The Duality That Is Podcasting

Written at 326a my time in the Orlando Airport, heading home so as not to miss Father’s Day. Too many deep thoughts too early in the morning.

Podcasting is two things – a medium of communication and a media channel.

Point 1 – There is nothing like the freeform nature of a Podcast. It is a unique medium. I think of Adam and Patricia chatting about their dislike for the “W” hotel chain or Rob geeking out over his interview with Moore and I love the options this medium provides. I won’t even begin to discuss the nature of Rocketboom or Tiki.

Point 2 – Taking other mediums and not offering a timeshifted option down this channel is just plane silly. We recently “replayed” a teleseminar on Marketing Online Live that, although popular with our listeners, is hardly a “true” Podcast. I was downstairs at a mixer at the Podcast Secrets event when the teleseminar was held. I’m thrilled I can get it delayed – and will be listening to it today when I get on the plane. And we aren’t the only one doing this – I think of the mighty Doug Kaye’s Conversations Network as an example of how powerful this approach is.

There are 2 kinds of Podcasters – those with a goal of monetization (direct or indirect), and those who (only) do it for love.

I think of cooks when I think of Podcasting: Some of the best meals on the planet will never be found in a restaurant (no matter how much you pay). The best “pro” chefs in the world also often do it for love – but want to use their passion to pay the bills (and often get excited when they realize they can do just that). Neither type is better than the other – they just have different angles on the food they produce.

But these two dualities create a bit of confusion in the marketplace as we discuss Podcasting with the world. Think of these combos:

Volunteers who repurpose existing content and shoot it out via RSS so that others can participate.

Fans who develop commentaries for their favorite shows.

Radio hosts who realize their shows can reach 10x the audience if they package as a Podcast.

Tiki.

Rocketboom.

Curry.

The Podcast Brothers.

Marketing Online Live.

iTunes University.

The list goes on.

I want to suggest some terminology here so we can discuss this in a way that makes sense. If we all use the same terms, I think we’ll be in a better place.

I suggest a “Professional Podcaster” is someone who has generated at least $1 (directly or indirectly) from their Podcasting efforts. There are no licenses (like in radio) that can determine our status – so I suggest this simple requirement.

For those who do if for love, the term ain’t as easy. Some suggest “Indie Podcaster” – others recommend “Unpaid.” Are there others?

Which terms do you like best?

My plane is now boarding …

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