Can anyone explain what's so good about podcasts ? It's like information, but slower, without ability to search, quote, and skip to interesting parts. It's like trying spread information with Flash. I have seen single isolated cases of Flash being useful.
Their advantage is that you can listen to them while you do other things, like driving, walking, running or just accomplishing household tasks. Hell, even browsing the web while you listen. I don't know if it's true for anyone else, but I can read or do other things and listen for interesting bits just fine (at which point I pause and give it more attention).
There's also a significantly different feel to the rhthym, pace and interaction during a spoken conversation as opposed to email/chat/etc. So then, if you go with audio for to get that style of interaction, it becomes a very time consuming process to get that into a text format.
I agree that transcripts would be nice for searching and quoting, but maybe Google (or someone) can put up an audio-search style web app that can search for words in an audio stream and do basic speech to text.
Anyway, those are the bits that I value about them. [Edit] And I read voraciously, so it isn't a lack of interest in reading