Tag intersects and the future of podcasting (maybe)

It seems Jason Pettus has been having the same ideas as some of us are having over on delicious these days. He discusses the development of audio comments for blogs, much like more and more of us are doing. This idea is ripe, I’m telling you.

It is seriously beginning to frustrate me, however, that delicious appears to be asleep at the wheel once again when it comes to tag intersects, showing “No Items” when there are in fact a number of them. This has been happening since Tuesday and is immensely frustrating for those of us who are trying to use its supposedly solid base to build something.

Here is the email I wrote Jason when he asked more about what we were doing. I think it explains succinctly what our goals are (I’m getting better and better at doing this):

What we have been doing over the past few weeks is pretty simple: we are experimenting with decentralizing the way podcasting is done – taking it away from a host-to-listener model and instead to a listener-to-listener model. The way we have set this up, listeners communicate to each other using existing infrastructures. No additional coding was done to produce the results – it’s all already working on different parts of the web.

The concept is pretty simple: create an audio file (we like to use Odeo, but that’s not necessary), then tag it according to agreed-upon specifications in del.icio.us – this creates a dynamic RSS feed which you can then drop into a podcast aggregator – instant podcast, dynamically updated! It can be about anything you want, and created by as many people as want to participate.

Here’s a quick link to our current discussion, which includes a few developers and users (partying together, I dare say). You can subscribe through the RSS button at the bottom of that page.

And here’s a how-to for how to create your own comments. When you’re subscribed, feel free to download and listen to as many previous ones as you’d like – they’re under 3 minutes (the Odeo max time) and present a lot of interesting ideas on how to develop this further.

If you’re looking for additional information, here’s a 5 min interview I did about the concept on the Canadian Podcast Buffet, and the original posts (1, 2, 3) that brought the idea together.

I was just reading a brief history of podcasting in Dan Klass’ book Podcast Solutions, and I’m thinking maybe it’s time we put our mark in there.





2 responses to “Tag intersects and the future of podcasting (maybe)”

  1. JT Avatar

    Except Pettus seems to be using your ideas as an ass backwards substitute for real interaction. Basically he’s saying he doesn’t like to have comments on his site, so here’s a substitute which is allegedly just as good. Except it’s not – comments and trackbacks provide a clear context and connection between the original post and the repsonse. It’s also a direct process. Using tags as puts all responses on separate websites collected by a separate tag aggregator, where they may or may may have a coherent context, or even be seen depending on the number of tagged entries. The only way I can think of it being somewhat workable is if every entry has a unique tag, but even then it’s a disconnected quasi interaction, not a real one. It’s on the level of “write something on your own website and if I ever want your opinion I’ll google you.”

    I don’t think comments make a blog more or less valid. But to pretend one is having a conversation when one is really just trying to viral market your name as a tag is dishonest.

  2. Jason Pettus Avatar

    Hi, Julien, and thanks for the mention. I also have some responses to “JT,” of course…

    I agree that commenting in its current form does hold some benefits that my (and your) proposed system does not; I don’t think that necessarily makes it better, though. My system also holds exclusive benefits over commenting; for example, if you’re a regular reader and want to track responses to 10 or 20 entries of mine, under my system you do it under one simple RSS feed, versus having to constantly and manusally check 20 HTML pages on a daily basis, under commenting.

    As far as commenting being a direct process, versus my system being one step removed: Yes. That’s that point. The reason I don’t like running commenting at my site is that it allows people with almost no effort at all to jump on and say, “U FUCKIN SUCK PETTIS N I HOPE U FUCKIN DYE.” I don’t want that, and my serious readers don’t want to read that, which is why I don’t allow for direct commenting at my site. Yes, you better believe that my system is more complicated and takes more effort than commenting does; that’s the whole point. It eliminates most of those anonymous hate trolls that way.

    Regarding “If I ever want your opinion I’ll google you:” Yes. Again, THAT’S THE ENTIRE POINT, that anyone who wants to can google my name and see what all my readers have to say. Believe it or not, there are lots of peole who are actually annoyed by all those comments at the pages of most blogs, and who are there mainly to read the author in question, not all his anonymous readers. I like that I give my readers a choice; that they can visit del.icio.us, Technorati, subscribe to a feed, if they want to be a really active part of what’s being discussed; or they can ignore it all if they simply want to show up each day and read my particular thoughts. I’m not FORCING these comments and responses on my readers, which I personally like.

    And finally, if you want to believe that I’m trying to viral market instead of having a conversation, you go right ahead and believe that. I believe in the opposite, and so do a growing amount of my readers; but if you want to have a different opinion about what’s really going on there, there’s nothing I can do to stop that.

    Now, that all said, I wanted to also point out that your comment is exactly the kind of stuff I was hoping for, when setting up this system: thoughtful and intelligent, that is, even if it vehemently disagrees with me. And look, I somehow managed to find it within mere hours of you posting it, without it ever having to appear at my site as a direct comment. So, hmm, I think your comment actually proves that my system works, doesn’t it?

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