Wednesday, May 31, 2023


I was involved in a podcast for a couple of years, it was a fun experience and I would definitely do it again. Unfortunately we fell into the many of the same traps other hobbyist podcasts fall into that made it unsustainable. Now don't get me wrong, I think we did a pretty good job and I had a fun time doing it and again, I would do it again in a heartbeat. However, if I were going to do it again, there are several things I would do differently.

The things we did wrong:
  • Technology: We almost always had technical issues, and all of this was due to bad planning on our part. We were using Skype when we definitely should not have been using Skype. For the first few episodes, I used my webcam microphone instead of investing in a decent headset, this led to poor quality sound. There were other issues as well.
  • Planning: We had no structure to the podcast, we basically got on and started talking about random stuff. Sure we had a general focus of the podcast, but episode to episode, there was no planning involved. More often than not, I had no idea what we were going to talk about until we started recording. We also fell into talking about the same things from week to week
  • Unscripted: Okay, I am not saying we should have scripted every episode, but we should have had outlines of what we were going to talk about along with bullet points of subtopics. The problem with what we were doing is often we would end up rambling aimlessly from topic to topic with no focus.
  • Unedited: We posted our stream of consciousness unedited and raw, this was a bad idea. We should have had a third party editing the podcast, taking out the awkward pauses, unintelligible rants and the dumb in jokes that no one else was going to get. I am certain a good editor could have cut 30% of every episode and we would have been better for it.
The things we did right:
  • Personality: I think the podcast had a great personality, Leigh and I bounced off of each other really well and we had a really good working relationship. I think we both contributed to the podcast in a positive way. In spite of what I said earlier, unscripted and unedited does have its advantages, we were our real selves as rough and unpolished as that was. We are good friends and that came through on the podcast.
  • Informational: I think the podcast put out a lot of good information and a variety of topics, we answered a lot of questions, when we did not know the answer, we said so and when we were wrong about something, we admitted it and corrected ourselves.
  • Dedication: Leigh and I were dedicated to what we were doing. We recorded pretty much every week for over 2 years. Sure, we missed a few here and there, but usually that was because of planned vacations and things of that nature. We recorded even when neither of us really wanted to. We both thought what we were doing was important and we did not falter from that.
  • Community involvement: We had a couple of interesting guests, who spoke intelligently about important topics. We also had a couple of episodes we did in Discord where our regular listeners, as few as there were, got in on the action, so it was not always just Leigh and I talking.
Overall, I think this was a positive experience and I think all or most of our issues were that we did not really know what we were doing. I learned a lot from the experience and I think if we restarted doing it or if I decided to do my own, I would require some moderate amount of production time for each episode. There is no reason not to have 2 or 3 episodes in pre-production at any given time and once a topic has been covered, it should not be covered again for at least 4 episodes, unless something radical comes up. I would also like to see a standard format for each episode, even if it is as simple as; Intro (5 minutes), Primary Topic (30 minutes), Secondary Topic (15 minutes), Finishing Up (5 Minutes), Post Production additions (5 minutes). This would obviously make for more work, I think doing these things would make for a more professional production.

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