KitPlus 111

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WHO? Who is your audience? The more you think about who should listen, the more likely you are to attract them. Podcasts are programs targeted to micro audiences. The more focused, the better. This is the exact opposite of the broadcast model which targets the largest audience possible. Another goal is to build a sense of community. People love belonging to groups of like-minded people. Give them a reason to belong. In fact, for live streams, be sure to include an interactive chat so that the audience can participate in the show along with you and your guests. No other form of broadcast allows this level of interactivity. KEY POINT: Clearly define your audience and create a sense of community. WHEN? The easiest podcast to do is one that is pre-recorded, uploaded to the Web and downloaded on demand. The technology to support this is well-understood and easy to use, even for beginners. A streaming podcast needs to present information which is sufficiently timely to require people to tune in at a specific time to listen to the program. Sports, award shows, news, live concerts … these are some good examples. Doing a single show is reasonably easy. Doing a regular weekly show is hard. Doing a daily show is really, really hard. Why? Because you are always under deadline. The first show is easy because you’ve been thinking about it for a long time, the subject is one you know and a friend is happy to be a guest. Then, before you know it, the deadline for the next show is rushing down on you. You start scrambling to think about the subject, a guest cancels due to a schedule conflict… you get the picture. KEY POINT: Select the time that is most likely to allow the greatest numbers of your audience to listen in. However, if you promise that a show will air regularly, it is essential to live up to that promise, or your audience will drift away. When you are creating regular shows you need to create a clear workflow of deadlines, responsibilities and deliverables. From the very beginning, you need to develop a “well-oiled machine,” where everything executes on schedule, there’s a minimum of panicked running around and a maximum of people getting on with their work. WHERE? Remember, you aren’t going to be making money at this, so you want the emotional stress of doing a regular show to be as small as possible. HOW? Podcasts are portable, all it takes is a mic and a computer (or mobile device, actually). Why stay home when you can take your show on the road? Audio podcasts can originate from anywhere with virtually no incremental cost. Take advantage of the sounds of being on location. KEY POINT: A podcast does not need to originate from your bedroom. KEY POINT: Deadlines are inexorable. Create a workflow that allows you to meet them. Never underestimate the pressure of a deadline. This is where technology comes in, which is covered elsewhere in this issue. For now, let me highly recommend as the distribution system for your podcast. We’ve been using them for years and find them easy to use, high-quality and cheap. Three of my favorite words. WHEN? SUMMARY If this is a live event, your “when” is already a given. If not, think about your audience. When are they most likely to want to listen. If you are a downloaded show, the “when” is irrelevant. If you are a live show, remember that your audience is potentially global. (For example, my podcast, the Digital Production Buzz, is heard in 195 countries.) Podcasts allow you to share your interests with the world. Streaming podcasts allow you to share in real-time with an audience that is participating along with you. But don’t underestimate the work - the technology is easy, but the deadlines are hard. Because you are potentially global, time zones become an issue. We chose Thursday at 6 PM Los Angeles time for our show because it allowed us to reach the entire US in the early evening. And we purposely avoided weekend nights, when our audience would most likely be out socializing. Use an audio podcast to create a smooth- running workflow, test your ideas and develop for an audience. Then expand into video as your budget, audience and subject matter allows. Because once you have a live show up and operational, with an interested audience and powered by a well-oiled workflow, there’s nothing in the world like doing a live show. KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 111 MARCH 2016 | 39 TV-BAY111MARCH_Book.indb 39 11/03/2016 17:17