Blogs vs. Podcasts

[This is a cross-post from one of my other blogs from Oct 2020]

Over the last 10–15 years, I have been a very active consumer of online content, be it political op-eds, economics blogs, or computer science/technical blogs and newsletters. Over the last 5–6 years, there has been a marked shift in content creation from the written format to audio formats, like podcasts and videos.

A brief comparison of the two formats, and why I prefer blogs to podcasts follows –

  • Written content like blogs index better than podcasts and videos. The content of blogs is far more searchable and discoverable than the content of podcasts.
  • In general, reading speed is better than listening speed for most humans. And I think this is even more true for me. So for a given amount of time, more content can be consumed with blogs than with podcasts.
  • I also find retention is better for blogs when compared to podcasts. While listening to conversations or monologues, it is easy to miss certain details and the meaning of what the speaker is trying to convey. This also results in better recall for written content than for audio medium.
  • Blogs have a far wider reach. Even if the content is written in English, folks conversant only in other languages can use Google Translate to get a rough translation of the text so that they can at least get the gist of the content. The reach for blogs is probably an order of magnitude higher across space and time. This is not possible with audio.
  • One pro of audio format is that they can be consumed even while doing other things like driving, jogging, doing dishes, etc. It is good for parallelizing tasks.



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