I tend to find podcasts highly annoying. This is for several reasons.
First, I generally don’t like the “listen to someone else talk” format, unless it’s something I need to do for work. I don’t listen to books on tape. I don’t listen very well to church talks. The act of sitting, and listening to someone talk, just about drives me batty in a very short period of time. It’s a recipe for mind-wandering, daydreaming, or just plain getting up and walking away. I very much prefer reading. (This isn’t just bloggernacle podcasts. I usually last through a session and a half or so of general conference, and then the wanderlust kicks in, and I say, “I’ll just read it in the Ensign anyway.”)
Second, podcasts take far too long. I can skim most blog posts in five or ten minutes. This fits ideally with my model of blogging. I often use blogging as a short break from some other activity, not as a major event for which I have to schedule a 45 minute block.
Third, there’s no obvious slot in my life for podcasts. I don’t have much of a commute, and the commute I have, I prefer to listen to music. I have an annoying non-iPod mp3 player anyway, and downloading files onto it is a bit of a chore. The only time I listen to my mp3 player at any length is when I work out — and I don’t really think that listening to Mormon Stories would help improve my mile time.
This is not to say that there’s no value to the podcasting format. It clearly brings some benefits. For example, it allows for really cheap, quick production of content. (Recording can be less work-intensive than writing.) Also, it can allow for some level of more personalized interaction with the creator. Despite hating the format in general, I did smile at the back-and-forth between JNS and Taryn on the sole Evening and Morning Star podcast I’ve listened to, where JNS set a more serious tone and Taryn took the role of the more improvisational, fun contributor.
For me, those benefits don’t really outweigh the serious drawbacks to the form. (And obviously, this analysis is of the format in general, and not of any one person’s podcasts in particular.) And so I may still listen to podcasts from time to time. But given past precedent, I suspect the experience is likely to always be a little like eating cauliflower as a child. That is, an exercise in doing something I feel like I should do, not something I really want to do.