When business magazines start writing about an emerging consumer technology, you know the technology is starting to have a real impact – or at least that the gears are starting to turn in entrepreneurs’ heads. Last week, there was very perceptive Business Week cover story on blogging. And this week Forbes.com columnist Sam Whitmore writes about podcasting, which he calls “in some ways is even more disruptive and exciting than blogging.”
Whitmore mainly focuses on the licensing issues involved when podcasters play copyrighted music or create mashups. But he’s also aware that blogs and podcasting, together, fundamentally upset the one-to-many, we-experts-talk-to-you-naïfs model of the traditional media. And that’s what interests me most about podcasting. It’s a reasonably easy and cheap way for amateurs to broadcast their thoughts and passions, even if it’s only to a small audience consisting mainly of other podcasters (as I believe it still does now, despite the recent finding by the Pew Internet & American Life project that one in four owners of iPods or MP3 players have downloaded podcasts) .
”By all means, track the blogs and watch all those crusty old newspapers and magazines writhe in agony, wondering whether to join in or turn their backs,” Whitmore writes. “Just don’t forget to put on your earphones and enjoy the new show, too.