There are a number of us in Ontario who dabble in a couple of online worlds – blogging and podcasting. Most people blog in their own space and voicEd radio is the premiere place in Ontario to host your podcasts.
So, it was with great interest that I read this article from Time Why Podcasts Are Taking Over The World & Changing How We Tell Stories. And, of course, it got me thinking.
Years ago, I published a monthly technology news letter for my old school district and I created a podcast of the headline story for each month. When that went away, I stuck just to blogging and my signature posts would be the Friday’s This Week in Ontario Edublogs. Over a year ago, Stephen Hurley reached out to me and asked if I would do a podcast version of it. I thought about it for quite a while because I really didn’t want to do it. I put a lot of thought and time into the blog posts and it just seemed contrived to sit back and read my blog post into an audio file so that he could broadcast it.
Then, we came up with a different concept and that was to do a live radio show where I’d select a subset of the posts that would appear on Friday and do it live on Wednesdays. The show would be conversational in nature between the two of us. It would also be recorded and made available for download later as a podcast from here. This seemed interesting and unique so we gave it a shot and 70+ weeks later, there is a nice collection of shows. Every now and again, I’ll listen to some of the early recordings and they weren’t very good on my part. Stephen has a great voice for radio and he really carried me. But, I like to think I got better.
I’m starting to enjoy working in both worlds; Stephen and I have actually recorded our show on the road and also in some odd vacation places. But, back to the premise of the story – are podcasts taking over the world? I don’t know.
- Our recording is live so there’s only one take. It requires a great deal of homework to prepare
- It’s quick. We do our timeslot on Wednesdays and that’s it – good, bad, or indifferent. There’s no time to proofread
- It’s conversational. Sometimes we even stay on topic but that’s not a requirement
- I always have and still do hate the sound of my voice. I’m way too nasal
- It’s live. (See above) If you listen to the show, there will be times when we stump each other with questions or comments and there are those awkward pauses
- Mannerisms – I’m really bad for that but I like to, ummm, think I’m getting better
- Whether recording a radio show live and then republishing it is actually a podcast I suppose is still up for debate
- It doesn’t have to be done in one session. Since I schedule my posts for 5am on Friday mornings, I have in theory an entire week to find great blog posts to read, think about and then write the post. Admittedly, that is very time consuming
- It’s easy to do research as I write. I just open another tab and get to work. I’m never stumped (unless DuckDuckGo is)
- The blogging media allows for links to external resources and images, screen grabs, etc. to help document a point. You can’t do that effectively in a podcast
- I never make mistakes. <ahem> Or at least mistakes that persist since I can always go back in and fix the odd typo. The ability to proofread reinforces all those years I spent in English class
- It’s generally just me so I do have to work hard to address both sides of an issue rather than playing good cop / bad cop with Stephen
- It can be time consuming – particularly if I’m searching for that perfect post – I’ll have the editor open all day unlike the 1 hour and done approach of our podcasting
- It’s not dog walking portable. With a podcast, I can download the audio file and listen to it while counting mailboxes
In my mind, there is no clear answer. I see all the above points and there are probably more. One of the things about both worlds is that they open connections to new communities and I’m learning from each of the communities. Who could ask for anything more? It’s a hoot when someone approaches you at an event to introduce themselves as a consumer of my work.
At this point, I can’t see dropping one for the other. I think they complement each other nicely.
If I could only do something about my voice.