Saturday, 09 October 2004

Click the play button to listen:

Prologue: After speaking with several respected people in the field about the term PodCasting in preparation for writing this article, I have changed my stance slightly from where I started and from what I wrote below. I decided to place this change-of-heart statement up top, with a quick explanation, but not to alter what my original post looked like, since my change of heart is primarily one of acceptance. So, while I accept current naming conventions and what-not, I still believe what I say below is relevant.

In the words of one respected collegue from the industry:

"... It's certainly a sexy term, and although technically inaccurate (see, --casting implies sending from-- we aren't broadcasting from an iPod), the media seems to love it, people associate '-pod' with the success of the iPod, and that's a good thing. It's good because now bigger radio folks are doing it. We the people are doing it. This whole thing has stickiness, and got that stickiness in record time. I say, let's just revel in it. It can't hurt."

- Eric Rice

Ok, I can do that. Fair enough, and good advice.

 - greg

[How exactly do you describe the process of hanging up a call with someone when you're not actually talking on a traditional telephone anymore? Hmm...] I just got off the Internet with Chris Pirillo. He and I were engaged in an instant messaging session, which branched off to email, and which we then took over to Skype. Chris then used the Skype audio and some kind of hacked-together recording device to create an interview MP3 that he will, undoubtedly, edit (I sure hope he edits it, heh...) and post to his web site at some point in the near future. Personal internet broadcasting hard at work.

We talked about something we both think is great and interesting, but about which we share a similar gripe:

The term "PodCasting" - I know it is catchy and sticky and has already taken off, so I wouldn't expect any kind of change to happen, but regardless, it's just the wrong name to use. Why? Because this new wave of technology use is not actually about iPods (it works with pretty much any MP3 player), yet it sounds like it is all about iPods. It's not about the playback device (again, any MP3 player), it's about the communication medium and the content being distributed. It's about the convergence of several smaller pieces of cool technology, and the interest of a relatively small but rapidly growing group of people whose influence has the potential to create something very, very big. But to say the iPod is the platform is to limit the market and the potential of what's happening -- in my opinion.

Now, please understand -- I don't have any kind of problem or dislike toward Apple's iPods, or the technology, or the idea that people are enabled to communicate to an Internet audience their own opinions, ideas, news, music or what-have-you. In fact I think all those things are great. It's the name that kills me. If you like iPods, that's fine (I think they're great, too), but to call the iPod the platform in this context is just plain-old-flat-out confusing and wrong.

When Chris and I started our conversation this morning, I sent him an email with an admittedly hot-under-the-collar tone complaining about this supposed "revolution" (I don't see it quite that way) and the "podcast" name that's been attached to this "phenomenon" (another over-stated term I think - let's see what happens before we actually attach names like that).

Then we decided, well heck - let's talk about it by creating a personal internet broadcast (yes, you're right, I am intentionally not using that term) of our own.

You see, we love the technology. We love the medium. We love the gadgetry of it all and the idea of enabling people to communicate and express themselves in new ways - and to make it easier for people to do on both ends.

Both of us even plan to create content and use the technology ourselves.

It's just that damn name.

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Saturday, 09 October 2004 16:46:21 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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