Why I’ll keep talking about podcasting (but try not)

Why I’ll keep talking about podcasting (but try not): This post started yesterday as my typical slapped-together agreeable disagreement to a post by Russell Beattie who wrote, “the first rule of podcasting…is that you don’t talk about podcasting.” I started typing about why one should talk about podcasting and then about 2,000 words later I gave up and said, “forget it. I can’t do this. I can’t explain why I think this is such a big deal worth talking about until blue in the face.” I think I now agree with Russell (at least on the “first rule” part): Talking about “podcasting” makes one sound like the complete dork I figure the folks at Hammock Publishing think I am for spending 15 minutes of our Monday staff meeting bouncing off the wall about podcasting.

So, I’ve bagged the 2,000 words of blogging about podcasting (well, at least 1,300 of them).

But I do want to at least enter into the rexblog-record a few thoughts on this topic so I can point back one day and say, “See. I told you so. Remember?” (Which, frankly, is the best thing about having a weblog. Conversely, the worst thing about having a weblog is giving other people something they can point back one day and say, “See, you said that. Remember?”).

So, as of October 6, 2004, here are some things I have determined about podcasting in the week since I first heard the term.

1. Podcasting is a really, really big thing. Big like the first time you saw the web via Mosaic. Big like when Microsoft thought HTML was too simple to ever be anything important.

2. Podcasting today is where blogging was back before you ever heard of it.

3. Podcasting could enable you to turn your iPod into a TiVo-like device for conference calls and seminars and staff meetings and presentations and worship services and high school band concerts and class lectures and club meetings and (you get the idea).

4. Podcasting is not limited to Adam Curry (bless him for evangelizing the concept, however) producing something that follows a radio talk show format.

5. (In fact) Don’t get hung up on the “programming” part of podcasting. The “programming part” of podcasting can be as simple as the “programming part” of making a phone call.

6. Podcasting is not webcasting. It doesn’t have to be about a specific time or a format or “a show”

7. Podcasting is a very easy concept to understand if you regularly use all of the following: iTunes, an iPod, RSS, a newsreader, and (even a little) GarageBand. Podcasting merely ties all of these things together in a “frictionless” channel. You can grasp it even if you don’t use of all these. But if you do, it’s a no-brainer.

8. If you don’t read weblogs via a newsreader, it is really difficult to understand the concept of podcasting. (In fact, if you don’t have a newsreader set up, just forget reading the rest of this post as it will make no sense. Instead, at least click over to Bloglines.com and get over whatever it is keeping you from making your life a lot more simple).

9. You sound like a dork if you say podcasting more than twice in a two-minute time period.

10. I’m a dork.

Other podcasting items so I can move on:

1. I’ve heard myself mentioned on a podcast for the first (MP3) (and second (MP3)) time ever as Tim Germer said some nice things about me on a couple of his shows called Northwest Noise. And yes, Tim. I am older than you. A lot.

2. It appears several people are already staking claim on the creation of podcasting. I have no idea who should be credited, but I’ve learned in the past that it’s always a good idea in matters like this to credit Dave Winer. So, no matter who or what or how this all came together, I, for one, credit Dave.

3. Endgaget has posted a “How To” tutorial on podcasting. I’m sure there will be a gazillion more within a few weeks.

4. I will be doing some experimental podcasting in the near future but I doubt it will be more than that, some experiments.

5. Bumper music will be included on all of my podcasts.

rexblog bumper music: Video Killed the Radio Star (The Buggles)

Lite reading

Lite reading: Here’s a press release about Carblite, a new magazine that is “the go-to resource for readers who have adopted a low-carb lifestyle.” Reminds me of a joke my father used to tell: “Did you hear about the guy who read so much about how smoking would kill you that he decided to give up reading?”

Update: Don’t confuse the magazine CarbLite with the magazine CarBlite, “the go-to resource for readers who have really ugly, mildewy automobiles.”

No Way

No Way: Someone just e-mailed to congratulate me about that Nashville Scene award, to which I responded, “What Nashville Scene award?” That’s how I discovered that I’ve been named by our fair city’s popular alternative paper as the “Best Local Blogger” in their annual “Best of Nashville Awards.” (Note to perplexed readers from the blogosphere confused with Tennessee geography: mega-blogger Instapundit lives in Knoxville, not Nashville.) I must say, I’m extremely honored. I can’t wait to display my “Best of Nashville” award on the front door of Hammock Publishing. Seriously, I am honored to a large degree because I do consider this weblog as “local” despite my focus on the industry I’m in. That’s why I take time out now and then to rant like I did yesterday about the CMA awards.

Oh, yes, and I’d especially like to thank my seven readers who’ve stuck with me through all the good blogging times and bad.


Best Local Blogger: Rex Hammock, (www.rexblog.com) The most well-known Web logs (or “blogs”) are political in nature, but the best one in Nashville is about the magazine industry. Run by Rex Hammock, president of Nashville’s Hammock Publishing Inc., the “Rexblog” observes the latest goings-on in the world of periodicals. From the effects of Martha Stewart’s legal troubles on her magazine to the ephemeral world of the “vaporzines” (magazines that are not magazines at all but are just run-it-up-the-flagpole ideas floated by people to get little media attention), Hammock’s site is a nice little peek into the publishing industry. Oh yeah, the site also includes a fun bit about Hammock’s sit-down meeting with a fairly unrehearsed President Bush in Washington. If you’re one of those baffled as to why people like Bush, read Hammock’s narrative and maybe you’ll figure it out. — Roger Abramson