I met with someone the other day who said randomly to me, “You should do a podcast”. This was shortly before I was guesting on a podcast for the Nottingham Trent University Business School, so I had a great get out of jail, jokey comment to say that I was on one and so all was good.
Everyone seems to have a podcast but not everyone seems to have a reason to have one. The world doesn’t need one more voice adding to the level of noise for no reason.
I kind of likened it in my head to those calls and requests you used to get to “come and do your show from Disney World or Universal or wherever”, which used to come into the radio station every now and then. They were always wrapped up in a fantastic offer, flights, accommodation, studio and assistance etc all tied up with a big bow. My reaction every time when presenters used to get wind of the offer, and loved the prospect of the trip (obviously) was the same… what are you going to do after you have done the first link saying where you are? It wasn’t a very popular line of questioning. Link 2 and Link 3 and an hour later is either more of the same, or just lame.
Just like when constructing a link on air, you have to have a POINT. Just doing some more random inane talking isn’t adding to the enjoyment factor of any listener. This is straight out of the thing I mentioned last week, Authentic Personality(™). Just merely having a podcast isn’t enough, you have to have a reason for it to exist. How do you describe what it is to someone? If the answer is “its just me randomly spouting off about a topic this week”- then thank you for the effort, but no-one really cares that much and by the way it isn’t all about you!
I don’t consume a lot of podcasts, but the ones I do consume I listen avidly. They fit into the pattern of my day otherwise I don’t find myself able to listen. This sounds like an obvious thing to say, but they REPLACE other listening, so when I worked in radio, I tended to listen to fewer podcasts or less avidly as it would replace radio listening, and that was kind of my job! They tend to have fallen into a ‘commute listen preference’. Now, without the guilt of not listening to a radio station I’m supposed to be programming, the in-car default is the podcast. I now have fewer commute journeys as well.
The podcasts all have a distinct reason to exist and can easily be described and I’ve listened to them for a few years now. I’ve mentioned them all in other blog posts from time to time by way of an example of something or other. “The Daily” from the New York Times is a staple and to be honest I occasionally wane. If there is a topic that ignites interest I will listen but I also listen to the production value of the show- expertly crafted. “Pivot” I have also mentioned as it covers ‘tech and business’ and the opinionated hosts are both informative and entertaining. I occasionally listen to “Sway“, again from the New York Times and depends largely on the person being interviewed. On holiday the other week, I binge listened to the marvellous Jon Holmes collaboration and creation “Cold Case Crime Cuts“- which takes songs, like “Video Killed The Radio Star“, or “Copacabana“, and humorously investigates them in a true crime/ US Dragnet style format. Again- all of the above have a REASON to exist.
The reality is also that from week to week I sometimes have to think long and hard about what to write here as a blog post, let alone to create a podcast!! It should always be the case to stop talking if you have nothing to say!
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