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Podcasting: The New Oral Tradition

  • By Ryan Skidmore


Your grandparents told stories that their grandparents told them; stories they never wrote down. Oral Tradition is the oldest form of communication. (Britannica) Homer told stories of the gods to the Greeks and the Romans copied them. Printed books did not begin gaining popularity until the 16th century. (Britannica) Even still, books were expensive centuries later. To boot, literacy rates cracked 80% through most of the Western world only in the mid-1800s (Our World in Data) Reading as the superior mode of conveying knowledge is a recent construct, requiring both a specialized skill that can take years to master and an object cumbersome to product with or without the proper equipment. Oral Tradition is simply talking, remembering, and retelling accurately. All types of information were learned from Oral Tradition; myths, histories, trades, and so forth. Human society is built more on this method than any other. It is the most natural state of knowledge because books can be destroyed, tablets broken, and hieroglyphics covering a wall lost because they are not transportable with the peoples using them.


Podcasts carry two profound qualities from Oral Tradition, their ideas are recited then expounded on and they require no uncommonly specialized skills to consume. Podcasts are recorded and released periodically, making them ritualistic for creators and listeners alike. Wide adoption has created a large community of stories tellers and experts. Anyone can create a podcast with time, basic skill, and minimal equipment. In the same way Oral Tradition was kept alive by frequent community gatherings at which stories were told, podcasts are released at the same time and hosted by the same persons. Lastly, they are easily accessible and consumable. Any smart phone or computer with an internet connection can download and play podcasts. The format was designed for the iPod making it very portable and consumable almost anywhere. Places and activities requiring a person to utilize the sight sense can accommodate the podcast.

Shifting to Intuitive

The open and user-centric state of technology is turning many services to a more intuitive interface. A shining example, Real Time GPS Tracking is akin to an eye in sky. It allows users to watch vehicles movement on a map. Natural user interface is important to a tool being effective day to day, for years on end. Real Time GPS Tracking is the pillar of a Telematics system, creating context for every other tool like the varieties of trips reports and behavior alerts. Else wise, such stats are just context less numbers on a screen.

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