Honestly, I didn’t even realize it until recording another show I host, Week in WordPress.
How time flies when you’re having fun.
I want to take a moment to reflect on the past year, where I plan on going with the show and my thoughts on the state of podcasting.
Enemy of the State
I agree with a lot of what Harry outlines in his piece, because well, it’s been on my mind for at least the last 4 months.
I do a lot with “podcasting” and it was something I never really intended, but more on that later.
What is podcasting anyway?
Is it just audio, only video, video + audio?
60 minutes? 30 minutes? 30 seconds?!
I agree with Harry that we’re in a bit of a “Wild West” of sorts — though so is the internet at large really. Consumer web has only been around as we know if for, what, 10 – 12 years?
I can’t remember exactly when I started listening to podcasts, but I do remember one of the first. It was Keith and the Girl and it was absolutely hilarious. It had comedic value, but also struck a chord because of the intimacy we had with their relationship.
Who were these people that were so willing to talk about their personal lives to us?
It was magic really.
I always knew podcasting was going to be huge, but this was well before the wide adoption of wifi, broadband, and fast wireless networks.
It wasn’t easy getting your podcast’s sync’d and there weren’t many around to chose from.
Since I made the switch to Android, I’ve been using Stitcher as my primary podcast listening app. I enjoy it and it gets the job done.
My current list:
Business & Startups
- This Week in Startups
- Startups for the Rest of Us
- Chris Brogan
- The tropical MBA
- Rise to the Top
- Smart Passive Income
- Brian Casel
The only shows I consider my religion would be TWiSt and Tropical MBA. TNT is something during the afternoon commute and even Mixergy I listen to less of nowadays.
So how does one decided on their own playlist? Who has the time/attention to subscribe to so many?
How do podcasters get their foot (or mics) through the door?
I’m with stupid
I wrote about this before. You need to make a splash to grab someone’s attention. Be different and such.
If you’re doing this for marketing purposes — and let’s be honest you are even if you’re afraid to put that label on it (check your ego) — then so is every other podcaster.
Thus the issue, there are so many people doing it for marketing purposes.
I applaud folks for wanting to stay on the cutting edge — no more drilling keywords and meta-tags and no more Facebook tabs. I get it.
But understand, if you’re going to pick up the mic, we’re talking about a lot more to lose here. Your time, their time, and I have a feeling a podcast will be a bit harder to redesign than a website if you get labeled mediocre.
The listener want’s something from you.
To laugh or…
To cry or…
Multitasking is not easy. People can’t listen to two podcasts at once, so you must earn those precious moments in their earbuds.
Harry’s point to pick-a-little, talk-a-little along with editing is spot on.
And believe you me, I’m the first to admit I’m no professional in this category. But I’m trying and I recognize my faults and work to improve them.
Yawn. An interview.
Preparation is key in podcasts, especially if you are doing interviews.
This is my weakest link.
I might spend a max of 30-40 minutes prepping for a guest. And that’s really giving me credit.
I have a set of questions that I work off of, but 9 times out of 10 the conversation goes another way. 70% of the Matt Report questions you hear are coming from the moment and are not planned.
Maybe that’s not a surprise to you? Maybe you can tell? Maybe that’s bad.
And I think that’s what Harry’s getting at. So many folks say, “oh I gotta do this podcasting thing to stay relevant. I’l grab a mic and start asking questions.”
It won’t take long for your audience to realize they can spend their minutes somewhere else.
Which leads me to the interview format.
I’m getting bored of it. Aren’t you?
Seems everyone does an interview — how many more can we take?
Tell me if you’ve heard the same guest on 5 other podcasts. Be honest. Yes, you have.
I know I have.
Interviews are great, but there has to be something else. If you know me, I produce 5 other shows with some varying degree of difference.
I’ve got a few other formats and segments up my sleeve for the Matt Report coming soon.
I used to record videos and put them on my YouTube channel.
I stopped doing that because I have an old MacBook Air and exporting videos on that rig also sucks. Aside from that, it’s storing those files , uploading them and editing them etc.
I’m not saying I’m done with video, but on a weekly basis it’s just too much for me to handle solo. I’ve switched primarily to audio and I even found Garageband a beast to use.
I’m now editing in Screenflow and it’s effortless.
And here’s where I agree with Harry again — you must edit.
In the last few episodes, I’ve edited out a lot of the Skype breakups, my stupid “thinking of a question” pause, and even long winded or off the track answers by the guest.
Seriously we don’t need to hear this stuff. And seriously podcasters, step up your game. (see the previous section)
Time is up
So like I asked earlier, how long should a podcast be?
I think it all depends on your audience and the context they consume your content in. But he’s right, anything over an hour just get’s crazy.
I will listen to This week in Google for 2+ hours, but that’s usually because I’m cleaning or doing yard work. I don’t expect to really need to write anything down, it’s just good informative entertainment.
Let me call attention to the podcasters again:
If you’re screwing up on the previous sections here, editing and weak dialogue, for all that is holy keep it short and sweet. You’re only doing yourself a disservice.
Again, I’m no pro, so leave your comments in the suggestion box below.
Enough from me, it’s your turn
So look, that’s what I got for you.
Take it with a grain of salt and do what you will with it.
My podcast audience revolves around the WordPress space. At one point it was all the rage to start a WordPress podcast, it seemed everyone was doing it or wanted to.
A few spouted up and a few withered out. It’s not easy.
What do you want from a podcast?
Be it the host or the listener.
What makes you tune in every day or week? What do you want to get out of your efforts with that mic in front of you?
Sound off about the State of Podcasting below, this is your chance!