Watching the game of "Telephone" play out on the Internet


Let's see if I can get this straight.

First, Chris Pirillo says (timecode 37:59) he's not entirely pleased with the word "podcast" in Episode 11 of This Week in Tech. The Seattle-PI then reports that the sentiment is shared with "several Microsoft employees" who have coined the word "blogcast" to replace it. Next, c|net picks up the story and says that the word "podcast" is a "faux-pas" on Microsoft campus. [Typo fixed: 9am]

In this manner, a remark by someone who isn't even a Microsoft employee becomes, through rumor, speculation, and wild extrapolation, a word-ban at Microsoft.

Pretty neat trick.

Comments (21)
  1. That’s chinese whispers for you. A pure case of people not checking their facts before publishing.

  2. Mr Cynical says:

    "A pure case of people not checking their facts before publishing."

    Welcome to the internet… thankfully places of respite (such as this site) do exist.

  3. Typo? I think you mean ‘says that the word "podcast" is a "faux-pas"’

  4. James Schend says:

    Ok, "welcome to the Internet" indeed, but I’d expect better of, at the very least, the Seattle PI, since they’re:

    1) A print media, not solely online,

    2) aware of the huge ruckus that’s been thrown over the New York Times’ problems in this area,

    3) owned by a company that has a monopoly over Seattle-area news distribution.

    (BTW, number 3 there is really sad… do other cities have a newspaper monopoly, or is Seattle it? I’d hope this isn’t a common thing… but the realist in me thinks it probably is.)

  5. John Goewert says:

    I think the comments over at CNets page are hillarious, ferverous anti-MS stuff.

    Blogcast is 1000% better than podcast as "podcast" says to me: This will only play on an iPod. If you don’t own an iPod, don’t even bother downloading it.

  6. vince says:

    While we’re at it can we get the term "blog" banned? I think it’s one of the worst words ever invented.

  7. ATZ Man says:

    In San Diego, CA, there’s only one major city paper. Within memory it was the "Union" in the morning and the "Tribune" in the afternoon, and "Union-Tribune" on Sunday (roughly two sets of journalists). It is now the UT all the time, and I think it has been a very long time since the two papers were independent businesses. Such arrangements are actually common and almost always given a go-ahead by the anti-trust authorities, because it is seen as important to have a surviving paper rather than no paper. There are two suburban papers in the San Diego area, and they both seem like healthy businesses. Perhaps in Seattle there are suburban papers?

    You can scan the "Language Log" blog for instances of different sports writers quoting the same statement from the same athlete and all quoting it differently, and never matching the transcript of the news conference at which the athlete spoke. For example, http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/002263.html

  8. Merle says:

    Vince: hear, hear! Let’s ban "blog".

    It’s even worse than "website" (meaning "web site", of course).

  9. kbiel says:

    <i>(BTW, number 3 there is really sad… do other cities have a newspaper monopoly, or is Seattle it? I’d hope this isn’t a common thing… but the realist in me thinks it probably is.)</i>

    It has become more common over time as print news has had a difficult time competing with broadcast and online media to the point that competition among newspapers is unsustainable in a lot of big cities. OTOH, some of the monopolies (Dallas Morning News, for example) were created before the internet became a major news distribution point.

  10. Matt says:

    Oy. I personally think it doesn’t matter. Some of the terms that are bred out of technology just sound dumb linguistically.

  11. John Goewert says:

    Auntie Spam, who is a writer for LockerGnome (owned by Chris Pirillo) just contributed to the chain…

    http://www.aunty-spam.com/whats-in-a-name-the-blogcast-formerly-known-as-podcast/

  12. The Old New Thing : Watching the game of &quot;Telephone&quot; play out on the Internet First, Chris Pirillo says (timecode 37:59) he’s not entirely pleased with the word &quot;podcast&quot; in Episode 11 of This Week in Tech. The Seattle-PI then…

  13. EAW says:

    I used to hate "blog" too, but what do you suggest to replace it? "Journal", "Diary", "Periodical", and "Magazine" all fail to describe what "Blog" does.

    And I don’t understand not liking "website". It’s how people ending up saying it, so why not form a new label?

  14. vince says:

    EAW:

    > but what do you suggest to replace it?

    I don’t even mind "web-log". It’s just something about "blog" that grates, especially how it has been verbed and adjectived.

  15. Michel says:

    Blogcast? Try saying that 10 times and not gag.

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  17. JenK says:

    </i>3) owned by a company that has a monopoly over Seattle-area news distribution. </i>

    FYI, the P-I is owned by Hearst Corporation. It is printed & distributed via a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) with the privately owned Seattle Times Company. ;)

  18. EAW says:

    Vince:

    Yeah, "weblog" or "web-log" was my last stand too. But working on a blogging product, surrounded by people who use "blog" as both a noun and verb (and probably adjective eventually) , has worn me down.

    Let’s welcome our new blog overlord! Everyone get a blog! And blog your blog every day (It’s all very blog).

    (apologies for the thread hijack)

  19. Al says:

    vince: "It’s just something about "blog" that grates, especially how it has been verbed and adjectived."

    You just verbed "verb" and "adjective".

    But anyway I never really minded blog and in fact actually have always felt a bit awkward saying weblog/web log/web-log/whatever. I think that’s probably just because blog is so popular that I feel like I’m speaking in Middle English! And no-one feels right doing that in daily conversation.

    So… back to the "podcast"/"blogcast" topic…

  20. Gizmodo says:

    This came out last week but warrants mention. Apparently in the halls of Redmond it is forbidden to speak the word &quot;podcast.&quot; It is, in fact, a &quot;blogcast&quot; and this &quot;pod&quot; thing is just clouding the issue. I mean the…

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