I listened to some old podcasts while reorganizing my home office, yesterday. When I say old, I mean episodes that were published so long ago, podcasters were still encouraging their listeners to register monthly votes at Podcast Alley and pin Frappr Maps. Yeah! That long ago. The amazing thing is that those services still exist. I was amazed to discover that my Frappr Map is intact. Wow!
One of the shows I listened to, Zee and Zed, stepped down in its prime with a show that included some interesting commentary about the podcast movement. Ross and Karen’s follow-up podcast, Dry Shave, made a much quieter exit this past summer.
Another show that took a pragmatic view of podcasting is the Ottawa Local Podcast. This evening I noticed that the feed for that show is gone so I called Arthur Masters to find out why he pulled the plug.
Notwithstanding work and life demands that led to the evaporation of his podcast production time, Arthur made some interesting comments about where podcasting is now. I’ll paraphrase. He suggested that podcasting is pervasive now. Back when the veterans got their start, radio was well into a creative and identity void, CBC wasn’t podcasting and the corporate world hadn’t figured this thing out. The podcasters were changing the way media was being used and perceived. Many people who like to be different find themselves being part of the ‘same’ now.
To clarify… Arthur never suggested that he’s out because his show is now part of the mainstream. I’m just latching on to some specific comments he made.
During our drive from Boston to Ottawa in October, Bob Goyetche suggested that one reason why people have generally become complacent about podcasts is because there has been very little technological innovation in the space since iTunes v4.9 was launched in June 2005.
To me, podcasting is now in a state of maturity. The production tools have plateaued for the time being allowing, perhaps forcing, producers to focus on developing their content and delivery styles. Likewise, the tools for promotion and community development are fundamentally the same; they just exist in different places and have different names.
Some people have suggested that podcasting is dead. I disagree.
Like a rocket on course to use the gravity of a moon to slingshot it to a distant planet, podcasting is prime for its next explosive development cycle.
This is our opportunity to refine, and perhaps shake up, our shows and figure out what we want next. We can set the course for what the podcast channel will look and feel like.
What do you want?