I have been thinking about this and have some thoughts on the whole thing.
The internet started out with most people not knowing or understanding it. Today they can’t live without it. Blogging was something that was around before 1998 (when I started blogging), back then no body knew about it or could understand why you would put your journal online. Around 2005 (or so), a blog network was sold to AOL for multi-millions and many are making a living from it now.
Now we have podcasting. We are in the exact same position now we were then. The one problem? The community is divided. We have the Twit’s calling it netcasts, we have Podshow (ahem, Mevio) getting rid of the podcast. Then we have companies like RawVoice and FarPoint Media (and many others) that are sticking to podcasts (at least at this time).
I think the problem is “What is a podcast?” Is it the show itself (wither it is video, audio, or other files)? Is it the style it is created in (independently produced by non-professionals)? Or is it the delivery mechanism? Once people finally agree on that (and I don’t think they will at this point), it can grow more easily with the united message.
I think podcasting is the delivery mechanism. My primary intended distribution is via subscribers in a podcatcher. They have other options like downloading and “streaming” from the website, but the intention is to have them receive it automatically. Thus my show is delivered via podcast. I consider networks like Mevio and FarPoint (BluBrry is not a network… yet) to be compared to companies like ABC, CBS, or Fox. Those networks provide the delivery mechanism (bandwidth) to distribute out to the people. They help out the the marketing and the other aspects that the production company doesn’t have as much experience with. Now BluBrry is not a network. Why? They provide to the production companies the tools they need to operate the company and treat it like a network of it’s own. BluBrry gets advertising and the tools you need to market and support your show.
I feel that BluBrry, FarPoint, and a few others are doing this right in this rapidly changing technology. Treat it as a boot-strap organization and quickly change to adapt to the changing technology trends. While it is true that they don’t have the money to easily to this, these networks find new and creative ways to adapt and to bring new perspectives as a whole to the industry. I really don’t know what to think of Podshow. They are a media network, but I think they dived in head-first instead of walking in from the shallow end first to make sure the water was okay to swim in.
Bringing this back to me.. am I a podcaster? Yes! Am I a blogger? Sort of. Am I a developer? Yes. What will be on my business card? Independent Media Creator. The sales pitch? “My show features some of the best independent music from around the world along with music news, some humor, and the occasional rant. It is delivered via podcast or you can stream it off the website.”
This is just my opinion which is subject to change. Unlike the politicians, I am willing to accept I am wrong and reserve the right to change what I think based on feedback. Hopefully it all makes sense. I know my brain doesn’t put thoughts to words the best sometimes.