Accessibility

I’m going to bitnorth tomorrow, and from the line up I’ve seen it’s going to be a great weekend with some truly remarkable people. This is going to be a great opportunity to meet and connect with people from around Montreal and talk tech and stuff all weekend. I’m looking forward to telling you all about it when I get back.

In fact, “covering” the event is what led me to being invited to it,  – So I’ll show up with audio/video recorders in tow, and try to capture the vibe of this event. I haven’t been to an event in a while where basically no one knows me, so I’ll get to practice my “15-second pitch” this weekend.

As I understand, all attendees are speaking at the event, which is going to bring viewpoints from all over the place.

For my topic, i’ve surprisingly chosen an area I’m somewhat familiar with : Podcasting. You may have heard of it, but your mom might not. In fact, my topic is called “Lessons Learned: How accessibility stunted Podcasting’s growth.”.. Even though podcasting seems maintstream, almost old news to us online folks, there are still a MAJORITY of people who have no idea what it is when you bring it up.

I’m going to flush it out later today, but I think my talk will focus along two lines; first, the word podcasting itself. That debate is over, and I know we’re stuck with the word, but I still think traction would have been easier to get had we all chosen a word that people already knew. The second thing is the whole subscription/rss thing. It’s the facet of podcasting that most of us technology people locked into, because it was cool to have payloads in feeds, but it took a while to make it understandable/useable (I still don’t think we’re there). I think the biggest boost to podcasting wasn’t RSS, it was the PLAY button on the websites.

What do you think? Do you think accessibility played a role in limiting the growth of podcasting? Do you think it’s still an issue?

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3 Comments

  1. So jealous. Really sorry I can’t make it. I’m sure I’m going to be kicking myself later.

  2. Mark Blevis says:

    Great topic and title, Bob. I’d really like to hear the talk. Will you be… er… podcasting it?

    Since we’ll be at separate events this weekend, we should try to connect at some point to share our findings.

  3. Scott Rollins says:

    Bob, I think you’re right about the usability of podcast/RSS still not being there.

    I listen to hardly ANY podcasts these days, and a large part of that is that a dedicated podcatcher is a hassle (I don’t want to run something all the time), and I haven’t found a good way to do it again.

    For some reason, Google Reader is helping for me, because I can “pop out” the player, but even then, I’m not listening to what I used to.

    I think personally, I need some sort of “radio” with wifi. Maybe something that would download automatically and have some playback controls. I could use some sort of web configuration, maybe for subscribing.

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