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Well – I guess podcasting can be called a high tech fad – kind of like that other one, radio, which is also subject to ups and downs vis a vis quality.
With the advent of lowcost mp3 players, podcasting is a different kind of medium than internet radio since you can become untethered from the internet-connected computer. I definitely would say radio is still a more egalitarian way of communicating for the listener – but podcasting is a way for many people to – at low cost – produce audio content, content which is perfect for use in a micro broadcast setting. Go take a look at the Godcast.org network, or Podcastalley.com for a tremendous variety of material. Yes, Sturgeon’s law applies, but it isn’t that hard to find real gems.
FWIW, my backyard “Radio Free Klingon” now has my Klingon Word podcasts in the mix, and anyone else is welcome to put the content on the air – enjoy!