Whatever happened to podcasts?

Posted on September 17, 2009

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Podcasting_iconA couple of years ago, you couldn’t move in the world of communications without bumping into “podcasting” advocates and eager early adopters keen to demonstrate to the world why podcasting was the way of the future.  Of course, much of that was pre-Facebook and most certainly pre-Twitter.

But I received an invitation today to attend a workshop entitled “Do you know your Tweet from your Twitter?”  And, as I scrolled down through the content, curious to see what this latest coursel was hoping to offer (as it happens, it seems quite interesting in including a focus on how to produce content such as video, and not just purporting the use of micro blogging per se) I found myself confronted with a podcast from the past.

Of course, just because it’s been knocked off its pedestal as headline making material (even in a seminar where it’s on the agenda) does it necessarily follow that podcasting is old hat?  A cursory glance at Wikipedia suggests it might be – the entry just kind of ends in 2007.

A lot of the podcasting being talked about a couple of years ago wasn’t, of course, podcasting.  Rather, it was single instances of audio being made available for download.  As YouTube has exploded, perhaps video has once again killed the radio star?

But there may be other reasons for its demise.  Perhaps there’s simply no way for commercial organisations or the kind that habitually invent new conferences on topics such as social media to make money from podcasting?  It could be that they have fallen out of favour because search engines cannot index audio without an accompanying transcript.

It could even be that people have come to accept that using a channel such as iTunes is great to distribute material that you are creating anyway, but that trying to invent content just so as to be able to use an extant channel is both difficult and, ultimately fruitless.

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Posted in: Communications