I started the Six Pixels of Separation Podcast in May of 2006. Now, almost 230 episodes later, I've (finally) begun to realize why I create the audio program every week. It's not what you think. When I first started tinkering with audio, I simply thought it would be easier to talk than it would be to type out a Blog post. Boy, was I wrong. Having something compelling to say and being able to record it, is not as easy Blogging (caution: I say this with full knowledge that I consider myself a writer - first and foremost - and that if you're not a writer - or if you don't have a knack for the written word - Blogging can be super-challenging as well).
Podcasting is a selfish act.
While it's humbling to know that people like (and listen) to the show, it really is a very selfish act. I use the platform of a Podcast as a gateway to meet people who are smarter than me and people who I want to learn from. I use the platform of a Podcast as a gateway to connect and learn from some of the brightest minds in Marketing and business. The bonus of all of this, is that I can publish these podcasts for anyone and everyone to listen to, but I don't do it for the listeners or the community. I do it because I can get people like Seth Godin, Don Tapscott, David Weinberger, Sally Hogshead, Charlene Li, Steve Wozniak and many others all to myself for a brief moment in time. Most DJs on traditional radio don't do it for themselves. They do it for ratings, to build audience, to get more advertisers or because their programming director told them to do it. If you really stop to think about that, there's a reason the content you hear on Podcasts (at least the more independently produced ones) sound so diametrically opposed to everything you hear on the radio.
It's an audio experiment.
Podcasting also allow me to tinker and toy with audio. The Media Hacks show or my debates with Joseph Jaffe and Mark W. Schaefer are the type of audio that you won't hear on radio. Using my portable audio recorder (which is now the HT Recorder app for the iPhone) I am able to create audio from a beach in Phuket to a busy London hotel restaurant. It's a place to think differently about audio - which is, admittedly, very difficult for some people listening. Most listeners are trained to think that what they hear on the radio is a "best practice" (it's not... it's simply the model that works for those looking to sell lots of advertising through audio programming).
In the end, Podcasting is a total pleasure. It allows me to connect with some of the people I consider to be the smartest in the world, and ask them the things I would like to know along with the things that I think other people should know about them too. Podcasting allows me to become a peer to a lot of these thinkers. It's also a networking tool. If I can capture their attention for a short period of time and they enjoy the conversation, they may be more inclined to take my call should I require something in the future. It's also a great way to capture a "moment in time." It's an amazing medium to have a conversation about something current, share it with the world and then have it there for anyone else who wants to take a listen at some point in the future.
If your business is looking for a new media Marketing innovation, Podcasting may be just the right thing.