Podcasting Follies – Lessons Learned the Hard Way

So, for the past several years, Chris (@Yeti_detective ) and I have been working on creating a podcast. We’ve recorded one before, but it has been a long time ago, over a year. We thought we’d give it another shot tonight and things went… well… not well.

Being as we’re the type of people that just jump into things with both feet, we sat down, hit record and started talking to each other. It wasn’t long before we got sidetracked, and since we were completely unprepared, we got off track badly. We did come up with a name for the new podcast, though, “Poorly Prepared Podcast.” We did however, learn a few lessons tonight that we can apply to future podcasts (we will still post the one we did tonight as soon as it is edited).

1) Decide in Advance if You’re going to try and UStream Something

So, about a half hour into podcasting and live tweeting about podcasting, we got a request to do a live stream while we recorded. We decided (and when we get it up on the internet, you’ll hear us deciding randomly) to go ahead and try, so we paused the recording and got to work getting ustream up and running.


We actually spent more time trying that than we did recording, and it probably killed our momentum more than anything else. It was decided that from now on I’d make sure to bring my webcam so we can use it to live stream and we’d record on Chris’s laptop for the actual podcast.

Seems like a solution we should have come up with from the beginning.

2) Don’t Take Breaks to Take Horrible Videos

It isn’t uncommon for me to take pictures of things while I’m doing other things, especially now that I pretty much carry my camera anywhere I go. For some reason, it has also become a Taco Tuesday tradition for me to post embarrassing videos of Chris on twitter. I mean really embarrassing, and not entirely safe for work, so I won’t post them here.

Actually I feel a little dirty being party of their existence at all.

Taking the horrible video though pretty much ended our evening of podcasting. It was, too terrible to continue to expose the world to our strange behavior. We tried, though, by god, we tried.

3)  Record in a sans baby location

I love Gilbert, and I’m really happy for our friends that they have a beautiful baby boy, however, screaming child does not make an excellent soundtrack for a podcast.

4) Follow your list of Topics

We made a list of topics to talk about. We didn’t stick to it and our conversations kept jumping back and forth. That’s something we’re going to have to work on.

5) Poorly Planned Podcast is Hard Work

Blogging comes naturally to me. Really, I’ve kept a journal for years, so it seems like a pretty natural transition from one to the other. Podcasting seemed like it would come naturally to me because I started talking 28 years ago and never really stopped. It is very different though, and something I’m going to have to get used to.

6) Avoid Twitter

Seriously, you guys are crazy.

7) Theme Music is easy to find if your not picky, but we’re picky

There is a ton of Creative Commons Music out there, and even more public domain music. We decided we’d like to ask our twitter friends to pick some music for us. We’ve gotten a few good suggestions. We just need to do some finagling to get it all worked out.

8) This Might Be A Bad Idea

But, clearly, I make bad decisions.

9 thoughts on “Podcasting Follies – Lessons Learned the Hard Way

  1. Brit17222 says:

    lol sry baby john kept screaming, next time ill try to have him asleep in his crib for you 🙂

  2. A rundown really helps keep you in line — it’s more than just a list of topics. It has the times you allot to each segment of the podcast. Did you decide just how long your podcast is? Think of it as a a news show. You hit on the main topics – sort of an overview to begin with and then go on to your next topic, discuss for whatever length you choose and then move on. It takes practice but a rundown is a MUST. It will help immensely.

    1. Just an example. You can find others on the internet like this. It’s very similar to the news rundowns I did when I produced tv news – although this is specifically for podcast. The idea is the same. 

      – Show intro monologue (who you are, what you’re going to talk about): 30-60 seconds
      – Intro music (repeat each show so listeners identify the jingle with your show): 30-60 seconds
      – Topic 1: 3 minutes
      – Topic 2: 3 minutes
      – Interlude (music or break): 30 seconds
      – Topic 3: 3 minutes
      – Topic 4: 3 minutes
      – Closing remarks (thank audience, thank guests, talk about the next show): 2 minutes
      – Closing music (suggest same as Intro music jingle): 2 minutes

      1. Podcastcoach says:

        Great point. Also don’t forget that NEW people join your podcast all the time. Some sort of explanation up front is helpful. Mine is “This is where we talk all things podcasting.” I use music to alert my audience that the segment is almost over (so if they don’t like that segment they can fast forward until they hear music). You can find cheap theme music at http://www.schoolofpodcasting.com/freemusic 

    2. You know what’s scary, is we actually got together last week and PLANNED all of that out and then just ignored it because we like to torture ourselves. Well, maybe not as well formatted, but we did at least try.

      Maybe we need to look at being more proactive in these things.

      1. Podcastcoach says:

        Good for you. BE REAL. Also realize that no matter how hard you work on your first podcast. When you finish your 10th episode,  your first episode will make you hurl.

  3. Podcastcoach says:

    Here are some things to consider. 
    1. Why are you going to podcast? If you can’t answer this, put down the microphone. Podcasting takes some work. If you can’t explain the why, you’ll never make it through how. 
    2. How will you know if the podcast is a success? 
    3. How will you get content? (if you’re planning on getting input from your audience, again its time to hang it up. That works five years after you start, but not five minutes into the podcast.
    4. Forget live streaming. CONTENT is king. The more bells and whistles you add, the harder it gets, and the more you want to say F*ck this! Add it later once you’ve got the basics down. Keep the training wheels on. I know the immediate feedback is great, but get the recording down first. 
    5. Lastly, welcome to podcasting. Nothing makes it thunder, or your neighbor mow their lawn, or in your case a baby cry like pressing RECORD. 

    Let me know if I ca n help you.

    Dave Jackson

  4. Geekin'Hard says:

    Hey, you gotta start somewhere!  Looking forward to hearing the results.

  5. Brandee says:

    I was just looking forward to hearing it, figuring it would crack me up. Tracy went all professional on you and gave you good advice. I think the crapped out version would be funny!

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