the genius of podcasting
A constant challenge of producing content is distribution. You may write a book, or make a movie, but usually a third party has to approve it in order to get it distributed. However, one major form of media doesn’t have this property – podcasting. In fact, it is incredibly easy to produce and distribute a podcast. Smartphones have the ability to record hours of conversation and iTunes makes it easy to upload and make it free to anyone on the Internet.
This point was made by Kevin Smith, who was performing in Bloomington. He has at least three or four podcasts, each with an entirely different theme. He’s garrulous, so it is easy for him to generate massive amounts of material that can be packaged into podcasts which then advertise his other products (comedy shows, DVDs, films, etc.)
If you take a casual look around, you see that lots of small groups have created podcasts that reach thousands of people. For example, Partially Examined Life is a philosophy podcast run by three former philosophy grad students. And yes, they will do multi-hour discussions of Bergson. Bad at Sports is for folks in contemporary art. There is even a podcast about sociology books – New Books in Sociology. Some institutions have sociology blogs, like the Contexts podcast, but I’d like to see more sociologists get their voices out there.