Aardvark on Audioblogs

In comments on Joi Ito’s blog, Horst Prillinger says that he’s pretty sure the Maciej manifesto is ironic. Not being familiar with the guy or his style, I must take the word of those folks who are. Horst has a really good entry on his blog with his thoughts on audioblogging. Perhaps I’ve got a different snapshot from the ones I follow, but I’ve never heard an entry from anyone that just read the same things they’d be posting in text. All the ones I follow are from people who are speaking conversationally, and being able to hear them talk off of their head gives me a better sense of who they are. I had been reading Adam Curry’s weblog for years, and had seen him on TV for over a decade, before hearing his audioblogs. Even so, I felt I had a better handle on his personality and who he really is from those. I’ve been blogging for two years, but I like to think that even long time readers get a better feeling for who I am and what kind of guy I am by listening to the audio entries. It’s just all about making connections from person to person.

Here’s a part of Horst’s entry I really like:

It is my belief that audioblogging certainly has its uses, it’s just that so far it has mostly been used for the mere transformation of written text into spoken text, which is just one marginal use of what audio technology allows us to do. We need to experiment more with it, be more open to exploring its possibilities. Just imagine that musicians had only ever used recording technology to record just the spoken lyrics of their songs and had played the music only in live performances.

But that’s exactly what most audioblogging is like today. And this is wrong because it’s the use of a medium for something it’s not particularly good at. We should start audioblogging not simply because we want to spread our message through this medium, but because we have no other way to express what we want to express. There’s no way that words can express what you can see on most photographs. Likewise, you use a sound recording because it’s impossible to write down what you can hear in your audioblog entry.

Like I say, I haven’t experienced any of these audioblogs he talks about where someone sits down and reads their text entries. I also am not sure about the script notion. I sit down with some notes and work off of them, but I think it would be pretty dry if I had the whole thing already written out. The first audioblog I ever heard was Chuck Palahniuk’s and it really seemed like you were getting an answering machine message from him. That made me feel more connected to him, and it carried a weight that the same words in a transcript wouldn’t have. That to me is what it is all about.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.