Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why PodCasts Suck

  1. Amateurs, Amateurs, Amateurs...
    Let's face it - there is a serious signal-to-noise problem considering how easy it is to make a podcast with any laptop and most cell-phones today. Here are a few clues - if you can't be bothered to write a script and buy a decent microphone - you shouldn't be published on iTunes...
  2. Shiny Happy People
    People who are too damned bubbly are just as annoying on a podcast as they are in creepy commercials. Keep your banter to a minimum and don't let it stray to the innane.
  3. I wasted how much time/memory on this?!
    The best tagline that I know is for a podcast called Writing Excuses : "15 minutes long because you're in a hurry & we're not that smart!"
    Respect your audience's time and they will come back to you. Go light on the fluff and heavy on the substance.
  4. Rerun Central
    Some people feel the need to re-run old episodes in a new time slot. This is stupid because the backlog of old episodes is still on the server and annoying to people who find their play-count off & their storage space wasted.
    The worst offenders are people with embedded ads - often the podcast is recycled seemingly ONLY to update the ads. That is a fast way to lose subscribers.
  5. Snail-like Production Pace
    Not everyone can pump out episodes like a Japanimation Studio - but it you are running a 'beginners course' or somesuch - be sensitive that some people will actually watch from the beginning and might find a 3 month hiatus in filming to be a serious drag.
  6. Off Topic - Off the Road - Off the Subscription List
    Pick your topic carefully and stick to it. JavaPosse for example takes a lot of heat for veering off the Java topic and going on about Apple and the iPhone on occasion. I still listen, but their podcasts are notoriously long.
  7. Hubris
    A lot of podcasters seem to suffer from the assumption that they are suddenly an Authority on a subject. A little humility would suit you better. Think about it, do you really want to speak down to your audience?

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