November 06, 2004

The Podosphere

Podrolling. It's Adam Curry's session on podcasting.

Stacy Krammer notes that it's not all pod. It's laptops and cellphones and car radios and other devices too. But it doesn't work very easily. Yet.

I'm working on something that will use this in the near future and I can't wait to play around with this. Though it's true as many are noting here that we need a good metadata system. I also want to be able to mark sections of podcasts so that I can skip around like we do with CD tracks.

Bob Wyman made an excellent comment outside after the session: he noted that new technologies tend to cement certain practices pretty quickly. And it's likely this will happen with podcasting as it grows. But the problem with this sort of technology is that it does need better metadata, but it also needs to have another kind of data to make it searchable. Otherwise a power law problem will develop. How? These are radio shows, essentially, and so metadata being data about the data, means it's the title of the show, the people talking, the date, etc. But it's not the transcript. And so the shows rise based on reputation and linking and pointing, and metadata, but not the content specifically. We cannot search the actual words of the shows, and therefore, if a new voice emerges, how will we find it? In systems like Pubsub, Feedster, Technorati, Bloglines, Blogpulse? These search systems have a democratizing effect, because anything can come up in the searches. But without the content itself being searchable, we will likely end up with a very strong powerlaw effect.

So Bob suggests that we work now to make podcasting searchable in the content in some way, to prevent this from happening.

Posted by Mary Hodder at November 6, 2004 10:02 AM | TrackBack