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Podcasting Tamed

Entry 193, on 2005-07-08 at 15:32:50 (Rating 2, Computers)

As an early adopter of podcasting (both as a listener, and, in a very basic way, as a creator) I have mixed feelings about Apple introducing podcasts onto their iTunes Music Store, as they have recently done.

OK, they have implemented the system very nicely - its easy to use, looks good, is reliable, and is quite comprehensive - but the emphasis is being taken from the pioneers and people who represent the true spirit of podcasting, and commercial content is being pushed instead. Look at the title page of the podcasting section of the iTMS and you will see Disney - I can't think of anything worse! OK, I admit I haven't listened to any of their material.

I suppose I should be used to this by now. So many of the technologies we use now started as a project belonging to a few people or a small organisation, and were later taken over and exploited by big companies.

Its clear to me that real innovation can only happen in loosely managed (or even totally unmanaged) environments. That's why programs like Photoshop started as the work of an individual, why Google provides their employees with free paid time to try out new ideas, and why Microsoft will never create anything new of even remotely innovative - they just don't have the right culture.

I suppose there will always be the hard core of Internet users who seek out the smaller podcasts which represent what's really going on, just like so many people rely on alternative news sources, such as blogs, for information free of corporate bias. That's where the Internet really works - let's hope the corporates never find a way to tame it!


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