I can't help but wonder if the whole 'we're-all-friends- in-the-podcasting-world' culture has any foundation in truth. While it sounds like a true digital utopia, with tech podcasters showering props and shoutouts on each others' shows like confetti, it strikes me that it could easily not be all hugs and kisses under the surface.
One of the things that interests me is how little competition there seems to be between most tech podcasters. I recently interviewed Alex Albrecht of Diggnation (more on this soon) and when I suggested that podcasters and video podcasters are actually in competition with each other for listeners' limited time and MP3 storage space, he told me he'd not really thought about it that way.
This doesn't surprise me. After all, when you and your would-be competitors are all giving away their products for free, there's no need to feel competitive; people should just download both.
But those people typically only have a limited amount of listening time: it could be the hour-long commute twice daily, it could be confined to the gym or when driving. Since a download doesn't always equal a listen, this mutual love between podcasters may be on shaky ground in the big picture.
Sure, there's no money involved, not on the part of the consumer anyway. But whoever coined the phrase 'time is money', certainly gave us a valuable point to consider in this open-source, ad-supported, all-you-can-eat digital world of ours. And if that ad support gets more serious...
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what I love about the state of tech culture in 2007 -- it's our own little binary utopia. Will it last? Let's hope so.