I stopped by www.podcastpickle.comand I was bummed to see that the site will be shutting down at the end of January according to a forum post by site creator and owner Gary Lealand. No real reason was given.  It simply read

I just wanted to let everyone know that we plan to shut down Podcast Pickle at the end of January.
We will accept offers if anyone is interested in buying the Pickle.

A recent interview brought up some interesting questions.

Did iTunes Kill the Podcast Directory?

Even though itunes is doing less and less to promote podcasts, people seem to think this is the place to find podcasts. (Even though I spent 30 minutes trying to find a podcast that had not podfaded).  Podcast pickle was one of the first (along with Podcast Alley) to create a directory (think yellow pages) for podcasts. This made a way for podcast listeners to find podcasts. The thing that stinks is Gary and crew would actually go in and throw out podcasts that had grown inactive from time to time. Podcast pickle was a better product. Then again, so was betamax.

Did Twitter kill the Podcast Forum?

You used to go to the pickle to communicate with the podcast community. Now you follow other podcasters and keep up with the latest discussions via twitter. Also, with great plugins that allow people to subscribe via email to blog posts the thought of returning to a site to see what was new started to seem out of date (which technically is wrong as you could subscribe to the boards at podcast pickle via RSS).  To me again, the forums were better as its much easier to follow a conversation in the forums than at twitter.

It's Just Sad

The one thing that podcast pickle did that other sites didn't do was continue to strive to provide new tools for the podcast community. There is the pickle player, reviews, there was at one point a tree where you could see who influenced who.

In the interview, Gary has said it will still exist. The directory may not be going completely away. The forums may remain, and the player may say active.  This to me is a sign of the community growing, but not being as close knit as it used to be.

I want to thank Gary for all his efforts and his passion for podcasting and wish him all the best.