I was listening to the latest Gillmor Gang, and the end of the conversation caught my attention. Someone (can't recall who) suggested that Gillmore start including transcripts of the gang podcast, as a way of increasing listenership - apparently, the opportunity to scan the transcript drives more people to listen. Gillmor was having none of that, but it got me thinking.
I listened to the podcast while I was out jogging (have to take advantage of the dry air here). If I want to take something in while jogging, audio is my only option - I can't read while I'm plodding along, nor can I watch video. While I'm in my office during the day, I can watch video, but it sucks down time - for that matter, so does Audio. If it's much longer than the average RocketBoom, I probably don't have time for it - I'd much rather read text.
During the evening, I don't want audio or video. I'll take my laptop into the living room, but my wife finds it offputting if I slap headphones on while I'm sitting with her - so again, text works best then. Now, if I drove more, that would fit in more time for podcasts - and admittedly, my low rate of driving is an anomaly compared to most people. Even so - video doesn't work for driving.
To my mind, that limits the potential reach of video blogging - it takes as much time to get through as audio, and requires a lot more attention. For me, at least (and I suspect, for lots of other people), the potential time for audio is much bigger: exercise time, working in the yard/garden, driving. Text works anytime I'm in front of a PC, and chews far less of my time than audio. Video? Beyond training and education, I'm thinking that the time allotment for professional use is pretty slim.
At the same time, I wonder about the advertising model for audio. I was just listening to the GillMor Gang, and Steve slaps a 6 minute ad at the front of the show. Zip - using fast forward on my iPod, I zoomed right past that. If he made the ad shorter - say 15-30 seconds - I might not bother. Six minutes though? You've got to be kidding.