Michelle Sullivan Communications

PAB2007 – Day 2, Topic 2 – Podcasting as a Community

Today’s second presentation also talks about the space podcasting occupies in the modern landscape.

Ted Riecken of IslandPosting.com compares podcasting communities to medieval cities and frontier culture. According to Canadian anarchist George Woodcock, medieval cities were liberatory zones, attracting people who were excluded and who came together to survive. They joined together to avoid servitude : were independent, free thinkers. Riecken states that Libsyn, LibriVox and CFR are contemporary equivalents to these medieval cities. They are free and accessible – open and libratory spaces. Common interests come together through podcasts and they represent authentic, realistic alternatives for learning and sharing. Riecken is excited by the fact that podcasting exists in a mostly unregulated space.

Riecken also draws a parallel between podcasting and frontier culture : both are emergent, transitory, evolving, accessible. Both use limited and alternative forms of commerce. There is a common emphasis on freedom, opportunity and growth. Like the medieval city, frontier culture operates on the periphery. Again, the same can be said for podcasting, which sits outside the mainstream.

Riecken has attemped to categorize the podcasting community present at today’s PAB2007. Most are in the education and learning category of podcasting. Another large group is what he calls regional culture : podcasters talking about life as it is lived in their part of their world. Storytelling and personal blogs also occupy significant space.

Riecken emphasizes the importance of diversity, critical inquiry and thought.

Marshall McLuhan’s ghost is very present in the room this morning. Both speakers have evoked him and his impact on the media landscape, which now permeates podcasting. I wonder what Canada’s favourite media guru would think of the podcaster revolution.

Contributions from PAB2007 participants :

Zoominfo.com – directory to check out

Facebook – ‘a supersaturated solution to crystallize interest around podcasts’

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