Podcaster’s Hill

Doc Searls had some very nice things to say about my podcast. Thanks Doc, I really appreciate it.

As I mentioned on my most recent podcast and as Doc mentioned in his post, it’s sort of hard to get a podcast started. With blogs, you can tell via comments and links and whatnot roughly how many people are reading and responding to what you write.

With podcasting, it’s a little harder to tell. Yes, you get subscriber numbers (I forgot they made numbers that low), but a lot of people, myself included, listen to podcasts via their computer, without subscribing. Heck, I don’t even own an iPod. Plus, podcasts are not yet the interactive creations that blogs are, so there’s less of a chance for people to give you feedback.

Doc is a member of my favorite podcast, the Gillmor Gang, and has some podcast related content on one of his web sites. I listen to the Gillmor Gang regularly and have wondered aloud why no one has done a Texas or other regional version of the group tech podcast. As an aside, if anyone who knows how to do a group podcast is interested in talking about doing one, drop me a line.

Anyway, I have been doing my RanchoCast podcasts since early December of last year. The mix is country rock, Americana, tech talk and blues. Over the past few episodes (and primarily on the last one), I have started talking a bit more about topics I have written about here. Surprisingly (at least to me), a few people have written me to say they enjoyed that part of the episode. Richard Querin tells me I explained my position on the whole Gatekeeper business better verbally than I did in writing.

All of this got me thinking a little about my podcast strategy.

Here’s my current plan, but I welcome suggestions. I’m figuring this out as we go, so don’t hesitate to tell me what I should or shouldn’t be doing.

First, I am going to make tech talk a regular part of the mix. My ideal split would be about 60/40 music to tech talk. I’d love to have guests, but I think it would be presumptive to think anyone would want to guest on my podcast. But if you write or think about tech and would like to guest, drop me a line. I would be happy to have any of the Web 2.0 developers on to talk about their product (just be ready to answer my first question: other than ads, what are your revenue streams?). So guests or not, I’m going to make tech talk a slightly bigger part of the mix.

Second, I am going to excerpt the non-music stuff and make it available separately- like I did with part of the tech talk last time. I don’t know if this is necessary, but I don’t want to lose listeners who only want to hear the tech talk- particularly if I have guests. If it looks like I should tweak the split or even split the podcast in two (I’d probably just alternate weekly between talking and doing music), I’ll consider that as well.

Third, I am going to do what I can to join up (either as a guest or in a group thing) with some other podcasters. I don’t know what opportunities are out there, but I am going to look around for them. I really like the give and take of the Gillmor Gang and would love to be a part of something similar to that. Of course, that’s sort of like saying I want to do something similar to David Letterman. So I’ll keep my expectations in check.

The more experience I get listening to and creating podcasts, the more I enjoy them.

So that’s my current plan. Please let me know if I’ve got it all wrong, or if you have any thoughts or suggestions.