Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Social Media Podcasting's Rising Tide

If you listen to podcasts that focus on social media, you'll very quickly notice the way podcasters tend to mention (and even endorse) other podcasts that talk about social media and new media topics.

Examples of such podcasters include Bryan Person, C.C. Chapman, Mitch Joel, Joseph Jaffe, and Christopher Penn, just to name a few.

At first, I found this practice rather puzzling. I remember wondering -- why would any podcaster go through the trouble of mentioning these other podcasts, especially since they talk about the same topics? Surely they must realize that all these other podcasts are competing for the limited time and attention of the same group of listeners? It's practically equivalent to advertising for your competitors!

The behavior is so counter-intuitive to what I would expect any self-preserving person would do, so naturally my mind wouldn't let go of the puzzle.

After mulling it over a couple of days, the only explanation I can think of is that people who behave this way are effectively choosing to put the community ahead of themselves. They endorse their peers because they subscribe to the idea that a rising tide lifts all boats, i.e., there's a tacit belief that what's good for the podcasting community in general will also be good for each individual podcaster.

I love the very idea of it because it runs counter to crab mentality.


Christopher said...

We're also looking at things from slightly different perspectives; each of us works in a company or industry in which the same news can have dramatically different outcomes.

Plus, most of those people are my friends. I'd link to them even if they were direct competitors.