After listening to Adam at MacCast rant several times about the lack of student discount for high school students (which I think is a banal argument, but I won’t get into that here), a thought occurred to me. There wasn’t a good way to rebut his argument. Now, I could have visited the site after and posted a comment. However, seeing as most podcasts are listened to away from the computer, that’s not an easy or natural thing to do.
Even if you do, then only the author and a few other visitors are going to see your rebuttal. The majority of the audience isn’t going read those responses. Casters can abuse this fact to “strengthen” their argument. In fact, the only comment that Adam played was one of a man from the UK saying that he got a discount and couldn’t believe we couldn’t over here. This was followed by Adam supposing (with no supporting data) that the discount will be financially beneficial in the long run. I don’t like circle jerks and the MacCast is starting to sound like one the more I listen.
This is also the same problem that traditional broadcasting has always had. No feedback. The blogging revolution was due only in part to the fact that anyone can easily publish. The second part was the ease in which people could talk back. Ignoring listener feedback, especially detracting feedback (and picking only weak criticism doesn’t count), will lead to obsolescence.