Robert, and the other Podcast guys, this is what you’re missing.

You’re missing something here.  You really are.  It’s not about whether “we’ve had this conversation before” because if you’ve only convinced yourself you’ve only just started.  It’s not about whether some guy walking in the Scottish Highlands can listen to a podcast, surely he could, but why should he?  It’s not about whether commuters can download your latest podcast and listen to it in the train/car/bus on the way to work tomorrow morning.  It’s about whether they will.

Convince me of the quality of podcasts.  Too many of the ones I’ve listened to are excercises in narcisism than they are useful or entertaining.  The ones that I have found useful are just so esoteric they’ll really never have a wide following.  In my opinion, this is where podcasting shines the brightest, in making it possible to do shows that would never be commercially successful.  I can still get the same information in text version, though, so it will take some convincing to bother listening to the podcast.

So, the question remains, just because we can, will we?  Certainly, there’s a small army of well equipt geeks who’ve commented here and at Robert’s blog, and posted to their own blogs.  They will listen to podcasts.  Is the audience big enough to get the attention of advertisers?  I don’t know.  Is it a fad?  It sure looks like one to me.

To get back to the point, what you’re missing, it’s not enough to tell people that we can do it.  We can do a lot of things.  Why should we do it?  And, I don’t mean why should someone produce a podcast, I can think of a thousand reasons.  But, the real question is why should I (or anyone else) listen?  You need to convince people how it’s going to benefit them.  Why should the guy stuck on I93 heading into Boston to his office fumble around with his iPod to listen to a podcast instead of just turning on his favorite radio station?  Why should the young lady riding the Green Line to her class at Boston University put one of your podcasts on her iPod instead of listening to her favorite music during the ride?

Are you banking on “if we build it they’ll come”  ??

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