Thursday, December 07, 2006

Open Thread: Podcasting

Do you listen to podcasts? Why or why not? What do you like about them? Are they getting tedious?

Like a lot of people, apparently, I’ve cooled a little to podcasts. The only two I still listen to regularly are This Boy Elroy and
The Gay Expat. To be honest, part of that is because the others listed on the sidebar of my blog are released too often. I can’t keep up. The other reason is that I just like those two in particular (a subject in itself, I suppose).

So, what do you listen to, if anything, and why?

I'm going to do a post on this soon and I'd like to know what others think.


Anonymous said...

I posted this on another podcast's comments section in response to the same discussion:

1) Personally, my malaise has been a result of being more interested in videoblogging lately, being very busy and a teensey bit of the post-election blahs (I'm getting over that quickly though and don't want to overplay that).

2) Drink Til' We're Funny is the latest incarnation of Urban Family Night, which was one of the first gay podcasts and got a lot of press. I believe they have taken their audience with them.

3) I hypthesize that personal journal gay podcasts (such as yours, Deep Fabulosity, etc.) that started earlier in the game and have a larger body of work tend to do better over time, and that the "newer" shows have more of an uphill battle gaining listenership and may get more frustrated.

4) Totally agree on the character thing. It's hard to keep up, and the more community-based nature of podcast listenership makes it increasingly difficult for people to distinguish between charcters and the individuals behind them over time.

5) I think the whole "incestuous" thing is the downside to the Queerpodder and other communities. This is no different in the more generalized podcasting and videoblogging world, it's just that this community is smaller which makes the trends of this type more noticable. There is a large element of us having the same listeners across several shows, creating this unsaid and unintended "clique" atmosphere that has its benefits and drawbacks. I hypothesize that the Queercasting community has reached a bit of a plateau and we are going to have to confront the following (which echos a lot of what the very podcast-savvy Mike Hipp has to say):

A) The "early adopter", technologically-driven type of podcaster and listener population has been reached and is probably over-saturated, and we need to acknowledge that.

B) There is a disconnect when it comes to training and developing listeners and future podcasters that find the technology of subscription and podcasting too time-consuming and daunting to take on. This is a big issue across the board in user-generated media.

C)I don't necessarily think it's about "real people", as Mark said, but about "real content". Content must diversify – there's a LOT of personal journal/general discussion shows out there, and the audience is overserved in that realm. If podcasters want larger audiences, current and new shows are going to differentiate and find a "hook" to bring people in by offering something different that people want. As many of us have discovered, listening to podcasts can be VERY time-consuming and people are left with no choice but to be choosy about the podcasts to which they give time commitments.

Here's some final food for thought: Contrary to the massive publicity by some, the most popular gay-oriented podcasts are Perez Hilton and Johnny "Gay Pimp" McGovern's podcasts. These podcasts are very successful becuase of the podcasters' activities outside of the podcast, and the quality of that outside content transcends listeners' confusion with and fear of technology. In the end, if podcasters want to feel like they're "getting somewhere", I believe that it's going to take high-quality content and a willingness to create engaging media beyond podcasting (video, blog posts, etc.).

Arthur Schenck said...

I read recently that Perez Hilton--who I don't consider a "gay blogger" in the usual sense-- is being sued for using copyrighted material. Popularity attracts attention which is fine as long as there's something original, interesting or maybe just real being said.

So your comment about "real content" is especially interesting. I don't go out of my way to look for podcasts anymore. To get my attention now, a podcast would have to have something different--and respect my time limitations.

I can't see myself podcasting, for many of the reason you describe, but maybe I've become a better media consumer. Hopefully, one day maybe I'll be a better blogger, too.

In any case, content is king, it seems to me, which is why I'm so choosy about blogs and podcasts (like yours) that I seek out.