Creativity, Quality and Passion

Posted by By at 15 January, at 20 : 40 PM Print

Creativity, Quality and Passion

sm58I’ve listened to a lot of different and unique podcasting techniques. Aside from the “big boys” in the industry with their 200,000+ downloads per episode and those that have been doing this in “real life” before the advent of podcasting, you’re making it all up as you go along. What puts your podcast on par with the CNET’s and Ziff Davis’ of the world?

Creativity, Quality and Passion.

I’ve listened to many folks that would like to write articles for many of my blogs say, “I just don’t have the creativity to do it.” Yet these same people play video games, read books, have hobbies and otherwise use their brain through their daily lives. If you drop one of these individuals in a maze, you know they’ll get out. They’ve got creativity, they’re just lacking motivation to direct their creativity to pull off “the unexpected.”

I’m mostly “right brained” in my method of thinking, which seems to mean I’m: intuitive, random, subjective, and look at the wholes. Sure, I can draw, play instruments and spin stories but that doesn’t mean a “left brained’ person is a complete idiot when it comes to developing their own podcast concepts and ideas. As a matter of fact, they’ve got the grounded logic to really keep things on track. Does that mean they’re not creative?

If you’re into structured thinking, breaking down pieces of problems, objective, analytical and rational you’ve still got the instruments needed to spin up a great podcast. People that believe their not creative are just not focused. Rather than focus on why you can’t create something, focus on what you, yourself, would enjoy listening to in a podcast. What makes you tick? There are a few people in this world and the chances are good someone has the same ideas as you. The difference? They stand by saying “you know what would be a good idea?” while you do it. Too bad for them.

Creativity, Quality and Passion.

What bothers me more than a podcast that lacks any type of structure is a podcast lacking quality. I’m not talking about the quality of personalities or entertainment value of the podcast, I’m talking about quality of the production in terms of audio and visuals. You can create an hour long audio podcast about the history of the bread market and people will listen if your audio quality is soothing and clear.

Best ways to push quality in a podcast is to spend a little money on a good microphone. That might mean spending $50.00 to $150.00 to get the audio quality higher, but, if you’re going to be creating four-hundred episodes over the next few years, what’s $150.00 investment? You’ll probably spend more than that at the movie theater over the next four years… you ever notice how great the audio and visual quality is at the theater? That’s one major factor why people still go to the theater rather than watching at home.

If you’re podcasting with friends in the same room, get a good FireWire Mixing board like the Alesis Multimix. Watch your levels and try to get everyone around the same level, compensating for those with softer voices, females, etc. You can boost your low db levels to sound more “manly” (if you’re in-fact a man) and push a little “deep radio voice” on your listeners. In the end, podcasting is all about the illusion of professionalism, like those with 200,000+ downloaded big boys of podcasting.

Once you’ve laid down the recording, utilize Levelator to turn it into magic. This is a free tool that adjusts everyone’s levels to perfection and gets the lower levels higher and the higher levels lower while dampening some of the background ambiance. This works great if you’ve got a few folks talking over Skype because Skype’s channels are hard to perfect – so let the software do the work for you later.

Bandwidth is getting cheaper, faster and more prevalent, publish your audio podcasts in 96kbps and conserve space by forcing the audio to mono (please no more low kbps podcasts they sound muddy). A microphone is mono, why publish a talk show in stereo? Save space smartly while still giving a rich experience to the listener. You want them to think you’re in the same room with them talking. Nobody wants to listen to a muddy audio podcast which may have been recorded under water with a cork in your mouth.

You can have all the creativity and content in the world but if people want to kill you because it sounds so bad, then you’re doing it wrong.

Creativity, Quality and Passion.

I may be wrong, but I’m going to fight like I’m right. I can apologize later, but nobody is going to believe I know what I’m talking about if I don’t add some passion to the topic. John C. Dvorak is huge example of a man with passion that isn’t always correct. His personality is a turn-off to many but his passion makes you tune in to see what he’ll say next. He’s a man people love to hate but they listen with attentiveness because often his ideas are grounded, well studied and slanted a bit more towards reality.

Much of your audio and video presence revolves around passion. It is part of the grand illusion of entertainment because those with passion are often followed and talked about as great personalities. If you’re planning to produce a podcast, before getting too far, ask yourself if you have the passion to talk about the content in your show for four to five years. If you don’t think you’ll maintain your love for the topic in five years, you’re walking the long walk on a short pier.

Why worry about the future? What if you find yourself on the path of success but lose interest in the subject down the road, do you really want to let your fans down? Or, you will find yourself in a loveless podcast going through the routine just because you’ve got a lot of downloads? That’s a rhetorical question, of course you don’t.

This is the main reason I’ve never considered a World of Warcraft podcast. I just don’t feel I could eat, drink and breath WoW for the long haul so why waste my time along with all the listeners time?

Creativity, Quality and Passion.

The creativity to realize you don’t have to be a master painter to have a solid podcast, the quality to make listeners subscribe and the passion to keep them engaged. If you can pull off those three attributes you’ll have all a great independant podcast with a growing user base while having fun doing it.

Can you really ask for more? That’s a rhetorical question, of course you can: advertisment money. ;-)

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2 Comments

  1. I really needed this article. Very well written! Now if only I could hammer down a good layout.

    Elise, 9 years ago

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