Do you podcast? Either listen to and/or create. I think podcasts are great. I’m an internet nerd, and like most internet nerds I know you don’t talk about interneting in the real world, even in this day and age of social media, but I thought podcasts had gone mainstream by now. I was wrong. Not a single person I’ve mentioned podcasts to knows about them, and most even scoff at the idea that they would spend time listening to people talk on the internet. Oh well, their loss.
I’m a huge audiobook fan so podcasts seem like a normal extension to me. It’s like radio, but you are in control. You choose the topic and the people to listen to. If you enjoy any personality that has any presence online, chances are that they have been on a podcast or two. Podcasts aren’t really interviews – they are more like conversations between professionals and friends – and you get to listen in. It’s intimate. Especially not-really-famous artists and alternative media and lifestyle people thrive on podcasts so if you want to hear from a different societal point of view podcasts and YouTube are your best bets.
Joe Rogan Podcast is the gateway drug of many into the world of podcasting. His three hours conversations with people from all arenas of entertainment are interesting and funny, and you really feel like you get to know people well. You can listen on the go and it’s like having hundreds of friends in your pocket. It’s pretty neat. He releases several of these each week so you never run out of material.
I thought after the runaway success of Serial that podcasting was definitely going mainstream. Not so, it still firmly lives on the internet in the corners of Reddit and on Twitter, but it unleashed a flurry of true crime interest and spawned dozens of copycat styled podcasts. For this, I am glad. It led me into the world of fictional podcasts.
Let’s take a closer look at the medium of podcast. After the written word, it is one of the oldest forms of recorded entertainment. Just think of Orson Welles and his The War of the Worlds broadcast in 1938 that launched America into a panic that a real life alien invasion was happening. With the advent of TV and VHS tapes, radio kind of lost its luster. It was boring to have stories with no pictures. But only people in the industry could tell those stories on screen. It wasn’t until the internet it was possible for ordinary creators to broadcast their own stories to millions of people at little cost. And low budget style was fine, for a while. Now audiences are much more sophisticated and they demand high quality. And making high quality videos is still very expensive. Books are hard to write and even harder to advertise to find a decent amount of readers. So maybe it’s only natural that the radio came back in style, or better yet, was reinvented into the podcast.
Perks. Podcasts don’t require reading. A huge part of the population don’t like to read, and even those who do don’t have time for it. Podcasts are usually free of charge to the listeners, like radio. Podcasts can be made in a fairly short time on a small budget, unlike films. They can be consumed anywhere, directly from your phone, which is always in your pocket anyway. They make commuting and exercising more fun. In short, they are the perfect medium for today.
It takes a few tries to find stories you truly click with but when you do, oh boy, prepare to become a little obsessed. I’ll release a post about my favorites soon, and the wonders of having your imagination stirred so completely. In the mean time, do you listening to podcasts? Do you care to share the name of a particular favorite of yours?