Thursday, April 23, 2009

When's the future going to arrive?

Last night I chaired a session about podcasting and audio on demand for the Radio Academy at The Guardian. Panelists were Emily Bell who oversees all the digital stuff at the Guardian, Jon Gaunt, the host of the newly launched audio show at The Sun and Steve Bowbrick who curates the best speech radio on a terrific site called Speechification. The consensus seems to be that all this material will soon be accessed via your phone.

Afterwards in the bar overlooking the canal and luxury apartments - the Guardian's new HQ really is the place where the recession seems most distant - somebody from AudioBoo "interviewed" me and then with a few keystrokes on his iPhone sent the resulting conversation into the great digital yonder.

I don't pretend to understand how any of these things work or dare hazard a guess at whether this or that technology will change the world. The only thing you can be is agnostic. It was My Space, then it was Facebook, then it was Twitter, then Spotify; tomorrow it will be AudioBoo and already somebody is putting the finishing touches to something that will make them all look quaint. They wax, they wane, they go on to the back burner and sometimes they disappear altogether. As long as you're not buying the company, it doesn't matter.


  1. It's about how the tools are used, not the tools themselves, isn't it? I get frustrated when people think it's all about the technology and fail to recognise that it's actually about communciation, community, sharing experience and building connections.

  2. Audioboo is the latest in a number of much touted developments that purport to democratise media participation - anyone can be a journalist. They, however, just consolidate the belief a) most people's lives really aren't that interesting, even by a Joycean measure and b) that we train journalists for a very good reason.

  3. Anonymous2:35 pm

    My condolensces that you had to be in the same room as John Gaunt.

    flowers will follow.

  4. I wonder what has made Gaunty to consider the possibilities that new technology offers as opposed to network radio.