podcasting

The "Podfade"...

podfadeHere's a very sad truth: Some podcasts just aren't meant to last forever. Podfading is kind of like the equivalent of that colloquialism "ghosting," where you just fade away from a person's life to the point where they start to wonder where you went. Once bi-weekly becomes once monthly becomes once every six months to never again. Sometimes in a slower or quicker progression, but the end result is always the same.

You may have experienced this with a few podcasts you have listened to, or you have some podcasting in your background where it just never got off the ground. It really is a commitment to record, edit, and release content that is free to the masses. In fact, you've probably felt this with the script that you're writing, the troupe you've been improvising with, or that one MMORPG that all of your friends are playing. Maybe you're losing steam. It's very possible that you might be falling out of love with it.

So what do you do in this situation? Well, there are two options. The first is you find something that will make it interesting for you again. Confront that you need that spark to keep going with your project. It could be re-branding, or it could be rearranging a release schedule that will be easier to work around. Or ask someone for help with editing your show! Sometimes it just needs a little change.

The second option is the hardest: It's admitting that you're done and moving on. The reason that your podcast exists is because you created it and you put the effort into it. However, if you're not in love with something anymore and the work is more draining than it is something that you can make better, then it's time to put it aside. Maybe you were thinking about starting a new podcast, but this one that you started about bees got in the way. I mean, you still like bees, but you've been putting so much time into your bee-cast and it feels more like a chore than that idea you had for a mathematician audio drama.

But rather than podfade, announce on your podcast that the end is coming. Set an end date and then tell people where else they can find you on the Internet. I mean, this thing was probably a fun project, right? Other people will find it in the future, get some use out of it, and then they can find you doing the new podcast you're loving even more now.

Hm. These podcast posts have been pretty somber... except for the bee podcast joke. That was kind of cute. Stay tuned next time for a more uplifting podcast topic!

KC Ryan is an improv graduate turned Sketch Writing Level 2 student. When she’s not working at the day job, she is a writer and podcaster for everything that combines feminism, comedy, theatre, and nerdery. She also performs in the puppet improv troupe Empty Inside.

Pets and Podcasting (or, Dear Podawan...)

dog radio A few weeks ago, I offered that if anyone had a question about podcasting, they could leave a comment or ask me in person.

I got one.

I’ll take it!

The topic actually hits close to home as a podcasting hobbyist. And since I’ve always wanted to be the Dear Abby of podcasting so… I’m making my own dreams come true.

Hello KC,

I've been reading your posts about podcasting and I've been enjoying it. I did have a question, though.

So the only place I can really do my podcast is in my own room. But the problem is that I've got a dog that for some weird reason likes to bark and whine when I'm trying to record. If I put him outside or in another room, he howls! It's really frustrating, and it feels like it's ruining my flow when I get into the zone. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

“Pet Podawan”

Dear Pet Podawan,

Yes, pets can be a bit of a hindrance when you are recording a podcast. I should know. I, too, have a dog. His name is Barky, and yes, he does live up to the name. My computer desk is by a window where he likes to stand guard and bark at everything and nothing.

In general, you should do your best to take care of your pets beforehand: Walk them if they need walking, feed them if they need feeding. Then give them a treat that will keep them busy. If they don't have severe abandonment issues, you can put them out in the backyard (if you have one) or close the door to the other room. If you have a partner or roommate, he or she or they may be able to keep pets distracted with playtime or cuddles.

In your case, Pet Podawan, if your precious fur-baby absolutely MUST be with you at all times and you can't stand the guilt and/or the noise, let the dog sit next to you. For the sake of sound, you may have to record under your comforter, but this might be the best way to keep your pooch quiet.

On the other hand, it's totally OK to embrace the fact that you're a pet-owner. There are podcasters with babies crying in the background and interrupting podcasts. They resolve the situation as quickly as possible and move forward. And they're dealing with tiny humans! It's better to acknowledge your pet dog or human and give your show a personality. Make your pet a part of the podcast!

I mean, who doesn't want this baby as a puppy podcast host?dog1

Look at this baby!

dog2

NINE-YEAR-OLD BABYYYY!

dog

 

Take care, Pet Podawan.

Sincerely,

KC

If you have a question for me that you would like to share and have discussed in a future post, share a comment below. You can also talk to me in person! I promise you won’t die. Everyone who contacts me will be given an anonymous name ending with “Podawan."

Or, I’ll just come up with alter egos and ask myself questions.

That’s basically what podcasting is, anyway.

KC Ryan is an improv graduate turned Sketch Writing Level 2 student. When she's not working at the day job, she is a writer and podcaster for everything that combines feminism, comedy, theatre, and nerdery. She also performs in the puppet improv troupe Empty Inside.

Are You Afraid of Podcasting?

scaredI was talking to a friend the other day. I do that sometimes. Talk to friends. Sometimes in person, most of the time in Facebook messenger. We got on the subject of podcasting and we were wondering why certain people we know and love weren’t jumping in on that field. Their voices are great, they have great senses of humor, and their point of views are fascinating and insightful. And yet they don’t share that. While I don’t want to assume, I think everything is linked to fear in some way. Maybe I’m coming from this perspective because I’m listening to the second season of The Magic Lessons Podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert—so good!—but think of the four main excuses you have for not starting a podcasting, or even organizing an improv troupe or signing up for an open mic.

I’m going to use some quotes that I’ve thought in the past for anything and everything that I was afraid to do, or am still afraid to do. I will apply my advice to podcasting, but there may be little kernels you can find for general advice.

"I don't know where to start."

I wrote my Podcasting 101 series with you in mind, young Podawan! It's as simple as starting with something that you like. Is it improv? Doctor Who? Do you want to start a Stephen King book club? Is there a fictional story you want to tell? Record yourself talking about what you like, and whatever gets you most excited and worked up is probably what you should podcast.

"I don't have enough money."

If your main concern is that your budget is tight, use your voice memo recorder on your smartphone. You can always upgrade later. (Yet another Podcast 101 article for your viewing pleasure.)

"I hate the sound of my voice."

You're not alone. I still hate my voice. People used to make fun of my voice. Someone very recently made a joke about how shrill my voice could get, and it hurt my feelings. But there are plenty of people who won't care because they want to contribute to the conversation.

"I need a co-host."

Not really. I love my co-host to bits, but if I had a really good idea for a show and didn't want to wait for someone to banter with, I'd just start something. It seems like we wait for someone else to join in and say, "That sounds great! In fact, I'll do it with you!" Don't wait for your co-host... be your own co-host. (Not in a Sybil or Fight Club way. Or Orphan Black. I do not condone cloning yourself for the sake of having a co-host.) Some single-host podcasts include I Should Be Writing with Mur Lafferty, The Myths and Legends Podcast, Grammar Girl, and even the weird and fictional Welcome to Nightvale.

"No one will listen or care."

I get that. But here's the thing: As of this moment, you're not giving anyone the chance to listen. You have to give your podcast a chance to grow an audience, and even then, there will be at least one person listening to your podcast at the very beginning. Yes, it might be your mom and she doesn't understand what you're talking about, but it's a start. Just like any art form—podcasting, improv, papier mache—you have to be willing to share your work.

The hardest thing about podcasting, or any art or conversation piece, is simply getting it started. And that's the best advice anyone can offer. "Just start," or "just do it." We wait for validation or perfection and use the lack of either as an excuse not to try. As someone who is super fearful and craves validation like a chocolate chip cookie, the best way to get over your fear is to confront it in some way. In this case, you may have to just hit a record button and start talking into a microphone about something, anything.

Also, when in doubt, ask somebody. I’m a hardcore introvert in real life, but if it’s a topic I can handle like podcasting or Disney movie trivia, I’m more than comfortable talking to anybody. If you have any podcasting questions of your own, comment below. I will address them in my next podcast-related article.

KC Ryan is currently a Level 5 student at DCH. An office worker by day, she spends her nights writing, improvising, recording podcasts, and having existential crises. She’s a co-host of Parsec Award-nominated podcast Anomaly Supplemental about general sci-fi and fantasy topics. Her greatest achievement so far is convincing her husband to watch Project Runway.