Open questions on podcasting

In part 2, I would like to ask Ed what are the good dos and donts of Podcasts.  Ed likes to watch, promote and produce different types of audio and video media on the web and in person, hes off to do some new and exciting challenges very soon which is mentioned on his site.

When listening myself to some Podcasts, sometimes there is a tendency for general waffling, you know you want to listen to an expert on the subject of something and the person speaking spends a while talking about what he had for dinner and other irrelevant items, but in the days of the internet most people want to get an answer quickly from something like doing a search on google or wikipedia, where as podcasting people are less likely to be in a hurry for an answer to a question, I think its important to be right on subject, but in a friendly and chatty sort of way.

So, for Ed, what makes a good podcast, what good and bad methods have you seen of any kind published audio, and can you maybe put in brief glimpses of what will talked about next time to keep the public interested and come again for more?  Adverts and sponsors, can they be a good thing if brief and relevant to the subject?

of course, comments from anyone are appreciated, but remember I am more interested in personal ideas rather that go to xyz link.

One comment on “Open questions on podcasting

  1. Thanks for the questions. Yes, I’m off to pastures new, which you can all find out about at

    >When listening myself to some Podcasts, sometimes there
    >is a tendency for general waffling,

    Yes, that does happen from time to time. I think the general idea is that as the content is played on a device you can pause, rewind and fast forward easily, it shouldn’t be too hard to either a) listen to all the podcast over a longer amount of time, or b) skip this bits you find irrelevant.

    >What makes a good podcast

    Hosts who know what they are talking about know how to present their subject well.

    Good audio quality (it doesn’t have to be pro quality as long as the content is good enough, but if the content isn’t there, or the audio is too poor, I’ll consider skipping on to the next show).

    I think that is just about it, actually. There are other bonuses that help lead to a better podcast experience, such as having a community built around the podcast, but as long as the topic is interesting or amusing, most other things can be overseen.

    For example, the Geeks and God podcast has great content, and a fantastic community built around it. However, a show such as The Silver Bullet Security Podcast doesn’t have much listener interaction (at least on the show), but has great content, so the community aspects aren’t that important.

    >what good and bad methods have you seen of any kind published audio

    Good: having good audio quality.
    Bad: sounding as if you haven’t even tested your audio.
    Having loud podcast is better than a quiet one: if it is too loud, I can turn it down, but if it is too quiet, I can’t turn my MP3 player up any more than it’s maximum volume. If I’m listening on a train (which I often do), many podcasts just become un-hearable.

    >Adverts and sponsors, can they be a good thing if brief and relevant to the subject?

    In the early days of podcasting, I don’t think many podcasts wanted advertisers, and I don’t think many advertisers wanted to advertise on them anyway. However, these days there is a reasonable amount of money to be made in the right circumstances. There are a few people who are now able to live off their podcast, and some who are making wine money (slightly more than beer money). I really don’t mind the adverts on podcasts as long as they don’t appear like TV/radio adverts. I think Leo Laporte on has hit on a great formulae for his adverts – especially the ones, where they become part of the show.

    With what I’m going off to do, I don’t think I’ll be able to listen to as many podcasts any more, which is a shame, but I’ll be happily busy with other things. To see an opml list of the shows I listen to at the moment, go to Please upload yours to if you would like to.

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