I feel very lucky that I’ve been able to watch podcasting grow since the beginning basically, and through that time I’ve noticed a number of things. Such as the fact that the media has to put podcasting (or whatever is new and hot) into a category at every stage of it’s growth. Always comparing, always categorizing. A good example is Jon Fine’s article in BusinessWeek (Nov 28th) entitled “Can Podcasting Do Business?“:
Podcasting is the teenage clique of media. Small enough that its pioneers refer to one another by first names only, young enough that it’s unclear which media model fits it, and brazen enough to believe it can figure it all out by itself. Parents will tell you how stubborn adolescents can be — and how, more annoyingly, adolescents are sometimes right.
Sounds good as a categorization, and in some respects it works, so it gets printed. Good sign of the times we live in too – I very much doubt that similar sorts of things were written about the automobile industry or the software industry when they were starting out (though I don’t know for sure, I’m not that old). We’re at the point that we can monitor the growth of an industry from the start and in a very indepth way, for good or bad.
Note too that a “model which fits it” is still pointed out. That’s another aspect of the growth of podcasting that just won’t go away it seems, that everyone thinks it must have a business model.