Carts and Horses and Rat Races

8 February 2006

I’m visiting too many sites that expect me to make the switch now from reading to listening. There are problems with that. First, the behavior of Windows Media Player, RealPlayer and QuickTime on a Windows PC is highly variable from one PC to the next. Get them all together on a single machine and you’re simply begging to watch the turf wars as they fight it out for control of your PC. Take a look at that URL and imagine yourself trying to jot it down…Second, there remains a lot of variability from one day to the next in what passes for broadband in this country. [Hint: 5Mbps down and 1Mbps up isn’t broadband except in the marketing suites of America’s ISP’s.]

Finally, if you’ve got a well-behaved and properly-configured PC and your bandwidth is working just fine, you still lose something when a link-filled weblog entry becomes a podcast. For now, there are places where traditional entries and podcasts coexist very well. However, and strictly as an example, 43 Folders is also a shining example of a site where going all-podcast-all-the-time wouldn’t work. There is too much information there that is right-brained—you simply have to see it to fully grasp how you might use it. Take a look at that URL and imagine yourself trying to jot it down or type it in while listening to a podcast.

Meanwhile, back at the Rat Race—we’ll add podcasting here when 100Mbps up and down is the rule rather than the exception. By that time a podcast will be all-video-all-the-time complete with a clickable whiteboard showing the links as the podcaster talks. Then, I’m in.

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