“I am down on copycats and trend followers. I like podcasting too much and value my own sanity (and the sanity of other awesome people) too much to think that the world needs us to collectively waste time on other people’s self-indulgent personal brand building. I remember when blogging was the rage and I can see now how many of those people were never serious about the medium–and how much effort went to waste when they eventually quit.
It’s because I love podcasts that I am happy listening. The world needs more listeners. We could probably make do with less talking. So unless we’re going to put in the kind of work that Jordan or some of the greats have done, let’s just be listeners–until we find something we are willing to invest in.
So please, please don’t start a podcast. Do your own thing instead.”
This is an article by some guy I’ve never heard of telling people they shouldn’t start podcasts because they wouldn’t be interesting enough. Some of his points are valid, particularly about copycat podcasts. But I find this sort of dismissive attitude to be elitist and entitled. He thinks most podcasts suck, but his reasons are vague.
When Doug Adams and I started our podcast The Next Track, which looks at how people listen to music today, we had some clear objectives. We wanted to talk about both music and the technology we use to listen to music. We wanted it to be a tight, edited podcast, rather than just two middle-aged guys gabbing, so we limit eac episode to about 30 minutes, with lots of editing so it sounds like a radio show. And we wanted to eventually make some money from it. We’ve had one sponsor buy a block of episodes, and another commit to some in the future, so our approach seems to be working. But above all, we wanted to do something we enjoy, and that we feel stands out. We’re slowly building an audience, and we’ve found that we cover a range of topics that wasn’t being dealt with before.
So, if you want to start a podcast and have an original idea, go for it. Don’t let some grumpy guy tell you otherwise.