A guy from somewhere in the outback of Australia was rabbiting on with a cynical American from somewhere outside of Cleveland about French movies from the 1930’s and I was stuck in traffic, rain pounding on the car, going nowhere fast. I pushed a button and I was in the middle of a conversation between three ex-philosophy grad students, talking about stupid TV shows and Schopenhauer — one of the guys was in Boston, one in Austin, and one in Madison Wisconsin.
I wasn’t listening to the radio — AM, FM, Satellite. I wasn’t listening to any CD’s. I wasn’t listening to my Mp3’s. I was listening to this guy from Australia drone on about his renovation and Pepe le Moko and I wasn’t even thinking about how this miracle of technology was making this all possible. I wasn’t thinking about how a series of “ons” and “offs” in a little piece of silicon was allowing this voice from another place and another time to displace everything I knew in Chicago.
And that’s how it works. The scientists invent the machine. But the scrappy, make-it-up-as-you-go-along amateurs create the art — the flow — the glue that gets people listening.
Gutenberg invented the printing press. But people like Chaucer and Shakespeare and the 1515 version of “Gone With The Wind” and “Tarzan” had people using it.
In short, personality is interesting. Smart fresh thoughts are interesting. Using the medium in the way that it should be used, because it FEELS right, is interesting.
And there’s some really interesting things happening in the zero cost world of podcasting defining the future.
Are you listening?