A brilliant audioblog entry [4.1 MB MP3] that explains why audioblogging ain’t all that by Maciej Ceglowski, the guy who came up with the Ceglowski Axiom. I will personally nominate this entry for a Bloggie.
To borrow a Coryism: treat audioblogging as damage and route around it!*
(Yes, there’s a text version, and I have a nicely-formatted one below.)
But seriously, folks: audioblogging has its place, but remember that
the written word, especially on the Global Data Network in its current
incarnation, is incredibly useful, portable and fungible.
AN AUDIOBLOGGING MANIFESTO
As broadband expands and as blogging tools
become easier to use, a worldof temptations has opened up to the online
writer. The latest of these has been audioblogging, or posting snippets
of speech. Videoblogging isfollowing on its heels.
At first blush,
audioblogging sounds like a natural extension of onlinewriting. What
better way to convey your own ideas than through yourown words, spoken
in your own voice? Bloggers like Halley
Suitt (http://halleyscomment.blogspot.com), Dave
Winer (http://www.scripting.com), and Adam Curry (http://live.curry.com)
have taken this idea and run with it, mixing frequent audio posts with
their text content. In the highest-profile audio blog post to date,
Winer even announced the cancellation of a blog hosting service –
affecting hundreds of users – in a ten minute audio file (you can hear
before you jump on the audioblogging bandwagon, remember this –
the power of the Web is the power to choose. You make your own trails,
and your own links. You read what you like and skip the boring bits.
And audioblogging takes that power of choice away. Your listeners become
a passive audience – they have no power to skim, they can’t skip
the boring parts, they can’t link or excerpt your post effectively.
Your post becomes invisible to Google and other search engines. And
anyone who has a hearing problem, or a dialup account, or doesn’t speak
your language too well, anyone who is trying to surf your site from the
office, or from an Internet cafe – well, they’re just plain out of luck.
also this – the average person speaks at one hundred, perhaps one
hundred fifty words per minute. Meanwhile, an accomplished reader can
read ten times faster – up to a thousand words a minute, and
that’s straight-up reading, not even skimming. You’re forcing people to
listen to you at a speed that’s barely faster than the speed at which
they cantype. Why are you wasting their time? Is your voice really
From the invention of the alphabet, to movable
metal type, to the advent of cheap paper, universal mandatory public
education, universal literacy, the Internet – the modern world has built
on the back of text! This is not by accident! This is not a mistake!
yourself – is the key to making your site more interesting really to add
rich media? Or is it possible that if you took more care in
your writing, said something passionate, grammatical, interesting, and
pleasant to read, it would actually make more of a difference?
David Thoreau said “Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys,
which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved
means to an unimproved end… We are in great haste to construct a
magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be,
have nothing important to communicate”
So what do you have to communicate?
may not have been a big fan of technology, but we can still read him one
and a half centuries later and be pulled in by his beautiful prose
style. Is your audio post going to stand the test of time?
and sisters, we deserve better than this, and those whom we write
for deserve better. This is not what we built the web for! For the
first time in human history, you can have anything you write read by
millions of people, whether within days or within hours, and all it
takes is talent, imagination and the discipline to put up something
worth reading. There are no obstacles anymore – so why must we create
new ones? Just because you’re going to be able to do a real-time
three dimensional high-definition interactive virtual reality
fly-through of the inside of your cat – does that mean you should? Does
that mean itbelongs on your website? This is not the legacy we want to
leave! So stop the ridiculous self indulgence, and shut up and write.
if you want a copy of this without having to listen through it, by God
you can find one at http://www.idlewords.com/audio-manifesto.txt.