The resurgence of archaeology podcasting?

Years ago I used to record an archaeology podcast, imaginatively named “Archaeocast” for Wessex Archaeology. Not many episodes were recorded (17ish) but it was very popular, garnering over 800,000 downloads as of early 2012. It’s probably more than a million now. It was the world’s first archaeology podcast, and even made the iTunes charts at its height in 2006/7. Mainstream media took over podcasting shortly afterwards, consigning most independent podcasts into obscurity. A lot of people stopped recording them, and even my own interest wained.

In the past month I’ve come across two new archaeology podcasts, and they’re both great. Andrew R’s Drunk Archaeology and Tristan’s Anarchaeologist.

drunk-archaeology-podcast-logo

Drunk Archaeology is a relaxed podcast featuring archaeologists sharing a drink and talking shop. People talk straight, tell it how it is, and have a laugh. It’s a bit sweary, and is essential listening if archaeologists speaking their minds appeals.

anarchaeologist-logo

Anarchaeologist (“anarchae” / “anarchy” – geddit?) shares many of my original ideals – to be a ground-up show presenting archaeological themes and topics to the interested public from the minds and mouths of archaeologists themselves.

Tristan interviewed me via Skype yesterday and we had a great chat about podcasting and archaeology. He’s got a great radio voice and a quick mind, and is also a veteran podcaster, so expect the show to grow and grow.

Make sure you subscribe to both – load up a podcasting app on your device, subscribe, and get the episodes automatically delivered when they’re released.

Good luck to both podcasts – it’s great to see a resurgence in archaeology podcasting, and more archaeologists being their own media.

Is podcasting fading away?

If you visit the Yahoo! Podcasts directory, the following message appears at the top of the screen:

“Yahoo! apologizes deeply, but we will be closing down the Podcasts site on Oct. 31, 2007”

I found out about this from Read/Write Web, and one of the comments on the article by reader “Dave H” is quite poignant:

This article nails it. Audio podcasting is dead. It never caught on because most people got tired of listening to all the amateur hacks trying to be amateur d.j’s and pundits without the talent. Yahoo is getting out before the whole audio podcasting thing crashes to the ground. I’m sure it wasn’t an arbitrary decision.
Posted by: Dave H.

Does podcasting still have the same vibrancy that it once did when it was a brand new medium? I think so, but the big publishers seem to expect that the explosion of interest in podcasts would continue to grow and grow. We all know that there’s always an explosion in interest in new technologies/mediums followed by a big dip as the fanfare dies down. That’s usually followed by a subtle rise as it is adopted, and growth is gradual.

I looked at Google Trends to see what it could reveal about searches for the term “podcasting”:

Google Trends: Podcasting

Interesting. That shows the predictable curve. Podcasting must be fading away, going out of fashion. Podcasting is dead!

But once people know what “podcasting” actually is, they’re not going to keep using that same term, because they would probably be more interested in actually finding a “podcast” to listen to:

Google Trends: Podcast

Ahh! That’s more like it.

So Yahoo couldn’t make a quick profit out of their podcast directory. They couldn’t monetise it, so they’re pulling out.

There are plenty of independent podcast directories out there, listing more podcasts than ever before. I’m noticing more downloads of the podcasts that I produce than ever before. If I get time to produce some statistics I’ll post them here, but in a nutshell, downloads are up by 200% on this time last year – on both the factual and music podcasts that I make.

The podcasting forums out there might be feeling rather isolated, with only the same people ever contributing to the forums, but quite simply many podcasters, once they’ve worked out how to produce, distribute and publicise, won’t continue participation. I rarely get the time due to the number of projects that I’m involved with.

So, I think that podcasting is alive and kicking, despite Yahoo!’s closure of their directory. Despite a perceived dwindling of enthusiasm in forum participation, and the inability of some of the media gaints to make a fast buck from podcasts, podcasting is here to stay.

New podcasts will always be around, and existing ones will always fade away as enthusiasm, time, and life in general get in the way of the podcaster.

Podcasting is an organic medium now, and while it may be a long way from being mainstream (will it ever be?) it is certainly gaining momentum.

Podshow+ Profiles

I’ve spent a while messing about with my BTpodshow (or Podshow+ or whatever it end up being called!) profile, and for ages I haven’t been able to work out how to edit the “About Me” text. I’ve been pulling my hair out over it (well, metaphorically at least). At last I’ve worked out how.

You need to go to the ‘Master Control’ page and click ‘Edit Legend’ to change the “About Me” text. Of course! Silly me!

Now I’ve done that I might find the energy to change how the page looks.