EGC Clambake Episode for Jan 4, 2005

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for January 4, 2005.

In this episode, I renew my good wishes for a speedy recovery to Tony Kahn; I discuss the passing of Kelly Freas and Will Eisner; I talk about the new Voices in Your Head interview with James P. Hogan; I relate my New Year’s Eve and note that I live in William Gibson’s birthplace; I discuss Amy Gahran and her dislike of the term “podcast”; I play a song by Paul Melancon and finish by urging everyone to worry less about being cool and more about making sure people hear it from you that you love them.

This episode is sponsored in part by the fine folks at iPodderX!

Links mentioned in this episode:

10 Replies to “EGC Clambake Episode for Jan 4, 2005”

  1. Hey Dave.

    Thanks for your comments about my initial audio show. Even though we disagree about the term “podcast,” I respect your opinion. I figure, you never learn anything in life if you only talk/listen to people who already think like you or agree with you.

    …Which is, basically, my underlying point about the major problems with the term “podcast.” I understand that the term was developed by popular consensus of early adopters (who are mainly technophiles). And it is, indeed, ideal for that community.

    However, that community is pretty damn narrow compared to the larger community of internet users and the world at large. If you look beyond the small, intensely self-referential circle of geekdom, it becomes obvious that “podcast” does indeed sound initially alien and offputting. That can be a significant barrier to an average non-geek who is already overburdened by new stuff to learn about.

    Contrary to your implication, I don’t, in fact, believe that an intuitive name means “completely and immediately. self-explanatory.” However, IMHO, if you hope to introduce a general audience to a “by the people, for the people” kind of media, its name ideally should welcome their participation and interest, not alienate them.

    I do think that the rest of my short initial audio show addressed these points, and others. I hope your listeners download and listen to my Jan 1, 2005 show in order to get appropriate context, because I think you unwittingly misrepresented a fair amount of my message.

    Also, I do not mean to offer “nonconstructive criticism” as you stated. I am, in fact, trying out alternate terms to introduce the podcasting concept in casual conversations with non-geeks. I said as much in my show. That’s constructive.

    Also, despite your dislike of discussing the relative mass appeal of the term “podcast” with podcasters, I actually think that’s constructive, too.

    Here’s what I meant by my remark about not taking on the task of renaming “podcast.” Last year I took on the huge task of holding a contest to find a nontechnical nickname for RSS. (The winner, ‘webfeed,’ is in fact getting some popularity among non-geeks despite its own shortcomings.) That contest was a ton of work and burned a lot of my energy. Frankly I’m choosing more carefully this year where to put that kind of energy.

    So I am indeed attempting to be constructive with regard to introducing “podcasting” to ordinary non-geeky people. I’m just not going to the lengths in this case that I did earlier. But then again, the term “podcast” is not as awful as “RSS.”

    Thanks again for your remarks, I did appreciate them. And I hope 2005 does indeed go much better for you and your family.

    Amy Gahran
    – Editor, CONTENTIOUS

    (PS, I’m a major sci-fi fan too, always have been. I just realize and respect that most of the world is not.)

    (PPS: Thanks for boosting the levels in the clip you played from my show.)

  2. Amy, as much as I would love to take any side that isn’t Dave’s (general principles), I have to agree with him on the simplicity and useability of the term “podcast”.

    Your critique of the term uses metrics that are wholly unusable in lingustics. How does a word speak for itself? How do you coin a term that immediately passes on its own meaning? You don’t. If your specs were used we wouldn’t be typing on “computers” now. I mean, I don’t use it to compute, I use it to type my communications. Maybe mine should be a “typer” or a “communicator”. By your metric, we wouldn’t have “radios” either. “Soundboxes” perhaps?

    So, having said all that, either use the term or don’t. If you get one that meets your standards and other people like it better, that will become the term. It’s how linguistics works. It is how “personal cassette recorders” became “walkmans”. It’s why you know what I mean when I say I got a drink out of my fridge.

    Now I’m leaving this debate as I have to carmonflate my sporguculator. Know what I mean?

  3. james – your dna is strong πŸ˜‰

    concur on podcast as a term hangups – i thought that ended eons ago – back in the good ol days of the audioblogging wars…

    it’s clear podcasting has established semantic value…

    dave – the hogan interview was great, how about considering michael r. mennenga as a future voices interview?

  4. Amy, thanks for the response. You are obviously willing to put lots more time and energy into this deal, but I’m not. I believe you could not possibly be more wrong about the term “podcast” being offputting. Is it more offputting than “blog”, the single ugliest word coined in the last decade? Feel free to keep throwing new terms at the wall to see what sticks, but I’m uninterested in that process. I will just periodically check the wall to see what’s there. I’m not engaging in long debates about this. You think the term is offputting, and I think you can empirically prove that isn’t true. The term had 0 hits on Google in late September, and now it has nearly a million. Who is being put off? In summation, on the coining of a replacement term – have at it. Are you willing to take my $100 bet about no other term supplanting it?

    James and Mike, I’m with you both. I think that not only isn’t an impediment but is in part the cause of the rapid spread of the meme, because it is so catchy and cool. But like I said, this ain’t my project. Let someone else beat their brains against this wall.

  5. This episode has got to be the most popular in downloads and peering. In less than 48 hours, my seed has a share ratio of 2.3 times.

    I’ve never had any of your previous episodes get up the share ratio ladder so fast. In comparison, the December 20 episode is at 2.03 share ratio.

    Just thought I’d share (pun not intended). I think that is deserving of a gumbo EGC. πŸ˜€

  6. Amy seems to be confusing the delivery medium with the content. Her show and Dave’s are arguably “talk shows”, yet it’s not the type of content or style that we are naming but the technology. And the inventors of the technology chose podcast. Whether it’s a talk show, a “new artist debut show” or whatever, is not what podcast refers to.

    The “usability” and “off-putting” metrics Amy talks about are useless; no one argues about VCR and television and radio today, because the term caught on. My grandfather often liked to try to remembere most of the different names for radio (“the wireless”, Marconi device, and more than I can’t remember right now). Obviously radio caught on.

    She argues that things are not named as per their technology, that things are popularly named generically. That’s bullshit. Cellphones, television, satellite communications, and radio, work by the same principle, yet are named exclusively along technological lines (in this example, a new way of applying electromagnetic transmission of data got a new name, even if all it was is a repackaging of radiotransmission for a new purpose).

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but you don’t know what you’re saying, Amy. You are speaking entirely from inside looking out, and you’re entirely missing the forest for the trees.

  7. PJ, don’t get me started on Cajun food. I’ll just start drooling as I think of my memories of eating at Prejeans in Lafayette (or is it Carencro up there?) or T. Coon’s in downtown or the various other nondescript places I ate at every day. Yumm!

    I don’t think your assumption necessarily holds, because there are so many things that could make your share ratio go up or down. If the previous go-rounds had a badass, high upload seed going on and this one didn’t, it would make all the BT downloads on average take longer and spread more of the load to you. This episode has been downloaded more than the one before it via BT, but maybe 20 or 30 times, not anything that big or enough to account for your 50% increase in share ratio.

  8. Does any one term really make some non technical term “get it”, my standing is no, so it really doesn’t matter what you call it. People recognize a term by it’s popularity and usage. Look at blog or weblog, or tivo for that matter, who non-technical really new what that was about before it garnered mainstream attention, my my contention is a one single term/branding is not going to make somebody “get it”.

    -jeff

  9. And speaking of Voices in your Head, the latest episode is posted and it’s an interview with James P. Hogan. He wrote a favorite of mine, The Proteus Operation, a time travel to World War II novel. I’ve reread it several times to the point that I know where my favorite parts are and just go and read a scene every once in a while. I love the reveal scene where the guys from the future show themselves to Winston Churchill. It was an interesting interview and I’m going to add a couple of the novel discussed to my list.

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