The first rule of podcasting…

I just finished listening to the latest of Dave Slusher’s Evil Genius Chronicles (love the show Dave!) and thought I’d merely give my comments about a topic that he brought up: the common criticism that the only thing podcasting is talking about is podcasting itself, existing only for the self-gratification and aggrandization of people who make podcasts.

To anyone who would like to lodge this particular criticism, I would merely respond with two questions:

  1. If you are upset with the content of someone’s podcast, why are you bothering to listen to them?
  2. If you think that you know better about what the format and content of a podcast, why aren’t you bothering to create one for the enjoyment of those who are forced to listen to the rest of us?

Podcasting, as exciting as it is to some of us, is essentially still an experiment. There are lots of things that need to be done to streamline the creation, distribution and consumption of podcast feeds. People have good ideas, and are using the bootstrapped version of this medium to distribute these ideas so that the evolution of this idea can proceed rapidly. If you’d like to criticize, perhaps you should do so by example: by writing the software and creating the podcasts that shame the rest of us into doing better, or shine light on areas of darkness that we have not yet explored.

Dave seemed to be a bit angry, I’m just amused. People sometimes ask me why I build telescopes when I could just go buy one. If someone asks you that question, there is likely to be no answer that you can give them. Similarly, if someone thinks that podcasting sucks, well, then tell them to feel free to ignore it. Time will unfold and show us one of two outcomes:

  1. Podcasting emerges as an innovative, important new style of media, and they finally catch the trailing edge of its importance, or
  2. We are all deluded, and it’s just a flash in the pan phenomenon of no significance.

I can take being wrong a whole lot easier than I can take the knowledge that I had the opportunity to participate in some small way to the propagation of a cool new idea and I let it slip by because some people thought it was dumb.