Looking Back on Creating a Podcast

Leading up to this project, I really had never been a part of a podcast. For the capstone I was drawn to it as this class is perfect for trying new things, so I thought why not a podcast? I had listened to many before, mostly centered around sports, and this medium seemed more informal and genuine to me than writing an essay or creating a video series. However, there were so many things that I did not know and had to learn.

First, I learned that brainstorming and planning is even more important for a podcast than in an essay. In an essay, the headings you brainstorm can almost automatically be filled with material. I have written out topic sentences for each paragraph to lay out a piece and then fill in the body of each thought and offer transitions, and the job is basically complete. However, with a podcast it is completely different. I outlined a list of questions to ask each respondent and planned to follow that script. However, each person offered their own unique narrative as for how they follow sport and how it has effected their own life. I realized quickly that it was incredibly more important to follow the conversation rather than my set of questions. This made my preparation even greater as I tried to prepare for any and every way the conversation could go.

Second, aside from contacting each respondent, planning a time to meet, and conducting the interviews there was so much more this creation process. It took me some time to tinker with and learn about the technology to most successfully record the podcast. It is so much more than pressing play and talking. I wanted my podcast to offer musical transitions and provide smooth alleyways between each interview. This objective had me spending a boatload of time on youtube trying to learn and mimic the ways that others have done this.

Overall, making a podcast was a lot of fun and taught me so many things that I never thought i would know. This was all possible through the minor of writing. While the process seemed laborious at times, it was definitely worthwhile.

3 thoughts to “Looking Back on Creating a Podcast”

  1. Louis,

    A lot of my resources for my project are podcasts so I’ve been listening to A LOT of them. I’ve noticed how they usually are in the form of an interview, have a set introduction, a theme song, transitions, all the traditional markers of a podcast that you wanted to touch on too. Though in theory podcasts seem simple – press record and talk – as you said there’s so much more than that. It seems like you got a pretty good idea of that and it’s interesting for me to read what the process was like for you.

    I’m wondering if this process made you more of a fan or less of a fan of podcasts as a genre of entertainment? I ask because last summer I went to a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live in Los Angeles and got to see all the behind-the-scenes work from lighting to audience engagement to transitions etc. It definitely changed my perception of talk shows both in seeing how much work it is daily to put it on but also in the sense of how the interviews seem pretty planned out and less casual than I had thought.

    Either way, definitely seems like you got a lot out of your capstone project! Good luck finishing up!

    1. Thanks so much for the insightful comment and question! I would say that this process has made me become aware of everything that goes into preparing for a discussion, whether on tv, radio, or even a podcast. I have so much more respect for those in this role.

      I’m glad you brought up a comedian, Jimmy Kimmel. Your experience attending a recording of his show further opens my eyes about everything going on behind the scenes. Comedians have the same pressures other podcasters/talk show hosts have, in addition to making sure they are funny. Definitely a lot of pressure, but Jimmy Kimmel is so good at his job that he makes it seem like he really enjoys what he does.

      Thanks again for the thought provoking questions!

      Louis

  2. Louis,

    Having listened to a good chunk of your podcast earlier this semester, I can tell you firsthand that you did a hell of a job. The work that goes into creating a podcast is something that listeners might take for granted, but it’s an undertaking that definitely requires more effort than most people realize. In the context of any other conversation / interview, the participants either have no impetus to relentlessly sustain the discussion or have a template for doing so (e.g. a rehearsed list of questions). In a podcast interview, it is entirely up to the interviewer (through preparation and the ability to think on the fly) to sustain compelling conversation.

    You proved through your podcast that you both did your prep. and have a knack for keeping the conversation going. You kept track of your project’s purpose and were able to push your interviewees on their responses to your key questions. The ability to do so is really the difference between creating a podcast with a purpose vs. just recording yourself shooting the shit with a friend.

    I’m sure this podcast was a daunting task but it was definitely one that you proved to be up to.

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