Friday, January 14, 2005

Andy Hertzfeld on Blogging and Podcasting

In this Cnet interview, Andy Hertzfeld (of says:

No. I think people overrate blogging. I think the overall phenomenon to me is Web pages. Blogs are just Web pages, a certain stylized form of Web page. Much of the blogging is driven by egotism.

Is it really? It is easy to mistake this as egotism due to personal nature of the information being shares. Andy - would this be non egoistic if this was a simple web page? The real point here is that blogging has unleashed a simple way for non technical users(read: not webmasters or developers) to post information on the web in a universally searchable manner. This, I would argue, has far more benefits to the community than to themselves. The blogs that singularly focus on themselves are very lonely indeed.

Andy goes on to say:
I'm down on podcasts. I think that's ridiculous. Suddenly you're taking the information and making it completely inaccessible. You can't read it, and besides a podcast is nothing. It's streaming MP3s that's good, but no one can take credit for inventing a new term because streaming MP3s is simple and has been around for a while. Doing it through RSS enclosures is basically bad--to automatically download big files before hearing them.

This is an interesting observation, and I tend to agree with this to an extent. I have several MP3s that I listen to from IT Conversations, but sometimes it takes me at least 5 - 10 minutes to determine even if I am interested in the content of the conversation. How nice it would be if I could immediately see a transcript for this even before I download, and that I have the ability to search for the content that I need before I decide to download ?

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