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How Do You Feel About Blog Podcasting?

Posted by on Nov 21, 2009

Yup, that’s my question: how do you feel about blog podcasting?

One of my new online friends has a pretty nice blog. However, the majority of her posts are short podcasts rather than the written word. Initially I was listening to her posts, but stopped pretty quickly. I had to think about why I didn’t like them, and I knew it had nothing to do with her or what she was talking about.

What I realized, and this may not be fair, is that I felt somewhat manipulated. Let’s think about this one for a little bit. We all want people to come to our blogs and participate in the experience. So we put together what we hope are thought provoking and entertaining posts, sometimes teaching, sometimes making people laugh, and sometimes just ranting a little bit. We might add a picture to help illuminate what we’re trying to articulate, or we might share a video here and there.

Why do we do all of this? Because we hope that people will stay on our blog for a little while. We hope that maybe they’ll like what they read, and want to read more. We hope that maybe they’ll be interested in one of the little things we have on the side of our blog, click on something, and we’ll make a little bit of money. And we hope that people will write comments, engage us in thoughts and conversation, and generally have a good time.

So, what about podcasts? Well, with either a podcast or video presentation, you pretty much have to spend a bit of time either watching or listening to it. You can’t speed read, which I do, and you can’t anticipate what’s coming. You’re pretty much stuck for anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes of listening to someone talking about whatever it is they’re talking about, or showing you. That’s why I almost never visit another blog by a guy I like, because almost all his posts are video, and I just don’t always have 10 minutes to hang around to watch a video.

Now, every once in awhile, if they’re showing you a presentation of something, that makes a lot of sense because it’s easier to show people how to do something that trying to just tell them how to do it. But what if it’s an every day thing? How much do you want to visit a blog to have to listen to a presentation every time?

I know someone’s going to say “yeah, but you have that “listen” button at the top of each post. True, but I put that there to give people an option as to whether they wanted to listen or read my post. I know some of my posts get quite long, and one of my wife’s gripes is that she hates reading long posts. But every once in awhile I’ll ask her to check a specific post out, and she’ll listen rather than read and enjoys that.

There are some websites that will put up a video, but also have the written transcript so that you get a choice as to which way you want to go. I love that option, and yes, sometimes I will just sit back and watch or listen to something instead of reading it. But it’s an option, a choice, and I love having choices.

I don’t want this to look like I’m beating up on anyone whose content is totally media driven. I’m asking this question because I really want to know what people’s general opinions on this are. If I started creating posts by recording them and, instead of writing much, just wrote a headline like “Have you heard about Google Wave? Here’s my take on it” and then posted an audio file, and all my posts were like that, would you still visit and listen to an entire file each time and still want to comment on it? Would you be encouraged to go to any of my other posts to listen to more podcasts or watch more videos if that’s all you could do when you visited one of those?

Share with me; let me know your thoughts. I’m wondering if it’s me, the guy feeling a bit old lately, or if I’m more normal than I think I am sometimes.

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20 Comments »

I do not even know how to go about inserting a podcast! My son who is a techie says that he will arrange for a video with audio taken of me pontificating as, some of my readers have expressed the desire to hear my voice following my posting this blog: http://rummuser.com/?p=2339
.-= Rummuser´s last blog ..One Memorable Day. =-.

November 22nd, 2009 | 12:08 AM
Mitch:

Rummuser, I could learn it if I needed to, but I really haven’t wanted to do it all that often. I was glad to find the Webreader program to do it for me on these blog posts.

November 22nd, 2009 | 12:16 AM
Mitch:

Well, I’ve got that covered, Rummuser, as I’ve posted a few links on this blog to my being interviewed. So if anyone wants to hear my voice, it’s pretty easy.

November 22nd, 2009 | 8:26 PM
Sharon:

Like you, Mitch I read fast and I am a visual learner. I don’t have patience to listen to podcasts when I can get to the point very quickly with text. I listen to one podcast a week (40 minutes long!) because the person offers compelling information not available in a text version. But, there are different learning styles. Not everyone learns visually. Some people learn by listening and I suspect that is one reason for the popularity of podcasts.

November 22nd, 2009 | 7:49 AM
Mitch:

Hi Sharon,

I know you’re right on some people needing to listen to get it instead of reading it. And you can listen to something over and over also. But I’m with you, if it’s something long that I can download and take with me, I’m all for that; love that in fact. Otherwise, I have to pick and choose, which means I could be missing out on a lot of stuff.

November 22nd, 2009 | 10:16 AM
John Dilbeck:

Good morning, Mitch.

(BTW, thanks for the link to my Think and Grow Rich questions on your previous post.)

I am definitely a reader, not a listener.

I would never make it a point to visit sites where all the content is given in video or audio. What I hear goes in one ear and out the other, barely making an impression.

What I read, however, can stick with me for a lifetime.

As you know, I have a very slow Internet connection, so video and audio really aren’t practical options for me.

However, even if I had a fast broadband connection, I still would not enjoy listening to or watching podcasts or videos.

I know this for a fact, because way back when I was a systems administrator, I had a nice fast broadband connection and that was when folks like David Winer were first inventing podcasting. Even then, with the fast connection, I wasn’t interested.

There are some blogs that I used to read every day, but now that they’ve started posting videos much of the time, I’ve lost interest and rarely visit them. Some, I’ve removed from my email or RSS subscriptions, because they’re no longer providing what they were when I first subscribed.

But, I’m an old dinosaur. I love reading. I have an attention span for more than a few minutes. I detest “sound bites.”

I could go on longer, but I think I’ve said all that I need to say.

😉

Act on your dream!

JD

November 22nd, 2009 | 8:47 AM
John Dilbeck:

Sorry. Just found a typo.

That should be Dave Winer, not David.

November 22nd, 2009 | 8:50 AM
Mitch:

Hi John,

I figured we’d be in agreement on this one; we both like the written word a lot. As I said to Sharon, if the presentation is a long one and I can download it, I’m a happy guy. But 3 to 10 minute soundbites on a consistent basis, not as much. However, I can truthfully say that my recall is good either way.

November 22nd, 2009 | 10:20 AM
Sandesh Mascarenhas:

Rightly said many on the net do not have much time to see a 10 min video. If you write something interesting and brief people will definitely enjoy reading….

November 22nd, 2009 | 8:55 AM
Mitch:

Hi Sandesh, thanks for joining the discussion. Course, I haven’t really been accused of writing “brief” all that often. lol

November 22nd, 2009 | 10:21 AM
Diabetis:

I prefer reading than just listening.
.-= Diabetis´s last blog ..Diabetic threat for feet =-.

November 22nd, 2009 | 2:24 PM
Mitch:

Thanks for sharing, Diabetis.

November 22nd, 2009 | 6:41 PM
malted_tea:

Not sure on this one. For me, I think it would depend on the topic and the presenter.

It would be a heck of a lot of work but tracking versions would make a lot of sense: podcast vs. transcript/blog post.

I see podcasting in blog format on a regular basis as being odd. You’re asking folks to change “channels.”

Download and listen (maybe even offline).
Come back to my web site and post a comment.

There’s too much friction. Then again, as I said it would depend on the topic.

November 23rd, 2009 | 8:46 AM
Mitch:

Natasha, the thing with me is that if every post is either a video or a podcast, I’m not sure it matters about the topic as much. I certainly don’t think it contributes much to your wanting to leave comments, that’s for sure. Every once in awhile is fine for me, but if that’s the only way one is going, I know I won’t participate on a regular basis.

November 23rd, 2009 | 10:29 AM

Now as I’m sure you know, I’m a big audio/video advocate. I do try to include text on my video posts. I’m not that good about putting up text on my audio posts. I haven’t really tested which posts get the most responses yet. I just like to give my visitors as many options to get the information as possible.
.-= DeAnna Troupe´s last blog ..Easy Video Editing Software (It’s Free!) =-.

November 23rd, 2009 | 10:18 PM
Mitch:

Hi Deanna,

I do know about that. Thing is, every once in awhile having video or audio doesn’t bother me. But if it was an everyday, every post thing, that just drives me nuts. 🙂

November 23rd, 2009 | 11:37 PM

Hi Mitch,

Personally I prefer written posts as I like to soak in the verbiage and sometimes even read between the lines.
.-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..The Battle Over Comments – Part 2 =-.

November 29th, 2009 | 10:23 PM
Mitch:

Thanks for your comment, Barbara. It seems that, for the most part, most people would like to see more of the written word, which suits me just fine. 🙂

November 30th, 2009 | 9:13 AM

I’m totally with you on this one!

‘I know someone’s going to say “yeah, but you have that “listen” button at the top of each post. True, but I put that there to give people an option as to whether they wanted to listen or read my post.’

You said it right there, giving people an ‘option’.

I think it is great to add variety to a blog but I would stick to adding the text article underneath the podcast / video for those that prefer it.

I understand the time it takes to create a podcast or video and then have to write out a accompanying text post, but by adding the main points in a list could serve those that prefer text and may even encourage others to hit the listen / play button.

Thought provoking post Mitch!

Karl
.-= Karl Foxley´s last blog ..The Really Sneaky CommentLuv Trick For Better Blog Marketing And Promotion! =-.

December 2nd, 2009 | 8:58 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Karl; I like to try to keep people thinking. Actually, maybe not even writing out the entire transcript, but giving a little bit of detail into what the podcast or video might be about would help me immensely. I’m not one who likes being “teased” all that well when it comes to my time.

December 2nd, 2009 | 3:49 PM