I’m not much of a podcast person, but I’m surprised to see the extremes of opinion when it comes to the subject.
Guy Kawasaki created an audio version of a chapter of one of his books, and the comments range from something like “I hate you for making me listen instead of reading”, to “I hate people who listen while they drive”, to “I hate people who hate podcasts”… you get the idea.
The fact is, podcasts are here to stay. We’ve even started putting audiobook reviews on podcasts. I’m pretty sure people who like audiobooks will like podcasts, but who knows?
Our own research shows that people who love books are the WORST in terms of audiobook consumption – it seems that they prefer the purity of licking fingers and turning pages. Give me an iPod and an audio-in jack in my car any day. I hate licking my fingers.
I do like podcasts/radio while driving and I like reading when my eyes are free, for the simple reason that nuance, background music, sound effects, and all the lovely benefits podcasts offer are less important to me than my ability to read as carefully or as swiftly as the material warrants and my schedule allows.
What’s driving me nuts lately is this trendy, slavish, contagious editorial policy that dictates selected content be available only as an audio file. WTF? Is transcription too costly?
I don’t have 15 minutes to listen to every last loving detail of your vision or your author interview. I’m busy — let me skim and see if the piece is even worth my attention.
Tease the podcast’s unique features in the accompanying text, but don’t give up on readers.