Podcasters – What, How & Why?

podcast1The podcasting medium is now as popular and visible as ever; in-part thanks to big-name podcasters such as Kevin Smith, Adam Carolla, Marc Maron & Leo Laporte. However the majority of podcasts are started in obscurity by people with no previous media/radio experience. So why do people do it?

We talked to a group of podcasters from around the world and asked them what their show is, how they created it and why they do it.

In poker they say all you need is a chip & a chair to play. Well I learned in podcasting all you need is a laptop & a mic…”
Doctor Squee’ (Gallifrey Stands)

“I’ve always believed that podcasting needs the content to attract a listener and then loads of personality, truth and storytelling to keep them listening.”
Jason (7 Days A Geek)

“I love podcasting. I love everything about it. It is such a great medium. It takes work and dedication to build an audience but anyone with passion and motivation can create a successful podcast” –
Scott Holden (ThatmanOnFatman)

Pizza Beer Revolution

Whata two part weekly series consisting of an A side on Mondays followed by the B Side on Thursdays. Monday’s show starts with the guys ordering a pizza then embarking on a discussion revolving around a timely topic that also ties in the B side guest and his/her industry.  Once the pizza & the guest arrive, the A side concludes.  The B Side focuses on the guest, spotlighting them and the revolution of their industry.  We believe all industries are going through some form of transformation brought on my technology, social media, pop culture, etc.  Our show is aimed at spotlighting that transformation … or “revolution” if you will.  

PBR_LogoHow…We were working on writing a TV Treatment focusing on education in the year 2050 – what it will look like.  I said to the guys, “ Why don’t you guys come over, grab a six pack, I’ll order a pizza… and we can talk about the revolution.”  We ended up recording the conversation, and Pizza Beer Revolution was born.  Keeping true to our original TV Treatment, at the end of the B Side we ask all our guests the same question in a segment we call, “The Armchair Futurist.”  What will your industry look like in the year 2050?

Why…We are still doing the show because we love doing it.  We get to meet and talk to some extremely talented & interesting people that we would normally not be talking to, discussing with our guests their passions, backgrounds and most importantly their future.  The revolution of various industries is always an interesting and fun topic to discuss.  Moving to the future of Pizza Beer Revolution, we look back to our beginning. A podcast born from brainstorming a TV treatment is now a successful podcast turning into the basis of a TV pilot.   

We Are Not Here To Please You

Whata light hearted show where we cover a variety of things with a tongue-in-cheek attitude. We mostly talk about general nerdery such as video games, tv, and films, but also advancements as in science, weird events from around the world or oddities in the animal kingdom. We also interview interesting entertainers whenever we can – actors, musicians, stand-up comedians and more have all been featured on our show.

How...In the wee hours of a music festival, Rafael suggested to his friend Arttu that they podcast cover_newshould try doing a podcast. With beer in hand it sounded like a great idea, but unlike so many late night ideas, this actually came to fruition later. It did come apparent rather quickly, though, that we didn’t really know what we were doing. There’s more to it than just hitting “record” and saying stuff. Learning by doing has been our motto all the way through and still, after a year and more than 60 episodes, it’s a learning experience every single time. Trying on and learning new things is a definite part of the excitement, though.

Why…Rafael came up with the idea of starting a podcast after becoming a fan of Kevin Smith’s and Adam Carolla’s podcast shows. On many occasions Kevin Smith said that the audience should just go and try podcasting themselves, and that’s basically that got WANHTPY started. The reasons to keep doing it are multiple. The show has made us into greater friends than either could ever have imagined. The interaction, dedication and feedback from our audience is amazing. Interviewing people we like or admire in their specific field is beyond interesting. And we have made a lot of new friends, audience and other podcasters alike, through the show. What it all boils down to is that we just enjoy the hell out of the whole experience.

 ThatMan On Fatman

 What…a weekly (audio format – mp3) podcast, a kin to a radio talk show. It is hosted by the “ThatMan” himself, Scott Holden (Co-Host of Bone Crushing Juggernaut) and Produced & Cohosted by Jeanne Holden. Each week Scott & Jeanne talk with fans, friends, and contributors alike about the various happenings in and around the extended world of Writer/Director/Actor/Podcaster/Personal Savior – Kevin Smith – We like to think of it as our audible SManzine!

tmofmwkev_med_hrHow… I was at a low point. I was laid off, couldn’t get work, financial ruin. Totally depressed. Then I read Kevin Smith’s book Tough Shit and it motivated me. I started a podcast with my friend Joe Greshko called Bone Crushing Juggernaut  with Joe Greshko and it was a blast. But I was still very into Kevin & SModcast, and would talk about it until it just annoyed Joe. The solution came in a flash! I’ll start another show called ThatMan on Fatman, that will be Kev-centric! I ran the idea past a few close friends and we dropped out first show on Feb. 18, 2014. The show really got a big boost when my wife agreed to help out producing the show and booking guests. The show has had many achievements in its first year, but having Kevin Smith on as a guest 11 months (to the day) later, was incredibly special!”

Why… We still do the show? We love it. Being such Kev fans it is very easy to talk with passion about the subject.

7 Days A Geek

What… a weekly Comedy/PopCulture podcast. We are 4 to 5 friends from different walks of life, who geek out about a variety of different topics.  Be it Movies, Comics, Television, Writing, Cars, Science, and Tech. Most of the show is geared toward Current Geek News tumblr_ngjhqyZ5051qlijhwo1_1280and Pop Culture events. These things are discussed through a sometimes A.D.D. perspective, so you never know what kind of vocal tangent or side story will pop up. We are 50/50 Content and Personality. I’ve always believed that podcasting needs the content to attract a listener and then loads of personality, truth and storytelling to keep them listening. We’ve shared a lot about ourselves….through the years…some have said “Too Much”! But luckily with our skewed view on shared interests between us, the hosts, and the listeners, we’ve been able to build a fun and exciting podcast!

How…Like a lot of podcasters these days, I got started by listening to SModcast. I was a long time reader of “My Boring-Ass Life”, Kevin Smith’s blog. He once wrote about doing the podcast, so I hopped on iTunes, it so happened to be the day he launched the second episode and just got sucked in.  I’ve always been a fan of talk radio and storytelling. As a kid, I had a microphone and a duel tape deck receiver/radio…so I would tape the cord of the microphone to the ceiling so it would hang down between my friends and I, and we’d record ourselves pretending to run a “Pirate Radio Station”.

Smodcast was just the beginning…I quickly got sucked into the world of podcasting. At first it was just listening, I was captivated by people of all walks of life, who would sit-down and share their interests and stories. It was free and available whenever I wanted. I just loved it. So I approached a friend of mine and still current co-host, Grant  (a.k.a. The Kilted One) to start a podcast of our own. Of course his response was “What the hell is a podcast” to which I briefly explained to him. …and now we’ve been podcasting for over 6 years.Grant and I originally started a very short lived podcast called “Podcast:The Motion Picture”, cool title right? The problem was, we didn’t have any equipment. Just a lousy $20.00 desk top microphone….! It just wasn’t working. Nor did we know how to get any listeners. So we put that podcast on hold. By then we had brought in another two co-workers who were curious enough about what we were doing, that we ended up creating a new podcast. This is when “The Last Podcaster Standing” was born. This is the podcast I first really bit down on…cut my teeth, so to speak. We learned promotion, got comfortable on mic and really built a large following. [that show] lasted for about 2 years…it had its share of “Behind the Scenes” turmoil.

Why…It’s a riot! Podcasting is like starting a band.  Though…more likely for people who can’t sing and/or play instruments (though those people do that too..Talent Hogs!)  I mean, where else can you get a group of friends, people who are interested in the same things you are, and record your thoughts, opinions and sometimes funny jokes…and build an audience off of that? And if you’re doing it right, it’s a very vocal audience. There really is nothing like it.

-Please do check out  Jason’s other shows including Podcasting 101 and the brand new Better Call Saul Companion Podcast.

Matt & Andrew Vs Society

What…Two guys, one week, zero rules”. My co-host and I have been friends for more than ten years going all the way back to freshman year of high school and we have lived together throughout college and even into our careers. The show is the two of us breaking down our daily lives while trying to add comedy and insight whenever possible. We also have a segment dedicated to discuss recent movies/television and sometimes we break into a little improvisation. The show is never edited and we spare no feelings.

brwcHow… Origins of the show can be traced all the way back to 2008 when we first found out podcasts existed. For the next six years we only talked about wanting to do a show until early 2014. Thanks to a nice income tax return I was able to purchase the necessary equipment and Matt & Andrew Vs. Society was born! The most difficult part was learning the recording software and creating the website for the show. Now we are smooth sailing with 59 episodes under our belt as of today.

Why…Starting comedy writing and improvisation classes at The Second City in Chicago is what finally pushed us to start the show. Having this podcast as a creative outlet has been such a bright spot in each of our weeks. We are still doing it because we love it! Both of us look forward to doing it each and every week.

Gallifrey Stands

What…It’s all about Doctor Who, it’s fans and its stars. Each week I (Doctor Squee) & my co-host (my Dog Dottie Who) interview either a fan or Doctor Who or sometimes even someone who has been in or helped make the show.

HowWhen I started the show I just set up a microphone on my own (aside from a certain K9 co-host) and just started talking. The first 3 shows consisted of an episode guide to the first series of the rebooted Doctor Who. It was fun, if not a bit daunting to just talk Who on my own, but it felt like something was missing. So after a few more solo flights I reached out in thimage1e new Twitter account I had made for the show and got a writer i had been chatting to (Stewart Bint) to agree to come on the show and talk. I don’t regret the earlier shows but wish I had started interviewing earlier as it bought the show to life. I had been worried about the equipment I was using not being good enough. In poker they say all you need is a chip & a chair to play. Well I learned in podcasting all you need is a laptop & a mic… Even if they aren’t the best quality, they will get you through till you can afford to upgrade.

Why…I started the podcast when I was going through a tough spot in life & feeling like the fun was missing. I had started a Twitter account to try to meet some people who are fans of my favourite podcast, Tell’em Steve-Dave. It’s an American podcast & I didn’t know anyone else who listened. Through that Twitter I met so many people who loved the same thing I did. That got me thinking, I’ve loved Doctor Who all my life, but I don’t talk about it with that many people. Maybe I could start something about that. So I started Gallifrey Stands. I’ve never looked back.

Matt & Corey Talk Too Much

What…Our show was started when I realized I rarely got to see my best friend for many years anymore. If I did, they were always quick visits. The podcast was a way to give us the opportunity and good excuse to hang out for at least an hour a week. For the first 10 episodes, Corey & I sat around my smartphone and made conversation while my wife hung out in the background which always felt weird so we decided she should just be part of it as well, which forces quality time for us as well which is great.

IMG_0112How…The way we began the show is pretty much the same as we run it now. We sit around the smartphone and just use that. Its recorded and uploaded right away, sometimes even live. The downside is that our audio suffers a bit which probably hurts us a little, but also has a cool DIY punk spirit that I’ve always loved. We also don’t have the ability to edit the shows, but I think that sometimes works for the better because it shows moments we probably would have otherwise cut out such as disagreements, statements that may not make us look like the greatest people in the world which just shows us being more human, thus relatable.

Why…In the year we’ve done this, there’s been a lot of difficulties and things to overcome, but in all its worth it because we have that time with each other and we get to share it with people and make them feel as if they’re in the room with us. We hear all the time that they feel like they’re the fourth friend in there with us and that makes it all worth it! One moment that comes to mind is when it finally came out the I have a disability and at the time my health was failing and I was housebound. The podcast was a way for me to feel connected to a world I was shut off to. Given the tools to edit it out, I probably would have, but again, we put our whole selves out there and it helps people with things maybe they wouldn’t otherwise talk about personally.

My Favourite Things

What…an interview based podcast where I talk to people involved in my favourite things and learn about their life and their favourite things. To make it the same for everyone I break down the favourite things category into movies, tv and music. 

indentifier.jpgHow…simply being a fan of podcasting listening to likes of Marc Maron, Nerdist and Kevin Smith and picking up many more on the way.  So one day I had the idea to do a podcast where I review superhero movies and so I did one episode of a podcast called ‘superhero movie review’..but I later realised this wasn’t going to last and I went off the idea so I decided to come up with a new format and that is what i’ve been using since and really enjoying it. I have had a few problems with the show but this hasn’t stopped me from doing the show, just given me some set backs but doesn’t deter me! The first problem i’ve had is technology, my laptop isn’t great and I don’t have the money for a recorder and decent mics yet, secondly is time, working full time and seeing my children on my days off makes it hard to find time to do the show, but i’ve decided i’m going to set a evening aside every week. These problems are very basic and things I will overcome its all part of the learning curve. But watch this space and a bigger better show will be coming 🙂

Why…i’ve always wanted to have a creative hobby and quite frankly i’m not very talented! I cant draw to save my life, i’ve tried writing before but I just couldn’t find the right words needed and then I discovered a love for podcasting. There were two things that made me start. One was Kevin Smith inspiring me to start and another was Kefin Mahon from the Attitude Era Podcast, just hearing a random guy off the streets who had an idea for a podcast and just..did it! Inspired me to take the leap and…do it!.
I’m still doing it because quite frankly I know I can do it and I have a desire to make this a success and im full of determination to make it a success. I enjoy podcasting, I enjoy talking to people, I enjoy hearing peoples story so why wouldn’t I do the things in life I enjoy aye?

LP Lexicon Podcast

What...a podcast where the two hosts provide commentary for whatever album has been chosen for that week, from our extensive record collection. All albums are eligible kexiconfor commentary (double LPs, soundtracks, world music, etc.), although we hope that we intrigue, and inspire people to search out the albums (we commentate on classic stuff and obscure, too).

How…We have a short turnaround on the pod. We record it, I drop the intros in, and it’s available to download within the hour. I also supplement the pod with info/pictures on our blog.

Why…We love recording the podcast. We also view it as a way of helping my wife improve her English.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and listening to some of the great shows we have featured.  This will hopefully be the first of many podcasting articles; if you have a show, get in touch and tell us about it.

Ben Gummery
Editor – IndieMacUser Blog

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