So I’ve been experimenting with various types of podcasting for the last week or so, some formal, some stream of consciousness. What have I learned?
Unless I do a lot of pre- and post-production, my podcasts end up being “me talking about stuff” in a rambling fashion, in a lot more detail than I would be prone to write if I were writing about the same thing. Which recalls radio production advice from Ann Thurlow (and I paraphrase): “You don’t need to talk about everything, even if everything seems compelling and uncuttable.”
In a sense, my podcasts are what my blog posts look like in my head, before I write them down. If the blog posting production cycle has 10 steps, what squeaks out at the podcasting stage is about step number three.
Podcasting has certainly made me realize how much time I spend crafting blog posts. This post, for example, is probably going to take me 30 minutes to write and edit; if I podcast the same thought it would take 5 minutes, but it would probably be twice as long and half as coherent.
Which is not to say that podcasting can’t play a role. Although I fell into the “minutiae well” more than I would like, I think this podcast from the Dorval Airport parking garage is more interesting and content-full than it would have been as a blog post, if only because there were neato airplane sounds in the background.
And walking around Copenhagen today there were several times I wished I had a portable studio with me so I could capture the sounds of the city; trying to write about the same sounds just wouldn’t translate into words.
Maybe good podcasts require more than one person, too? I think well-crafted conversation between curious people can be a lot more interesting than unedited soliloquy. Although, upon reflection, I think Stephen’s movie review would have been better if I had just shut up and let him roll.
Generally, I think to make a good (interesting, valuable, fulfilling) podcast requires a clear mind, experience at communicating by voice, some storytelling ability, and a healthy amount of editing.
Which is pretty much what making good radio requires.
Time for some more experimenting.