Tuesday, 22 February 2005


Derek Morrison has a series of posts on "Recording online audio interactions - the easy way?" Part 1, part 2 and part 3. Amy Gahran has a post on How to Receive and Listen to Podcasts. Now, we can quite easily create Podcast (see Podcast defined for what is a Podcast) and subscript to them and listen whenever we want to.

I have motion sickness. I cannot read while on a moving vehicle. That would be the best time to listen to this interesting edutainment. The intro music (usually there is one), the voice of the author and the background sound gave you an audio context seems to be better than just reading. This is also a great way to use up your excess bandwidth.

Reading is about 10 times faster than speaking. So, listening to a medium (which if it is available in text) in order to grasp the same amount of information, podcast is 10 times less efficient time wise. Text is much cheaper to deliver - both computationally and communicationally (ok, we have excess computational and communication bandwidth!). So, why we still prefer listening to podcast?

I believe that it is basic human nature that we constantly seek new information, new stimulation and enlightenment. We like to "experience" new things. So there is a "novel" factor here for the podcast. But more fundamentally, podcast gives us an experience which is unique. Not just reading dull text. It is easier to connect to the author via the voice (may be we shall see video-casting soon). Information delivery alone cannot explain the uptake of podcast. The additional value of podcast over the same written text, while inferior in efficiency for the recipients to gather the information, is superior in terms of delivering an experience - the feeling of a more intimate relationship with the author.

That brings me back to my notion of advancing e-learning as an experience industry, rather than a content-creation, content-delivery and distribution. It is the delivery of experience.

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