There is a remarkably good article on podcasting by Steve Arney in today’s Bloomington (IL) Pantagraph, featuring several of my favorite podcasts: The Redboy Podcast, Blue Dog Banter, and Illinoise! All three are independent, amateur podcasts featuring either a couple or a group of friends spending time together and sharing it with their listeners. What is remarkable about the article is that it shows an unusual insight (unusual for the mainstream media) about what podcasting can be all about:
Pete Moore [of Illinoise!] the other day noted that he hadn’t seen his “Redboy Podcast” friends in weeks. Because he hears their weekly podcast, he said, “I really feel like I’ve hung out with Redboy a couple times this month.”
Said Pete, “I think people think we’re trying to be radio superstars.” In reality, he said, “it’s a social network.”
Last summer, the Moores at their Bloomington home hosted the Midwest Podcast Conference, said Matt. He quickly conceded that “Midwest Podcast Conference” was a gross overstatement for 10 area podcasters having a party.
Of course, podcasting can be many things–it can be a medium for alternative viewpoints and citizen journalism, as with Bicyclemark’s Communique–but the social aspect is one of the things that makes it so appealing.