EMP Episode 1: The Art of Podcasting

I recently recorded a podcast with a friend (Thang is his name) from Toastmasters. The inspiration to record a podcast was partly a curiosity to explore the art form itself (having listened to more than a few over the years). One of the other inspirational parts had to do with previous conversations where Thang observed we went “meta” as he described it. These conversations could be about anything but they typically evolved in a philosophical and comical direction. I enjoy that process.

After months of talking about making a podcast, we recorded our first episode. In it we discussed what the podcast would be about going forward. That topic is yet to be finalized. We also discussed political correctness, science fiction films we have seen and books we have read, freewill, consciousness and the societal effects of COVID-19. Throughout the process, there was the sense that the format and content of the podcast (both this episode and going forward) would reveal itself to us as we engaged in the process. Whether this process would be entertaining to an audience or if there would even be an audience seems to be of secondary importance. However, the possibility of an audience certainly seems to impact the podcast’s evolution.

Podcasting (like most endeavors) is something one learns by doing. I observed during our first episode that when I (and I assume others) engage in a recorded conversation intended for publication the conversation is different than an open ended conversation one would have in their normal course of business. As I mentioned in the last sentence of the previous paragraph, this is true even if the audience is only a possible audience. The conversation is different in that it feels more formal than a private conversation. There is also the sense (however subtle) that the conversation should be entertaining to someone listening to it. interestingly, I also noticed that the conversation lasted for an hour and normally I would not have the patience to talk for an hour with someone else unless the context of the conversation gave permission for that to happen. Perhaps “patience” is the wrong word because that suggests that I am bored with (and therefor above) the interaction. That is sometimes the case, but more often than not when I am conversing with another person I get the sensation that the other person does not want to be talking to me or that I might say something inappropriate. In this situation there is a feeling of agitation that I should exit the conversation before something undesirable occurs. However, within the context of the podcast the conversation had been planned and agreed to beforehand. Moreover, there is an expectation that it will last for an hour. As such, within that context I found myself more free to converse than I otherwise would have been. That is, there is something about the agreed to nature of the podcast format that frees me from feeling like I need to get out of the conversation. I suspect there is more to this point that requires explanation but I will leave it there for now.

I suspect the naysayers in the potential audience (e.g., Admiralbill, Thordaddy, Terry Morris and the other Orthosphere contributors – they are all basically the same voice from my perspective) would react negatively and say that I am not entitled to record and publish a podcast. In a sense they have a point. I am not an authority on the topics we discussed except to the extent I am offering my own opinions. They would say it is an exercise in egotism (of course using their own particular jargon). So why would anyone want to listen to what I have to say? More to the point, why would I expect anyone to listen to what I have to say? But on the other hand, I enjoyed recording the podcast. The fact that an audience is involved is intrinsically associated with the experience. I enjoy being creative and this experience was creative and experimental. All this is really to say that this psychological dynamic certainly transpires in my mind, not so much while recording but before and afterwards. And whether those aforementioned people would actually have those reactions is beside the point. Actually, if they read this paragraph, I suspect they would deny having this reaction and claiming that my actions would never enter their thinking at all or some such. This too is part of the experience.

In summary, I found the experience to be both interesting and rewarding from a creative standpoint. The experience itself is interesting but so is the cascade of psychological affects. All this I found it to be enjoyable which is a form of beauty. And why do anything unless it is good, true or beautiful?



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Filed under Writing / Self-Publishing

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