Thursday, January 9, 2014

In Service, the Series - Limited Release Podcast

Photo by Sharp Goat Photography
Okay, so this might not be considered serving to other people. Some people consider podcasting to be a hobby, some to be a marketing tool, some to be an art, and some probably do consider their podcast to be a community service. What it isn't though, is a not for profit organization for which I am volunteering. It is a project, which may become for profit, or may not, for which I am putting in work.

For those not sure, podcasting is a techno-babble word which means a radio show that is released on the internet and can be downloaded and listened to at any time. Podcasting certainly existed before the pod part became a standard part of it's name. I've been listening to mp3 and wav audio files since I joined the online world in 1996, but stumbled across my first series in 2005, Movies You Should See.

The hosts of the show quickly started to feel like my friends, and as I got to know them more through their episodes I realized that they were no different than I. I realized that there was nothing stopping me from starting my own podcast.

Well, it took me about 5 years from that time to finally begin my own show. I found a person with whom I had interesting conversations with, a person with whom I could discuss the ins and outs of a favourite movie, book, television show, a person with whom I did not agree all the time or at least with whom I felt like I always wanted to argue the other side, Nick.

It took a year of convincing, but finally he agreed to be a co-host with me on Limited Release Podcast. I was happy with that, but he felt like the show needed some definition. He didn't want to just start a conversation and record it and release it on the internet. There is nothing wrong with that type of show, and there are literally thousands of podcasts that are exactly that. But Nick wanted to provide an audience with a compelling reason to listen to us. At the time we were both enmeshed in the world of web series (another fancy word which simply means television show released on the internet), he as the cinematographer and visual effects supervisor and me as the marketer of a show Mind's Eye Series.

We realized that these shows have very few ways of creating audiences, winning legitimate accolades, or even having a name everyone can agree to.

Nick proposed the idea of finding and reviewing web series to help people decide what to watch.

And that's what we've been doing roughly every other week for just over 3 years. We just recorded and released our 75th episode before the New Year.

Our podcast has helped me to make friends with people all across the continent, and some even in other countries, listeners, other podcasters and the people who make the shows we review.

Our podcast has let me meet people in the entertainment industry I have respected (and adored) for years, like Jane Espenson. It has allowed me to travel to new places and conventions like DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia and GenCon in Indianapolis, Indiana. I would even say that it has brought me work.

To anyone who thinks they may have something they want to say, do it. Start a podcast. It is dead easy to record and release a podcast now. You may not become the most downloaded show on iTunes, but if even one person says they listened you will get a rush.

But I warn you, starting a podcast is a lot like getting a tattoo, you will want more once you've got the first one. It sounds absolutely ridiculous to anyone who has neither, but those of you who have already taken the plunge, you know what I mean!
Photo by Sharp Goat Photography

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