In case you missed it – the New York Times has a Podcast. 2 important things that most people missed in the buzz about this release:
First of all – I look at iTunes and they're only number #10. The Onion is #1, Tiki is #2 and we got a Ninja at #7. With all the might and power of the New York Times, that's all they could do? Of course, their home page, their Internet “front page” doesn't mention the Podcast at all. Imagine what would happen if they actually really promoted this thing. If you're going to launch a Podcast, it ain't enough just to launch a Podcast.
Secondly, their attempt at Podcasting is as shallow as a high school cheer. A 4 minute “reading” of the front page (when this thing started, it was a 2 minute reading – so maybe they're trying) is no more a newspaper Podcast than a 5 minute re-cap of a television show by the very network that doesn't understand why we Tivo through the commercials is a television Podcast. Newspapers aren't CNN, they're newspapers (or at least supposed to be) and when you lose your purpose, it doesn't matter if you have a Podcast or not.
Podcasts provide 2 things -> 1) A Channel for delivering pushed media content and 2) A Medium that is still being explored/examined/deconstructed/developed – people often get these 2 things mixed up.
When the Web started, everyone was thrilled that they could put their brochures online – they confused medium with channel. This approach sold as well as KFC's one-week ad campaign as a health food option.
Now, those who embrace the Web (as) medium understand it is different from anything else and needs to be approached and understood accordingly. Those who grab everything the Web has to offer the sales experience are finding themselves doing insanely well.
Those who embrace Podcast as medium, and not just “what the kids are doing these days”, will find themselves doing insanely well (as well).