In reality if you look at the Latin origins of the word social it would most likely have a definition akin to the free give and take of conversation and collaboration amongst multiple parties. Slap on the word media and that ensures it is some form of digital media these days.
So with this as a backdrop the answer would logically be – NO!
A podcast is a new media. A podcast is a new channel. But it is still at the end of the day a one way dialog – you listen to one or two people having a conversation. If you were listening to two people having a conversation at a party are you being social? I think not – its only when you get involved in the conversation does it become social.
So just how social are podcasts?
Take it from me, I have personally recorded and handed edited over 100 podcasts for this blog and other purposes and I can safely say they don’t get the level of interactivity (read comments) like my regular old blog posts do. Yes there is that element of “portability” meaning you can take a podcast anywhere and listen to it any time – but do people really do that?? The answer there is also NO. I find my listeners tend to consume the media right when they find it. Which is why I go through the trouble of tagging my podcasts with Veotag so folks can listen to only the relevant question or 2, get in – get out and on to the next thing. People are busy and you can read faster than you can listen!
So does that spell the end of podcasts?
No way, I got a little nervous when I saw PodTech get sold for $500,000 but think podcasts can be very useful in delivering messages – just realize going in you aren’t really doing social media by doing a bunch of podcasts. Does this mean I will stop my podcast series? – no, I enjoy it too much to stop!
So what’s your view – is podcasting social media to you?