Learning to Podcast From the Best
by Noah Lugeons
My first podcasting love was “The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe”. My wife bought me the iPod for Christmas and I got bored listening to music with it after about three days. I figured I might as well learn something on my commute so I tried to put a college curriculum in there. I downloaded one history podcast, one philosophy podcast, a psychology one, a podcast about literature, a podcast about film technique and, of course, one on general science.
The last one is the only one of that original batch that I still listen to and it’s the show that I credit with changing podcasting from a way to kill time on a commute to my primary form of entertainment (and eventually my primary hobby). I’ve said before that I’ve been an atheist as long as I can remember, but I haven’t always been a skeptic and I largely credit that program with cementing a transformation that made me both a skeptic and a passionate lover of science. In my mid-thirties no less.
So when I heard that Dr. Steven Novella was going to be teaming up with George Hrab (also a podcaster of some repute) to conduct a podcasting workshop in NYC this year, I couldn’t get to a computer fast enough. To be honest, I think I’d have paid $25 just to eavesdrop on these two guys having conversation over lunch, so the workshop seemed like a steal.
Well, I went yesterday afternoon and I can say that it did not disappoint. The two presenters boast more than 700 episodes combined and have more combined years podcasting than there are total years in the history of podcasting. They’ve seen the entire medium change several times over and have managed to stay consistently relevant throughout, even when the world of podcasting started drawing the multi-billion dollar entertainment conglomerates.
My only complaint was that the workshop wasn’t long enough. I’m sure that I could have teased 35 hours of good advice out of those guys so an hour and forty-five minutes seemed like a tease. To be fair, I should note that it was only scheduled to go an hour and fifteen, so we did get some bonus-workshop.
Upon reflection, I really wish that I’d attended this thing about 7 episodes ago, as they covered a lot of the things I’ve already learned the hard way. But they also helped to alert me to some issues that I’ve got coming down the road and a few mistakes I just haven’t made yet.
I was also delighted to see that Dr. Novella and I use the same type of mixer. I’m not sure why I’m so tickled by that, but I am.
Anyway, not much to share here, but I wanted to make sure everyone knows that even when I’m on vacation, I’m still hard at work finding ways to make the show better.