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Jul 1
Senator John Edwards at Gnomedex
John Edwards was (is?) the keynote speaker at Gnomedex this year. Edwards has been podcasting since the last presidential campaign and there are two very vocal camps that have thoughts about it.

As might be expected, there's the camp that feels Edwards' podcasts are just a political ploy to seem hip and with it in order to garner votes.

Shel Holtz has some thoughts from the other camp.

The podcast is unscripted and wholly conversational. While other presidential wannabes are plotting traditional campaign stsrategies (sic), Edwards is building a base by building a community who would vote for him because they feel like they know him. He’s flying under the radar by participating in the conversation.

The fundamental difference between a typical political podast and Edwards' is the scripting. Most politicos are told that podcasting is a delivery mechanism, but the rest of us know differently. Podcasting and blogging are about the conversation. They're about getting to know people and have a two-way conversation with people who were hitherto unavailable. Therefore, most political podcasts are just audio files of otherwise traditional speeches and events.

Edward's podcast is informal, unscripted, and recorded sitting around the house with his wife. They talk about all sorts of issues, not just politics. So is it just about the vote? Sure, but Edwards has invested enough of himself into the conversation that people don't feel like they're being patronized or cajoled into voting for him. He truly has become a blogger and podcaster and that's going to pay rich dividends during his next run at the Whitehouse.

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