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Thursday 22 October 2009

Just Talking.

Recently, i've started listening to Podcasts. Either via my computer, or on my iPod, or iPhone. Why it's taken me so long to get to this point, i really have no idea.
But, anyway...

One of my favourite discoveries so far, is a podcast from a UK music magazine called "The Word". What this consists of is essentially three of the journalists sitting around a table & talking about music, or some other related topics. Now, to a lot of people this may seem like a recipe for disaster. But, i think it's absolutely brilliant & such a simple concept too.
I realise that the whole concept of the podcast is that it's audio only. Although i do understand you can get video podcasts as well. I've not tried them yet though & i'm not sure that i will either.

The audio podcast, although a product of the MP3 revolution, is in some ways a bit of a throwback to a bygone era. It harks back to the days when radio ruled the entertainment world. These days with TV, the Internet etc, so much of our entertainment is visual. This, naturally, changes the way that a program is delivered.

In days gone by, i can remember watching TV shows starring people like Peter Cook with Dudley Moore & Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones, who were basically just talking & often talking what appeared to be complete rubbish as well. I realise that both of these duo's were comedians & therefore a lot of what they were saying was scripted & acted out as well. Although you were never quite sure how much was ad-libbed & improvised.
The point being that this was very entertaining & for a great many people too. I'm not sure if anyone does anything like this anymore, on TV at least. These days we seem to need & expect as many bells & whistles as we can lay our hands on to make a much more visual experience. This, supposedly, is what the public demand.
But is it?

What i've found by listening to "The Word" podcast is that listening to people just talking, is really very enteratining. Especially when those people are knowledgeable & passionate about their chosen subject. There is no way that they can resort to visual stimuli to boost the entertainment quota. They have to rely on their voices, opinions, knowledge & the stories that they tell to do the entertaining.
What a novel idea eh?

It suddenly struck me earlier, whilst thinking about this topic. That maybe this is the reason that i like to watch & listen to vloggers on YouTube & elsewhere. As opposed to most of the other content on the site? It's just one person talking.

Maybe the audio podcast & the vlog are taking us back & reminding us all about the art of conversation, which so many people think is now a dead art form. It may be a one way conversation. But, the listener is quite probably participating in this "conversation" by laughing along, nodding their head. or talking back.
The art of conversation may well be very much alive & well. It's just found a new medium.

So, maybe going backwards is the new going forwards?

Just thinking.


  1. Nice post, Andy! Funny you should mention podcasting, I love podcasts as they are great for listening to on flights. Also I have decided to make all my shows available as podcasts, some people have commented that I should look at a career in talk radio and I have always quite fancied it, so you never know! Have you thought about making podcasts of your blogs? I use a service called podbean.

  2. Thanks Anthony. Funnily enough i have been thinking about doing some podcasts. But have not really known what to do, or how to approach them. I have a few ideas. I'll check that service out.
    As you may know, i've done a bit of radio myself in recent years & would love to do more.
    I have opinions about most things & can talk for England when i get going, so....