Dan Gillmor on Podcasting

Dan Gillmor has a post about podcasting. Check out the comments below it to get a sneak preview what the next few months will be like. This is all the same stuff I’ve grown so fond of in my 5 years of ebook advocacy. The amazing part of the detraction is that a lot of these are the same arguments why weblogs were unnecessary and irrelevant. “We have pros to do this, why bother with this amateur stuff?” To appropriate a line from Steve Gillmor’s defense of RSS:

Nothing indicates success more than the counterattack by those threatened by disruptive innovation.

This is all predicated on asking the wrong question. It isn’t “What is so important about these guys in their basements talking to their computers?” The real question is “How has modern commercial radio failed us so badly that these guys and their homegrown content is more compelling than what huge corporations are able to provide?” The answer is simply – relevance. Clear Channel has gone out of its way to make radio less relevant to the listeners. Instead of locally programmed and DJ’ed shows, it is national playlists and DJs that run 20 different stations simultaneously from Scottsdale Arizona. On the otherhand, when I pick podcasts to subscribe to, it is relevant to me. If it isn’t, I unsubscribe from it. It’s a remarkably efficient system. If someone is talking about a subject I care about, it need not have the highest production values. I’m starved for relevance, and all the highly produced bullshit served out by big media isn’t giving it to me. Listening to guys talk about board games is more interesting to me than anything I can find on the 200 digital cable channels available to me right now.

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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.

2 thoughts on “Dan Gillmor on Podcasting”

  1. Be still my heart. Now, look. You can get annoyed because people aren’t paying enough attention to podcasting, or you could describe it in a way that the average Joe or Jane will understand. Don’t tell me it’s cool, and don’t describe it in geekspeak.

    I love disruptive innovation. But for it to disrupt me (which is a good thing) I have to be able to open the can and heat it on the stove. Treat me like the simple but eager person I am, and show me how that’s done.

  2. Dave says:

    KG, the only thing I’m bugged about is relexive dismissal. I don’t mind inattention or even reasoned arguments about the problems inherent in this burgeoining medum (and they certainly do exist.) What I don’t like is the automatic, phoned-in arguments recycled from the last few things just like this – weblogs, ebooks, the internet, telephones, etc etc. I have been thinking on and off about preparing a podcasting 101 FAQ and/or talking points. If I can, I’ll post that today.

    In a lot of ways, I’m worried that the attention is premature. Issues are still being worked out, so I don’t want to see Tom Brokaw or Newsweek magazine talking about this yet. Your points are indead all well taken and will be gotten to, probably sooner rather than later because of the unusually steep trajectory of this rocket.

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