Piquepaille: No interaction in podcasts? Really?

I was reading an article written by Roland Piquepaille for ZDNet.com and I was struck by one of his comments.

“Podcasting is a one-way medium: a producer talks to consumers. There is no interaction between both except through posts on blogs. In other words, podcasting is not a collaborative medium. On the contrary, it follows the traditional one-to-many communication model. Sorry, after several years of blogging, I like to be able to start a conversation.”

Agreed, there’s no live interaction between the host and the listener (as you would find with a call-in radio show), however, even with a blog, I would argue that the interaction isn’t live either.

Frankly, as with any other non-real time media eg. TV shows, magazines, newspapers, blogs, books, movies, none of these things can be considered collaborative either. One can’t have a conversation with the author after reading a chapter in his book. Nor can we voice our distaste for a particular storyline to the actors in a TV show.

The only true live collaboration that takes place is when I pick up the phone to speak to someone or, when I have a face-to-face conversation with someone else.

The collaborative nature of podcasts comes through different means:

  1. By having a discussion forum where people can leave their comments.
  2. By having a comment line where people can phone in their feedback.
  3. By allowing comments under the blog posting for your podcasts (something this author has on his blog).
  4. By providing an email so that listeners can send their feedback.

Yes, podcasting may not be for you, but don’t blame the non-collaborative nature of the tool for your lack of interest. Otherwise, I’d recommend that you stop blogging altogether.

Ed Horrell makes me a podcasting expert

I’m doing a series of teleclasses on search engine marketing myths and was doing a search on Google for a number of keyword phrases for my products and websites.

About 2-months ago, I did an interview with a radio broadcaster and podcaster named Ed Horrell in Memphis, Tennessee. You can listen to it here:


Because of that interview, I’m now listed as the #5 search result on the first page in Google for the keyword phrase “podcasting expert.”

Lovely. Thanks Ed.

What Podcast Listeners Really Want

On Friday night, I had the chance to moderate an interactive session with close to 40 podcast listeners during the International Podcasting Expo.

Using quotes from Star Trek, we had loads of fun during the one-hour we spent together. Although they gave me alot of information, the portion of our session that I found extremely educational was when we started to talk about advertising.

Here are some interesting things they told me about ads in podcasts:

“No ads please, but we’ll trust a recommendation from a host.”
“If there’s an ad, place it the beginning or the end of the podcast.”
“If there has to be an ad, make sure it’s no longer than 30-seconds.”
“We’ll tolerate only 1, maybe 2 ads per podcast.”

Overall, if you’re producing a podcast, it’s better for your host to make a recommendation than to run a 30-second ad. Why?

“It worked with Adam Curry when he recommended a Gilette product,” said one attendee.
“It sounds like a recommendation from a friend,” said another.
“If I couldn’t recommend it to my sister, I wouldn’t recommend it to my listeners,” said another attendee, who’s also a podcast host.

The only warning, according to these podcast listeners, is that it has to be a “true” recommendation. A product the host has used and likes.

Now, how do we monetize this?

Toronto Podcasters Meetup

Last night, I met with a bunch of cool dudes and dudettes who are all podcasters. It was organized by Chris of the Tangents podcast.

I finally met Ninja, whom I had been emailing with over the past few weeks. Cool gal and it was great to put a name to a face.

The best intro goes to Jay. He hosts the Toronto Independent Music podcast and if you were to ask what his podcast is all about, he’d say “We cover Toronto (raise eyebrow) independent (slight smirk) music.”


Another interesting quote came from one of the video podcasters (or is it videocaster, vidcaster, vodcaster, vidblogger, someone make the final decision please), Matthew Hoos of Dead End Days and Cerealized.

Of course, they grouped together in a corner looking like they were sharing the secret documents on how the caramel gets into a Cadbury chocolate bar. I approached the group just to say a quick hi as I was on my out and when I asked what they were doing, Matthew said, “Oh, we’re the video podcasters. Audio is just half the story.”


Another great quote came from Joe of the Indie Can Music podcast. When Jay asked if a mutual colleague was going to attend the meeting, Joe said, “No, he’s had domestic management issues.”

I’ve got to use that one.

The podchick should be producing a video podcast of our meetup. I’ll post the link as soon as she posts it.

Other podcasters of note:

There were others whom I met, but I didn’t grab their business cards, so I don’t really remember who you are. However, I do want to say it was an awesome meetup and now it’s time for us to take this podcasting thing to the mainstream.

Kantor: Too many podcasting choices equals disinterest

Just read an article written by Andrew Kantor over at USA Today about the reasons why podcasting hasn’t taken off as quickly as people have predicted.

I found the beginning of his article quite hilarious, in particular his take on what makes podcasting different from putting audio files on your website:

The automatic part is important. Podcasting is not simply putting audio files on your site and letting people download them. That’s known as “putting audio files on your site and letting people download them.” To be a podcast, it has to be automated. No RSS, no syndication, no podcast.

What a gem!

Now, Kantor goes on to give 3 reasons why podcasting hasn’t run radio off the map as quickly as some have predicted, in particular:

  1. There’s just way too much “junk” podcasts out there creating what I call “podspam.”
  2. The technology to access podcasts is too complicated.
  3. And lastly, the vast amount of choice makes podcasting too overwhelming to be bothered with.

Okay, so I agree with Kantor on #1. For #2, podcast listeners should just download iTunes and be done with it. It’s the only podcatcher that really matters anyways.

But for #3, I would argue that the same holds true for radio and TV. With digital cable, satellite TV/radio and the Internet all competing for our earholes and eyeballs, we are given way too many choices when it comes to our entertainment.

I may be able to just click the “on” button on my remote, but because I now have digital cable, I have 900 channels to flip through. In the city of Toronto where I live, there are hundreds of stations to choose from. It would take me a week just to go from station to station to decide what I’ll listen to.

So no, podcasting isn’t the only culprit here when it comes to choice.

8:49pm ET update – Here’s another take on USA Today’s coverage of podcasting.