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Beth, tell me more about the value you see in podcasting (and whether/why you think there's really a market for it.) I'm still a skeptic. Any time I have available to listen to something is dedicated to music. I'm just not that interested in the spoken word (except for odd episodes of "This American Life"), and I don't feel like I'm that out of the mainstream--or am I? I realize a lot of people listen to talk radio, and podcasting could fill that space, but it just seems so niche-y. What am I missing?



The value in podcasting that I see is specific to enhancing the experience of a museum visitor. I go to art museums to and look and think about the art. I've also used the audio guides, but sometimes they can be - well boring. (The audio guides for kids are far more engaging ...) I say with all due respect the curators of the world and while I learn alot about the art from the "expert" in my headphones -- it doesn't allow me to make it personally meaningful. Listening to a podcast by someone I know or making my own podcast would add meaning to me - much in the same way that tags create meaning for the users of the information.

In terms of the larger market for podcasting, I don't know the answer. But why would Apple build podcasting into Itune?


Thanks, Beth--that's helpful. I definitely see the value of an unmediated, individual voice (uh, literally) in situations like that. I'm still skeptical about the larger market potential (although Apple's moves are interesting, it's not really costing them anything to make iTunes more podcast-friendly, so I'm not sure what it signifies.) It just requires such a significant investment of time to determine whether audio content is worthwhile (as opposed to a website, which can be scanned for relevance in a few seconds.) Given that I prefer to listen to music anyway, that's enough of a barrier for me that I'm just not going to bother with podcasts for general informational or entertainment purposes. But it's interesting thinking about other, more situation-specific applications like your museum guides.



I'm an NPR and This American Life junkie, but also listen to music. With that said, I don't necessarily surf audio files like I do web pages simply because of the time involved to evaluate it as you note. I do listen to audio files from a specific source I'm already familiar with if I think it would add to my understanding of the topic.

I think the biggest potential is in the education area and as you write about specific situations like the museum.

This was posted the other day by Will Richardson - an overview of what's happening in the school related to podcasting.

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