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podcast iconDefinition of podcast on the Web:

Podcasts are an interesting phenomena; imagine a boy on a bicycle throwing one onto your front step in the early morning hours, but it’s not a newspaper — it’s audio (or even video).  You can listen to them at your leisure, subscribe to as many as you want, and most of these things are free.  There are all sorts of easy ways to aggregate your subscribed podcasts, search for new podcasts, and it’s even very simple to make your own.

I’ve had a limited experience with podcasts and podcasting; I’ve been a part of one, and listened to a handful of them.  The podcast I created was a group effort for CPSC 315, and it was a staged and scripted faux radio broadcast.  We were to cover some sort of scandal involving information systems, we chose to cover a breach of security in Heartland Payment (they processed 100 million payment card transactions per month at the time); the podcast is actually here on umwblogs somewhere.  As far as consuming goes, I’ve listened to a few for classes, but that is about it.  The podcasts I listened to included an informative discussion on MongoDB, and a similarly informative podcast covering CouchDB, whose location I can’t quite remember.

I could probably incorporate listening to podcasts as I drive; otherwise, podcasts are not the most convenient way for me to subscribe to a particular content.  I like controlling what music I listen to, and listening to something education would limit what else I could do at the same time.  It feels weird to want to listen to something informative, and to then not pay attention; it also feels weird to just listen to something and do nothing else (reminiscent of huddling around the radio in ye days of old).  While video podcasts exist outside that realm, I have yet to stumble upon any that were interesting or genuinely felt the need to look.

To sum podcasts up:

image credit:  Modified Podcast Logo with My Headphones Photoshopped On, from flickr


2 Responses to “Thing 8: Podcasting”

  1. ewuepper on June 1st, 2010 6:56 pm

    I get the same feeling you do when listening to podcasts. I feel like I should be doing or looking at something, but I also feel like I’m not listening if I start browsing other pages at the same time. It’d different if it was on the radio, because at least then I am driving while listening to it, but otherwise I just feel awkward.

  2. jajamoo on June 3rd, 2010 4:27 pm

    I listen to a few podcasts though I must say, I’m a bit old fashioned when it comes to audio entertainment outside of music: if I want to hear people chattering on about something, I’d rather be listening to a news radio show. And I agree with Erin and you: podcasts seem much too passive a form of interaction. Good post, keep it up!