The OF Blog: Someone recently suggested that I consider doing a podcast

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Someone recently suggested that I consider doing a podcast

The things that arise during late night Twitter chat...

But it did lead me to think about it for a moment.  If I did have the proper equipment (whatever that might be) and the time/energy to do so, what sort of content could I possibly put into a 15, 20, 30, or even 60 minute weekly podcast?  I purposely don't cover just one literary genre, so there certainly wouldn't be a "theme" for such a thing, unless I called it something like "The Southern Squirrel Revival Show" and featured a regular segment called "Your Moment of Squirrel Zen."  Wouldn't reading aloud thoughts on books read be a slightly more frustrating version of an oral book report, minus the transcript for people to read?  Or would there be an expectation for "news," which other people might translate as "gossip concerning the filthy hygiene of Canadians"? 

What would constitute an interesting podcast that wouldn't have a theme (minus the above-mentioned squirrel possibility)?  What elements make these things popular in the first place?  Just curious, as I have little desire to start one anytime soon.


Unknown said...

Podcasting is pretty simple if you're not super picky. Audiences generally don't care if the audio isn't HD quality. They just care if it sounds like total shite. I run a podcast (as I'm sure you know) for SF/F reviews and discussion (w/ some fun once a month). I think we do a pretty decent job of it.

As for equipment costs: if you have a decent enough laptop or desktop, and a relatively low-noise environment, you can pretty much start podcasting for $30 or less. The only thing you need is a semi-decent microphone (preferably USB), Audacity, Skype, and some kind of recorder (I use MP3 Skype Recorder). If you don't intend to include others in the discussion, all you need is a mic and Audacity. The best entry-level mics are ones with their own built in noise reduction (avoid gaming headsets and opt instead for audio headsets or standard mics). I don't recommend spending a lot if you're just starting out, though. Unless you buy a really crap mic, the quality won't matter terribly much (if you decide to do this, don't hesitate to ask me questions and what not; I've got lots of tips I can give).

As for what might constitute an interesting podcast: that depends on your target audience. If you want to hit up regular "fandom" (in your case, folks who just like to read a lot), then the content would probably have to veer more toward a non-genre form of SF Signal's podcast. If you want to do interviews or have a discussion podcast with a more serious tone, then you'll want to look at things like The Agony Column or Galactic Suburbia (the former for more general lit; the latter for genre).

I think what makes podcasts popular is the fact that they make multitasking and engagement easier. I listen to podcasts while I'm doing other things (sort of like we used to do with radio). The difference between podcasts and radio: you can target your listening specifically to your interests.

I do think you could have a really good literature discussion podcast on various works, new and old. Your blog is fairly far reaching, but you obviously don't discuss everything there. Maybe a podcast could act as a supplement? For an hour you can talk (by yourself or with others) about several books you won't discuss on the blog proper?

Anywho, those are just a few thoughts!

Lsrry said...

Thanks for the comment, Shaun. This wouldn't be anything for the near future (the school year is about to start in four weeks), but just something that I've pondered.

As for the content, I'd get bored quickly with covering just books read. I'd probably have to add quirky or "weird" things to the mix, but not until I get over the fact that I hate hearing the sound of my (recorded) voice! :P

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