Let’s Talk Podcasting

Let’s Talk Podcasting

I had a bit of spare time, what with ToR being down, and decided to put some of these delusional and frequently nonsensical thoughts to paper. Plus everyone else has a blog… I just wanted to fit in. So without any further delay, let’s discuss podcasting.

I’ll probably stray off the beaten path with this blog a bit. Yes, ManaTank is a website that is solely focused on video games and our infatuation with said video games but I figured that it might be a nice change of pace to get inside the mind of the self-proclaimed Director of Media, me. Ramblings, insights and general confusion may ensue. And I totally stole the name from Swag’s old blog, Swag’s Mind.

Let’s talk podcasts for a bit… Every Sunday I get together with my motley crew of co-hosts and we talk into microphones about pretty much everything for upwards of three hours. I get a load of questions every week from people who are trying to start their own shows but it never really seems to take off for them. We’ll I’m going to let you all in on a secret. When we first started podcasting, it didn’t take off for us either. We were awkward, unlearned and generally uncomfortable in front of the microphone and it really showed. Here, take a listen to the first five minutes of the very first podcast I ever recorded way back in 2008 back when I thought machinima was the end all and be all of internet coolness.

Pretty brutal… It was at a time when I was big into producing machinima and Swag somehow got the idea into my head that we should start a podcast. Inception was probably involved.

Throughout the years we’ve obviously upgraded our equipment, changed venues and expanded the cast but none of that is really what I feel makes our current show the show it is today. The most important thing we’ve gained over the almost four years we’ve been producing shows is confidence, both behind the microphone and in front of the community.

Another tool that was incredibly invaluable to me was other shows. I try to keep our show as original as possible but there was a point where Swag and I sat down and asked ourselves why we liked the shows we listened to. The primary thing we took away from that was chemistry. It’s my belief that if the hosts don’t have a good chemistry between them and can’t have fun making the show then the audience won’t have any fun listening to it. By that same token if the hosts are laughing and having a good time, the audience will too.

Any followers of the ManaTank podcast will undoubtedly have noticed that the hosts seem to change on a frequent basis especially with the last few episodes. The reason for the inconsistency is partly that not everyone of the regular hosts can make it every week but mostly it’s that I’m constantly trying to find new hosts who fit the current dynamic we have. Craig and Ashley (12/11/2011 and 12/18/2011 respectively) were essentially experiments that had varying degrees of success. Will they ever return? Very likely. It’s a constant struggle of trying to find people who are knowledgeable but at the same time are as crazy as we are. It may not seem like much but talking for three to four hours a week, every week is a huge commitment.

As for the future of the show we’ll probably just keep on doing what we’re doing. I think everyone involved (myself included) is extremely satisfied with our progress and right now it’s just a matter of maintaining the status quo. That’s not to say that there won’t be new things to look forward to, though. We’re always trying to think up new ways to entertain both ourselves and the audience.

As a final note, just reminding everyone that our New Year’s show will be taking place on January 6th, right here on the ManaTank homepage. The show will be LIVE and have a video feed so be sure to tune in. If for whatever reason you can’t make the 6:00pm MST start time don’t fret too much. You’ll still be able to download and watch it later. Hopefully I’ll see you all then! Have a great holiday and remember not to do anything DinnerDangles wouldn’t do.

Leave any questions you have in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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