Notwithstanding the terrible word that we’ve been stuck with since 2004, podcasting was on shaky ground long before Michael Geohegan‘s now famous speech delivered at the Podcast and New Media Expo a few weeks ago (see his blog post, No More Podcast in the New Media Expo).
It’s a discussion that has been going on for a long time in many circles. Indeed, many of us debated the
health of the podcast movement merits of the term ‘podcast’ at Podcamp Boston. Following this year’s edition of Podcasters Across Borders , Bob Goyetche and I examined the speaking sessions and we discussed the title of the conference when we realized that there was very little podcast-specific material in the program.
Podcasting is simply one technology that is part of what we call new media. Of course, by its very definition, new media will always involve something new, so podcasting — like many other technologies — was doomed to begin with. I’ve always felt, rightly or wrongly, that the word podcast had to be considered in the whole of new media and accepted as a term like ‘disc jockey’ or ‘host’– not particularly descriptive, but a permanent label nonetheless.
Reinventing ourselves on a regular basis is a dangerous proposition. While it makes for great press, it will further confuse an already suspicious audience and the technology and marketing firms won’t be able to keep up with the latest and greatest terminology. These are the reasons why, even though we considered a change, Bob and I have decided to leave the PAB name intact and, for the purpose of the conference, consider the term podcasting to represent the whole of new media.
UPDATE: I re-read this post and realized that it sounds like I am pro-podcasting and con-new media. To clarify, I agree with the trend towards calling things new media – and have for many months referred to my work as new media first and podcasting second. I also feel that we need to agree on, and stick with, one label. It will do a great disservice to everyone, creators and consumers alike, if we constantly change the terminology.