Podcasting is Old School

I’ve been writing so much about podcasting that I decided that it should have its own category. I added it yesterday, and went back and updated all of the posts so they show up in the right places. Previously, I had lumped Podcasting into the Web 2.0 category. But it’s not really Web 2.0.

Will Richardson was talking on Ed Tech Talk last week about his reluctance to embrace podcasting. While it is a neat new tool, it doesn’t really fit into either of the Web 2.0 definitions. It’s a broacast technology. One person or group records an audio program, and sends it out to other people, who can listen to it. Sure, they can provide feedback to the originator, but there’s no real sense of interactivity. There’s no online community. This isn’t the read/write web. The fact that it uses RSS, and that people can have it automatically downloaded to their computers, doesn’t change that.

It’s also not web-as-platform. That’s the other way web 2.0 is described. You can do word processesing, calendar management, spreadsheets, graphs, even presentations online. The operating system on your computer doesn’t matter, and you don’t need any productivity applications. But podcasting doesn’t fit into that at all.

So it’s really more of a one-way communications tool. It’s broadcast. Old school. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I’ll try to categorize it correctly from now on.