Usefulness to Publisher #1
Just like with telephone networks, the more people involved the better. Unlike telephones, the Timeline system is designed to be useful to the first publisher.
The Electric Kool-Aid Timeline Test is a tool for making sharable web pages out of podcast episodes, which is immediately useful since it gives an episode a strong presentation on the web.
When existing podcast players adopt the format, Timeline content created become more useful since it would be displayed, not just in web browsers, but also in podcast players.
Side-stepping podcast hosts
Ideally, the show's RSS file would link to the episodes' Timeline files, as described here. This means existing podcast hosts would need to support Timeline before it could be syndicated to podcast players. That's one too many miracles needed in the early stages of the game, so Electric Kool-Aid Timeline Test will feature an API for podcast player apps to find timeline files hosted with the service. Send the show's RSS URL along with the title of the episode and Electric Kool-Aid Timeline API returns the Timeline file, if available.