Today's Spin makes the point that the good podcasts out there are the ones that interact with their audience. It seems like a simple point, but judging from what I've heard a few people say at OMMA over the past day, one that is sometimes missed. From what I gather, a number of advertisers and agencies think podcasting is niche radio or niche television (in the case of video podcasting) and they look at it through that broadcast lens we all know and love (not). But I believe that the audience has a different expectation of podcasting - one of interactivity.
Look at many of the successful podcasts. How many of them are solely a push vehicle? Not many, huh?
I used Across The Sound as my example in this Spin of where the expectation is for listeners and of how a podcast is properly executed. Why? Joseph is doing the interactivity thing very well. He has multiple feedback channels set up, he spends significant lengths of on-air time dealing with listener feedback, and he happens to be dealing with a subject matter that should be of interest to my Spin readers.
I believe podcasting is best executed as the push mechanism for a push-pull dynamic that is used to engage an audience in a conversation. What I didn't have room for in this particular Spin piece was how this plays out in my own podcast consumption habits:
* Rocketboom - A decent job with interactivity. They have comments, story links and story suggestions for every episode. Probably could do a better job engaging commenters, but at least they're giving viewers a voice.
* The Onion Radio News - Some dork reading quick one-minute Onion-style stories. Tragically unfunny in this medium and not interactive at all. I unsubscribed. Right after they started taking ads from Chili's.
* Across The Sound - Great job.
* The Ricky Gervais Show - Funny as hell. E-mail newsletter, show notes, on-air interactivity. I like.
Notice a theme here? The ones I enjoy tend to be the ones that are actually engaging. There's an audience dialogue going on with the best podcasts, and that's what I hope the marketing industry understands.