Podcasting was something I sort-of stumbled upon.
In my first year of university, a friend sent me a link of two people discussing the latest Batman film. Both of them were arguing quite intensely about the merits and downfalls of The Dark Knight Rises. The conversation was geeky, informative, and most of all, hilarious. It was exactly the sort of conversation I love: an intense and passionate discussion about a meaningless topic. I was hooked.
You may laugh at my naivety, but at that point I’d never heard anything like it. Here were two normal people (not radio DJs), discussing a topic they loved for two, even three hours. There was no music; no ad breaks; no catchy jingles; and no plan. I loved it.
Immediately after, I began to voraciously devour these audio wonders! I would download and listen to hours and hours of podcasts every week! I would listen to them everywhere I could: on the bus, in my room, walking to my lectures; all so I could plug myself into conversations about topics that interested me whenever I wanted. The selection out there was endless. Millions of podcasts joined by one concept: having a conversation with someone.
It was only a matter of time before I started my own.
I did some research, bought some equipment, signed up to Soundcloud, and got started. Before long, I was sitting around my kitchen table with my friends discussing how appropriate it is to write a letter to your ex-girlfriend’s parents (Episode 15)!
I try and record a podcast every week. Each week, I begin with the same goal: to find something out about my guest that I didn’t know. Maybe it’s a story about them or a meaningless fact about a random topic – it doesn’t matter! I try and keep it thematic (this never works), try not to ramble (neither does this), and try not to go on too long (hahaha… as if). It’s great fun!
And it’s had more of an effect than I ever would have predicted. Almost weekly, I have someone tell me how much they enjoy listening regularly. There’s no better feeling than having someone message you on Facebook to tell you how hard they laughed at you and your mate Paddy discussing whether to open a bar (ep. 4). It’s allowed me to have some amazing conversations with fascinating people that I never would have had without the podcast. Rarely, if ever, do we sit down with someone with the goal of conversing non-stop for an hour with no distractions. If anything, a podcast is just an excuse to contact interesting people and get them to sit down and talk to me for half an hour!
“So”, I hear you ask, “why should I do it myself?” Well, because maybe you’ve got a story. Maybe you’ve even got a couple. Maybe you have a friend who has a couple also. Now, all you have to do is sit down, talk about it, record it and, hey presto, you’ve got a podcast! Maybe you have an interesting hobby. Maybe you have a topic or interest that you want to learn more about. Why not sit down with an expert and document your exploration? Once you’ve got a recording of your podcast, upload it somewhere online and share it with your friends. It really is that easy!
My advice? Just give it a go. Sit down with a friend or family member and just have a conversation. At worst, you’ve got a lovely recorded conversation with a loved one to keep forever. And at best, you’ll have taken your first step into the wonderful world of podcasting!