Scripting News, Trade Secrets and Ego

My rant begins with Dave Winer’s post on Scripting News, from which I quote:

Here’s the Trade Secrets podcast I promised yesterday where we explain where Adam and I see podcasting going. Since it’s a travel day (flying to Boston for the I&S conference) there won’t be much to read here, so I’m asking for forty minutes of your time today to listen to this cast. I don’t think you’ll regret it. We’re at a moment when this new activity is starting to make sense in a broader way, and the next set of problems are evident. The problems are industry-size, that is, it will take an industry to solve them. Hope you enjoy the story!

While I didn’t actually hear alarm bells, I did feel the hair on the back of my neck prick up. I don’t listen to Trade Secrets much anymore, but Dave said it was important, and that I wouldn’t regret listening to it.

Well, I do regret it. I’ll summarize what took Dave and Adam forty minutes to meander around:

  • Dave is still upset that Adam gets credit for inventing podcasting. Not with Adam, but with the world.
  • Dave and Adam are working on a business based upon podcasting. No real details were announced.
  • The people who are working on iPodder scripts? They aren’t listening to Dave and Adam enough, and they should because they are the number one podcast.
  • Dave and Adam need to make money off of podcasting so they can go on and do the next big thing.

I suspect I might be in the vast minority, or perhaps even alone in this, but did anyone find anything of interest in this podcast? I’m sure it is all of intense interest to Dave and to Adam, but why should we care about what they are doing? When Dave says “listen, you won’t regret it”, I feel that you have to deliver some reason for us to care. I don’t think they gave us any reason whatsoever to care about what they are doing.

We know, you invented podcasting, but the cat is out of the bag and kitty doesn’t want to go back in. While you guys might hold the number one slot now, here’s an update: it won’t last. Just as nobody goes back and watches Edison’s early motion pictures (okay, I do, but very few do) being first doesn’t give you any real guarantee of immortality. As a consumer, I’ve moved beyond your podcasts, because you continue to talk as if the medium was important and your role in developing the medium is somehow important. You can go on and get interviewed by the BBC and CNN, you can be approached by radio and television executives, but none of that matters in the slightest to me. That world has nothing to do with what I do, and has nothing to do with what interests me.

I’m just a hobbyist. I do my podcast because it is fun for me to. The topics I choose are designed to appeal to me, and to the extent that my interests are eclectic, my popularity will always be limited. I am not going to hire production staff or run gigabit networking to my house. I’m not going to play RIAA music, or interview movie stars or music celebrities. Why? Because we already have big media to do that. Duplicating existing big media on handheld devices isn’t innovative or interesting, just as having traditional journalists publish blogs isn’t interesting. What is interesting in my mind is the ability of everyone to participate in the exchange of rich media to communicate with each other. And we can do that now.

Podcasting appeals to me because nearly anyone can do it. On any budget. For any reason. To communicate with family. Or their community. Or their church. Or people with similar interests. Or people who don’t know what their interests are. Or people who just need something different to listen to. There aren’t any real obstacles to doing it, at least to anyone who wants to actually do something. We certainly don’t need an industry to make that happen: it’s happening already.

Dell turns on too pricey Red Hat | The Register

The Register is reporting on Dell business director’s comments that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 is too expensive for a variety of Dell customers.

Actually, I’ve begun to wonder the same thing. Isn’t Redhat Enterprise every it as expensive (in real dollars to purchase, not in any cost of ownership sense) as similar Microsoft solutions?

Yes, yes, open software is more than just bucks to purchase, but I have seen a trend toward greater expense in Linux distributions, and I wonder what’s behind it.