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What Not to Do When Recording Your Podcast - Reasons for Unsubscribing

Boy Shouting into a Microphone
Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

I listen to a range of podcasts on a daily basis, mostly business related, as well as a number of 'geek' news, interviews, and movie entertainment shows. Many of these podcasts, particularly the geek themed shows, are just a group of friends, getting together to talk about a common love of all things geek.

Unfortunately the 'geek' podcasts can be some of the worst offenders for 'what not to do when recording your podcast'.

Admittedly, this post is just my personal pet peeves when trying to connect with a new podcast, ultimately it's your show, do what you want, but hopefully the following list will at least warrant your consideration.


1. Overly Long Pre-Show Banter Between the Hosts

If you have more than one host there's no need to spend 15 to 20 minutes recording your pre-show, 'what's everyone been up to?' banter (I don't care if it is your 300th show Absolute Geek Podcast). 

A couple of sentences each is fine but a long explanation about your new life with a baby, how cute the other hosts think said baby is because it's a C-section baby, how old your other kids are, whether you want to have more kids, how glad you are to have had a vasectomy, what the procedure was like, who your favorite is in the upcoming football season (and I don't know after that, this pre-show banter was the final straw for me after listening to several episodes where you continuously took too long to get to the topic of the show).

There were five hosts (I think) on this episode of the Absolute Geek Podcast. I kept skipping 30 seconds ahead and they were still going 30-40 minutes in. 

I listen to podcasts because they're a 'hands free' experience. Most podcast apps don't have time codes to skip ahead to specific points  (as far as I know) so I either have to suffer through this garbage or stop what I'm doing to skip to the part of the show that the show title said it was about.

If you have a particularly unusual, funny, interesting, everyday life story, I'm there for it but I couldn't care less about whether your baby sleeps through the night or what they're wearing in the live video feed.

2. Play to Just Your Video Stream

Speaking of live video feeds, your YouTube and Facebook audiences are not your main audience. Most of us are not watching the video version of your show... you know why? We're doing other things while we listen. 

On YouTube alone I'm subscribed to over 70 channels (and I'm making a concerted effort to keep that number down). Do you honestly think I have the time to watch an hour plus podcast show on YouTube where it's a commitment just to watch a 20 minute video? 

And, do you think, if I'm going to put in the time to watch an hour plus video, two people talking into microphones makes for interesting, long form content?

I'm not saying don't livestream your show to YouTube or wherever, just remember a big percentage of your audience doesn't have the visuals. At least make some effort to describe what people are seeing when something visual (that has no audio cues) comes up.

3. Smoke Weed During the Show 

You know how it's considered poor form to eat while podcasting because the microphone picks up all your chewing noises etc. What's equally annoying is smoking weed while podcasting, same reason (calling you out Kevin Smith - on nearly all your podcasts these days). We can hear all your weed smoking sounds, especially when you go into a coughing fit.

I'm not against weed or people who smoke weed. Have at it all you want, but if your show is nothing to do with weed other than the fact you're smoking it, maybe blaze up before the show rather than during. At least keep the on air smoking to that one show you have that specifically says 'wake and bake' in the title.

I haven't unsubscribed from a Kevin Smith Podcast yet (unless the feed went dead due to no content for months) but I'm getting close to it. He's at his worst when he's blazing up during a one on one interview. Seems to think it's fine, particularly if he's at home interviewing over a zoom call.
 

4. Barely Talk to a Guest About Their Latest Art, Job, Project etc.

One of my biggest pet peeves is with long form interview shows like Chris Hardwick's ID10T, or Michael Rosenbaum's Inside of You, is when they have a guest who's worked on some iconic project, has a film out, or has multiple amazing career milestones, but the majority of the show is talk about mental health, swapping house renovation stories, or discussing what it's like raising kids... you know, all that shit regular people deal with everyday, like it's some revelation that celebrities have regular hang ups and shit to do too.

Sure, talk about those things but you know what regular people don't get to do? They don't get to play Polka Dot man in a James Gunn film working with other big name stars (Chris Hardwick). Maybe spend a bit more than a few minutes on talking about the celebrity's latest work?

---o ---o--- o---
 
I'm going to leave it there. Of course these are not my shows. They're also free (which I really do appreciate because so many podcasters are putting their content behind paywalls now - which, surprisingly is not a pet peeve of mine). Do what you want on your show.

I'm just some random person on the internet whose opinion doesn't matter... at least that's what we tell ourselves.

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