To Tow Center re podcasting
Saturday, December 12, 2015 by Dave Winer

I just sent an email to a friend at the Tow Center re their guide to podcasting, that appears to have come out today. I felt it was good enough to put here too. 

  1. Not surprising they misunderstood how podcasting came to be, based on who they spoke with.
  2. It's an important story because it's an open uncontrolled technology. You don't have to please Zuck or Dorsey or Tim Cook or anyone else.
  3. No algorithms. No control. How did that happen?
  4. They don't even seem to know or care that it did happen.
  5. This is what you all should be teaching, that there are ways to do journalism that don't have to be controlled by the tech industry. That is not part of the story you tell, but imho it is the most important part.
  6. The upshot of the lack of control: There are lots of discovery apps coming online for podcasting. If it were controlled like content that flows through Facebook or Twitter, there would be room for only one discovery algorithm. I offer my own as an example. 
  7. For the future -- freedom of the press. Ultimately Facebook and Twitter are going to exert more control over what flows over their wires. We need new mechanisms that circumvent that control. Podcasting is ready-made for this. But we have to study and appreciate this, not bury it.

PS: Here's a 20-minute podcast I did in Sept on the origins of podcasting. 

  • Interesting! Are the 7 points and the PS the contents of the email, or will you be posting the email separately?

    • Only the first five were in the email. I added the second two, as a web exclusive. No extra charge! :-)

  • What do you think of this take? "Podcasts are to media as web pages are to text. Podcasting is the oral tradition of the open web."

    • When I wrote the post introducing Chris Lydon's show, I called it a weblog for the ears. BTW, what's so frustrating about these histories is that when we were moving forward I took my notes in public to leave a record so that when people would write the histories they wouldn't have to guess about what we were thinking and doing. Hopefully some actual studies are done here, not just seat of the pants stuff.