But, it begins to seem to me that this is an inefficient means of receiving information. In the time I can listen to an average podcast, I could have caught up on my 50 favorite blogs, or read a chapter in a book, or read the latest issue of Red Herring magazine.
Well, of course you could. If you could read while driving. Or while exercising. Or if you remember to bring your magazine with you so that when you get five minutes of time waiting in line at the DMV, you could pull it open and read it.
When all is said and done, the spoken word is a pretty inefficient means of communicating, but it's still quite useful and popular.
I spend over an hour each day commuting. I can't read then. I can listen to the radio or a podcast. Is it less efficient than reading? Well, since reading is impossible, no, it isn't.