23.19.00 - Mark
People are getting into podcasting. I don't mean the assorted geeks who got it to take off a few months ago, I mean the mindless drones who are learning about it though CNN and the New York Times and really making it rocket.
This is the point where most would go into how this is a good thing. Except it isn't a good thing. At least not for content.
The people who have been listening to podcasts since before January 1st 2005 often cite the fact that some of these programs have really great content. Many do, like Slacker Astronomy, The Rock and Roll Geek Show, Evil Genius Chronicles and the somewhat deceivingly named IT Conversations. Yes, they are unregulated, which means they can and do include things that if broadcast over the air would incur outrageous fines, but they use this to improve content, not as an excuse to produce it.
The problem with the masses is that, and the commercial broadcasters know this, the Unwashed Masses Want Filth.
That's why the Howard Stern Show is the way it is and why morning shows get off by prank calling old women and why we have shows with Bubba the Love Sponge. Its the same on TV. "Reality" shows didn't come about because people want to see how everyone else acts in outrageous situations, they came about because 1) its hard to come up with reasons for good looking people to eat assorted live animals, 2) its hard to come up with reasons for good looking people to be more un than dressed and 3 (which is an afterthought item for the studios) Script Writers and semi-competent actors are expensive.
The only reason we don't have "reality" movies is because pr0n (typed that way because I'm tired of google directing perverts my way) is permitted on the big screen.
As far as the masses are concerned Podcasts are to Radio what Reality Shows are to TV. Quick easy ways to give the masses filth without any of that regulation bullshit.
Dave Winer might complain about not being credited with inventing podcasts, but I wonder how much he'd like being credited with bringing more filth to the masses.
Hopefully podcasting will evolve and get past this "lets sell out to the masses by producing crap!" phase and get back to what's really special about the medium, original, intellegent content that doesn't need a listenership numbering thousands to thrive. Of course I'd like to say the same thing about blogs, but the fact is there are millions of people who don't have anything to say but want a blog anyways...