Podcast overkill?

I have to admit to being a Vodcast junkie, but podcasts haven’t won me over at all. Case in point is VentureWeek. Excellent concept and all-star participants, but really, even with a tube commute how can I dedicate ONE HOUR listening to the podcast?

I participated in the VC Show during the summer and I would never listen to myself for 40-odd minutes. It was a fun experiment and hopefully somewhere in my rambling there was an ounce of interesting content.

Which brings me to my point: We can read several times faster than we can listen- which is one reason I found audiobooks, and now podcasts, to be infuriating. I’m always thinking “Get to the point already!”. Is anyone else under-whelmed by podcasts or have I been getting the wrong ones? (or is it Attention Deficit Disorder?)


  1. Jason,

    I am sorry you didn’t enjoy the length of VentureWeek. Ultimately it was too hard to keep the show to 30 minutes and have the concept remain as in people would only have 5 minutes total talk time which I don’t think is enough to get to any useful information.

    I do post detailed show notes with each show on VentureWeek.com which you can check out and make note of the sections you’d like to fast-forward to.

    However, you have given me an interesting idea. I think I will start to put an audio guide (similar to the show notes) in the beginning of each show alerting you to what takes place when so fast-forwarding would be easier. Would that be useful? I will give it a test run with the show I just recorded. I would be interested to hear your feedback.

    Anyhow, other 45 min to 1+ hour shows are very successful (This Week in Tech, VentureVoice, etc.) so people must find the time somewhere. I agree that I am not the best at keeping things succint but I am learning and hopefully will continue to put out better and better shows. Thanks for listening and please let me know what you think about the audio guide in the beginning of the next show. Take care.

    Host: VentureWeek

  2. Eric,

    The post is wasn’t intended to be a jab directed at your podcast. As I said you’ve got an excellent line-up of top VCs. I’ll be sure to catch your next episode to see how the audio guide works though…

    The post was meant to convey the fact that I don’t think podcasts in general take advantage of the medium. Even the “iTunes New Music Tuesdays” podcast rarely draws my interest- and it’s a *perfect* example of where the content is highly suited to the medium.

    About 10 min after posting, I saw Nivi’s post about “The Ricky Gervais Show” podcast. Comedy just might be another area perfectly suited to podcasting. Ricky’s absolutely hilarious so it might just be another favorite on my iPod.


  3. Jason. You’re point is an excellent one that is not well covered elsewhere (dare I say it a bit of emperor’s clothes).

    The explosion of user generated content means that we will have more of it ( a wider range of niche content is classic long tail).

    This already means that I have less time to consume more stuff.

    With less time, a scan of a page is eminently quicker than listening to a podcast. Some content is better as a “thought piece”, yet I fear that fantasic content just won’t be noticed if it’s not optimised for a busy audience…

    Eric. Your podcast is excellent. Nice work. Esp the podcast notes 😉

  4. Someone making a podcast for iTunes may find it a great idea to also include the use of chapters. Chapters allow a user to skip past content they don’t care about. I listen to Cocoa Radio where they have put in chapters, and it’s great to skip past parts when I only want to hear certain topics and then come back to the older audio some time later.

    On another note, podcasts are just getting started. A lot of the pioneers are still getting audio set up right and many just don’t have the equipment to get a good cast together. Wait a year or two and see the quality of podcasting to get much better. Until then, enjoy what is a young revolution. 🙂

  5. Fair comment Derek. Liz Phair for example has a podcast (thanks for the tip CK). It’s a mix of talk and music- which is perfect for podcasts. As a Liz Phair fan you don’t really want to *read* what she says, and certainly you don’t want to read her acoustic sets…so it’s the “killer app” for podcasts.

    However, until everyone gets that figured out, I’ll keep grabbing my vodcasts. 🙂

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