Saturday, November 06, 2004

BloggerCon: Podcasting

(swearing alert: if you follow into any of the podcasts you'll hear swearing, sexual references, etc. Consider youself warned)

Adam Curry began his session with an opening familiar to anyone who listens to Daily Source Code.

Run the Google search. Google still doesn't understand -- do you mean broadcasting? -- but there are, at this moment, 191,000 hits.

Describes history of podcasting and how it's different from typical audioblogging. The unique factor has to do with RSS enclosures -- automatically updates -- and getting them onto iPod or other mp3 player. Wikipedia has a nice history: podcasting. is another resource.

(I'm having flashbacks to rushing home from high school to watch MTC. Music! On television!)

Some discussion of the link between podcasting and broadcasting. Main difference: podcasting young, supple, fresh. About having fun rather than making money and keeping your job (I didn't catch the speakers). If you think of yourself as a podcaster, don't try to get into broadcasting. Instead, think of yourself as a podcasting -- think about what's unique and fun so that broadcasting comes to this/you.

Dawn and Drew: Kind of a public access story. We wanted to find a way to get rants, words out there and this was it. On energy: don't do the show every day anymore. Starting to get burnt out. Got wrapped into this whole thing, podcasting, very fast. Meeting others involved in podcasting.

Dave Slusher, evil genius chronicles: Again, early adoption. Longtime reader of Adam Curry's weblog, had been in radio and so had stuff to produce files, and was able to get in very early. Talked about imitation as a way of finding voice. Brought a connection to public radio. An ability to produce, to distribute. A higher sense of connection with podcasting: listening to the voice, more of a person on the other end. Gives a greater "feel like I know you" sense.

Steve Gillmor, Gillmor Gang: Again, talked about he got into this. Gillmor Gang is pre-podcasting buzz word. In general, their were transcripts of shows and decided to just put the mp3 on instead. In decision, looked at relationship between streaming and downloads. Downloads beat streaming. In part, because people could control were and when they listened. Capturing attention, the voice of the cast of characters is what is key. Poised for the next generation: how do we mine attention, tag, provide metadata on these feeds. Called Curry "the Alan Freed of podcasting." This is the beginning of the new media, the next generation of the media. A seriously big wave.

Michael Butler, Rock and Roll Geek Show: Entry story. Stumbled across Curry's site. Saw the audioblog. Thought, that's cool. Every musician is a dj and wants to turn people on to their music. So, tried it and there you go. Has gotten attention to band as a result.

Curry: This is a way to find great independent music. A level of trust, a recommendation from a friend. This is starting to be a great way to spread new music. A new way to make hits, to get songs out there.

Question: Users of podcast technology means producer. All roads lead to Curry. He created an anthology, it's personal. Set a tone. Creates personal connection. Does Curry think that there is something about podcasting that is different in terms of the kind of relationship a listener has to the podcaster? Something for PBS to learn about relationships and connections?

Winer: Yes, but that's a function of Curry -- he did it on MTV, too. Talked about Morning Coffee Notes. Of course it will influence PBS in the same way that weblogs will impact the NYT. It makes sense. Podcasting is going faster because they don't have to wait for the traditional media to carry the message. The blogosphere exists. It is carrying the message. Blogosphere already gets that an individual's voice is important. Mainstream media doesn't get it.

Question: Difference between podcast -- which needs to be listened to at the rate it was created -- instead of the written word which can be scanned, skipped, drilled down.

Curry: iPod doesn't let you do that, really. Can't fast forward.

Answer from the room: Logical next step of RSS. Real needs is to be able to index, crawl across conversations, in a way that allows someone to pinpoint in on the information point. Talked about ways that Wall Street Analysts can use this to create earnings reports, or analysis or.

Comment from the room: earnings cast.

Comment from the room: One of the cool of thing about podcasting is that you can use it as a personal soundtrack in all kinds of ways: overlay it on grand theft auto, for example. Allows you to create a subtext to your life and then to create an interaction with the other artifacts of media, life. Example, chat about a DVD and push that to others who may watch the DVD. Podcasts don't have to be radio shows. They can be one offs.

Comment from the room: Back to question about scan, audio is different from text. It isn't supposed to be used in the same way. Different stories can be told with it. It has a different purpose.

Comment from the room: Podcasting is narrowcasting. Not how many people are listening but who is listening. Like weblogs, podcasts will check the accuracy of traditional media. In the era of one-to-one communication, accuracy and focus. Podcasting does this.

Curry: How do we consume all this information? Podcasting is creating rules: doesn't have to be a show; doesn't have to have an opening segment. It can be just having fun, just like writing on a weblog.

Comment from the room: Technology generation gap. How do people who grew up with this relate to this technology? How do they use it?

Comment from the room: A lot of talk about the need for annotation, need to find the good stuff. From the user perspective, how will they use this annotation? If you consider blogging, letters to the editor. Podcasting, with annotation, becomes a radio call in show. Need more intelligence on the user/listener tool. Can pull specific parts of podcasts out and integrate it with other relevant comments. A way that someone can essentially create a mix of podcasts. Anthology.

Curry: What can be better?

Comment from the room: Yes, make it open standards, Linux.

Comment from the room: Concerned about the fixation on iPod and the podcasting name, in that respect. When you start trying to create this, it's not easy.

Curry: There's a lot of work to be done. How can it better? So that it does work. The name thing, though, forget about it. It's out there.

Comment from the room: Yes. But it needs to be divorced from the hardware. Not everyone is using this only little, mobile gadgets. Need to think about the multiple platforms that users are using.

Curry: Developers need to think about this. Especially with the cell phones and the connection possibilities.

Comment from the room: Podcast from the swamp. Must create RSS feed and can put keywords (metadata) in that. Can add relevance to the podcasting. Helps to deal with idexing, search issues.

Curry: Talked about podcast directory on iPodder. Only need to know OPML to contribute. This can point to subcategories maintained by various people -- pulls OPML file. Metadata rolls through the OPML file. Nodes and feeds to continue to be added. What else can we do with OPML? (I admit it, I'm lost in what, exactly, he's talking about or what, exactly, the point is: Wikipedia on OPML). Somehow this was a pitch to the developers in the room.

David Sifry from technorati: He tried to talk about how technorati points podcasts but was shut down from Curry and Winer as a commercial comment. I think this is feed, top mp3s, that he was trying to point to.

Comment from the room: Apple could shut this down.

Collective comment from the room: No way.

Larry Lessig: Tech folks think up good ideas and lawyers come in with hachets and shut it down. How do we architect the freedoms into this system so that it can be used in all kinds of different ways?

Winer: Can developers, users and lawyers party together?

Curry: People want to see a demo. Brought podcasting bag. Uses a LAV mic. Records to a little mp3 player. Plug into headphone jack on computer. Generally a podged together system. No specific tools. His system seems to depend on the fact that he has radio experience and so is very good at prepping for his show. This means that he doesn't edit.

(in: bloggercon, conferences, weblogs, podcasting)