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Rookie Podcaster with questions about methods

Kaji Fireson

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As I said in my intro thread, I'm a broadcasting newbie. The only real tools I have is a microphone that is freakishly high quality and sensitivity for how cheap it was, Audacity for recording, and when I do podcasts, I put them on Podomatic to publish/broadcast them. I've got a few questions.


First, for those that use sites like Podomatic to broadcast, is there a 'best' site to use for this?


Second, is it even worth it to do this, or is it better to try to get into streaming internet radio or shoutcasting?


Third, since I have no way to make money doing this, it is only a hobby for me, and I have trouble motivating myself to record episodes. How do you keep yourselves motivated to do more episodes?


Fourth, are there any tidbits of wisdom you have to give a rookie that hasn't learned the ropes yet?


All the help will be GREATLY appreciated. :)

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I want to hear more about the "freakishly high quality and sensitivity for how cheap it was" microphone for starters (Plus whatever preamp or interface you're running through).


On Motivation:

One of the first things I learned in Scripting For Electronic Media class was that "script" is another word for "plan".


Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to offer them? Why did you take up this field of interest in the first place?


In this realm, we must all learn to be self-starters.

There is no one out there trying to stop you (one would hope). The only thing in your way is you.

You have some aspect of yourself that needs to create, all humans do, but you will need to take a few risks.

If you want to take the easy route and chalk it all up to a lack of motivation, be my guest. However, we are not all here doing this kind of stuff because it is easy. In fact, getting motivated is tough for everybody. With practice it may become more familiar, more comfortable.

The only thing that's easy is giving up, slacking off, tuning out, etc. Nothing creative in that.


So ask yourself at the start of each day, what are YOU getting out of all this? Do you have a plan?

Sometimes you just need to kick your own ass.




How was that?


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How that was was very helpful. I'll try to go back down in order.


My mic, which came from a headset that MIGHT have cost me $20, has been known to pick up sounds that are at a distance when they are not terribly loud at all, and broadcasts noises that I attempt to muffle or subdue (i.e. heavy breathing) with startling clarity. I know this not because of any podcast feedback (as, for the only three shows I've done, I've done it in a completely silent room with only one person, and he's had his breath and wits about him), but because I talk to people a lot on Skype, and they are blunt enough to tell me these things. I can't tell you what brand it was, as it was too long ago when I bought it, but I can tell you that what I do is record using Audacity, sometimes using it to insert songs between segments, and export the whole thing to MP3 to upload on Podomatic.


As for motivation, for my first three shows, I was trying to get away from scripting and more towards improvisation. I suppose my failure to produce after the third show is yet another thing to prove your SFEM correct. I also have an idea about how to get myself motivated as well. Before, the only way people knew about it is if I told them about it, so the only people telling me that I suck for not doing it is people I know, so I brush them off. I think that putting my podcast into the iTunes directory will more than likely make me more likely to be motivated, since that creates a much larger group of people that will see me and my potential failure. That, along with an outline or script, will probably be my plan.


Thanks for the response. I am greatly appreciative.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey Kaji,

Let me tell you the story about my show. Maybe it will be an inspiration to you to keep going.


I started my show almost out of thin air off a dream I had for a long time before. I got it all together with a couple friends of mine. Got a streaming server, which actually does cost a good deal of money when you add it up.


We were broadcasting to about 8 people a week on average. Sometimes there were 3, sometimes there were up to 10. However out of these people most of them were friends.. And now that's a decent amount of people, yes, but it's not necessarily enough to keep you going on the motivation side.


I got a myspace page up and put a couple of our noted funny moments on there and within a couple weeks got contacted by the network that I currently broadcast on Cringe Humor Radio. I was delighted to know that someone was interested in the show. My co-host at the time didn't think we should broadcast on a network because we "hadn't found our voice yet" .. well, I thought that was a crock of S, and I said, no, we're doing this.


Our unofficial debut with Cringe was at 178 people listening that week. We were an inexperienced, very loose and all over the place radio show at that point, yes, BUT we had just broadcasted to 178 people, up 10,000 percent from our 10 we had broadcast to the week before. Our official debut brought us up to the 300 mark.


Now, after many host changes we've finally solidified the lineup, and have been solid for a while. I'm not going to say that my show deserves FM airtime, because I don't think our type of show is suited for FM. We use a lot of colorful language, find humor in things that a lot of people would not. Basically put, we're off color. BUT, we're also broadcasting to around 6,000 people a week, thanks to Torian Wireless, upsnap, iTunes radio, and our stream.


2 years ago, we were broadcasting to 8 people, and now we're broadcasting to 6,000 ...


I've been doing the show for 2 years. 2 years of equipment breakdowns in the middle of a show, on the fly tech fixes, awkward moments, and jokes bombing. Our board has been noisy, and the left channels been out for almost a month now. We keep going.. that's just how we are..


and that's how you have to be too. No matter what, if you're that into it, you need to keep getting your material out there. There are plenty of avenues for your podcast to get listeners.. list your podcast on every podcast site there is to list it on, set yourself up a myspace and/or a website. promote the hell out of it. you can also find networks that will play your podcast. syndicate it! If you look at all the possibilities, that's what's going to keep you motivated to give up all your free time to working on your show.. like I do :biggrinthumb:

Am I successful? To a degree, yes. While I don't make any money from the show, I'm satisfied that I have this. I can't tell you how many people I've talked to are impressed that one of their friends (or at least someone they know) has an internet radio show. We like to joke around about being "Quasi-Celebrities" haha


And Carl has a great point of outlining. I never really figured this out until I started working on an FM morning show. Haing an outline of what I want to do has brought the quality of the show up tremendously.


Show prep.. copy links, and news stories. Get audio from videos. Then with everything you just prepped, make an outline of your show's schedule. We do 4 segments in 3 hours. We break on the 45 minutes. So, I'll have something along these lines in my prep sheet:


Segment One [7:00-7:45]

-insert something here

-insert something here

-insert something here

Segment Two [7:45-8:15]

-insert something here

-insert something here


...and so on. Things will change around, being the live nature of the show, and I'm sure that you may want to get into something earlier in the podast that was scheduled later. That's the beauty of the outline is that nothing's set in stone.


We also have a whiteboard on the wall to keep topics of converstion that we want to get to on.. it helps (moreso the other guys in the room) keep track of what we have going on to talk about.


If you need anything else, please don't hesitate to hit me up!


Hope some of this helped!



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