Michael O’Connor Clarke Calls Out Podcasters

Michael O’Connor Clarke has a post today that calls out podcasters and makes me think.

While I don’t completely agree with him, I can understand the sentiment.  The danger I think with podcasting is popularity.  That’s right, podcasts can get too popular.  There is often much discussion of the “correct length” for a podcast.  I have always said that people so say they shouldn’t be over 10 mins, etc. should keep their mouths shut.  If the content is worth listening for an hour, that’s how long the cast should be.

The problem comes when a podcast gets too popular.  Then, the role of community and conversation takes over.  Like the comments on a blog, people want to Join the Conversation (thanks Jaffe!).  But, with a podcast, when there are 8-10 audio comments, that takes up A LOT of time.  That’s often what pushes a cast over the hour mark and gets people whining about length.

So, what’s the solution?

I don’t know.  Shocking, I know.  But, if the comments are worth playing, they should be in there.  Often, especially on podcasts with multiple hosts like FIR or Inside PR, the comment can lead to some valuable conversation between the hosts.

Obviously, there needs to be a happy medium where the host is still doing what got them all the listeners and isn’t just being supported by the comments.  Maybe it’s putting comments at the end of the show so people who don’t want to hear that portion can turn it off.  I don’t know what the solution, but I can see why Michael is frustrated, and I don’t think he’s alone in his thinking.

Me, I have an hour commute each way so I could care less how long they are…I’ve got time to fill!

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Michael O’Connor Clarke Calls Out Podcasters

3 thoughts on “Michael O’Connor Clarke Calls Out Podcasters

  1. FWIW, I completely agree with your observation that comments can sometimes lead to further valuable conversation. In fact – I think those are probably the only kind of comments it’s worth including in the body of any particular podcast.

    If the comment adds no real value beyond “I love your show”, then perhaps a simple namecheck from the host would be sufficient acknowledgment. Maybe something like “I/we also had some nice comments this week from N, N, and N. Thanks for your encouragement!”

    I’m all for having the content of a podcast driven by user feedback, but when audio feedback does little to move the discussion forward, then perhaps it should be simply embedded in the show’s blog, and not included as a core part of the show itself.

    I’m not (yet) a podcaster, so I’m a little underqualified to be passing judgement here, but I do find I’m using my “skip ahead” controls rather more often on podcasts these days.

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