You Can’t Skim Podcasts

I was listening to this panel on IT Conversations, and I heard Mena Trott repeat a canard that I’ve heard her say umpteen times on various ITC panels. Pretty much every time I ever hear her on a panel, she makes the statement “You can skim blogs but you can’t skim podcasts.” I’m just sick of this because it’s silly and it’s wrong and it’s annoying to hear this person that people pay attention to consistently spout this untruth.

For a little meta-irony I decided to skim the podcast by skipping the rest of her statement. Yes, friends, I did the impossible with the miracle of the — gasp — fast-forward button! That actually made the listening experience better, so for the rest of the panel every time she started to talk I fast forwarded until she was done. Yep, it sure does suck that you can’t skim podcasts. All you need to do is repeat that a few hundred more times, Mena, although I won’t hear it because I’ll be skimming you.

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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.

7 thoughts on “You Can’t Skim Podcasts”

  1. funny…

    so, as a typepad beta tester (now long time customer), and happy w/ it (though i do enjoy tweaking my new wordpress blog) – typepad has built in podcasting support, so seems to me what mena is saying is that she personally doesn’t “get” podcasting (which is here right) and that she prefers to skim blog entries instead, but her service does support podcasting of course (because its so popular?)…

    to each his/her own i suppose, but you’re right dave – she’s given a soapbox to speak and she uses it to show-off her ignorance, which is frustrating…

  2. Yep. I not only do a first past skim by reading the show notes before listening, I listen to almost every podcast at 2.0x normal speed and make regular use of the fast forward button.

    It’s the thing I’ve longed to do for years to things like NPR call-in shows. I get great value out of the interviewer and the in-studio guests talking about a topic, but the people who call in drive me nuts. At 2.0x with occasional fast forwarding, I get all the bits I want and skip the rest.

    And, just like fast forwarding through Tivo’ed programming, if something catches my interest and I want to (like some of the music you play on your show), I slow it down to normal speed.

  3. Mike, I’ve got no personal issues with her and I have no experience with or opinions about Six Apart as a company. She does have karma in this world, though, and I fear that a lot of people will automatically take her word on things so it would be a lot better if what she says were, like, factual.

    JW, that’s way more hardcore than me! Very interesting. I’ll treat it as one of my challenges to slow you down as often as possible.

  4. Dave,

    I hate to break it to you but I was able to skim audio in the days of anolog cassettes. So if you try to patent this technique, my lawyers will need to buy you a beer. 🙂

    Seriously this myth is not just push by Mena. But once you show anyone the fast forward button, it goes away just that fast.

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