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I'm considering discontinuing my podcast, and reflect on podcasting in general.

Listen:
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Transcript

This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.net.

A little over three years ago I did my first podcast:

Intro from podcast #1

That's a MIDI version of the theme from The Naked Gun movies, in case you're curious, and a much cheaper microphone.

Aside from a brief hiatus, it's been a weekly event ever since.

I'm considering discontinuing the podcast, and wanted to take a moment to reflect on podcasting in general.

Podcasting is certainly not dead, if that's what you're wondering. Particularly after the entrance of iTunes into the field a couple of years a go, there's now a wide variety of highly rated, entertaining and informative podcasts. Given the chance, I listen several to quite regularly. I recently ranted on my personal blog how local radio stations are not meeting my needs, but my solution turns out to be fairly simple: listen to some great podcasts instead.

Podcasting lets you choose what you want to hear and when you want to hear it.

That's not to say that podcasting doesn't have it's rough spots. I know that many don't always live up to the schedule that they set out for themselves, and that can be a tad annoying. Some of the most reliable are actually repurposed radio shows that have a hard deadline that they must always meet.

So why am I considering discontinuing mine?

Even though I have it down to a routine by now, creating a podcast is extra work and time. As you might imagine, my podcast is not just a "stream of consciousness" style that works for many others. My approach has been to produce something that hopefully is reasonably professional. Sometimes that requires several "takes" for me not to trip over my own tongue.

It's also exactly 3 minutes long, and that's on purpose. The original intent was that this podcast could be inserted into anyone else's, or even broadcast radio, and having a fixed length made each week's podcast a predictable insertion. While I've gotten pretty good at writing three minutes worth of copy, sometimes it's over, sometimes it's under and I don't find out until after that first take.

And I'd like to try a few other things. Video is calling, though I know simply replacing my audio podcast with a talking head video podcast isn't something I see as adding much value. Just like the audio podcast has evolved, it's going to take some time to play with video.

My podcasts have tended to be more like opinion pieces anyway, so if I do discontinue the audio, I'll probably replace it right away with a written equivalent.

I'd love to hear what you think. Would you miss the audio? Visit askleo.net and enter 12383 in the go to article number box to access the show notes, the transcript and to leave me a comment. While you're there, browse the hundreds of technical questions and answers on the site.

Till next time, I'm Leo Notenboom, for askleo.net.

Article C3362 - April 26, 2008 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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15 Comments
Ray
April 27, 2008 10:36 AM

I would miss the audio. I usually listen to podcasts when commuting, traveling, situations when I used to listen to the radio and now listen to prerecorded material. By design or accident, I've listened to all your audio podcasts.

If you blog only, of course I'll add the feed to my news reader. There it will compete with a couple of hundred others, so I'll be visiting less often.

I appreciate the work you've put into the audio podcast, especially since there's little or no economic reward for it, and probably never will be. With pop-up and ad blockers for web pages and skip-ahead controls for audio and video media players, there's really no future for ad supported podcasts. You really need to love the message to do a successful podcast.

So whatever you decide, thanks for the last three years!

Daniel Ullman
April 28, 2008 10:21 AM

I am agnostic on the issue. I never listed to the podcasts but always read the transcripts. I do like the more opinion orientated feel on the podcasts transcripts. The style is a nice addition to your fact based question answering.

Russ
April 28, 2008 2:41 PM

I'm fairly new to your podcast but I do enjoy listening to it. I'll listen if you continue to produce it.

DPeach
April 28, 2008 8:08 PM

Leo, it has been a great 3 years. I have been listening for most of that time and truly missed you when you were gone a year and a half ago.

I would miss you now when you are gone. I think it is a great addition to the website. While I read the website, I found it because of the podcast. I think the site and the podcast enhance each other.

I know you have to make your own decision on the subject, but if you are taking votes, I am in support of keeping the audio. One of the very few shows that I listen too that has stayed true to its own time constraints. More could benefit from your example.

Bharat Bhardwaj
April 30, 2008 12:56 AM

i really seem to like your podcasts since the time i came across them for the first time when i was looking for something on google. i must acknowledge, now i always look forward to all of them. however, there are certain things i realised & observed about them, while i really like them the way they are, i would really appreciate if you were not to post a transcript of the podcasts but just a summary of what you discussed in the podcasts because doing so, makes it appear as if you simplly read aloud what you had written in the "transcript".

besides, in doing away with the podcasts, an important aspect of the site would be gone. in fact, listening to it all in your own voice, gives a very reassuring touch to all the facts. & yes, saying all this in no way goes to suggest that i don't realise that, it is certainly more timestaking to produce a podcast than to produce written oppinion.

Samuel
May 2, 2008 1:30 PM

I always listen to the audio version. I do this while comuting to my work or while cleaning my house or so.
And I would realy miss it if the audio version was gone. (Maby I will then use some text to speach to still get an audio version.)

Peter
May 2, 2008 10:34 PM

I never listen to podcasts. Why? I have no idea! Never really got into the habit. Possibly part of the reason is my limited download allowance.

Anyhow, your newsletters are fantastic so keep them going.

dunstergirl
May 2, 2008 11:17 PM

Never listen to podcasts either - I'm a text type of person but do read your transcript every week. So as long as you keep producing your newsletter/text stuff I'll be happy.

Rob
May 3, 2008 12:52 AM

With today's time pressures I find it quicker to browse through a written article than to download a podcast to my player and listen to it. So I would not miss the podcast at all, but I would miss the 'opinion' content.

Bill Nelson
May 3, 2008 11:45 PM

I never listen to the Podcasts for two reasons; I don't own an Ipod or similar device, and at dialup speeds it would take too long to download the audio. The second problem is the primary reason I don't have have an Ipod. I do read your transcripts regularly. They download pretty quickly and there's no fuss in transferring them to another device.

James
May 5, 2008 8:19 AM

I very much enjoy your podcasts,it seems to personalize your web site.You do explain stuff well in typ,but the voice is an added feature.I think alot of folks would be disappointed if you decide to stop the podcasts.I prob would not watch the video(if u put one out)as i think the podcasts are great.In any event,please dont quit askleo.com,as you are teaching alot of folks some good stuff Leo!

Catmoves
May 6, 2008 11:03 AM

Don't listen to pod casts so it's of no mind to me. You have an interesting newsletter, but an irritation just arose in the form of a popup that asked me to subscribe. Here's what bothered me: 1.Your ad defeated all three of my pop up blockers. You do not gain points from me for doing that.
2. I already subscribe to your newsletter. Therefore, you are flogging a dead horse. Very irritating.
3. The popup interrupted my chain of thought in the text and I had to go back and re-read to gain the value of your knowledge and point of view.

wade
May 11, 2008 8:30 PM

I've been reading your newsletters for a while now and have just gotten set up to listen to mp3's/podcasts in my car...an hours drive to work and likely to get longer. If there's a vote going on, count one for keeping it...though my vote hasn't amounted to much lately and politically I don't feel like I've had much of a choice anyway. so, do what you want and I'll just mope? moap? in the corner.;P

Robert George Douglas
May 12, 2008 1:36 AM

Dear Leo,
Re 12382 (podcasts).
I'm not sure if this is relevant but I will pass it on any way. Whilst audio versions have the benefit of "mobility" of listening to them I usually need the "stability" of the
text of an article when I am 'researching' (I use that term rather loosely) my subject, so when the source is an audio version only my heart sinks. Sometimes the source provides both textual and audio versions of the information and that combination I find is often helpful, but the text is, more often than not my paramount need.
Thank you for your weekly hints (tips), from a golden oldie, non techie, and envious (that deadly sin) about it !!
Robert George Douglas

Thomas Kirkman
June 20, 2008 11:31 PM

MY GOD! There are people that don't listen to podcasts! I got in at the start and now download 52 of them. I have the ability to listen to them all night at work as I operate a water plant for the city. It takes me three weeks to go through them but love each and every one. I listen to them in the car and at home too. I rarely ever listen to the radio or CD's anymore. The podcast are much better. Some of the best books I have ever not read were on podcasts. I like your podcast Leo. I know it's a bit of work but it makes Leo more Leo if you know what I mean. Imagine,...people are out there that have never heard The Daily Source code, or Dawn & Drew! It boggles the mind! ;-D

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