I am NOT a podcaster. I am a producer.
It is NOT a podcast. It is a show.
I am NOT a tech hobbyist. I am in the entertainment industry.
While the term podcast seems to be here to stay, I think it is time to kill off the term podcaster. Podcasting first grew out of the tech world and I think “podcaster” grows from our penchant for naming ourselves after our work– if we describe ourselves as programmers, it is a short jump to calling ourselves podcasters. We are not our work — our methods — our tools. We are not limited to whatever small world podcasting represents. In fact, our power and effect grows each and every day.
Unfortunately, calling ourselves podcasters belittles and demeans what we actually do, in the public eye. It places us outside the mainstream and consigns us to a virtual ghetto, where people are free to wrinkle their noses at us, since we aren’t producing mainstream television, radio or movies. This is all coming to an end, though.
As I have written in the past, our shows are gaining more and more parity with more traditional media. (See Podcast Parity, June 17, 2007) Soon, and probably sooner than even I think, audiences will not care how their entertainment is delivered. They will only care that they like it. They will start to consume from cable television, satellite, time-shifted TiVO, YouTube and other video sites, online networks like Joost and, of course, podcasts, indiscriminately, without differentiating between them. Instead of a world of network channels 2, 4 and 7 (3, 5 and
In all fact and appearances, we are all producers. We produce our own shows, possibly hosting them, as well. Some of us might even be producing shows for others. If this isn’t the very definition of a producer, I don’t know what is. The more business oriented among us will soon be developing complete businesses around our shows, making big decisions about sponsorship, network deals, hiring talent and making money, just like every other producer – and this is exactly how it should be.
Calling yourself a producer also changes you own mindset. It moves you from the role of tech hobbyist and places your feet firmly in the entertainment business as a whole. If you don’t already, you start to think bigger ideas and start seeing bigger horizons. If you are like me, you start to see where all this podcasting stuff might lead. You start to see that maybe traditional medium can be beat at its own game. You start to believe that maybe, one day, this thing we call podcasting has become the mainstream,
Let’s throw away the already archaic term “podcaster” and replace it with one that has served us well for over a century. Calling yourself a producer brings a measure of seriousness and respect that, after 3 years, podcasting, and podcasters, deserve.
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Hold on there Kimosabe! Hold the horses back, dont’ throw the baby out with the bathwater, don’t count yer chickens yet, and all those other things you shouldn’t do. I’m just finishing your great UCLA Podcasting for Writers class and though I’ve learned a lot, the one thing that stands out is that the general public is still mystified by “podcasting.” And that mystery is worth a bundle right now in terms of marketing.
Now, I’m not a geek, heck I’m not even a pseudo-geek. If I tried really hard I wouldn’t even be allowed to join the Junior Geek club at the local middle-school, I can barely figure out how to record televsion. But what I do know is marketing and I know that anything that strikes mystery into the public carries a note of sexiness with it, and as long as it’s sexy it’s noteworthy.
When I first joined your class I went around talking podcasting up and though everyone had heard about it, few, even those much younger than me knew what I was talking about. “You know, podcasting.” I kept saying. A vague bewildered “Oh, yeah, that.” Was what I got, but when I described what it was everyone thought it was cool and wanted to know more. Well, that conversation lasted about two minutes. But the point is the word “podcast” carries with it a certian mystery and sexiness that shouldn’t be so eaisly discarded and if anything maybe the title “podcast producer,” would serve the need without getting rid of what makes it interesting and sets is apart.
Anyway, just my thoughs.