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Specifically about podcasting

Thursday, November 29, 2007 by Dave Winer.

I've heard that podcasting didn't achieve its promise, and I guess it's time for me to say what I think about that.  Permalink to this paragraph

First, obviously it depends on what you felt was the promise.  Permalink to this paragraph

Second, it depends whether you think there's more to do. Permalink to this paragraph

I think there is, and when that's done, podcasting will become more than it is.  Permalink to this paragraph

As much as I love the iPod, it is not a great podcast player. However, unfortunately, it is the best podcast player you can buy, today. Permalink to this paragraph

What if the energy that went into Chumby, for example, went into designing a podcast player? The player might actually look more like Chumby than it does an iPod. The interesting thing about the Chumby is that it is connected but not tethered to the network. The ideal podcast player would be even more loosely connected. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named n800.gif1. It would directly read its feeds over wifi, it would not have to synch through a desktop or laptop computer. The iPhone has enough connectivity to do this. The iPod Touch does. A Nokia N800 does as well. Most cell phones do.  Permalink to this paragraph

2. You could use it to create a podcast. We're basically there with Twittergram and BlogTalkRadio. Just call a number, and we not only shoot your minicast at Twitter but we also maintain an RSS 2.0 with enclosures feed. In other words, in every way, it's a podcast. Permalink to this paragraph

3. It must be open, so users can have a range of choices of catcher software. I don't think a one-vendor approach has a chance of working.  Permalink to this paragraph

When we get this device, podcasting will work better. Permalink to this paragraph

In terms of expectations, a lot of people hoped they could make podcasts and quit their day jobs. I wasn't one of those people, and I never encouraged people to believe that. I see podcasting, for bloggers, as just another way to communicate with a few people who are interested in what they know and think. I also see it as a way for professional news organizations, esp non-profits, to flow reports to people in a very convenient and powerful way. As a consumer of podcasts, I am in heaven. I am a regular listener of: Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, Fresh Air, Nightline, NYT Tech Talk, and numerous NPR shows. I have far more content than I have time to listen. Thanks to podcasting I am a much better informed person, and it gives my mind something to do as I get my exercise. Permalink to this paragraph

I don't do my own podcast very often these days, but then I don't do much public speaking or go to many parties or do press interviews either. I'm in a quiet period. I don't know how long it will last, or if it will ever end, I'm just going with the flow. I like to write, and hang out with friends in small groups, and I do a lot of reading and listening, and I also am working on software projects. If I were driving coast to coast or going to political conventions or teaching at a university, I imagine I would also be doing more podcasts. Permalink to this paragraph

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