Where’s the Twitter of Podcasting?

  • You bookmark or subscribe to your favorites, and you mostly stick to consuming those every day.
  • You’re a passive consumer, not a creator — unless you start your own, but most people don’t, because it’s a significant chunk of work.
  • There’s no third-party aggregator providing an algorithmic feed to optimize the order in which you consume individual units of content.

Breaker: The Current State of the Art

My current podcast app of choice is Breaker, whose tagline is “The Social Podcast App”. At the time of this writing, Breaker’s main social feature is showing you trending podcast episodes, which sometimes helps me discover interesting new content.

Bite-Sized

Bite-sized means somehow clipping 15-second to 2-minute highlights that stand on their own, so you can get these advantages:

  • Faster time from pressing “play” to hearing the best parts
  • Better average content quality per second
  • Easier for an algorithmic feed to give you the best stuff first

Socially Interactive

I have a good sense of how much traveling my friends do, thanks to the mature social media ecosystem around photos. But I have no idea how much podcast-listening my friends do. It’s always been weird to me that listening to a podcast feels like an isolated experience even though it’s such a big part of my life.

Serendipitous

Serendipity means regularly getting served good content from an unpredictable source. The key to serendipity is usually that an algorithmic feed is ranking what you see.

Twitter + Podcasts

You know how TV show viewers like to post and comment in subreddits? A subreddit is appropriate for the Serials of the world but probably overkill for most podcasts. But adding lighter-weight social interactivity makes sense.

Literally Tweetify podcasts?

Imagine each podcast had a Twitter account. Each time they publish an hour-long episode, also tweet out the top 10 bite-sized transcripts or takeaways from that episode.

Then feed social responses back into the podcast audio

Once each podcast has an associated 5–10 highlight-tweets on Twitter, people I follow on Twitter can tweet back text and/or audio replies. Then I’d like my podcast app to somehow merge those tweets back into my podcast-listening experience.

More content creators

Twitter proved that many people turn into content creators once you replace the difficulty of blogging with the ease of microblogging.

Conclusion

What is a micropodcaster? I’ve tried to give some key properties to design around, but it’s hard to predict exactly what kind of user-generated content will take off in the podcasting space.

  • Content will become more bite-sized
  • Consuming content will become more socially interactive
  • The mix of content you consume will be more serendipitous

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