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Jon's Thoughts: Podcast Content
I've noticed a growing interest in the varied content of podcasts. There seems to be a dichotomy in that the unfettered content available in podcasts is good and bad.

On one hand, many people feel that although there are podcasts available on almost every topic, they represent too large a challenge to sift through to find shows of interest to them. I speak about this problem whenever the chance arises. This is a genuine problem for podcasters and it's been brought about by the way Main Stream Media (MSM) conducts business. MSM (specifically television or radio in this case) have historically been constrained by geographical limitations and will only broadcast shows that are popular in their area. A popular show is a show which interests the largest number of listeners and is therefore a show which is general and broad in topic matter.

Decades of bland, broad media has weakened our ability to filter and chose our own media. Or perhaps, as I sometimes argue, we have never developed that skill in the first place. With podcasting, the onus to decide what enters my head now rests on me. Instead of choosing between 100 shows at any given hour of the day, I know have to chose between millions of shows available all the time. It's no small task.

On the other hand, some people like to discover new things and live a little dangerously. Those people are more apt to plunge into the podcast pile and start listening to anything and everything that might interest them. These are the true friends and supporters of citizen media. They're not afraid to engage or develop critical skills and they don't have such a high opinion of their worth that they won't spend time sifting through the offerings. In a way, I think this is why podcast surveys are starting to show that the true podcast listener is between 30-44 years of age rather than the 18-22 year olds that everyone thought was the main demographic. I'm in the 30-44 range and while I'm as busy as anyone else, I can spare a few hours a week to listen to new podcasts.

Where's the advantage and disadvantages for you?

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« John Havens: Podcasting Misconceptions | Main | Podagogy Catching On »


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