With Podcasting hitting the mainstream hard with thanks to companies like Apple, it is natural (if not a little premature) for people to begin heralding the next big step in Citizen Media; the Video podcast/blog. Some see this as being the thing that will end the short but sweet life of the podcast, but it would be moronic to assume this.
Vidcasting is upon us, not to the same scale as blogging or even podcasting, but it is here. It will be much bigger in a years time, and bigger still the year after that, but it will not destroy anything that has come before it, in fact it is likely to feed blogs and podcasts.
There are many hurdles for vidcasting to overcome before it recieves the same buzz as podcasting. It would be easy to say that vidcasting will destroy podcasts and blogs just like TV destroyed radio and print but this would not be a fair assessment.
For one, cost. Blogs are free. They only cost depending on your ISP. Podcasts may cost a small amount to a huge amount, depending. You could spend €100 and have the equipment needed to pump out a reasonable show. Vidcasting, however demands a little bit more. A low end video camera costs much more than a low end audio recorder.
Secondly there’s production quality. As it stands, podcasts have a lot to do. Some shows are messy and boring, poorly produced or just plain annoying. Imagine watching the same level of production. The shakey backdrops, the dodgy camera, the bad edits and cuts.
Thirdly, enough people would be nervous enough to speak to a potential plethora of listeners, even fewer would like to be seen at the same time. Vidcasting also removes the anonimity which the Internet has always offered and which many bloggers and casters still depend upon.
Finally there’s connections. Even broadband users would take issue with downloading big video files from slow servers on a weekly basis, especially if the show is of a respectable length. It would also mean that costs would rise for popular Vidcasters as bandwidth demands would increase and so many would be priced out of the field.
I personally would not like to Vidcast. I know there are people out there who could throw together a whopping weekly show which gives tradition broadcasts a run for their money but the fact is they will be few and far between. As it stands some of my favourite podcasts get boring and allow me to zone out; there’s not a chance in hell I could sit and watch the bastards too.