Every tech pundit out there seem to have a podcast or frequently appears on one. There is an increasing number of generally interesting and quality podcasts and, let’s face it, it has become increasingly difficult for listeners to keep up with most of them. Even if you follow 3 or 4 podcasts on a regular basis, you’re more or less constantly missing out on at least 5 others, equally good, with equally interesting fellows.
A few days ago I was talking with a friend and explaining something I wanted to achieve, and he suggested I looked for a certain (old) episode of a certain podcast because one of the hosts was talking exactly about the same thing and giving valuable suggestions. It took me a while to find that, and in the process I couldn’t help but think about the sheer quantity of good stuff that is shared, mentioned, commented on all the currently running podcasts out there. Stuff that gets buried away pretty quickly because, if you can barely keep up with 3 or 4 podcasts, imagine searching for interesting information in their audio archives, or in the archives of a podcast you never followed but you were told you could find noteworthy content in some of its past episodes.
Usually a tech pundit will announce the upcoming episode of his or her podcast, with a more-or-less accurate outline of the topics they plan to treat, and that’s it. If you follow the pundit’s blog or website regularly, but not their podcast, you may notice something potentially interesting in that outline and maybe you’ll listen to a specific episode. That may work every now and then. But as you know, there are a lot of podcasts where the conversation between the hosts and the guests is in constant flow, doesn’t follow a rigid schedule, and may produce notable tangential observations one couldn’t expect by just reading the initial outline.
I think it would be great, and useful, that the pundit or pundits themselves could take note of the most important insights coming out during the broadcast of an episode of their podcast, and wrote a sort of ‘afterword’ after each episode. It doesn’t have to be a full transcript (it would be a folly considering that some podcasts have episodes longer than 1½ hours), but a sort of post-airing summary or recap, touching on the most interesting points made during an episode. It would be great for archival purposes (for those who made the podcasts and for the Internet at large), and it would provide an easier way to include what was said in a podcast if you want to transfer the debate over to the written word and to the written exchanges between blogs and websites.
It would demand more effort on the part of the podcast creator(s), but I think it would add a lot of value to the product, in the end. I’m not convinced it would result in a loss of audience — on the contrary, by reading what’s been discussed in previous episodes in more detail, perhaps more people would start following different tech podcasts, because they would have a clearer idea of what they’re getting into.