I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the last few days while I couldn’t really do any writing. (It was just too hard to sit in front of the computer and suffer through the minimal eye strain pain. By the way, the surgery on my eye went very well. Next Wednesday, I get the other eye done.)
I have a lot on my mind about podcasting and where I want to go and what I want to accomplish with it. The big question is, “How serious are you about podcasting and where do you want to go with it?”
I still firmly believe there are ways to “test the waters”, so to speak, without spending a lot of money and I do think you should practice and experiment before you make a major invesment in equipment. However, there is point we reach when we have to decide where we want to invest our time and money for the best return. Of course, you understand that I’m not talking about investing in Real Estate or the stock market don’t you? I am talking about the investment of yourself and your most precious commodity — time.
I know I have spent quite a bit of time in the recent past trying to suggest ways to get started in podcasting with little or no investment of money, but there comes a time when we all have to make hard decisions. Some of those decisions can only be made by you. You are the final judge when it comes to your ideas for podcasting and the way you want to present yourself, or your podcast. How you want your final product to turn out will ultimately determine how much of a monetary investment you’ll need to make.
Please don’t be offended by what I say next, but, seek out good input for your podcasting ideas. Don’t just go to your friends, especially those that don’t want to hurt your feelings, but seek out some who will tell you honestly what they think and that will offer some constructive criticism. (Don’t deceive yourself about your podcasting ideas or talents like some singers trying to get on ‘American Idol’ do, but remember that a little reality check is not a bad thing. That’s why I ask you right now, “Just how serious are you and can you accept constructive criticism, both positive and negative. That doesn’t mean you won’t, or can’t, do what you want, but it does mean that you may have to work at the craft of communication a little more than you thought.)
Does that bother you? If so, you will have to evaluate whether it will hold you back or make you more determined than ever to go forward.
Personally, I am growing a little weary of all the things I want to go and listen to sounding like a radio program. You see, I like listening to people talk about things I am interested in, or things that catch my interest, but I don’t always want to be listening to a radio show.
Probably one of the things I dislike most is the really loud or distracting interruptions that totally kill my interest. Some call them commercials and I don’t really have anything against them in general, but I do have a real problem with major differences in volume and feel when it comes to listening to a program.
Please understand, I am just as critical of some of the productions that are turned out by people I know and work with at times. I just simply don’t agree with the “grab their attention by blowing them out of their seats” mentallity that permeates much of the broadcast industry these days.
After all is said and done, that is why people appreciate their mute buttons, DVR’s and Tivos. The commercials are so loud or distracting that they simply don’t want to be forced to listen to them anymore. Perhaps, (and this is just my opinion), the people that make commercials could work a little harder at getting their point across without being so obnoxiously overbearing. (Yes, I know this is a touchy subject, but with the monetization of podcasting at the present time, and in the near and distant future, it is something that should concern all of us and we should consider what the effects will be on our podcasts.)
For myself, I am looking at ways to present audio books, possibly have interviews and also just generally discuss things that interest people. I do struggle with presenting all of the above with a ‘radio show feel’ and I would like to try some different ways or types, but, as always, figuring what is best to do is the challenge.
Some things read like a book and I think should be presented like a book. Other things are simply conversations and should have minimal, if any, interruptions. This means we may have to foot the bill on our own presentations because no commercial spots really fit the format. This brings us to interesting propositions that I heard about from one of my favorite educational and informational people, Leo Laporte. He asks for donations and also charges a minimal fee to have access to some of his stuff. I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about that now, but it is something I want to discuss later.
The important thing at this point is to consider how we can best present our ideas and only spend what we need to spend on the equipment and software needed to do so.
So, here are three things we need to think about to turn out the best possible product we can:
- Consider just how serious we are.
- Consider what it will take to best present our subject.
- Spend what is necessay to “Get Started Right”.
If you take the time right now to plan and figure a little, it could make a great big difference in how much it takes to get started with your podcasting ideas and turn out a great product you can be proud of.
‘Get started right’ and the rest may not be easy, but it will be worthwhile.
See ya next time . . .