New New Media- Podcasts
I feel sometimes like I am the biggest critic of new new media, and am always trying to look at the darker sides to find the biggest problems they could have on society. Podcasting, however, has had me completely dumbfounded for the longest time. I don’t like them, but I don’t hate them. I honestly never gave them much thought, but noticed more and more that my friends (with iPods and Macs) were becoming obsessed with them. Specifically, podcasts were becoming a huge part in the online Harry Potter fan culture.
Lame, I know. I used to be completely obsessed, but since the seventh book was released I dropped off the HP online planet. But, it still exists, and podcasts have become a huge drive for these sites. Mugglenet.com is a site that was founded by a bunch of kids who really liked Harry Potter and it became a tremendous phenomenon to the point that it is the world #1 Harry Potter website. Time Warner and Chevy have advertising spots right on home page, and a counter at the bottom is indicating to me now that there are over 1500 people on the site.
I figured this would all die down after the books and movies came out, but they have embraced new new media to its fullest extent, and the site(still ran by kids) produces podcasts to keep the attention and liveliness of the fan site alive. They are able to book interviews with writers,and actors in the HP films and discuss aspects of the movies and books in a new way. After reading Levinson’s chapter on Podcasting I can see how it is becoming very popular, especially now that people are able to load podcasts into their cars and listen to them any time they desire. His explanation of Grammar Girl’s success as a podcaster illustrated this and made me think of Mugglenet as another example.
In addition, the way he describes the ease of producing a podcast makes me want to do it. It is easier to manage sound for the amateur more than video, and it is cheaper to produce as well. Another interesting point was podcasting and music, and the issue of copyright law. The solutions that podcasters have found, such as Adam Curry’s “Podsafe Music” website really shows how this is a growing aspect of new new media that will remain as more and more people utilize it.
I kind of want to try making a podcast to work on my style of producing, and use it almost as practice in the professional setting. I feel as if the podcast, especially in the broadcast world, could be great practice for producing...even if no one listens to it!