No I am not trying to sell you an eBook on how to make the perfect podcast and I’m not looking to rent you my god-like podcast consulting services at an “ungodly” rate. I don’t care if you make a podcast, what I want to talk about today is how to use a podcast from a listener’s point of view. It seems that everyone out there these days is experimenting with podcasts (I may even jump on the bandwagon myself at some point), and apparently they are the much ballyhooed (there’s a throwback word) “next big thing” in the web world. Given my initial experiences with this relatively new medium of communication, I can definitely see that there is potential for a lot of people to tune out of podcasts and not see the benefits of them if you don’t know how to use them properly.
Isn’t Podcasting Basically Radio?
When I first seen this whole podcast idea, I was skeptical to say the least. I thought, “When do I have time to sit down and listen to someone talk for 45 minutes?” It turns out I was basically right. I tried to listen to a few podcasts concerning topics I was interested in, and I just didn’t find it all that stimulating, and for someone who is used to reading through blog posts and academic journal articles and full speed+, the information seemed to be delivered so slowly and with so much fluff (BTW, if you thought this was a post on how to make a great podcast, that experience should be a big hint – get rid of the fluff and condense your content).
There were two things that changed my view on podcasts and got me thinking about how to use a podcast to maximize entertainment value and efficiency. The first was doing dishes and the second was Bill Simmons. I’m probably the only person to ever say that. Doing dishes is my contribution to the food preparation process in our house. I’m not a terrible cook, but I have no patience for it, and I don’t particularly like to try new things, so my girlfriend generally dominates that part of the operation. When I’m doing dishes I found I liked to keep my mind busy with other things, and since I’m not a big music guy, I started listening to “The Sports Guy” Podcast by Bill Simmons. I have read his columns for years (big plug here, if you love sports and want to waste copious amounts of time at work then Bill Simmons is your boy) and thought I’d give his podcasts a shot. While I didn’t find them as hard-hitting as his columns, the podcasts were pretty cool in a talk radio/background noise kind of way. So it became kind of a ritual for me to do the dishes and tune in to some sports talk. Continue Reading →