Re: Podcasts for Customer Support

Subject: Re: Podcasts for Customer Support
From: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 08:53:46 -0400

Stuart Burnfield wrote:

I still find it hard to picture how podcasting would be an effective way to
communicate technical information. Reading is so much faster than

Back around the turn of the century, most people were not sold on the future of the "horseless carriage." Horses were so much more convenient than those newfangled vehicles. I think this is true of most technology advances. In the beginning, they are little more than interesting oddities. However, the dreamers said..."if we had better roads and gas stations on every corner, then many of the limitations facing the horseless carriage would evaporate." The same has bee true of the Internet itself. The expansion of broadband to most corners of the world now makes it easier to sent and receive rich e-mails than us traditional delivery methods (postal, shipping, etc.). We find it hard to perceive something as having value because we have grown up using different methods of communication.

In ten minutes of reading I can scan, skim, reread, follow links, and so
on. In a ten minute audio presentation I can cover ten minutes of speech
and that's about it.

I'm much faster too reading from a piece of paper than translating a speech into something tangible. It's because I grew up with books, magazines and radio. I remember our first TV, a black and white (or rather gray and white) behemoth that got three channels... and grew up watching Uncle Milti (milton Berle), Donna Reed, My Three Sons, etc. My kids, on the other hand, had books, magazines, radio, and television, but they also the Internet. And their versions of radio and television were a far cry from the crude programming of those mediums infancy. I think what we are talking about is not how we ingest information, but how future generations will ingest it. Like Beth said, we can either wait around and hope they call us for help, or we can be proactive.

For technical information I need to concentrate and work at my own pace.
From my experience of podcasting it would work best when I can listen while
doing something else (cooking, driving) and it doesn't require my full
attention. So it would be good for catching up with radio programmes and
talking books but not for trying to grasp technical concepts or procedures.

I'm the same, but my kids are different and I'm sure their kids will be different from them. We need to look beyond what podcasting is today, but what it will be tomorrow. In the beginning, only geeks had computers. Then, Jobs and Woziak made the "computer for the rest of us" and opened a whole new world for even the most technology deprived person.


Al Geist
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E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com <mailto:al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
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Re: Podcasts for Customer Support: From: Stuart Burnfield

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