Auf wiedersehen

I was saddened to listen to the 400th episode of Schlaflos in Muenchen, for it is the last. Annik Rubens, the Valkyrie-voiced podcaster and princess of German podcasts I wrote about for The Guardian, said she will move onto something new after a two-week hiatus and she has other podcasts, like Filme und So. Still, she just tired of the form of her original podcast.

At the same time, the British prince of podcasting, Ricky Gervais, hangs up his microphone on his record-setting show.

What’s going on here? The death of podcasts? Naw. Step back from the keyboard before you start writing that made-up trend story. I sense that people (Winer aside) don’t flame out on blogs the way they might on podcasts and I think the reason for that is that podscasts are both more of a production and more of a performance. It’s harder. That’s also why fewer will start podcasts — and why I haven’t. It’s easier to blather through a keyboard than a microphone.

  • With writing you can also set things aside and come back to it later. Editing is an important part of writing. With podcasting, you can try to save it with editing but many times you just have to scrap and start over. That’s my experience at least.

  • The problem with podcasts is that it is impossible to browse them at a glance. This is why YouTube works best in two-minute chunks — any more and the little Homer Simpson inside our heads says “Boring!” and changes the channel. Sorry, I’ve already got too much crap accumulating on my DVR to make time for wading through hour after hour of internet content as well.

  • Ken

    Well, we’ve done 300 podcasts/5 million downloads, and traffic is going from strength to strength. I think the worst thing you can do with podcasting is to do it sporadically. By having it on a set schedule, you show that you’re serious. In many ways podcasting is easier than writing. However, I think you’re right not to start it if you’re not prepared to really commit to it.

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