Podcasting is passe? No, the use of audio is not, but as a “hot trend” …..? I’ve always had mixed feelings about podcasting- as a strung together series of technologies- publishing audio in format associated with RSS that could be automatically downloaded, and optionally moved to a portable device– that I loved. What got messy was that for a while, almost any use of an mp3 on a web site as slapped with a verb of “podcasting”.
In the vein of podcasting as a practice- I am at the zero level. I don’t subscribe to any feeds. Now that I’ve started up some running again, I am listening again, but my habits are more browse and pluck / download, then subscribe en masse. I cannot think of anyone really I am that dedicated to listening to on a regular basis I don’t even have a fancy shiny ipod, just a small portable cheapo mp3 player.
And there are still things that bother me with Big Chunks of Media. Specific segments within are still not addressable as a link; I cannot provide you or myself a bookmark to that key segment at 10 minutes and 23 seconds into a segment– so it is all or nothing, and scroll til you can find a section. And… I have no way when I am running to even make my own notes besides about the 2 or 3 things I can remember in my faulty brain, which typically resurface in my RAM about 3 days later.
And yes, I know it has a lot of use and benefits in education where there are compelling reasons to regularly download (e.g. a grade!). That’s all good. But still. as a technology, has podcasting really advanced at all since the peak in 2005? There’s a lot of content, but it still remains un-searchable.
But to not remain totally negative, in my listening while running, I am excited to be getting perspectives and voices I might not get by my rapid RSS surfing– I am spending a good 10, 20, 40 minutes with a single source, not clicking through 39 of them.
So recently I listened to Auto-Buddies: Connecting Relevant Strangers by Lee S. Dryburgh on ITConversations — I like his point that “telephony” as we use the term is a dying one, but really his description of social networking as “enabling conversations between relevant strangers” as something useful as a frame of reference – in comparison to old phone technology which is something meant to connect only to people you know (solicitors do not count as relevant strangers!).
Again, I am not discounting at all a lot of good things happening in podcasting- its that as a technology its meaning was always fuzzy, and may becoming more diluted with the rise of other media forms (video) — and while I am listening to mp3s, I am not really at all doing any podcasting / catching.