Forrester reported that only 1% of on-line households in the USA use podcasts. PodTech.net disagrees...of course. Mathew Ingram says the podcast numbers are no surprise now, but 18 months from now podcasts could shake things up. I would be interested to see similar statistics for web video cast usage. My guess is that it is very low. Blog usage on the other hand is exploding. Why? Speed. I can easily plow through 100 blog posts in an hour or so. That is just not possible with audio or video.
I am a speed reader...and writer. The scroll wheel on my mouse is one of the best tools ever. I want to be able to scan through a post and quickly absorb the key take away points. Most Internet users have become very skilled at speed reading.
Until audio and video have really good, accurate, tags and summaries, I will not waste my time with them. If video clips had good text summaries and maybe a storyboard of screen shots I could quickly determine if I wanted to invest the time to watch it.
Maybe there is a business opportunity here for someone to develop new categorization and summary tools for audio and video podcasts. Maybe a better search engine that can index audio and video, and most importantly, apply ranking and relevance to them.
There is something about the written word that is more concise. Maybe because it is edited and corrected before the user sees it. Maybe because there is more time to think about how to convey a thought. Audio and video is live and unrehearsed so it can tend to wander off topic and continue on needlessly.
Is everyone else in the blogosphere as impatient as I am? Do you listen to podcasts or videocasts? If you see one that I really should watch please send me a link.