Getting back to podcasting

You should be very aware that I love a great weekly newsletter. One of my recent favourite newsletters to receive is Paul Jarvis’ Sunday Dispatches where Paul imparts a very useful piece of nerdy knowledge each week.

The content is around 95% educational and allows you to learn a lot about the web and how to further yourself through emails, podcasts, social etc — I would normally consider myself to be fairly well versed in everything web however there is always at least a small piece of information that I can take from each week.

The other 5% is still educational but it’s more of a mini pitch to buy into one of Paul’s paid for courses… and while I haven’t ever made a paying jump I’ve seen some of the give away lessons and I’m just waiting for the right course to buy. For all the great stuff you get from these dispatches I’d still be happy if he pitched more.

But I digress.

This week the email was all about podcasting. Paul explains how he go into podcasting and how it only takes him 30 minutes to prepare, record, edit and publish his weekly podcast. In my own experience with the Responsive Design Podcast it takes far more time to get everything done.

Podcast Timings

My timings for the RWD Podcast work more like this:

  • At least 30 minutes to wrap my head around notes and research as to what I’m going to speak about (longer if I have guests)
  • 30-60 minutes to record the podcast (longer if I have guests)
  • 25 minutes wrangling with Garageband to import the recordings, add the intro track and export to disk
  • 30 minutes to upload the podcast to Simplecast, the site (which pushes it to iTunes)
  • 10 minutes and $70 — 100 to transcribe the podcast
  • 25 minutes to upload the transcript and add pull quotes

So all in all I was looking at between 2.5 and 3 hours each week to produce the podcast.

I don’t think this is actually an unreasonable amount of time to dedicate towards podcasting though, after all if you’re writing an article that is going to take 20 minutes or an hour to read you’re going to spend more than 3 hours producing and editing the article.

On the flip side no one is going to read an hours worth of article — but lots of people will be willing to listen to you for that same time.

Podcast Costs

I was initially very lucky to have a sponsor for the podcast at an above the industry standard (Paul suggests that industry standard is $15-25 per thousand listens) however once I started paying for the podcast transcriptions and the hosting I was only breaking even.

This put me in the position that I was doing a whole bunch of work for no monetary reward, but then of course there are more things to life then doing it for the money. As long as I was breaking even it was still an enjoyable way to help spread the word about what was happening in the world or responsive web design.

The costs outlined include

So that’s pretty cheap really as long as you keep your podcasts to a reasonable length, but it can be expensive when you’re weekly podcast averaged 80 minues. The Simple Cast cost also includes hosting of a website for your podcast which is amazing at that price. I was originally with LibSyn however I much prefer Simple Casts UI and capabilities.

Of course you don’t need transcriptions but I have a good friend who’s second language is English and he said that transcriptions in the past helped him be more confident with the English language and also made it easier to understand strange accents (like Australians).

So if it’s cheap and easy-ish, why did you stop?

Good question.

When I started it was something that I could tack on to the end of my newsletter work on Thursday nights. That work rate took its toll over a time and it wasn’t something I could practically keep up on a weekly basis, or at least over a long period of time.

Once it moved from a weekly thing to a some-what-bi-weekly-thing I was no longer being consistent and it then became something that was easy to “skip to next week”. One week turns to two months and here we are.

The plan? Well it’s time to change it up. Rather than provide interviews with leading thinkers in responsive design it’ll be time to talk about all things web and focus on one or two key things each week to expand upon.

I’ve been reporting on more topics outside the realms of responsive design in the weekly newsletters so now it only makes sense that it also extends to the RWD Podcast as well, after all Responsive Web Design these days is just Web Design.

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