Category: Good Podcaster Habits

An interesting roundtable about criticism in podcasting, particularly in podcast fiction. This is further wellspring from the #podcrit Twitter discussion.

I encourage you to go listen to this discussion; I’ve got a few comments and quite a bit more thinking below…

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(This is the second part of a two-part series of posts inspired by the #podcrit discussion on Twitter of 2010-06-05/06. The first part is here.)

The second factor is largely a technological one. Podcasting hasn’t really changed since it began, despite the fact that it has grown so big. For the most part, I think podcasters have largely rested on their laurels, content to simply put out podcasts in the form that exists now, rather than innovating to make the form better. For most, that’s a reasonable notion. But podcasting needs to innovate, or it will drown in its own success.

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Podcasting is often described as a community, implying that we all should be good neighbours. What does that mean?

The point erupts from time to time (see Scott Roche’s podcast ep “Public Critique” from a few months ago, or John Miereu’s taking-the-Canadian-polite-hat-off, “Social Media: It’s Okay to Rock the Boat!” post), and sparked an interesting discussion on Twitter last night (look for the #podcrit tag). (Aside: if you know of more examples of this kind of discussion out there, please add them in the comments.)

(This is part one of a two-part series that sprung up from that discussion. The second part will follow.)

There were essentially four discussions that came up:

  1. Podcasting needs more real criticism in order to get better. Too much criticism is too soft, and really just supportive fluff.
  2. Podcasting needs to grow the pool of listeners, not just cross-pollinate the listeners we already have. New blood, rather than spreading old blood around.
  3. The notion of “podcasting standards” gets raised — not only in terms of production and content quality, but also in terms of the physical structure of podcasts, the use of tags, and other mechanical things to assist intelligent podcast discovery.
  4. The notion of “genre” has been abused within the podcasting arena; specifically, podcasts aren’t given genres, but “podcasting” is classified incorrectly as a single genre.

(These are my distilling points from the conversation. The discussion ranged quite a bit, and I’m sure I’ve missed something…)

What follows is my consideration of these questions, along with some ideas on what we might do.

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I’ve recently talked about the power that podcasting has from its mobility: it can be produced anywhere, consumed anywhere, and available anywhen.

Why not put that to the test?

I’ve had an interesting idea for a podcast, one that is produced all over the world by local people to be consumed by other local people in a different part of the world.

Each episode would feature (at least) 3-5 segments of 5-15 minutes each from a different part of the world, on something going on right then. The common thread of each episode? It has to relate to a particular hour in that local time zone. So, one episode would be all about life at 14h/2pm; another would be about 6h/6am.

Episodes would come out once a month, meaning it would take two years to get through the entire day. We could refine the concept by either a) combining two hours together, or b) allowing both the original hour and it’s 12-hour cousin (2am and 2pm together). (This might be important, as there might not be much to talk about for 4am..)

What are the contents of each episode? Just about anything, really, as long as it’s local. It could be about the farmer’s market, or the business hour; it could be reminiscences of the lunch counter or tradition dinner at home; it could be a deep exploration of what was once done at this hour when you were a kid or a light description of what are familiar daily sights to you on your walk to work (but that might not be so familiar to someone on the other side of the world!).

What do you think about the idea? I’d love to hear about it from many different places of the world, so if you can, share this idea widely. If you want to contribute or sign up, let me know with a comment. With enough interest, we’ll get this off the ground..

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