Scott Hanselman

Podcasting = Verbal Incontinence

October 21, '04 Comments [12] Posted in Musings
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Sorry folks, PodCasting = Verbal Incontinence.  I'm just not feeling it.  You can't speak as fast as I read.  I don't like it when you read your PowerPoints to me, and I REALLY don't like it when you ramble on.  My commute isn't nearly long enough to slog through your PodCasts to find a nugget of goodness.  If you blog, I can ignore it, or read it in any order. I can skip forward by, gasp, moving my eyes.

PodCasting, clever, yes.  Interesting, yes.  A new kind of media? Maybe. You could just post the MP3s and I'll download them whenever. Useful? Not to me.

P.S. After all this nonsense around RSS taking up too much bandwidth, you all have the stones to suggest we following links to 40meg MP3s?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Thursday, October 21, 2004 3:36:25 AM UTC
Amen.

After an initial euphoria, thinking I would get .NET Rocks for every day of the week, I found myself bored silly. My commute _is_ long enough, but my tolerance for boredom is not. I can have more fun listening to my engine idle.
Thursday, October 21, 2004 4:51:23 AM UTC
I can see a case for podcasting (read Les Orchard's recent posts), if I had a long enough commute and had some compelling source to listen to. And if I owned an iPod. To me the problem with podcasting is the same that you have listed: you can't scan, you can't index and search, you can't manipulate it easily, you can't cut and paste nice quotes. That spills over into a lack of network effects. I doubt that podcasting will take off like blogging. But I do think that it's lowered the barrier to entry for some unknown speaking talents out there. Give it a year or two to develop.
Thursday, October 21, 2004 5:09:57 AM UTC
(Responding to Chris Bilson) - More fun listening to your engine idle? Umkay. If you would listen to .NET Rocks on your PC, why would listening to it in your car be bad? Same program. Same audio format. I don't follow...
Thursday, October 21, 2004 5:31:39 AM UTC
Aaron,

Sorry, that's not what I meant. I always listent to .NET Rocks in the car. I meant that most of the other podcasts I have tried to listen to were pretty...ummm...dull. I would love to hear about some interesting ones. The only one that even entered my memory was one where Adam Curry goes on a hash run on his way home from Amsterdam. For some reason, I just fail to derive any entertainment value. Maybe I'm weird.
Thursday, October 21, 2004 1:59:04 PM UTC
The problem for me seems to be that it takes much more skills to fill a podcast program than to write an interesting blog post.
If everybody starts podcasting whenever they feel like or if the shows come up too often, it tends to get dull, a true "verborrhea".
I only listen to shows where I'm not looking for specific or important information. If important information is found, great, but I don't count on that. It is basically (at least it should be) entertaining background noise.
On the other hand, podcasting (and later DV-casting or whatever name they give to the video version) is just a natural extension to simplified content publishing. Think how nespapers, radio shows, and tv channels coexist. They are published differently so they have different ways to lay out the information or entertainment. The same will be happening to podcasting. Don't just expect somebody to start recording all their random thoughts and publishing for download, that would be boring and embarassing.
Time will show the great podcasters, just like we know some great bloggers. I also listen to .Net Rocks and it is in some ways enduring the pioneer's path through this new field, especially for tech-oriented content.
Sergio Pereira
Thursday, October 21, 2004 4:24:40 PM UTC
I don't see anything exciting about scheduling mp3s to be downloaded and copied to my iPod. I'd rather get an email with a summary of the content and decide whether I want to stream it or download it.

Is waking up with new MP3s on your iPod really that groundbreaking?

Make a personalized voice-activated audio/video feed that streams down to a monitor in my bathroom so I can catch up on whatever I am interested in while I shave and maybe I'll listen.

Podcasting = overhyped File | Send To iPod

Lawrence Pina
Thursday, October 21, 2004 4:45:20 PM UTC
I posted a similar statment on my blog before this "Podcasting" thing even started. http://www.variantx.com/BlogDetail.aspx?ID=10

I even mentioned the concept of having your aggregator downloading the audio file for you. This is just a crazy idea to me, and so easy to do, yet everyone is raving about it. I just don't see it. I think only certain shows like .NET rocks would ever make me do this.
Thursday, October 21, 2004 9:37:46 PM UTC
There's a lot more good podcasts than just dot net rocks. Check out acts of volition, whole wheat radio, coverville, and lots more. These are music radio shows, not geek talk.

http://www.podstar.com
Friday, October 22, 2004 1:45:11 AM UTC
Scott...preach on, brother!
Friday, October 22, 2004 5:44:33 PM UTC
I've never heard a Podcast or .NET Rocks for the simple fact that I don't want to skip ahead x minutes for anything important. If you're giving me one long 40 meg MP3 with no breaks, no indexes, no stops or ways to search through it for the "important bits" what is the point?

I know I'm missing out on a lot, but until podcasts can be broken up, searchable, and as easily categorized as plain text can be then I'll second Scott and say "Next!"

I think as it evolves though people will build better tools to transcribe the content automatically, build indexes and search terms, and make for a way where you can skip ahead to relevant information. Right now it's just too much of a pain to bother with if you're using it for important information. Filler for your commute is one thing, using it to learn something is another.
Friday, October 22, 2004 6:20:13 PM UTC
If indexing and skipping were so important, people would never had watched TV before Tivo. Printed books and newspapers are so much quicker to find what you want, right? Different delivery formats require different content formats. This is just begining and what we have now is too raw in its majority for us to say if it has a future or not. What we are seeing in a lot of "public access tv", to try and compare. I too don't want the blogs I read replaced by boring audio files.. I'm waiting to see if more interesting/fun podcasts come up.
Sergio Pereira
Thursday, October 28, 2004 7:15:30 PM UTC
Well I'm glad to see someone else just not feel the need to jump on the podcast bandwagon. When I first heard of it I was a bit confused and had to ask, "Why all the excitement?"

After looking at it more and more I still don't get it. And I'm not even a luddite :O) As it stands podcasts seem like a waste of time to me. Who knows, maybe that will change someday in the future but I'll stick to listening to music on my iPod thanks.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.