The Best Format For Blogging

Robert Scoble justifies why podcasting is sometimes better than plain blogging. Only recently technology developments have provided multiple formats for blogging – text, audio (podcasts, mp3, …) and visuals (photos, video, …).

I don’t agree with Scoble when he tries to promote podcasts by saying that they can be heard when driving or exercising. It sounds like one of the advertisements for promotional campaigns on TV. I would not like to listen to podcasts while doing something else, unless they are not important. It dilutes both the activities. I read feeds because the information is important to me, as it is with podcasts or videos.

However he is spot on when he says:

When I hang out with developers they tell me “use the right tool for the job.” If you want to communicate with other people text will do the job more times than not. But, if you want to reach people where they are likely to use an iPod then audio is better. If you have something visual, photos or video is better.

I think podcasts provide a unique combination of features that text blogging cannot serve:

  • excellent cohesive unit for conversations when more than one participants are involved, e.g., in interviews, debates, group discussions or public events
  • ease and convenience of recording with the new technologies in hectic places like public events or during travel
  • because it is easy, audio is one of the best formats for capturing interviews. Once recorded, transcripting the entire conversation can be lossy and tedious, providing the audio itself is quick and more straight from the horse’s mouth
  • listening becomes imperative when the content is about sounds and expressions, e.g., poetry or songs
  • listening to podcasts is infact quicker sometimes than reading because lot of times the context has to be built when writing, in audio the context is inbuilt

These would not have mattered some years back, but today there are blogs on all subjects and some of them warrant a better format than text.

Similarly, to express visuals, photo or video blogging is the best way. I would expect a photoblog from a photographer about photography.

A peripheral but technical problem is that accessibility suffers when it is purely in non-text formats. However, blogs are typically informal and the blogger has right to make his own decision.

However, it does not mean that everything should be podcasted. Text blogging has its own place, typically for content, entire or in parts, which you want to go through repeatedly. It is easier to ponder over when the text is in front of view and you can go back and forth without any additional conscious physical actions.

Your take?

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Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda.


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