I spoke with a friend the other day. She is middle aged, works in a professional position, and seems media savvy during our conversations. I mentioned a podcast that she might enjoy. She thought it sounded great but didn’t know how to go about getting it.
I told her it was easy, and she pulled out her iPhone 8. She has had a smartphone for over 10 years. She asked me to show her how to install whatever was necessary or subscribe to what she needed to in order to access the content; making it sound challenging and difficult.
I gladly picked up her phone, opened the Podcast app, searched for the show, downloaded, and hit the play button; all under a minute. She was amazed and thankfully. The story is not about me, my ability, or podcast listening habits, nor is about her blind spot with this very popular information and education area.
It made me think about the barriers to widespread technologies. There must be tens of millions of people out there like my friend. There are probably many reasons why they don’t pursue new technology or innovations.
Perceived technological barriers might be one. If it seems complex or difficult, then people may shy away from it. In this case, it obviously is not.
Or is the fear of the unknown. What is this “new” thing and is it right for me? I feel in the case of podcasting (as with publishing) there is literally something for everyone. Less likely a reason as well.
We all hear people endlessly tell us they are busy. And they are. Is it that they don’t have time? Likely many of these people have time for Netflix or broadcast TV.
Is it the audio part? The middle-aged part?
Until a technology or content offering becomes widespread, people may still resist. Let me know your thoughts about what are the barriers to podcasting in general and new things in particular. I am still scratching my head.