inessential by Brent Simmons

The value of podcasting

When the buzz about podcasting first started, I wondered what the value of it was. And, even now, some people are still asking that question. I believe I have an answer.

There are obvious ways to criticize podcasting. It’s hard to quote a portion of a podcast. You can’t link to a certain spot in an audio file. Reading text is much faster than listening to it.

It’s kind of like the difference between email and a fax—a fax is a picture of text, while email is text. A podcast is the sound of words.

But all of that is beside the point—the value of podcasting is that people enjoy it. They like the spoken sound of words.

And that’s it. It’s not more mysterious than the appeal of radio. The added bonus with podcasting is that you’re listening to people who don’t have the restrictions of radio. They might even talk about things that interest you.

It’s not a replacement for traditional weblog content. There will always be plenty to read. No worries.