I have only meet Leo in passing a couple of times but did not get a chance to talk to him at Podcast Expo about his Netcast idea. He was a Keynote Speaker at the Podcast and Portable Media Expo where he put forth the conceptual idea of promoting the word Netcast versus Podcast. My conclusion was that it was way too late in the game to re-name the media. 100% of the listeners / podcasters I have run this by also agree it is too late.
Many know that a week or so earlier Leo decided that the 2 years of viral marketing around the word Podcast needed to be abandoned, partly because of Apple’s actions against Podcast Ready, and his concern that people are confused on the 2005 word of the year “Podcast”
His suggestion was Netcast and although the suggestion is not necessarily bad this move will add more confusion to the marketplace. I understand that Leo thinks the general public is completely confused about the term podcast. But I also think his suggestion only confuses the matter even more. To illustrate this point let’s look at the actual meanings of the two words.
My definition of Podcast is “Portable on Demand Broadcast” with the emphasis on Portable and Broadcast which covers both Video and Audio.
The word Netcast embodies Net aka Internet and Broadcast.
Maybe Leo has a large portion of his audience consuming his podcast on his website versus having them automatically delivered to a portable media player. My show has a huge tech following as does Leo’s and nearly 70% of the people are down loading the show thru a podcatcher like Juice, iTunes or myPodder.
The thing about the word Netcast that bothers me is that it takes away from the representation of the media we are creating, and the ultimately the way that most people are consuming the media.
What makes Podcastig different is that we were the first to popularize the automatic down loading and synchronization to a media player this resulted in an explosion of people creating new media. The automation made it simple for the common man to experience what I call “The Power of Walk Away Content”
Sure we have a long way to go in educating the public. But let’s be honest, when I break podcasting down into a 45 second elevator pitch people can immediately say wow that’s pretty cool.
I am not here to dismiss Leo’s idea, but I think Leo should work with everyone to help drive public awareness of Podcasts and not the word Netcast. If we as Podcasters engage our audiences to start spreading the word about podcasting and give them a central resource to find info then I think we can really make a difference.
So my challenge is to Leo will you reverse course and help in the education of this new media.