Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was pulled away from podcasting. I am hoping to get back to leveraging the medium really soon. I would love to get involved in creating content for a podcast. I went so far as to set up some of the needed equipment on an extra table at our house, but it is currently collecting dust. I was immediately drawn to podcasts in 2004 when I first down the Daily Source Code and have actively promoted it as a wonderful training tool.
I think some traditional Instructional Designers didn't or don't get the medium and labeled it too linear and non-interactive. This could be true if you don't make the podcast interactive, but there are many ways that the audio becomes engaging. I can't help but point out that if a teacher does nothing but lecture, it is not interactive... (you now that story.) Digital audio on the other hand, in a way transcends space and time, by allowing the learner to listen when they want and where they want. I have a built in listening time with my daily commute. I realize others don't choose to drive so much so they have to find other times such as working out or walking.
When I reflect on the amount of information and content I have been exposed to of the past two years it is just amazing. I have actually taken a limitation of my physical location, a long commute to the office, and turned it into an asset that gives me an advantage over others. My consistent podcasts are the Gilmor Gang, Between the Lines, DSC (although not as faithful as I once was because its getting harder to get the great technology related content), RubyOnRails Podcast, and the Web 2.0 Show among many others. Because these programs provide such in-depth content related specifically to topics of interest for me, they really fall on the "learning" side of content versus the "entertainment" side of content.
What did these topics replace? Well I have always been a big fan of audio books and I would listen to my favorites repeatedly. But, I would spend a lot of time listening to traditional talk radio like Hannity or local sports if I was running late. The local sports talk show runs 6:06 to 7:00pm each night. I am a big fan, but rarely get to listen. They really need to make it a podcast!