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Podcasting... and getting scooped

? Can MSM afford good bloggers? Kos responds |


| Helping the blind blog ?

May 12, 2005

Podcasting... and getting scooped

Stephen Baker

One day after I issue a call for help on the upcoming podcasting story, The New York Times publishes this. It looks very much like what I planned to write.

So here's where I need help. Give it a read, if you have the time, and please give suggestions on how to take my story in other fresh directions. (By the way, thanks for all the suggestions you've sent over the last day. I'm going to check out the offerings you recommend over the next several hours.)

11:22 AM


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Hi Stephen

Bummer on the NYT article. I'm not sure if my comment in your last post got through, but I'd love to have you as a special guest co-host on The Gadget Show one week. That'd give you a feel for Podcasting, and might give you a fresh idea.


Posted by: Richard Giles at May 12, 2005 11:46 AM

bummer dude...

Why not just continue going but in a more b2b - business podcasting / internal company dialogue - rather than the more mainstream stuff.

or broaden it out to a discussion on freedom of speech / unregulated versus regulated...

Posted by: davidcoe... at May 12, 2005 12:00 PM

Hi Stephen,

Here's what I would suggest you do, considering that the Times reported on what is and not what will be. You should be the visionary here, talk about cell phones being the future (wall street articles everywhere) and that you see podcasts heading in that direction. It's so obvious that if someone can send videos, pictures, and text, that a podcast is gonna be (duh) the next, and it will be bigger than all the other features because less bandwidth is needed. You can scoop these guys by saying this. Hope this helps and hope you can check out my site when you get the chance.

Posted by: Lloyd Allen at May 12, 2005 12:01 PM

Personally, I would have advised against BW doing a simple "how to" as the NYT Technology article did. There are three angles here: 1) consumer use, 2) professional use, and 3) business use to boost revenue or cut costs. I'm primarily interested in the latter, but I'm also interested in how big businesses (relatively speaking) can be made from producing and distributing podcasts. The use of podcasts for "continuing education" also seems to have business value.

-- Jack Krupansky

Posted by: Jack Krupansky at May 12, 2005 12:20 PM


I agree with David that you should focus on business-oriented podcasts. No one seems to be writing just about this we really need to keep hearing about Paris Hilton's podcasting foray?!!

Talk about how large organizations (GM and others) and well as small businesses/individuals are using podcasting to better connect with their customers. Talk to listeners of these business podcasts about what they get out of them.

Just this week, one of our podcast listeners reported that he was listening to our podcast at Wrigley Field, while waiting for the Cubs game to begin. Wow! With the trends saying that 70% of consumers want products to help block out marketing (, here comes business podcasting, a medium where customers actually request to get more information from a business and listen to it when they want.

Posted by: Jackie Huba at May 12, 2005 12:23 PM

If you're insistent on doing a "how to" for podcasting, avoid bowling us over with the many options that are available, and instead focus on a simple 1-2-3 cookbook approach for how those of us not yet into podcasting can come up to speed on the "general basics" ASAP. That will require picking some specific vendors and content providers, but the goal should be to save us a lot of time (since you've already done the research). Of course, it won't be helpful if you focus on the Mac and the iPod, while some of us have Windows and maybe not even an MP3 player.

-- Jack Krupansky

Posted by: Jack Krupansky at May 12, 2005 12:30 PM

I think we have seen enough "how to podcast" articles. How about focusing on mainstream radio/TV/newspapers/magazines/etc. reaction to podcasting? The NYT's article discusses some mainstream media sources that are podcasting, but I would like to see a more indepth article about why those currently podcasting are doing it and who is thinking about podcasting? I personally like podcasting because of the potential it has for mainstream media to offer podcasts of shows/news casts/articles from a recent issue/etc for me to download. My hope is some day I will be able to download last night's episode of Larry King Live from CNN and listen to it on my way into work.

Posted by: Bryon Thornburgh at May 12, 2005 12:52 PM

Other than specific howto's - which could be useful for some folks - I'd like to see a different story. A couple of ideas:

Has anyone done a good article yet on niche podcasting? How can potential podcasters reach their particular target? Has anyone done it yet? What are the benefits and gotchas? If no one has, what are the barriers?

How does podcasting stack up against streaming flash audio, right now? Podcasting requires enclosures, flash can get picked up in a regular RSS feed. Benefits and liabilities either way? It's easy to use audioblogging apps, and feed video the same way. Will streaming (audioblogging, vlogging) or downloads (podcasting) be the wave of the future? Which niches are likely targets for either, neither, or both?

Posted by: Greg Burton at May 12, 2005 01:26 PM

The different take from the NYT? The realization that it's an entirely different medium. Most of the models right now of "what to do with podcasting" fall into the trap of trying to re-create radio. There are a lot of other things that can be done, especially for business, that we're just starting to get a glimpse of. We've been trying some different things with success, as noted below.

Example: Business podcasting as a competitive intelligence tool

Posted by: Christopher Carfi at May 12, 2005 01:30 PM

Over on the PHO music email list, there was a call out for whether people had seen any podcasts that are self-guided walking tours. Here is one example that was posted to the list that looks really cool.

Posted by: Heather Green at May 12, 2005 02:09 PM

There's a wine retailer in Dallas, I believe, that just launched a podcast in the last couple of weeks. That might be a hook for you: using podcasts to reach customers. See how/whether that's working out for the retailer.

Jeneane Sessum mentioned some interesting ideas for using podcasts to market services and manage projects.

(Jeneane's post:

Posted by: tiffany at May 12, 2005 02:15 PM

not to be a master of the obvious, but should you discuss your potential articles on your blog? it would seem to be open season for any less than imaginative competitors.

in fact, this entire issue is very deja vu to another blogger's experience. apparently, a blogger took exception to a similar event...research out on a blog, someone else came and used for an article, original researcher was offended...well, if you put it on the blogosphere for all to see; unfortunately, it might appear where you don't want it...kinda like bloggers who publish unflattering info about their company on a blog and then, wonder why they are fired...

so, in the future, when you need help...maybe, send email to people who have commented on your blog....for the article at hand, grab a glass of wine and just think....a podcast is an electronic file that conveys words, music, images...simply think of all of the ways these files can be's not always about business (even though you do work for business week) - what better method for a teacher to communicate with a sick or homebound child? recorded lesson for the day encoded on a MP3 file and placed on the school blog for sick/homebound children....or better yet, hospital setting...pass down information from one shift to other..."give Ms. Jones 10 cc of demerol" in a MP3 form on a nurse shift blog...instead of Ms. Jones getting 100 cc because of a handwriting mistake....just a couple of examples to get the thoughts going....

blogs + imagination = no limits

Posted by: jbr at May 13, 2005 12:35 AM

JBR, thanks for thoughts. You can be sure that we thought long and hard about the competitive implications before putting the podcasting story up on the blog. Yes, there are risks. I look at it as an experiment.

Posted by: steve baker at May 13, 2005 08:18 AM

A couple angles.

1. Narrowcasting. A lot of podcasts target audiences that aren't anywhere near big enough to sustain a commercial broadcast, yet the dedication of that audience -- and the audience's potential to influence others -- is appealing to advertisers. Take a look at "Endurance Radio," aimed at hard-core endurance sports enthusiasts. With a handful of listeners, the podcaster still commands about $4,000 per month for a sponsor, and gets the likes of Fleet Sports and Gatorade. The podcast I do with Neville Hobson attracts between 400 and 600 public relations professionals, but among them are the industry's top leading-edge thinkers.

2. A new music model. Remember the old FM radio days before it was taken over by consultants and corporations? DJ's played whatever they liked and new bands got exposure. That's what's happening on the indie music podcasts, which play "podsafe" (i.e., non-RIAA-controlled) music. Several bands have become more popular, increased CD sales, and obtained more high-profile bookings thanks to popularity sparked by podplay (as opposed to airplay). A great example: The Lascivious Biddies (, who got popular thanks to Adam Curry playing their material on his "Daily Source Code" podcast. If this trend continues, music radio could be in for some tough times.

Posted by: Shel Holtz at May 13, 2005 09:12 AM

Hi Steve, I came across this today, a podcasting specification work group,

Were you aware of this work group?

Posted by: Venky Krishnamoorthy at May 15, 2005 11:14 AM

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