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The arrows and the land

Pioneers get the arrows, settlers get the land. I've heard it many times, but it only recently dawned on me: pioneers must not be in it for the land. They're in it for adventure: cutting a new trail, opening fresh territories, pushing at boundaries.

So it goes with Podcasting. Since being created recently, the number of available podcasts has ballooned into the thousands; some are good, most are... unlistenable. And yet, the pioneers are driving where no bandwidth has gone before.

Settlers have now begun arriving in this brave new world. Audible, the audio book people, have announced a tool which, beginning next month, can track how many people actually listen to podcasts. Until now a download count was the only available metric--and that's plenty for pioneers. Settlers, on the other hand, need more finite accountability.

Audible's tool will enable tighter measurability, attachment of advertising and can prevent the downloaded show from being forwarded to another user. With the tools, "you can build a bona fide rate card" for advertising, says Foy Sperring, Audible's senior vice president for strategic alliances.

Rate cards? We don't need no steenkin' rate cards, the pioneers shout back over the rumble of thundering hooves carrying them hooting with laughter into the next valley of innovation, leaving us behind in their dust to settle the land of podcasting. 

If you haven't given thought to how a podcast can enhance and extend the relationship-building power of your web presence, better hurry up. The next thing settlers tend to do is build fences...

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