Report from Podcastcon UK 2006
Podcastcon 2006 The UK's annual gathering of podcasters took place this weekend. I was part of a panel talking about Citizen Journalism. but I don't want to precis that; there were a great many citizen journalists vlogging and podding the conversation so a quick bit of Googling will probably get you the whole thing. There's also audio from the conference in this weeks Pods and Blogs radio segment and previews on John Buckley's excellent Citizen Scoop podcast
Podcastcon 2006 was the second national podcasting conference held in the UK. Part of the evolution we've witnessed in the two years or so that people have been podcasting in Britain is the development of podcasting networks and associations; bringing together different podcasts under one roof. Some of these networks have attracted significant venture capital funding and will, I think, turn out to be effective rivals to existing media. I don't think we''ll see a podcast "Blue Planet" anytime soon, but if I were the producer of a cooking show, a chat programme, a book review show or a reality TV programme I might be a little nervous. Not every show can be churned out by one or two people and a good DVcam/microphone..but quite a few can.
And the listening figures for these networks are now on a par with many mainstream outlets TV and radio. At present this collective power has been used to attract advertising and to lobby on the thorny issue of music rights, but it should also be helping podcasters create content. Simon Toon's interview with Stephen Fry was promo'ed widely across the Britcaster Community; great marketing for the book he was promoting. Communities, networks and groups of podcasters have large motivated audiences of which enlightened PR people should be taking note. So just as the BBC might secure an interview on the undestanding that it will run across it's radio and TV networks I wonder if the time isn't right for podcasters to start acting collectively to secure a few big-name guests, to get press accreditation and receive the same kind of advance notice of launches and releases that the media do. It already happens to an extent in tech and music, but in the wider PR world it could be time for people handling press to wake up to the power of joined-up podcasting.