Podcasts are a vastly more time-efficient way for people to communicate ideas than writing conference talks, and people who prefer crafting their message as a produced piece or with multimedia can do the same thing (and more) on YouTube. Both are much easier and more versatile for people to consume than conference talks, and they can reach and benefit far more people.
It can’t be overstated how important it is to meet people face to face in our community. I forgot to mention this: I’ll be attending Peersconf in Austin this April. This’ll be a new conference experience for me and I’m looking forward to it.