I have often tried to write something about how difficult it is for me to keep track of most tech-oriented podcasts. There’s a great plenty of choice already, and sometimes it feels there’s a brand new interesting podcast every week. Such staggering amount of podcasts (even considering just the Technology category) ends up affecting their quality — or hiding it, in certain cases. Practically all the authors / writers / bloggers I follow either host a podcast or appear in other podcasts produced within their circle of friends, colleagues or acquaintances. I can’t even keep up with all the episodes of the few favourites I’ve subscribed to.
The podcast is a particular format, and it’s so much more than a recorded radio programme. It’s something that requires my full attention, and when I decide to listen to a podcast episode, for me it’s rather hard to do anything else. That’s why I need to find the right listening conditions, the right time and the right space for it.
And Nick Heer, in his post What is Podcasting?, really nails the problem down (emphasis mine):
I appreciate the craft that Hurley and others bring to the space. But a time commitment of two hours per podcast per week is arguably a lot, and I often don’t get the sense that podcasters respect listeners’ time. I will sit through an album from start to finish, and it will take about an hour; a podcast can be twice that length, and if it’s unedited conversational rambling, I will struggle to finish the episode. It’s simply not worth that amount of time.
By the way, Nick Heer’s blog, Pixel Envy is a very recent discovery for me, and what a discovery. After reading a few articles and bits of commentary, I quickly added it to the feeds I read every day, and you should too. I think it’s really good.