This week, AwesomeCast is hitting the road to join some fellow casters with the Millvale Podcrawl. This is an event put together by our friends at The River’s Edge in celebration of International Podcast Day.
A live Podcast? Why would you want to attend that? It seems almost counter intuitive at first. We create these Podcasts that we intend to talk to the entire world, but then have these Podcast events in our back yards. But with many of the shows showcased, Ya Jagoff, Drinking Partners, and our host’s run of shows, are fairly localized.
If you have that luck that you have a local fan base, these shows can be a nice chance to build your audience stronger. Remember, if you even have a small handful of people listening to their show, that’s some dedication. Maybe they’re already friends. Maybe they stumbled on you. It means something to be able to connect. Or you can look at it as a way to find a new audience. Even our friend Buzzy Torek from Epicast Network recently talked about holding events with their personalities and comedians that would trick people into attending Podcast recordings live. YaJagoff (pictured with Mayor Bill Peduto) does a great job of getting out there on Light Up Night with a big banner at Fifth Avenue Place and special events with fans and sponsors for their Summer Porch Tour. It’s a little more than just booking a venue and hoping your listeners show up sometimes.
But you also have to be careful. Sometimes a live podcast can be disruptive to your audience. If you are trying to do an episode of your show, it may come off with an entirely different vibe, or may not be the same audio quality. Some shows lean into it and completely change the format. So judge your audience and take your shots lightly. And make sure that audio holds up above all else!
How will we fair? What cone of beer related tech will AwesomeCast discuss as Doug Derda of Should I Drink That joins our panel? Drop in and find out!
A few months ago, we were looking for a light weight solution for remote recording some team members for a certain collegiate competition Podcast. One of the members brought up a program called Zencastr.
For those newer, let’s look at what a “double ender” Podcast is. A lot of Podcasters have a need to use Skype or Google Hangout to connect with cohosts or guests across the country (world?). This is a great solution, but those that have heard some of these shows, or used the voice over internet services know there are some quality issues sometimes. In the double ender, you actual record on both sides of the call locally. You end up with separate tracks with each of the hosts recorded. You then sync that track and have a much cleaner show than if you just recorded on one side. (Disclaimer: I absolutely don’t do this in many of my main shows for configuration reasons)
What Zencastr does is make this simpler. Instead of a higher learning curve and making sure people on both sides of the internet know what they’re doing, and some of the audio drift issues you see from using different kinds of computers, recording software, etc, it is an online site that handles it. As you record, you are able to chat with a simple interface and when finished, each person’s track is uploaded to the service for you to grab and edit later.
This has served not only my clients, but helped save Does This Hold Up as their hosts were suddenly split several state away from each other.
The service IS in beta, and you can get a few hiccups here and there (files don’t show up right away, disappear if you drop calls, etc) but everything has it’s faults and this seems to be a nice place to start your Podcast with as good of quality as each of its hosts can muster.
Recently on an recording of Fishing Without Bait podcast (Episode 56, still upcoming as of this writing) we talked about how many people get in their head that they need to join a gym to improve themselves. They buy the shoes, and the outfit, maybe even some equipment or a yoga ball at home. But the neglect to put in the work and get started.
Sometimes when people start their Podcast, or video content, they go through all of the guides, watch the webinars, buy the equipment. But don’t put in the work and get started.
We’re all good at coming up with ideas. I’ve had a few. But if you don’t execute, it’s just a nice fleeting thought. Sometimes you get started, but let things get in the way. Maybe you do all the setup, and realize you really don’t like running on a treadmill, or trying to figure out a weight machine in public. Or talking to the “public” on a microphone.
You don’t learn if you don’t reach out. Projects have started as a thought and were done the wrong way until we cleaned things up. Clients have known they want some content, but not sure what to do with it until part way int the project. When we started Podcasting, there were no rules to a “good Podcast”. When we delved into 360 video, the rules are still being written and tested as it gains popularity.
But if you don’t get started, you don’t even have a chance to become the inevitable expert.
This week, I had a moment as I mini-ranted on AwesomeCast about Google+ Hangouts OnAir giving us 4 weeks before we pull the plug. So I’ve had some time to calm down and start looking at some other options to help our shows such as the Mid Week War, who has used Hangouts OnAir to connect and record shows about pro wrestling shows to the point where they received the attention of Executive Producers of one of the hottest new shows.
Man. It’s hard to find.
The immediate option, Blab.im, which I talked about extensively on this platform and Podcasts, just died DAYS ago. There are PLENTY of video conferencing options out there, but not many of them record or allow a live broadcast.
In the end, as I got into in my tear on AwesomeCast, we have to be careful with the tool we choose to build our creative house of cards on. Some are creating a Jenga tower for their show and Google Hangouts could be that lone brick that could bring it tumbling down.
We’ve cautioned for years not to just put your stuff on Facebook, Youtube, or some other platform you don’t have ownership over. Bring people to your own whateverpodcast.com in the end. Use those tools, but be ready for them to not be there tomorrow. Can your community sustain it?
Over the years, I’ve seen our communities move from a CGI based self hosted message board to Myspace, to Plurk for a minute to Facebook Groups. And they’ll move on for something after that too.
I have also had plenty of experience with these free promised land services like Google. I’ve seen a Podcast host get wiped out after 6 months of our fledgeling Wrestling Mayhem Show, find concern in our long time (and Pittsburgh local) Talkshoe not making moves and expecting my hobby shows to disappear any day before being bought out. There’s a reason I pay for a Libsyn and SquareSpace host for my clients. It’s also an insurance policy.