WineCasting: The Future of Everything
Though I’ve been listening to podcasts of all sorts for a while now, two things occurred yesterday that made me think about them a little more deeply. First, I did my monthly appearance on a local wine radio show and second, I came across a new wine podcast that uses the "Fermentation" name (no worries…why would you threaten to sue a little old blogger or podcaster).
Anyone out there still unfamiliar with podcasts, think of them simply as Internet-based radio, or AudioBlogs. The various software and services that allows us to listen to audio over the Internet, combined with the increased bandwidth most of us now have, allows us to pretty easily listen to broadcast audio over the Net.
Yet, what is not easy, I think, is producing a podcast for broadcast. The commitment and work necessary is far more extensive than simply posting words and pictures as I and other bloggers do. While I hope my words sound right to people (in their heads), I don’t have to worry if my words sound right in their ears. This takes a bit more technique and technology.
At the radio station yesterday I sat in a studio with headsets, across from a good sized audio board run by a computer, the walls were sound proofed, an engineer sat in the room behind us monitoring us…there was lots to think about. While most podcasters don’t deal in these kind of intricacies, they do however have more to think about than simply remembering to spell check.
This podcasting business requires commitment.
This is something to consider when you go looking for that wine podcast that is just right for you. And, it explains why there are far fewer podcasts than blogs committed to wine, as well as why the really good ones are fewer still.
So, while a wine podcaster currently swims in a far smaller pond than the wine blogger, they also have additional hurdles to confront. Foremost among them is the commitment it takes on the part of the audience to take in the information offered by the wine podcaster. As it stands, I can review the headlines of my favorite blogs with an RSS feed and decide whether or not to read the whole thing. Or, I can quickly go to the blog and skim. It all takes very little time to get the gist of what’s on the blogger’s mind. Not so with the wine podcast. To "get the gist" I need to commit a decent amount of time to passively listening to the podcaster. The best wine podcasters appreciate this.
Lucky for me I’ve been rewarded for my patience with some really great wine podcasting by the likes of GRAPE RADIO and WINECAST.
Yet, I think the real significance of the podcast is that it represents the best current evidence that we are moving closer and closer to the time when the centrality of the "channel" or network is replaced by the dominance of Personal Media Aggregation. It’s about the way we organize our media consumption. And the crazy part is that it’s very circular. Consider…
Tivo is a perfect example. I no longer know what network or channel the show I’m watching was originally broadcast by. I merely have a list of shows on my Tivo "Current Playing" list that I requested based on my preferences and searches. Of course, Tivo only records video feeds. I’ve yet to acquire a system for aggregating all the media I want to consume in one place. That will be the job of the Internet.
Podcasting provides a new sources of media, audio, for me to aggregate. I can now add it to the words I aggregate. What’s missing is video. And that is only a matter of bandwidth becoming cheaper and more efficient.
So currently, with the advent of the wine podcast, I can essentially create, "Tom’s Wine Media Network", a combination of pictures, words and audio on wine that inform me, entertain me and teach me and that are readily available in one place. This network will eventually include Wine VidCasts.
In time, the aggregation of wine media that suits me will become of interest to others who want access to a "wine media aggregation source" but don’t want to do the work. Fermentation Wine Blog might choose then to morph from a content source (a blog delivering words and pictures) into….wait for it….a network or channel that distributes others original content. Yes, it is circular.
As I mentioned there are a growing number of wine podcasts out there on a variety of subjects from wine in general or wines of a particular country to winemaking and the world of the professional winemaker. There will be more.
People In Wine
The Oz Wine Show
A Girl, A Guy and a Bottle
The Frugal Oenophile
Central Fine Wine Podcast
SF Chronicle Wine Podcasts
Dining On The Vine
Napa Valley Wine Radio (Goosecross)