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Blog Posts

'Podcasting is the New Radio'

James VanOsdol

As the value of podcasting continues to become more obvious, I moderated a panel on the topic ("Podcasting is the New Radio") at this year's CIMMfest (Chicago International Music & Movies Festival).

"Podcasting is the New Radio" certainly isn't an original name or thought, but it is one that continues to increase in meaning. My panelists were current and former terrestrial radio talents: Jimmy "Mac" McInerney (Rebel Force Radio), Abe Kanan (Abe Kanan: On Hold) and Jaime Black (Dynasty Podcasts).

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Radiodays Europe 2016: Thoughts and Observations

James VanOsdol

I had the great fortune to be part of James Cridland's panel, "Mobile Apps: Hearing from the Listener," at the Radiodays Europe convention earlier this month. To summarize the panel's focus, listeners are becoming more used to the ideas of customization and personalization. The challenge for radio, as Cridland put it, is how it can catch up. For my part, I talked about retaining audience and the value of metrics to learn about what makes for effective content. The panel was a quick 50 minutes in the middle of a stacked three-day agenda. Here's some of what I learned, heard and saw while walking the floor and bouncing from room to room.

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Don't force the 'funny'

James VanOsdol

One of podcasting's unspoken rules flies in the face of what you were told in grade school: Don't try so hard.

We've all heard broadcasters and podcasters who work really hard at being funny but fall flat in the process. The goal is to not be one of those people. Your most memorable, funniest moments will be unplanned and natural; your most groanworthy moments will come when you try to force a joke or snarky comment. The lesson? Don't force it.

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The history of podcasting (GUEST BLOG)

Dan Kearns

In 2004, the word “Podcast” appeared for the first time in history. Think about that for a second – the word “Podcast” isn’t even a teenager yet. The official definition is, “Podcasts offer in-depth reporting that is often informative and inspiring.” In 2001, Steve Jobs announced the original iPod. By 2004, a genre of narrative audio that took the iPod's coined name “podcasting” became a thriving mini-industry. Overnight it seemed, there were podcasts being launched about politics, sports, literature, comedy, and much more. According to USA Today, Apple has already surpassed 1 billion subscriptions for podcasts via iTunes.

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Tips to make your podcast successful: An interview with Orbit Media's Andy Crestodina

James VanOsdol

What steps can you take to elevate your podcast? To help answer that question, we turn to Andy Crestodina, co-founder of Orbit Media in Chicago. Andy's a web strategist, author and marketer whose insights are must-reads for anyone in the digital space.

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Monetizing Your Podcast: Assigning a Value to the Show

James VanOsdol

I’ve struggled for a while with how to monetize my podcast. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that (most) podcast creators aren’t used to hustling their creations for money. I know it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the notion of starting to sell your podcast. Who to pursue? How much to charge? What could it sound like?

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Get yourself (and your show) organized!

James VanOsdol

With the majority of 2016 spread out in front of you, it's a great time to refocus and get yourself organized. I keep my shows organized using a Google Sheet. I prefer using Google Drive/cloud-based tools because that means I can access my info from anywhere. While my organization method is far from the only (or best) way to go about keeping a show on track, I wanted to share my thought process.

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Your 3 Pillars to creating Engaging, Quality Content for Social Media (GUEST BLOG)

Ira Haberman

A growing trend amongst people lately is to label themselves quite easily and freely as a social media expert. The truth is, nobody is the ultimate guru and expert as the landscape is in constant flux. It is hard to imagine that anyone can be some kind of swami. With technology that grows old within a short time and with platforms that are only relevant for a few years, I think there are some general lessons around audience, content quality/quantity and making effective use of social media that can really help you identify the basics. With that said, if you are savvy enough, you can accomplish amazing things and master the craft of social media.

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How To Keep A Podcast Going (GUEST BLOG)

Jaime Black

When it comes to podcasting, keeping a podcast going can come with a unique set of challenges. There’s the matter of finding a topic or topics to cover, or booking regular or rotating guests to interview. Then there’s actually finding the time to record, to edit, to format for iTunes or other platforms, and to promote on social media, only to turn right around and do it all over again a week later. There’s also the task of generating audience interest in your podcast among an ever-­increasing number of other options vying for your online audience’s attention.

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How to Aircheck Your Podcast (GUEST BLOG)

Seth Resler

In radio, there is a tried and true practice to help on-air talent up their game: Airchecking.

Airchecking is an exercise where radio DJs can get constructive feedback on their performance. Typically, on-air personalities sit down with their Program Directors and listen to a recording of a recent show together. The PD will offer insights into what the on-air personality is doing well and what they can do to improve.

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Get personal

James VanOsdol

The easiest way to make a connection with your listeners is to simply be you. You experience the same things your audience does, and talking about those everyday things will make you instantly more relatable. Traffic congestion, rude people, making ends meet: How can you incorporate your life experiences into your show? Sharing your experiences doesn't mean you have to get personal-personal. You don't need to forego privacy or sell out your friends and family in order to make a connection. Sometimes, a little peek behind the curtain is all it takes.

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When it's time to make changes to your podcast

James VanOsdol

I started a podcast in May 2014 called Car Con Carne: The World's Only Barbecue Podcast Recorded in a Car. The show's title served as the elevator pitch: It's a podcast recorded in my car outside barbecue restaurants. Yes, it's ridiculous, but I believe podcasts should have a distinct position.

The podcast started as a joint venture with my friend Mike. We'd worked together at a couple of now-defunct Chicago radio stations (Q101, WZZN), and have been friends ever since. The unofficial distribution of show responsibilities had me handling guest booking, show prep, and social and web updates. Mike took care of all the audio concerns: Editing, production and gear. It was an arrangement that worked beautifully; I can edit audio well enough, but I'm certainly not fast. He does that sort of stuff in his sleep. (Not really. That would be weird.)

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'The Onion' gets it right: Don't be this podcaster.

James VanOsdol

The headline says it all: Podcaster Makes Solemn Promise To Improve Sound Quality Next Episode

Don't apologize for things listeners likely don't care about or realize. Little things that may bug you, like equipment issues to a misfiring audio clip, simply don't register with them. If you draw attention to accidents and flaws, your audience will zero in on them. Move on and do a great show with the hand you've been dealt.

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