Monday, April 18, 2005

Some Old Habits Die Easily

For the first time in a week or so, I spent the commute listening to (or trying to listen to) regular broadcast radio. For the past couple of weeks I've spent most of my commute time listening to podcasts from various sources. Switching back recently, the big thing that struck me was impersonal nature of broadcast radio. No control about what I was listening to, bland polished commentary, did I mention impersonal?.. Provided the means were there (easy access to podcasted material and easy playback in the car or wherever) the personal nature of it alone could really hook a lot of people.

Dave Winer's Morning Coffee Notes has a very personal, one-to-one nature to it. And even the more polished Daily Source Code by Adam Curry is directed at, and receives a mass audience (relatively speaking of course) and yet it feels infinitely more intimate than any of the 8 stations I skipped through on my car stereo this morning. The lack of spontaneity and the smothering weight of production teams aiming at mass appeal must be the major reasons. The progress and development of podcasting will be interesting to watch. Even if parts of it go really mainstream, it will be impossible to get rid of the small fish or really really small fish. After all, they don't need any stinking transmitters ;).