On podcasting and its perils

Before you proceed, know that this post is not meant to prohibit and discourage your business from trying out podcasting (of course not). This just serves as an eye-opener and warning to the possible downside of podcasting. Got it? Then proceed, thanks!  

  

Podcasting, the creation of an audio file made available to the public through download to a portable device, is increasingly becoming a buzz word in today’s businesses. It sounds good to the ears because of its features encapsulated in terms such as Easy! Personal! Simple!   

Christian Del Monte, Vice President of Operations for TMA E-Marketing describes podcasting as:   

A new and fast-growing technology that offers businesses a unique reach and gives customers the kind of choice and convenience they are coming to expect” 

A tool that offers a new dimension of information diffusion that can make it easier for your business to establish a deeper connection to its customers than ever before 

Oh jeez. This strongly reminds me of one of our readings: The Gobbledygook Manifesto. (You can relate by now if you had read it)  

Show us your tail, podcast.

But these divine words are not the entirety of podcasting. Let’s be fair and get to know about the perils of this social media tool. 

 

The perils of podcasting  

While podcasting may have its advantages, these are some of its disadvantages when used in business.  

  

Your target must necessarily have an ipod or similar device.  

This now becomes an issue of technology and gadgets. While it may be easy for your company to create a podcast with simply a microphone, a recorder, and a software for audio editing, your target audience may not have the devices needed to download your podcast. No matter how easy and convenient you make your podcast available for downloading, if it requires the public to possess a compatible gadget in the first place, then it won’t work.  
  

You are in a danger of an audience tuning out. 

Remember that you are always only borrowing time and attention from your audience. If you do not present significant content in your podcast in its first seconds, the listener could easily choose to tune out. It’s unfair, you may say. What if your podcast has an actually great and appropriate content? Then suffice it with an equally great and catchy intro! Don’t allow your listeners to get bored. Offer them interesting and relevant content in the first seconds of your podcast.  


You must sustain it and build a following.
  

Once you started your first podcast, you have to make sure there will be a second, a third, an nth podcast. This is why podcasts are usually presented as episodes. There must be a following. Now this becomes a threat if you are not prepared with a sufficient number of topics to talk about in your podcasts. Or perhaps, you do not know where else to take a discussion you started because you have tackled almost everything in your previous episodes. What do you do now?   

 

There are other disadvantages of the use of podcasting. The important thing is to recognize these and think of possible ways for businesses to minimize and reduce their threats.  

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6 comments
  1. melem1 said:

    Based on how you described it, podcasting is very much like blogging.

    “More often than not; the ones that read your blog are bloggers themselves”
    “Uninteresting blogs are killed.”
    “A good blog is regularly updated.”

    The main difference I believe is that podcasting requires much more effort to make it famous. Blogging just requires you to write and add a couple of pictures and videos to keep it interesting. But podcasting opens the window to many other possibilities that you can add to your work. A monotous podcast is axed even if its interesting. And the talent to keep your audience listening to you despite the short attention span of people is a must.

  2. I completely agree, I don’t think podcasting is really for everyone. For me, the name itself is intimidating for many people. PODCASTING. This name can be both unfamiliar and uncomfortable to a lot of people, especially to those who are very at home with the words “audio file” or “mp3”.

    This is especially confusing to non-techy people since the lines between podcasting and downloadable audio are really quite blurry. Why waste time looking for podcasts when free downloadable audio are quite common in the digital world? Mind you, most podcasts expect payment. 😐

  3. Hi Anne!

    Your post reminds me of what The Philippine Daily Inquirer did during the 2004 Presidential Elections. They made podcast interviews of the Presidential Candidates and they posted the podcasts on their website. The big problem was, their audience is usually the non-techies. On the other hand, techies were not that interested in the podcast they made. The project was unsuccessful because only a few people knew about podcasts and listened to them.

    Venturing into podcast might be or might not be good for a company. Having new technology doesn’t always translate to having better performance. The company should seriously know their audience first and see if it will cater to them, just like what we learned this sem. 🙂

  4. Justine said:

    Hello Anne! 🙂
    From how I interpret your blog post, even though you have that disclaimer up there, I think you are really discouraging people from putting up podcasts. From the title alone (On Podcasting and Its Perils), I can pretty much infer from that that you are a naysayer when it comes to podcasts. Describing disadvantages as perils I think would pretty much scare off potential podcasters reading your blog. Losing interest on the part of your audience is just natural, it is not a “danger” as how you put it.

    Of course I agree that all three “perils” should be considered because they are just natural factors of podcasting. I think putting up a podcast and trying out stuff is better than not putting up one because of fear of indifference from your target audience. You never know if you have a hit it your hands.

  5. While it is quite a feat to keep your audience from tuning out and that for those who podcast, blog, promote online, it is dangerous to have your audience feel like tuning out. But equal to this danger that we have to keep in mind is that of having our audience really tuned in. This means that if we go beyond what we want to really let out in the open, they may acquire something from our podcasts that we do not want as an effect. I remember a clear example of this through One Tree Hill. Peyton does podcasts about her life and because of this, she did not only gain admirers or stalkers but a potential killer as well. :S

  6. Now I remember our podcast requirement earlier. Like what Mr. Barrientos said, podcasting is still minimal in this country. For one, maybe, because we are visual people, and most of the time, podcasts come in the form of audio only. Podcast in the Philippines served and proved its purpose in politics. Our podcast interviewee, Mr. Pocholo Gonzales, told us that he was the one who created the podcasts of all the senatoriables this year. Amazing yet not many people are aware that they have podcasts. I think podcasts have a long way to go here before making it big. Filipinos in nature might find it boring to sit and listen when there is youtube around right?

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