Giving podcasting a different name

Ugh. I am getting so sick of this debate. The one where people are complaining or arguing over the name of “podcasting”[wiki] and how it should or needs to be changed.

I think this is the culture that has developed in the land of blogging and podcasting. We all have a voice, so everyone wants a stake in saying what is what, and this is the brilliance that comes with this world of new media. However, it’s driving me insane.

It’s come up today on a posting by Scott Bourne on, and he isn’t the first guy to focus in on this. I would bet that he won’t be the last, but does the name of “podcasting” limit the medium in terms of growth and exposure? Might there be another name that would help make it more, dare I say it, mainstream?

Podcasting seems limiting. We are seeing the whole world look at You Tube, iTunes and other services as a way to consume media – period. A NEW way to consume media – NEW MEDIA – in other words.

I find myself increasingly using the term NEW MEDIA instead of podcasting. My pal Leo Laporte uses NETCAST. What about you? What term do you use? [podcastingtricks]

Personally, I use the word “content”. Whether it’s blogging, podcasting, or uploading photos to flickr, I am creating and sharing content. I feel like that is where the current realm of podcasting really needs to focus, and that is the comment that I left on Bourne’s post.

John Bollwitt on June 13th, 2007

I feel like if we spent as much time and energy on this topic of a sweeping name change as we actually spent on making this medium more prevalent and accessible, we’d be further along than we are now.

At the same time, the more you try to change something right now, the more you’ll run into responses like, “Netcasts? Oh you mean podcasts? Now I know what you are talking about.”

Look up the history of radio. It used to be called “wireless” until the term radio caught on. It didn’t happen overnight, and there is something to be said about forcing change. We just need to keep cranking out content to make people take notice, and then the name with shape itself.

I’ve fallen behind on creating content, so there is some hypocritical aspects to what I am saying. Still, the name is not the reason to fault anything, and this consistent argument will barely change that. Discussion is good, but there is serious need for great content so that more people take notice and make this medium stronger. Better accessibility through technology wouldn’t hurt either, but that’s a whole other topic for another time.

Locked and loaded for NorthernVoice 2007

After some careful planning and budgeting, Rebecca and I have both signed ourselves up for NorthernVoice 2007. It should be a whirlwind of a weekend since the following Sunday is our one year anniversary. If that seems to be a geeky way to spend the first part of the weekend after being married for a year, then you’re probably right, and we like it that way.

Northern Voice is a two-day, non-profit personal blogging conference that’s being held at the UBC main campus on February 23-24, 2007.

This is the 3rd annual incarnation of this event, see the 2006 and 2005 websites for previous information.

Blogging, podcasting, social media, new media, web 2.0, and so on. Yes, there will be lots of ideas about all those things being tossed around, not to mention plenty of laptops on laps action.

We had a snafu in our planning, not realizing that Friday held quite the goings-on with the whole Moose Camp deal. In our heads, we thought that was taking place in the evening on Friday, so we opted to have Rebecca take the following Monday off in anticipation of our celebratory weekend. Looks like I’ll be checking things out for that Friday on my own, but she’ll make her way down for any activities later on that night. We’ll both be sneaking around on Saturday.

Looking forward to meeting more new people in the sphere of all things new media, plus catch a few neat sessions(view the schedule). Even Dave is leading a session on podcasting, so I’ve got to go heckle him check that out.

I’ll probably check in here during the event, and the recording gear always travels with me. It’s just a matter of not getting too into soaking up information to remember to grab some audio cuts. Have to see how things go. For me this is really good timing because the wonderful (I’m throwing that in there in case anyone at CIC is watching) Canadian government recently approved my PR application. I’ll be able to work in a matter of weeks now. 🙂

Podcasting reaching its limits

When I first caught word of this post at Digital Podcast, it made me stop to think. Has podcasting reached its limit? I have to agree with Scott Bourne at Podcasting Tricks. No way, Jose.

I’ve been a proponent of the medium since I first heard of it. The potential hit me at that same moment, but I think it’s fair to say that the concept hasn’t been taken to the height of where it can deemed successful or impactual.

Then, I read this over at BoingBoing. It appears that Odeo is up for sale. Instead of just pulling the plug, they thought they would see if someone would want to buy the site. My use and knowledge of their service is limited, but it’s essentially an online podcatcher. If you don’t have an iPod or the ability to download gigs of podcasts onto your computer, you can use their service to keep track of all of your favorites and listen to them from the web, no eating up of your hard drive space required.

This makes me think a little bit more about this idea of podcasting reaching its limits. Remember the dot-com bubble[wiki] of the 90’s? I see podcasting to be a lot like that. There is the surge that is still going on, but a true grasp of the potential hasn’t been seen yet. The whole thing might have to completely tank before it gets better.

For those of us who bask in glowing warm glow of new media and Web 2.0, we get it. For some of us, this is old news. However, I always think back to my friends and family who don’t drink this stuff like water as I do. Are they listening? Are they watching? Are they downloading? How accessible is this stuff, regardless if they know what podcasting is or isn’t?

In the early 20th century, TV went through many trials before it was settled on how everything would work on the technical side. From there, the growth of broadcast signals trickled out across the world, and even the broadcast day went from a few hours to the around the clock monotony that we have today. There was no switch and suddenly we had the Honeymooners[wiki]. It took time to grow, and podcasting faces the same task.

No one and everyone is listening to podcasts

For me, podcasting is a lot like arguing over who is and isn’t listening to radio. For or against. It’s stupid, or it’s worthwhile. I get so tired of it. It’s like we’re back in 1995 and arguing over Mac vs. Windows. I learned a long time ago that it’s all a matter of preference. Whatever works for you, and you like it, then great. Go have fun. I’ll do my own thing in the meantime.

Last week, PC World wrote about how very few people in the world are listening to podcasts. Citing an article from the BCC, the numbers would tell you that this is true. And okay, I’ll buy what they are saying. The sad thing is that there will be media organizations who will look as this research and make a decision for not podcasting content. The study is there, and over paid consultants live and die by these things. In fact, PC World ended their article by asking readers if, based on this BBC article, they should do their own podcast.

Then you have an article from MacNewsWorld today. They report that the medium is doing great, but they base this off of the amount of content that is being created everyday. It’s on the rise, from amateurs to professionals alike. I also think that part of the article is just a way to advertise products for prospective podcasters, but the first portion of the post is what I’m mainly focusing on.

I lend more credit to this frame of thought. I don’t care about who is already out there that I can reach. Providing content and bringing in those who want to consume it, iPod owners or not, should be more important. If podcasting is dragged down by the name implying that you need an iPod to be apart of the fun, then use that as a marketing strategy.

Step out there and put out your content. If you can, then do it. You won’t know until you try, and you stand to bring in even more people who will check out podcasting in general.

The slow moving, giant sloth that is Iowa Public Radio

Flickr: Public Radio daysWhen I joined the world of public radio in 2003, the general manager for the group of stations that were controlled and funded by Iowa State University issued a white paper calling for the creation of a statewide network for public radio within the state. What he wanted to do was to bring all stations from the three major university’s into a single network, the other two school’s being the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa.

It was was in the first few days that this news came out of left field and made the whole place freak out. I was fresh to the whole public radio sphere at WSUI/KSUI, and it was within the first month of coming on board that people were telling me that I should consider applying for the full time position as assistant engineer. The thing is, no one knew if their jobs were going to be there if and when this consolidation took effect.

One thing that my time in college radio taught me was that bureaucracies work at an incredibly slow, painful, and sometimes ignorant pace. A motion like this would be a matter decided by a select group of people at the top of the institute of higher education food chain, the board of regents. It was no secret to anyone inside the stations that the guy who put out this white paper was licking his lips to be the one at the top of the organizational chart. Long story short, the process out-processed him. Not only did he not make it through the motions to be considered a finalist for the job, but he eventually left altogether.

Enter the era of the executive director of Iowa Public Radio, Cindy Browne. No matter how much everyone tried to put us at ease with the situation, there was never a worse feeling that treating this woman with ill manner would cost you your career. We were told that this wasn’t an era of consolidation, but an attempt at better cooperation. There would be an examining of how running all the stations under one network could save money, but anyone familiar with the way any media organization goes about such a venture knows what that means. The less people you have, the more money you can save. Continue reading “The slow moving, giant sloth that is Iowa Public Radio”