How do you get skilled at making a podcast? Make a second one.

I’ve been working with the #MacroSW Collaboration on a new podcast, focusing on macro social work. It’s been a goal of mine to launch this project, and I’m excited to see it finally taking shape.

There’s one detail I discovered throughout this process: almost 10 years ago, I dabbled with podcasting. I was learning about HTML coding through a personal blog. My 30 gig Apple iPod went everywhere with me, and content through iTunes included free (!) material. I was downloading whatever looked interesting: news programs, entertainment programs. A lot of stuff was paired down episodes from traditional terrestrial broadcasts, though the most interesting stuff was original material developed specifically for the platform. I was very much into the show “Lost”, and the producers of that show posted a podcast about their work routinely. I was all in on “Lost” so I couldn’t get enough of any details about upcoming episodes.

Once I learned you could create and post your own stuff, I figured I’d see how it all worked. I found the Podbean desktop web-based app, bought a cheap microphone from Radio Shack, and cut a couple of episodes. I was most proud that I’d locked in the name “StephenCast”. After a couple of posts, I got bored, I guess. I didn’t see the need to ramble on about random life experiences. I assumed Podbean would close at some point and that Apple would delete whatever I submitted.

I was wrong. As I loaded the new MacroSW podcast into the Apple Podcast Connect dashboard, I discovered my first foray into podcasting still very much existed. Of course, nobody was listening, but in fairness to the public, this was truly a podcast about nothing, and I’d abandoned it.

Except now I’ve decided to use all that old infrastructure to resurrect the feed. Podbean is still here, with a handy mobile app. I updated the attached image and recorded the first StephenCast in a decade.

Why bother? For me, this is probably the easiest way to see how I can improve the official podcast I’m working on over at MacroSW.com. I hope to learn how to make something sound good using existing, everyday technology. I could see adapting a project like this into a class, for example.

For now, enjoy…or completely skip…this side project.

(WordPress has a handy plug-in, but it requires an upgrade. Maybe someday.)