At BarCampVancouver, Ryan Cousineau[wiredcola] led a session called “Sturgeon’s Revelation”[wiki]. The idea that “ninety percent of everything is crud” was the center piece of this session, applying it to pretty much everything that exists in the world of Web 2.0[wiki]. The main topic of focus, however, was podcasting[wiki].
Darren Barefoot made a recent post regarding social networks and podcasting, citing that the resources are not there for the medium as there is for photo, video, or link sharing. This idea speaks a lot to what Cousineau was getting at with his session, and much of his thoughts on the topic is posted on his blog.
When it comes down to it, there is not an easy way to share content within a podcast unless you listen to it. You can’t Google search for information that can be found in a podcast. There are such things as show notes and tags that people apply to the material that they publish, but not everyone does it, nor does everyone do it the same way.
The only solution to this problem is to transcribe podcasts in their entirty so that anyone searching for a topic can locate it in your podcast as well as anywhere else on the web. Quite often, this is where people with low opinions about podcasting derive their argument, and I’ve heard this thought propelled by a lot of bloggers. Yes, blogging is a very quick way of publishing information for the world to read in nearly real time. It is instantly indexed, searchable, and archived.
Generating audio for a podcast can be done in the same way, but often is delayed and ineffective with being timely. The podcast itself, in its raw form, is a bunch of ones and zeros, and no one has developed a way to index the contents of a podcast so that it is searchable across the internet. No matter how great of material that you have in a podcast, some one finding that gem of information inside forty minutes of a mp3 won’t happen unless they download it and listen.
This is where I start to agree with the point that Cousineau is saying and the thoughts presented in Barefoot’s post. The conversation that you can get from podcasting is vastly different for the ones that happen through blogging, Flickr, or YouTube. “Feedback” is the better word for what goes on with a podcast. Continue reading “Podcasting and the Meta Argument”