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NPR : Personal Radio Via Podcasting Grows More Popular

Dear All Things Considered;

I only listened to the 1st 15 seconds of this segment before I knew that you guys missed the point.

From the first mention of podcasting it was clear that there was a negative slant on the article with the reference to podcasts as "online rants," and "the quality is low." They are no more encompassed by those comments than weblogs are.

Nathan gets a lot of the facts wrong. Adam is only know as "the father of podcasting" to some of the listeners - I personally don't even listen to the DSC on a daily basis. Adam also didn't develop the technology (which has existed for some time, and was championed in part by Dave Winer and evangelized by Adam), nor did he write iPodder as we know it today (Eric de Jonge, Perica Zivkovic, Andrew Grumet, Garth Kidd, and Martijn Venrooy did so). Many listeners to podcasts (Daily Source Code included) don't even own iPods - podcasting is not specific to the iPod platform. Where's the research? Hmm?

The focus on broadcast radio's ideas of professionalism and quality are equally misplaced. What those things miss is the honesty and humanity that goes in to a podcast, as Adam Curry alluded to in the clip you played from him. It's that honesty when contrasted with the preproduced slickness of broadcast radio that's so appealing and compelling. Quality means many different things, and those meanings that you measure in your piece are but a small part of the overall gestalt.

Lastly there's the idea that podcasting is free because the quality is low. That may be true for some shows, and undoubtedly some will go commercial to some greater or lesser extent, but going back to the blog you'll see some very high-quality writing going on in blogs, and they are all free. There's nothing to say that much of podcasting can't do the same.

All in all a very disappointing segment. It may interest you to know that I used to be a religious ATC listener on my eveing commute, but now listening to ATC is a rarity. Know what replaced it? Podcasts.

Editorial note: raster takes me to task in the comments for not being fair to Adam Curry , and he's right - content above revised to reflect his comments. Also I note that my own research is less than perfect - I spelled Perica's last name incorrectly and allowed a known spelling error in Andrew's name to slip through. Time to eat my own dog food.


At 5:23 AM, Blogger raster said...

"Adam also didn't develop the technology (which has existed for some time, and was championed in part by Dave Winer), nor did he write iPodder"

To be fair, what Adam did was become an evangelist for the technology of automating downloads via syndication. He wanted this since 2000 or so, and people had been doing it, but leveraging RSS didn't happen with enough momentum until 2004. Also, iPodder was the name of the AppleScript Adam wrote that did the downloading, when he called any 'enclosure aware aggregator' an 'iPodder' I didn't argue with it, I just named mine 'renko' and tried to push forward the technology. The iPodder Lemon guys first used the name iSpider, and then switched to iPodder.


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