podcasts: democratisation

Here is a contribution by Peter Ceresole on the uk.comp.sys.mac group on Usenet. Peter is commenting on the use of Podcasts and the quality of content available to the internet public. His opinion can easily be extended to the blogosphere too.

Newsgroups: uk.comp.sys.mac
Subject: Re: What podcasts do we listen to (if any)…?
From: Peter Ceresole Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 09:52:51 +0100
User-Agent: MacSOUP/2.6 (Mac OS X version 10.3.9)

Chris Ridd wrote:

> It was, but it wasn’t too far off the mark. Most podcasts then were a couple
> of people talking bollocks for half an hour or so, which seems not
> dissimilar to WW.
> The state of the podcasting art hasn’t moved on that much since 🙁

The trouble with the democratisation of stuff is that doing it well is
*difficult*, and that has nothing to do with the technology, but with
the content. While the technology limited access to the airwaves or
whatever, broadcasters tended to be large operations staffed with
professionals. That didn’t mean they were terrific and they produced a
fair bit of boring crap but there was a fair bit of good stuff too.
However, even extending broadcasting hours quickly revealed that there
was only barely enough talent out there (if that) to go round. Opening
it up by reducing the cost and increasing the availability of the
process reveals, all over again, that the great majority of people are
talentless morons. No surprise- any collection of art gathered from any
period of time proves that this has always been so. Of course you also
get genuises and diversity is enabling for those that can hack it, but
it’s pretty stressful for the rest of us who have to sort our way
through the shit to find the occasional pearl.

So instead of the filtering process being done by regulators and
marketroids with a financial stake in success, now it’s catch as catch
can. The filtering happens at the receiving end.

Remember; we’re all alpha testers now.


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If you’ve never heard of Usenet, you can access and search it through Google, under the “Groups” panel. But to do it justice, you really need to get a Usenet client like MacSoup (for Mac) or Forte Agent for Windows.