Listening to old podcasts...
I was doing some work in the garden on Saturday and I had the chance to listen to some old podcasts I'd downloaded early last year (most from 2005). Even though they were all over a year old, it was still more interesting to hear them rather than listening to current radio!
I started off with some stuff from the IT Conversations podcast series (BTW Tom recently interviewed the host Doug Kaye). I began with Dave Winer, who was interviewed by ITC in 2004. TBH, I only knew of Winer as Mr. OPML and one of the people behind the RSS fork, so as a Semantic Web researcher I had some predisposed bias towards him. After the first few minutes listening, I nearly gave up as my brain rallied against his ego, but either he or I calmed down because listening on I think I got an insight into his mind - his fights with Apple (over AppleScript) and other big corps no doubt seemed like déjà vu during his perceived takeover of RSS by O'Reilly.
Next up, I listened to syndication nation, a panel from Supernova 2005 talking about RSS, blogging and commercial models for publishing online. It was pretty interesting, and there was a good mix of technical insight from Kevin Marks and money making ideas from Tim Bray. Finally in my ITC downloads, I listened to a session on blog design from BlogHer 2005, where there were some good general tips and questions from people on how to make their blog sites more attractive. Some were common sense tips (don't use dark backgrounds, use a large enough font) and others were words of experience (pay that relatively small amount for a designer to give you something unique for your site).
I also listened to some stuff from PodTech.net: what was supposed to be an interview with Matt Mullenweg about blog software trends was mislabelled and turned out to be an interview with George Gilder about the future of media, technology and telecommunications. It was not what I was expecting so I hopped on to one about Yahoo! Alerts, talking about the integration of RSS feed reading into their beta mail client (much as Thunderbird does, except showing an overall view as well as individual feeds).
Finally, I ended up on PodLeaders and finished off a Marc Canter podcast that I must have started listening to some time back (nice of my nano to remember where I was). Marc's focus has moved on from structured blogging (one of the main topics in this episode) to PeopleAggregator, but even though it was old the podcast reminded me how much can still be done with structured blogging, and how important it is to make SB available for those multiuser blogging environments (Drupal, WPMU, etc.) rather than individual publishing systems. It also prompted me to download another podcast mentioned in the show, an interview Tom did with Salim Ismail from PubSub. That's next on my list!