While Cam and Mick at The Podcast Network are doing great things, I have niggling doubts about the long-term prospects for podcasting. Darren Barefoot has expressed some of them. My niggling doubts primarily come from the differences between blogs and podcasts, and the technical limitations of podcasting.
- You can’t mass-consume podcasts like you can blogs, via aggregators. (Okay, so you can see summaries via aggregators, but not the content itself)
- You can’t scan an audio file like you can a long blog entry.
- Even on broadband, you don’t get instant gratification when you click on a link to podcast content – you have to wait X minutes, then you get the file, which you have to find time to listen to, and to find the bit you wanted… now, what was it I was clicking on again?
- Most podcasts I’ve seen don’t have the immediatcy of blogs. There’s an element of post-production involved which inevitably introduces delays to getting the content out to the world.
- You can’t easily quote a bit out of a podcast, or find a permalink to that specific moment.
- Which means you can’t find podcasts by searching for keywords, unless there’s a transcript.
So will podcasting go mainstream? Will it knock radio off its roost? Or did video already do that? 🙂 Will the technical limitations be overcome? It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out in the long term.