The question of podcasts and the Hugos is continuing to generate a certain amount of heat around the blogosphere (see here, here and here, for example). Much of this is due, I think, to misunderstanding.
With regard to the actual rules, WSFS has come down very firmly on the side of saying that it is the content that matters, not the medium of delivery. So a fanzine can be published in hectograph, mimeo, photocopy, email, as a web site, as a podcast or on YouTube. What matters is that it is a periodical produced by fans for the SF community. If Chris Garcia took to standing up in a bar in San José once a month and talking about his favorite SF movies he could class that as a fanzine (and now I have suggested it of course he’ll do it.)
We (collectively) came to this decision because we realized that the alternative was madness: ever-proliferating categories as different media all demanded their own fanzine category; and the same for fiction as well.
However, different media do tend to appeal to different groups of fans. Some fans prefer paper fanzines; some love LiveJournal; some read blogs more widely; some mainly read online fiction magazines such as Electric Velocipede; others listen to podcasts. There is overlap, but not sufficient overlap to stop people going “who? what???” when something like EV or Star Ship Sofa gets mentioned in the context of the Hugos. There’s a tendency amongst some fans, particularly old-time fanzine fans, to mutter that these fancy newcomers are “not part of our community” and will be “single issue voters” who care nothing about the Hugos and Worldcon except for getting a rocket for their favorite web site or personality.
Sometimes that might be true. I’ve certainly seen people yelling about how unfair the Hugos are who know nothing about them and really don’t care much either. I don’t think that’s the case with Star Ship Sofa. Last year Tony Smith had a whole load of people reporting for him at the Montréal Worldcon. In the archives you can hear Amy Sturgis (also here), Gord Sellar, John Joseph Adams, Kate Baker (also here on the Hugos and here interviewing Neil Clarke). Tony has also podcast a number of Hugo-winning short stories, including last year’s winner, Elizabeth Bear’s “Shoggoths in Bloom”. In other words, Tony and his team put as much effort into covering last year’s Worldcon as I did. And they did that without any expectation of glory because up until recently they had no idea that they might be eligible for a Hugo. That, to my mind, makes Star Ship Sofa very much part of the Worldcon community.