Use Podcasts to Build Your Personal Network

Since podcasting started to catch on in 2004, more than a few people have concluded that the technology's failure to gain mass appeal by now shows that it is failing. This view undervalues the influence podcasting has had on communities and personal networking. Podcasts are not meant to compete with radio—in fact, by maintaining smaller audiences, they are able to add more value to individual listeners. Podcasts Draw Listeners With Niche Interests While radio producers aim to create content that will appeal to the largest audience possible, podcasts are created for communities with niche interests. Shows may not appeal to mass audiences, but to those who listen, the content is truly relevant, which means listeners are more likely to have similar interests and personalities. Podcasts Are Two-Way Conversations Many podcasts are far from one-way radio-wannabes. The community drives the conversations—hosts encourage listeners to use free call-in lines or send comments to express their opinions and suggest show topics. By communicating with voices rather than written words, connections become more intimate and genuine friendships are formed. The Network Has Already Been Built For You While Twitter users take pride in their ability blast questions to their followers and gain nearly instant feedback, it takes time to build up enough of a Twitter following to take advantage of this. With podcasts, the network has already been built—the hard part is done for you. Now all you need to do is ask your question to the podcast community. You might be surprised by how many responses you will get. Podcasters Love to Help People It takes a certain type of personality to produce a podcast. The process is labor intensive and usually results in little to no monetary return. The reward from all of this hard work is the satisfaction that comes with connecting like-minded individuals. By reaching out to podcasters, you are likely to be introduced to a network of like-minded individuals. Podcasting isn't failing. Podcasts have successfully connected thousands of people with similar interests, resulting in an untold number of valuable relationships, both professional and personal. As long as podcasts continue to deliver this value to participants, the medium is not going anywhere.

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