On the subject of Podcasts
What is a podcast?
You may have heard of podcasts before, but it might be one of those things that you have heard of, but haven’t figured out what they REALLY are. If you’ve visited our website you might have noticed a section called ‘Podcast’ which hosts episodes of what we’re calling ‘Bodhiroom & Friends’. But first and foremost – What is a podcast?. The simplest definition is that it’s Netflix for your ears…the textbook definition is more precise but a bit harder to envision i.e. ‘on-demand radio’. As in most things in life, the best way to understand a podcast is to dive right in and listen to a few episodes. But we have to warn you that for most people, podcasts are definitely an acquired taste.
Why we love podcasts
Podcasts are rather difficult to get into…but we love them. There are two simple reasons: firstly we’ve found podcasts to be a much more intimate medium than say television; secondly unlike watching a video which often just needs you to switch off your brain and let yourself drift into it, appreciating the content of a podcast requires you to make a mental effort to concentrate on what’s being said…in today’s world that just feels like a simpler, more meaningful way of living.
Bodhiroom & Friends
Through our podcast “Bodhiroom & Friends” our aim is to tie in this unique medium with what Bodhiroom is doing on a regular basis. For Bodhiroom events, we meet new people who have some interesting skill or experience to share, and then work with them to structure an event in which they can share their learning with other curious minds. So, for ‘Bodhiroom & Friends’ we want to rope in these instructors (and potential instructors!), sit them down and have very genuine, honest conversation about their backgrounds, likes and dislikes, thought process, what makes them tick, and, of course, their skills which they’ll be sharing in our events.
How to set up your pod
A few people who attended our event “Experiment with Podcast” were curious as to how one goes about setting up the podcast. Well firstly, you need to have a concept in mind – if you’re a famous person, you can get away with just a 1 hour monologue about your thoughts – Bill Burr, the American comedian, does exactly this in his podcast. Most podcasts though, have at least 2 people speaking and, usually, there are 3. We chose the 3 person format because it makes the episode truly sound like a conversation between friends rather than an interview or a lecture. Moreover, with a 3 person episode there is always someone who can chime in thereby patching over those awkward silent moments when a particular strand of conversation ends.
The equipment isn’t that complicated
The next big thing to tackle when setting up a pod is the equipment. It might seem daunting if you read online articles explaining all the different things you need but essentially you need 3 things: microphones, recording devices (such as smartphones) and a computer (for editing the audio). As a first-time podcaster, simple lavalier (aka lapel) mics should suffice for your needs. These mics are readily available and are fairly cheap. However, because they’re cheap they can be quite simplistic and you’ll have to spend a bit more time editing than you would if you use an expensive studio mic. For the second item, most Android smartphones work as decent recording devices; newer iPhones lack audio-jacks which rules them out. Once you’ve recorded your audio, you’ll need to edit the tracks using software. The simplest, freest and in our opinion best software is called Audacity. It takes a couple of hours to figure out how to use Audacity but after that you can speed up your editing skills pretty rapidly.
Finding a good place to host your podcast is challenging
The most difficult part about putting up our own podcast was actually figuring out where to host it. While there is a way to upload and share your podcast using your Google Drive account, we feel that for first-timers it’s more convenient to use specialized podcast hosting services. What you have to keep in mind with these services is that they charge to provide anything more than just the most basic storage and filing option.
The feels when you feature on iTunes!
Once you finally get the podcast up and about you have to get the major podcast providers like iTunes and Spotify to stream your content…this should be a pretty simple procedure (and a one-time effort). Our greatest joy was when the first episode appeared on Spotify and Itunes!