Why I started podcasting
For years I've been a big fan of Kevin Smith and his network of podcasts. Earlier this year I started a podcast of my own with my best friend, Niek Lucassen. So far we've recorded eight episodes of Loosch! and had a great time doing it. I'd like to talk about why we do it.
While I truly enjoy listening to podcasts, I mostly listen to them in bed when I go to sleep. I find that when it’s silent my mind starts to race with things like Oh shit, I forgot to do something, or Hey, remember that stupid thing you said last year…?. Listening to a podcast allows me to purely focus on that instead of having a thousand thoughts a minute and clear my mind. My anger about that stupid legacy jQuery bug I had to fix or that 250 MB pile of Photoshop crap gently floats away…
Last year my dad suddenly died. Only when people leave your life do you realize you will never hear them tell their own stories again. My dad had tons of great stories about things he did when he was younger or just daily life stories. Now that he’s gone I find I can hardly remember them. I remember the general story, but not the details. So many stories never to be told again.
Recording our podcast enables us to make sure our stories will still be available in some form, long after we have forgotten them. They are a nice time capsule of special times in our lives: having just become a father, marrying etc. I can’t wait for my kids to feel embarrased while listening to them, as there’s some really goofy, politically incorrect stuff in there. All tongue in cheek ofcourse - but still, not for the faint of heart.
Our podcast has a very open format. It allows us to talk about the weirdest, but also the most personal stuff. Stuff I never talked to anyone about and I’m sure Niek doesn’t either. It’s liberating to talk about personal stuff without having to pay a 100 bucks per hour to a psychiatrist!
Initially we tried to have returning items, like a section about snacks, a section where we’d ask each other a random question, discussing recent news events etc. However, it quickly became clear that having something akin to a script resulted in some awkward silences or abrupt transitions to another topic.
Nowadays we just have some notes in front of us about topics we want to discuss, without having sentences, jokes and transitions written down. Sometimes we can talk for two hours straight and have almost that same amount of quality material in the podcast (if quality is the word you’re willing to use to describe a conversation about knetterkauwgom). At other times two hours of talking will result in hours of editing to get maybe a podcast of 40 minutes in length.
Forgetting about everything
Without wanting to sound like an old fart, podcasting allow me to forget about the struggles in daily life - even if it is just for a few hours. Or at least make fun of them. No responsibilites, no household chores, no kids, no job. When we’re recording the it’s as if time stood still and we’re still teenagers, giggling and laughing about the most bizarre stuff. Good times.
Something to look forward to
Podcasting has become one of my favorite things to do. It’s a shame that we can’t do it more often, both because of simply not having a lot of free time - but also the absence of enough material to do it more than once a month.
During the month we’re constantly on WhatsApp discussing topics we could talk about during the podcast, thinking about stupid jokes to make and watching Twitter for bizarre news facts about the snackindustry.
Start one yourself!
I found that even though our audience is pretty limited (we’ve got about 600 plays on Soundcloud in total right now, with eight episodes available, no idea about our iTunes audience.) and the response is pretty minimal it’s a great thing just to sit down with people you care about and talk. I even enjoy listening to the episodes themselves afterwards, even though it stays weird hearing your own voice!
If you’ve got some time, I highly recommend sitting down and talking with your friends/colleagues/family and put it online. It doesn’t have be to be exciting or ground-breaking, as long as you enjoy making it. It also doesn’t have to cost much - you just need a laptop and some hosting. Our Soundcloud-account cost 9 euros per month. Worth every buck.