How do you understand a new technology?
As Nike says, "Just Do It".
That's what this blog has been all about since the day I started it.
I started blogging about podcasting in October of 2004, starting listening to podcasts in February of 2005, and started a family podcast this month.
I've learned a bunch of things about podcasting in the process.
I totally agree with Seth's main point in his first post, which is that the inability to browse a podcast makes it less satisfying in many ways. Listening to a podcast is a big time commitment and you can't scan 100 podcasts in an hour the way you can scan 100 blog posts.
I have quickly narrowed the list of podcasts that I am listening to from about ten to just three plus our podcast. My absolute favorite which I never miss is Mass Hysteria. I feel like I know Paul and Janine even though I've never met them. I love Paul's taste in music and Janine's attitude. I hope our podcast can be like Mass Hysteria because I believe that is the power of podcasting.
I think podcasting may play out more like photo sharing than blogging.
There are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people who read my blog from time to time. There are probably less than fifty people who subscribe to my flickr photos and they are mostly people who know me pretty well.
I suspect that our podcast will play out like my flickr photos. A much smaller group of people who are inclined and willing to invest the time and energy to subscribe to the podcast will do that.
I am sure that there will be breakout podcasts but I don't see that many happening.
I think for the most part podcasting is a "long tail" phenomenon that creates great social value for the people who participate in it but not huge economic value.