#3: Asking Around

I posted this the other day on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in anticipation for a post like this.

Question

Now, don’t be afraid to comment and let me know what your favorite podcast is!

I was really excited to get a lot of feedback on this question, most of it came from Facebook of course as most of my friends are chattier on Facebook than they are on Instagram or Twitter. Other social media platforms that I am going to experiment with to ask this question are Periscope and Snapchat.

Here are some of the answers I got on Facebook:

“I adore The Greatest Problem in the Universe with Maddox and Dick Masterson. Every week, several various problems are presented to the listeners, and after the cast you can vote on what you feel is the greatest or least greatest problem from that week. They’ve talked about everything from SJWs to the “are you still watching” button on Netflix, and it will make you laugh, but also teach you quite a bit.” – Katrina K from Ohio

“Sword and Scale. It’s well written and to the point. Oh, and it’s true crime. It wins.” – Kati M from Louisiana 

“Well I currently am listening to 13 different podcasts. I would say that my favorites are snap judgement and radio lab. Both are like investigative story telling that covers a broad range of the human experience like the son of the zodiac killer to a person with a brain condition whose sense of direction is 90 degrees off. I also like serial and criminal as well. Also, if you are into a real understanding of espionage and the military, spy cast is great because they interview CIA operatives and generals about a wide range of topics.” – Chris D from Kentucky

“Sermons from Passion City Church. I love to run to them!” – Kristin T from Georgia

First off, I was really excited to have not only four different people respond to this question, but four different people all from different states! I kind of got a little too excited about it. Anyways, I do plan on taking their input in seriously and checking out the podcasts mentioned. I have already listened to a few episodes of Sword and Scale and enjoyed the content.

Through a conversation yesterday I found out about another podcast called Magic Lessons hosted by Elizabeth Gilbert (Author of Eat, Pray, Love.) in which she talks to everyday people who want to expand in their creativity. I listened to the first episode and not only did I enjoy it, but it helped me realize some techniques I could use in writing for this blog.

#2: Success

If you are a frequent podcast listener you more than likely are interested because of the content that you are hearing. If I find a podcast that I am genuinly interested in I will typically download as many episodes as I can to listen to throughout the week.

Sometimes credibility with the persons you are listening to also keeps you coming back for more. There is a recipe to successful podcasts according to Forbes.com that you can read here.

  1. Understand why you’re doing it
  2. Start strong
  3. Understand your revenue strategy
  4. Increase frequency
  5. Find unusual guests.

Keep in mind all of what I am about to say is coming from a listener’s point a view, I’m not planning on creating a podcast anytime soon.

Podcast creators that have a clear understanding of the five W’s and how they all correlate together are probably going to be more successful. If they all mesh together and the content reflects that, then the strenght of interest is sure to follow.

Revenue strategy is something I want to do more research on my own and write a future post about. From my basic knowledge I know that some podcasts have affiliate stations in bigger cities, so that is where some of their revenue comes from. But again, I plan on dong more research.

Having a frequent uploading schedule can go either way. This American Life uploads every week, while Criminal and Serial‘s uploading schedule varies. Criminal only uploads two episodes every month however the content and kind of guests that they have on the show keeps me coming back.

Serial took the approach in their second season, because of the kind of information they were gathering, to stagger the episodes to every two weeks. Which worked out in their favor because as new information came in about the case they were able to put out fresh content.

My favorite component of podcasts would have to be the presence of unusual guests that are connected to the story that the podcast is telling. It’s always facinating when you can hear from a woman who has been in jail for more than 30 years for selling drugs, it’s not the actual act of selling drugs that keeps you interested, but the how and why she did it all.

 

#1: Storytelling Beginnings

Let’s jump right into it…

I have been in the podcast game on and off for a couple of years now, but it wasn’t until last year when I stumbled upon a true crime podcast that really demanded my attention.

Serial is a story told week-by-week and is hosted by Sarah Koenig, who kills it in the investigating and narrating department in my opinion. Through Serial I found its parent show: This American Life hosted by the fabulous Ira Glass. This American Life covers a range of topics and is not limited to its Chicago backyard.

Because of both of these podcasts I started to think about the foundation of a podcast and what makes them so likable, and borderline addicting. With so many kinds of podcasts out there I know there has to be something for everyone.

So through this blog I want to analyze the foundations of storytelling and the how and why podcasts have become a popular form of storytelling. I also plan on asking around and doing research on other podcasts that are out there.

My favorite genre of podcast would have to be the true crime podcast. Besides Serial I have also taken a liking to Criminal and  Sword and the Scale. Even though they’re all the same genre they are very different in their presentation.

Serial is a constant investigative podcast, it keeps you coming back for more after each episode. I started listening to this podcast shortly after the first season ended so I ended up listening to the whole thing within a matter of a week. Sarah Koenig and her team find cases in which the guilty person, who believes they are innocent of course, has an incredible set of circumstances that have gotten them to that point. These episodes range from 30 minutes to an hour, so they were ideal for me on a long road trip.

Criminal which is hosted by Phoebe Judge, is typically a much shorter podcast, however is does not disappoint in content. Each episode is different and riveting in the stories that are told. One episode could take place in its home state of North Carolina, and the next could be somewhere on the other side of the country. The variety of the types of cases presented in this podcast is what keeps me coming back for more.

Sword and Scale is a podcast a have only recently discovered so I am still analyzing it, I can tell you however that they rely heavily on the kind of music that they play during their storytelling, as I continue my research on this podcast I will explain in greater detail later on.