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Observation: Podcast People October 6, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Podcasting.
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I think people who do podcasting, or ‘podcast people’, can be categorized into one of three categories. Yes, I know, there are exceptions… but this is my observation.

(I’m also not saying that any one of these are better than the other, so don’t email me (you know who you are) about being bias toward one of them.)

  • Business
  • Education
  • Vanity

Business – This includes large company marketing, employee directed content, and small businesses. I look at podcasts about hobbies that have been monetized as business just like one done by someone that has written a book and are using the podcast to supplement it.

Educational – Some are going to disagree here, but A LOT of podcasts are educational. I think that main line hobby sites fit here. The podcast is to spread awareness and/or educate people with a like hobby. Of course schools and universities are in this group. Also, I would put spiritual sites, known now as ‘Godcasting’ in this category. Churches are ‘educating’ members on principles that they believe in.

I wasn’t sure what to call this last category… but I went with…

Vanity – these are the gimmick, experiential, or sensational podcasts. The one’s that are done by people who just want to hear their own voice. There are people out there, including me, that want to hear their voice too… so I’m not saying that in a negative way. Maybe voyeurism podcast would be better, but then it sounds like I’m talking about something completely different.

I do like the educational one’s the best, then vanity, then business. It seems most of the one’s on iTunes top list are educational or vanity as well… about a tv show (education), or something to do with a ninja (vanity)… geeks being briefed (educational), or something to do with housekeeping in France (vanity/voyeurism).

Most of the people that I advise fall into the business category, and I see so much potential in that area. I’ve found, though, that a business should try to come from one of the other categories first (education or vanity). Think of something in those realms that will be successful, then seed the business idea or put the business spin on it. If you start from the business section, at this point in podcasting, you’ll be set up to fail.

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