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The debate about the worth of podcasting

Friday, January 11, 2008 by Dave Winer.

There's a mini-debate going on about whether podcasting is a success or worth it, or whatever, I'm not sure exactly what the issue is, but it's framed this way --> if you can't get advertisers to hitch a ride on your podcast then podcasting is not worth much if anything.  Permalink to this paragraph

I'm having a slow Friday so far, it's cloudy and chilly here in the Bay Area, we're in the January doldrums, so I thought maybe I could liven things up a bit by saying both sides of this argument are wrong. Permalink to this paragraph

Let me explain. Permalink to this paragraph

My phone doesn't have a business model. Neither does my porch. I still like having a phone and a porch because they help me meet new people and communicate with people I know. Same with my blog and podcast. Permalink to this paragraph

Meanwhile... Permalink to this paragraph

There's another mini-debate about bloggers playing pranks at CES. The Gizmodo guys ran around with some gadgets that turn TV sets off. At CES is this a big deal because much of what goes on there is TV. They were being assholes, interfering with people's ability to do their jobs and make a living. As a result bloggers get a bad rep.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named gecko.jpgThe problem is that they're not bloggers, they're reporters and they work for a company that's not a blog, it's a publication. Publishing stuff on the web with blogging software says nothing about the people and what they write.  Permalink to this paragraph

A blogger is person who has an idea, expertise or opinion who wants to convey that to other people. The unedited voice of a person. What makes a blogger interesting is that they do something other than writing a blog. If all you do is write a blog, and if you want or need to make money from your blogging, it's really hard to distinguish what you're doing from what professionals who don't use the web (are there any left?) do. Permalink to this paragraph

Same with podcasting. Permalink to this paragraph

I do a podcast from time to time because I want to say something. Whether I can run an ad on my podcast means nothing to me because I would never do it. And if I went crazy and let someone put an ad on there, it would only be to reciprocate for them having hosted the podcast, as a way of paying for the podcast itself (I'm contemplating doing exactly that right now so I had to include the disclaimer). I would never burden my podcasting with the task of supporting me. It's not why I podcast. Permalink to this paragraph

We keep having this argument. Amateurism is good and there's lots of it. Professional writers and broadcasters probably have a place, I don't know, it's not my problem. But let's be clear blogging and podcasting exist independent of a professional's ability to eek out a living using the tools of blogging and podcasting.  Permalink to this paragraph

Now I'm going to try to get some work done. ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

Bob Stepno: "Podcasting lets people sing to each other again." Permalink to this paragraph

See also: Podcasting News, MashablePermalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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