Sunday, March 19, 2006

Podcasts Are Giving People A Voice: Future Internet

I may seem a little bit slow but not all of us make it onto the 'boat of innovation' as fast as others. When I think about it, I have been missing the boat most of my life, but there's a new phenomenon that's come to town and I don't think I'm the last to hear about it. Podcasts, what are they? Well today I finally got my act together and brought my head out of the pit of ignorance where it had been dwelling in relative bliss. I have now experienced podcasts and I think I have an idea as to why and how this new form of Internet communication can bring a whole new level of intimacy to our human community.

Podcasts are like blogs in the sense that they give any individual or group a means to express their ideas to the wider society. The difference is that you can now listen to the actual person's voice as well as to whatever information they have recorded for their visitors, like music or samples from other media sources. The force that grabs me is the power of connection one feels when you realize that you are hearing an individual person's thoughts. Some podcasts seem to be stream-of-consciousness dialogue, so you really feel like you are getting to know the essence of a so-called 'stranger' that you may never actually meet in the flesh. Other podcasts are set up so you can read the blog on the computer screen while at the same time getting to hear the voice of the author, which adds a whole new dimension to expressing oneself.
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