.

Regarding the time commitment, there’s really no workaround there except for those pockets of time where you’re un-tethered from the PC.  For many (for me) that’s the in between times during the day when you’re not plugged into the Net – like a work commute.  And therein lies arguably one of podcasting’s biggest advantages – the content travels with you, anywhere, anytime.  Blogging (even moblogging) still suffers from portability and access limitations.

Finally, the immediacy of blogging vs. podcasting can’t be overlooked, it takes 30 seconds and an opinion to be a small publisher, not the same for podcasting.  But again, I think that will change soon.  Case in point, look at what the folks at Audioblog are doing.  Their service has the promise and potential to drastically lower the barriers to entry for podcasting.  Others will inevitably follow suit.

So Mr. Godin don’t shut the door on a Godincast just yet.I think help’s on the horizon.

Update: Godin responds and dives deeper on “the math of the situation.”  You could put this another way and ask at what point will there be dimishing value, dimishing return for the podcast creator in the long tail….when there’s a million podcasts?  Ten million?  To Godin’s point, that’ll be dictated by the creator’s end goal.

On a side note, Godin is (coincidentally) interviewed in a podcast today.  Go figure.  You can listen here.

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Mike Manuel is the founder of the award winning Media Guerrilla blog. Media Guerrilla is an insiders take on the practice of technology public relations with a focus on the issues, tactics and trends that are specific to the tech industry.

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