The definition of Podcasting is: ‘the practice of using the Internet to make digital recordings of broadcasts available for downloading to a computer or mobile device.’ A more apt description would be, people who like to talk do more talking, mostly about themselves or something they care about.
Why am I tell you this? Well, it’s to let you know about the trials of podcasting itself. Similar to the labours of Heracles, to launch a podcast, one must: Slay the Nemean Lion; Slay the Lernaean Hydra; Capture the Ceryneian Hind and so forth.
On a serious note, launching and running a podcast is tougher than it seems. Recently I launched the SlapDuck Podcast, which is now has a featured piece weekly in thefourone.com. And it wasn’t easy to get going.
Much like convincing your racist cousin that minorities are actual humans, it took a lot to convince me to get going. I umm and ahh a lot so it took thefourone’s own Julian to tell me firmly yet softly, like a gentle lover, that we were going to ‘record the podcast today’.
So you’d think sitting around a table with our buddies having a chat is a piece of cake, right? FAKE NEWS! It’s pretty damn tricky. Most of the things you and your friends talk about are inside jokes or conversations with many many layers. Is a listener going to enjoy this? Only if they’re a DaVinci Code level masochist. Sure if they’re a long-term viewer, they’ll be in on the joke, in on the ‘top bants geezer’. Yet, a new viewer is going to be more lost than a rich kid in a favela.
What you’ve got to do is research your butt off, finding relevant topics that do two things: attract listenership and allows the hosts to have an engaging conversation. Failing to find a topic that does both of these things renders your time wasted. And let's be honest if you’re trying to start a podcast, you're trying to make it work so you can leave your miserable day job.
Be a host of a podcast is much like hosting a rabble of dwarves in your hobbit hole, only to be convinced to go on a journey across the land to inevitably slay a dragon. Essentially it’s no walk in the park.
Being entertaining is the easy job. The more difficult task is to navigate the conversation and maintain it’s structure. Much like Monkey D. Luffy navigating the Thousand Sunny, you need to make sure the conversation remains on track, but also allow for the addition of tangents which may add to the conversation.
If you succeed in doing this, you’ve had an engaged audience and excited hosts, which means you've essentially collected all 7 Dragon Balls of podcasting!
These are just some findings I’ve seen from my brief time as a ‘podcast host’. I’m certain that there are more complex findings I shall uncover in the future. But for now, these three key points are a solid foundation for creating your own podcast!