I've been traveling so am late in posting this essay by Stephen Hill, and Steve Gillmor beat me to it and so did AlwaysOn. It's long, so I've added it to the post continuation area immediately below. Since Stephen wrote it at my request in response to a verbal and email exchange between himself and Steve which resulted in Steve's decision to leave the Public Service Publisher group (which I at least nominally chair),
I'll add some comments and links here when I get a chance I've added some links and comments below. Meanwhile, Steve seems to want the Gillmor Daily podcast that started this thread to stand as his statement.
Both have made formative contributions to the PSP group and, in contrast to what a quick read of the following might suggest, all of us remain friends and, I trust, committed to the PSP effort.
Friday a.m. update: The echovar weblog has a response titled, PubCasting, PodCasting and disruptive innovation. Doc Searles also links to it and responds, less directly but no less effectively, in Space of Hearts on one his weblogs. Comments on this from Steve's InfoRouter weblog can be accessed here.
Saturday p.m. update: So my take is that neither "tendancy," if I can borrow some political terminology, can be expected to completely "get it." Steve feels that, with rare exceptions, broadcasters largely do not appreciate the impact or the speed of the disintermediation train that's their way. There are lots of styles of weblogs and podcasts and Steve's podcasts reflect the conversational style of weblog. This is conversation in the literal sense -- not just the Cluetrain sense. The "realness" of the conversation, I suspect Steve would say, is its effectiveness. The experience can, indeed, "waste" some of the listener's time in the same way that a person who enjoys listening to a police scanner or "rubberneckers" on telephone party lines in the 50s and 60s "wasted" time waiting for nuggets of real communication. My subjective observation is that Gillmor Daily, about which Stephen provided the critique, is more this way than Gillmor Gang because the former is one-on-one and more experimental.
Stephen, on the other hand, has decades of experience in pulling together highly focused programs for large audiences (or what passes for large audiences in times that niche programs are given on public radio stations -- certainly large by podcasting standards). They are less "real," but many listeners aren't looking for that, they're looking for an immersion in some genre that they want to grant a generous share of their attention. I'm part of a group of public radio station executives that's been working with National Public Radio on the podcasting rollout it did of its own, station, American Public Media and Public Radio International content. In that regard, it is interesting to see how fast many of those professionally produced pieces bubbled to the top of the iTunes leading downloads.
It's an error to expect podcasting listeners to be any more loyal to Steve's style or to Stephen's style or to any of the other many styles out there in the podosphere. They're as diverse as anyone else. Anyway, I've gained a huge amount of benefit over the past eight months trying to "get" Steve's world and I know Stephen shares that as well. But we're showing that the world Stephen and I have inhabited for longer than either of us care to admit also can attract on-demand listeners. --Dennis