Attention: do podcasts and video blogs matter?

Scoble pissed off the blogosphere yesterday saying that Engadget does not link to others. I read some posts on this subject and a bunch of comments on Scoble’s blog. When I read some of this, it reminded me that I don’t really listen/watch to podcast or video blogs (Scoble’s new gig). Yes, there will be some successful video “channels” on the internet based on user generated content but I think they will be very few. It reminds of a bit broadcast.com and how internet radio was going to replace broadcast radio. Well, that did not happen although I will admit to listening to some internet radio and that broadcast radio is changing.

Here’s the problem: podcasts and video blogs require too much attention. It’s not news but just as most inidividuals have a certain amount of money they can spend on TV, internet etc, these folks also have a limited amount of attention “currency” they can spend. The attention currency is spent on whatever is important to them but most folks have already maxed out their attention currency and so have none left over for podcasts and video blogs.

Some fundamental problems with podcasts and video blogs:

  • They require attention currency which busy people don’t have to spend
  • Video blogs require a lot of attention – you have to use your eyes and ears
  • They are often long which runs against the grain of what RSS and news is all about. In 5 minutes I can scan through the 20 most important feeds to me. This is not possible with podcasts and vlogs.
  • People are used to high production values from TV and commercial radio. These production values are usually missing on the internet. Actually, as “shows” grow longer I maintain that it is harder to weave a good story. That’s why there is film school.
  • They are passive which again runs counter to the 2-way internet.

BTW the word “vlog” is terrible. We need a better word.

What do you think?

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2 responses to “Attention: do podcasts and video blogs matter?

  1. Instead of ‘vlog’, maybe something with the word ‘video’ in it, so we don’t have to explain to a perplexed non-techie about the funny sounding word that means, basically, uh, video.

    Or like, ‘watch’ works too, for the verb win. 🙂

  2. Anything would be better. Or how about doing away with it completely?

    Can/should podcast mean audio and/or video? I realize that vlog refers to a blog that contains video and podcast is the actual media that is on the blog (or somewhere else). But the distinction is too fine for a mainstream audience. So I would like to kill vlog altogether and just refer to it as podcast. Less terms, less confusion.

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