Podcasts, an efficient means of content delivery?

I’ve been following some podcasts on and off for the past six months or so, and have begun to question whether it’s an efficient use of my time.  The content of the shows I listen to are generally very high.  I follow my friend Patrick’s Community Admin Show, and now a new one covering communities from another angle.  I also listen to some of the SEO podcasts on WebmasterRadio.fm.  They’re great for picking up tips on how to spam the search engines.

But!  And this is a big issue with me.  But, it begins to seem to me that this is an inefficient means of receiving information.  In the time I can listen to an average podcast, I could have caught up on my 50 favorite blogs, or read a chapter in a book, or read the latest issue of Red Herring magazine.  I do read super fast.  It’s a habit I learned as a grad student.  You learn to read fast in grad school, or you get crap for grades.  Podcasts deliver information slowly.

I’m not sure I want to say that this is a flash-in-the-pan, but I think podcasting has some significant hurdles to overcome if it’s to last.   It might be foolish, at this point, to jump full force into it.  it certainly has the feel of a bubble-type business plan.  Perhaps Google will come up with an Adsense for podcasts, but I’d be hesitant to put money into a business depending on Adsense at all, let alone something that hasn’t even been unvailed yet let alone tested and proven.

So, here’s the question.  Why listen to a podcast when you can get ten times the content when you read?

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