Michelle Sullivan Communications

PAB 2007 – Day 3 Topic 5 – Building a Podcast – the inside and outside of iTunes

I bumped into Charles Hodgson on the Saturday evening of PAB2007. I was heading out to explore Kingston and he was sitting looking a little ‘peaked’ in the lobby. I’d noticed him during the conference over the past couple of days, so took a chance and invited him to dinner. Luckily for me, he accepted my invitation.

Lucky, not only because he was charming company and indulged me in my curiosity about the ghost walking tour of the historic downtown area, but because he shared a long list of tips about getting started as a podcaster.

He was one of the last speakers at PAB2007 last weekend (as opposed to this past weekend, last weekend was almost 2 weeks ago : delay in publication caused by travels and baby distractions). Charles is the author of the soon-to-be-published Carnal Knowledge, an etymological look at body parts.

His presentation at PAB2007 outlined his use of his podcast, Podictionary, as a vehicle to promote his book.

According to Charles, iTunes is king. Out of all the visibility he’s received since launching his podcast — something he did within 18 hours of getting the idea — iTunes has reaped the greatest rewards.

Etymology’s pretty interesting. Something I learned from Charles that weekend :

Thril = hole in old English. Nosthrils = nose holes

Cool hmm?

PAB 2007 – Day 3 Topic 4 – Broken Toasters, William Shatner and Podcast Burnout

Neil Gorman gave one of the more memorable talks of PAB2007, mostly for quoting Julien Smith :

Your podcast is NOT a fucking toaster.

And Smith wants to be sure we never lose sight of that fact. Podcasts are valuable : we invest time and energy in them. And while Gorman agrees that a podcast isn’t a throw-away, he wants to make sure we avoid podcaster burnout.

Gorman sees podcasting as a frontier, similar to the one explored by Shatner’s most famous character, Cpt. Kirk. For Kirk, as for all humans, exploring frontiers is a secret to happiness. Gorman believes that podcasters today have reached a stage of quiet desperation, aching to recapture the early, frontier days of podcasting. Result? Many of them are on the verge of podcaster burnout.

How to avoid this? According to Gorman, burnout is a state of mind. The solution? Shake things up a little :

  • do a new show
  • do new things with a current show, like bring in a guest host
  • change the show’s format

Should you treat your podcast like a toaster? Gorman mainly sides with Smith… until the danger of burnout begins to loom. Then, according to Gorman, it’s time to replace your toaster with a new model.

And here I was waiting for a Microsoft flying toaster metaphor.

Flying toasters, broken toasters. I’m not enough of a geek to realize the difference – just enough of one to mix my metaphors