Podcasting De-Mythologized

Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc. posts “Podcasting De-Mythologized. Lisa Williams has done a smart, 4-minute video explainer about podcasting… Now, if we could only give the genre a more accurate name. It’s about sending MP3s to devices of various kinds, not solely the iPod. Watch Williams’ piece anyway. ”

I’m a big fan of The Gillmor Gang, which is a weekly talking heads program featuring some sharp IT analysts. The last show, with guest Dan Bricklin, was excellent. I fear it may be their last, though, as IT Conversations host Doug Kaye is off on vacation for two weeks, and Doc Searls points out that Steve Gillmor left this rather vague “be back later” message. Hope they return soon.

While they call it “POD-casting,” it’s just audio; non-iPodders like myself can listen on their Macs and PCs, their MP3 Players, or do like I do and burn the MP3 to CD and listen in the car. Someone on a recent Gillmor Gang made fun of the idea of making a CD, but it’s actually pretty easy, simple and pretty cheap. I get CDs at five cents a piece on sale in bulk spindles from Staples or the big box electronics stores and I can listen pretty much anywhere. No batteries to buy or recharge, no FM transmitters or earbuds to fumble with. Dan Gillmor is right that the name is misleading. It might be better to talk about them as “talk shows” or “internet radio shows” or something. Optionally using RSS as a distribution mechanism, podcasting is like TIVO®-for-audio: it records all by itself in the background and just shows up. A great idea.

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