Glenn Reynolds makes an interesting analogy about journalism and beer making in his new book:
Without formal training and using cheap equipment, almost anyone can do it. The quality may be variable, but the best home-brews are tastier than the stuff you see advertised during the Super Bowl. This is because big brewers, particularly in America, have long aimed to reach the largest market by pushing bland brands that offend no one. The rise of home-brewing, however, has forced them to create "micro-brews" that actually taste of something. In the same way, argues Mr Reynolds, bloggers--individuals who publish their thoughts on the internet--have shaken up the mainstream media (or MSM, in blogger parlance).
What, no "drunk on power" quip? Curiously, the Economist piece fails to mention the name of Reynolds' book, An Army of Davids, although it appears over in the right sidebar, almost camouflaged as an ad.
Over on the Odeo blog, Ev talks about a potentially different type of podcasting, casual content creation:
But, personally, I'm much more of a casual content creator, especially in this realm. The other night, I sent a two-minute podcast to my girlfriend, who was out of town, and got a seven-second "podcast" back that I now keep on my iPod just because it makes me smile. I sent an "audio memo" to my team a while back for something that was much easier to say than type, and I think they actually listened.
A blogging analogue would be Instapundit or Boing Boing (published, broadcast) versus a private LiveJournal (shared, narrowcast). It's like making a phone call without the expectation of synchronous communication...it's all voicemail. I thought about doing this the other day when I needed to respond to an email with a lengthy reply. In that particular instance, I ended up sending an email instead because it was the type of thing that might have been forwarded to someone else for comment and returned, etc. But I can see myself using audio like this in the future.
 Integrated podcasting tools within LiveJournal would be huge, methinks.