by Noah Lugeons
It’s not a decision I came to lightly, but it was one that seemed inevitable from the start.
I was careful when starting this podcast to avoid biting off more than I could chew. When we made our first false start years ago, we were trying to produce an hour long, weekly show and I quickly became overwhelmed with all the work that went into it. So much so, in fact, that we never got the show off the ground.
Granted, there was a lot more wrong the first time around than just shooting for a high level of content. We also lacked the right equipment, didn’t know how to process sound and had no clue how to produce a podcast.
So when we chose to reboot it, I spent a few months learning the technical stuff before we got going. I also opted to do so with a “dipping-a-toe-in-the-water” approach, starting with a 30 minute, biweekly show. The last thing I wanted to do was to produce a few subpar episodes and throw in the towel like we did before. I didn’t really know how hard it would be to fit it in around the rest of my life and I didn’t want to risk promising more than I could deliver.
But truth be told, it was always our intention to eventually make it a weekly show. I told my wife when we started that I’d give it five episodes and, depending on the response, we’d move it up to once a week. I arbitrarily picked the number 1000 and said that if we had 1000 downloads after 5 episodes I’d double our schedule.
I’m not really sure where that number came from. I had no idea what to expect, I had no idea what was typical and I had no idea what was possible, but I figured if we had 200 people willing to listen after 5 episodes, it was worth my while to keep putting a significant portion of my time into it.
Turns out that I massively low-balled the guesstimate. We had 1000 downloads after 2 episodes and by the time episode 6 was ready to drop we were well over 12,000. What’s more, the feedback we were getting was almost universally positive and the predominant theme in the feedback was “more please”.
The request came in a number of ways. Many people feel obligated to dance around the subject a bit when they’re asking somebody who gives them something for free to give them more, but others are far more direct. Contrast commenter EDT who says, “I’d take more episodes if more were there for the taking” with PyrOphelia’s more forceful approach, “damnit, get off your lazy ass and give me more!”
For the record, when you’re telling someone that you so enjoy their creative endeavor that you wish they’d do twice as much, you don’t have to pussy-foot around it. I’m flattered and I’m sure I speak for most podcasters when I say that.
Obviously, doubling our workload is an intimidating prospect. There are plenty of podcasters out there producing a lot more than 30 minutes a week so it’s clearly not unobtainable, but it will require a lot more effort and a little more sacrifice. My fear, of course, is that the quality of the show could suffer if we find ourselves overtaxed.
We’ve committed to doing the next ten episodes on a weekly schedule, but we do reserve the right to return to a biweekly schedule if we feel that the show is suffering. I’d much rather give you 30 great minutes once every two weeks than give you a pretty good 30 minutes every week.
That being said, up to this point we’ve been constantly bumping segments and shoring up diatribes just to make room for what we have. I have a skit we wrote for episode 3 that I’m hoping to squeeze into the end of episode 7. Heath and I recorded a bit for episode 4 that’s still sitting on my hard drive waiting for a spare 4 minutes in an upcoming episode. I’ve got interviews lined up for episodes in June and July. Every week we have to shave three of four good minutes off the program to make the 30 minute limit.
In other words, we’re already producing more content than we’re using without even trying to. Something tells me we’ll get used to this weekly schedule pretty quickly.