the creative thinking behind podcasts
The Creative Thinking Behind Podcasts

Podcasts have come a long way since 2004.  There are still podcasts that are made by just pushing record and uploading with little editing.  There are more that take full advantage of editing with full production and research that will blow your mind.

Podcasts have replaced the repeating shuffle of local radio for me for years now.  Podcasts soon broke up the slightest moment of silence for any daily task.  It’s so much more than just white noise to pass the time.  The creative thinking behind podcasts is inspiring.  That creative thinking has come a long way from the ones I listened to while mowing the yard 16 years ago on my first iPod.

Out On The Wire by Jessica Abel provides an amazing look at that creative thinking behind today’s top podcasts.  If you share the same love for podcasts I highly recommend the book.  I also recommend if you are a creative who shares the same passion for creating something with purpose and meaning you want to share with your audience.  Not to mention the book is a graphic narrative that is truly inspiring with every page turn.  Consider the effort and detail for each page.  Amazing!

out on the wire

Time Investment

The amount of time and thought that goes into recording and capturing the audio deserves appreciation alone.  There’s nothing worse than a noisy scene or clip that you have to crank at max volume to follow the story.  They record it all because in the end if you don’t have it, you can’t use it.

What do you do with hours and hours of recorded interviews and tape?  Transcribe it.  Audio files turned into hundreds of pages filled with the stories recorded in audio form.  That’s just a portion of the time.  Now you have to take those pages and cut it down to one or two pages.

One of the most time-consuming parts of the process is scrubbing every second of audio that makes the cut.  The ah’s, the um’s, the 30 seconds of recorded room tone and the all-important natural breathing pauses.

Commitment Beyond Story

What’s the story?  Not what’s the topic, what’s the story?  The successful people behind the podcasts Jessica interviewed for her book all had their own way of finding more than a story.  They were committed beyond the story.  What made the story interesting, what made the story relatable or inspiring?  Digging deeper to find the source of what makes the story worth telling.

What I’ve Learned

There’s a reason I love the podcasts I subscribe to and listen to daily.  The investment of time and creativity coupled with the commitment to go beyond the story can be heard in every second of the show.  Everything is done with purpose.  Everything is done thoroughly, no cutting corners to save time.  The art of storytelling in each show is so unique.  Whether you’re producing a podcast, writing a book or making your idea come to life invest the time and commit fully.

I also learned to look behind the curtain and not be mesmerized by what I hear or see.  The great and powerful Oz is nothing without the guy behind the curtain pulling the strings and making Oz come to life.  Who’s pushing the buttons, transcribing the audio files, cutting the tape or asking the tough questions about what makes a story interesting?  Look closer at the shows you like to watch.  Rewatch one of your favorite movies.  Read an article to get more from the author who wrote the book that inspires you to write.  Find the little things that make you love them so much.

Pay attention to the man behind the curtain and learn what it takes to create something great.

time to record pic: neil godding