Why You Shouldn't Edit
If you haven't guessed by now, both of us are firmly on the editing side of the debate. But it wouldn't be fair if we didn't cover the other side, exploring the reasons why you shouldn't waste your time editing while creating your podcast. Many of the most popular podcasters do not edit at all, so it's clear that some people do just fine without taking the time to edit.
Keeping Away from Radio Correlation
Several podcasters have a cynical and jaded view of radio. They view it as sterile audio, corporate-driven, and dumbed down to the lowest common denominator to appeal to the most people. Podcasting gave them an outlet to listen to new and fresh material, and it gives them the outlet to present new and fresh material to other radio haters.
So why on earth would they want to polish their podcast to sound like a radio show when they were so pleased to get free from that yoke?
Enjoying the Amateur Quality
Along the same lines, there is camaraderie in podcasting that celebrates the independent status of our shows. We don't have the mega-corporations of radio behind us: We market ourselves, and some have thousands of happy listeners. We have a connection to our listeners, letting them know we are people toojust regular Joes and Janes sending out a message for whomever cares.
Editing the podcast takes away from that personable atmosphere. If you want to present yourself and your life to your listeners, then editing out your little vocal tics, your dog barking, and your kid's interruptions dilutes that version of you.
New podcasters quickly learn two things about this hobby: It is fun and addictive, and it takes more time than you figured it would. If you ask people on the streets if they have several hours free in a week, most of them would say no. We already have families, friends, jobs, other hobbies, other responsibilities. Podcasting is fun, yes, but recording, compressing to MP3, and uploading takes a lot of time. Editing can more than double that time.
If your choice is don't edit or don't podcast at all, you might want to just go ahead and podcast without editing and see how well you're received.
You're Just That Good
Finally, there is the factor of skill. Some people who have a background in radio and know how to fill silences with words other than "um" and "you know" can produce a clean podcast and sound near to perfect. Adam Curry's history in broadcasting makes his Daily Source Codes seamless, for example.
If you have a similar experience, or have training from a class or organization such as Toast Masters, then podcasting without editing should be a snap. This confidence can also come with experience, as you become more comfortable with the hobby.