After meeting so many other podcasters via the internet, I’ve been thinking about the medium a lot recently. Not about my own show, or myself and how I can interact within the realm, but more about other podcasters. I know where I came from and what my motivations are. But, how was it that so many of these other people came to be participants? There are numbers that suggest that the current number of shows available in podcast form are in the millions. I’ve also read they’re in the hundreds of thousands. Apparently, no one knows for sure. Personally, it makes me curious.
Luckily, as I was ruminating over this idea last week, a discussion broke out in the Independent Podcasting Alliance on Facebook. The exact same question was posed by Peter James Reilly of the Gasm Podcast:
Question: “…What got you into Podcasting? This is such a strange medium, so I’m curious to know what pushed everyone over the edge from listener to creator?”
Here’s a bunch of different answers from a bunch of different podcasters:
Mike Sains (Tower of Sour Podcast) : “It was a combination of a few factors coming together. The opportunity to do the show on SoundCloud during a beta. Marlow and I both had the ability to do it. And it seemed like something I was moving towards anyway. I was obsessed with them as it was and jumped at the chance to make one. The timing was there because we were both so motivated. It was winter, Mike (Marlow) was new to making music and creating things that way. I was in a similar place with comedy writing. Put all that together and we started the show a little under a year ago, now.
Caleb Bacon (The Gentlemen’s Club) : “I did college radio in, well, college. So when a friend suggested we talk about doing a podcast in 2009, I didn’t need my arm pulled.”
John H. Maloney (Zombie Take-Out) : “In the summer of ’05 I reconnected with my co-host after not seeing each other for several years and whenever we got together we inevitably ended up reminiscing about the radio show we did back in college. Podcasting was just starting to happen, so I suggested it as a way to bring back the show and he liked the idea. We did 42 episodes of a sketch comedy show before getting tired of all the writing and long edit sessions and then in ’09 we switched to our current format (b & cult movie reviews) and found a new name for the show. Who knew that college radio would end up being a launching ground for podcasts.”
Adam Spiegelman (Proudly Resents) : “I enjoy listening to podcasts. I thought, here’s something no one else is doing, a bad movie podcast. this has got to be easy. just record and put it on facebook. yikes.”
Nicko ‘n’ Joe : “I’ve always been put off podcasting because I could never think of anything that hasn’t been done before. We only do The Bad Film Club podcast now because people who don’t live near our regular live shows complained that they didn’t get to see us often enough.”
Evan Pedersen (Fancy Pants Gangsters) : “I did a ska/reggae (Radio) show for about 10 years, regular rotation for about 4. Once I left college (they let me stay on to do the ska show, wasn’t a super-senior) I knew I wanted to do something along those lines but also knew the kind of shows I wanted to do wouldn’t get made on the radio.
Mike White (The Projection Booth) : “I did it as a reaction against all of the podcasts that I thought sucked. :)”
The Michael Show Podcast : “A popular FM talk station went off the air here in Los Angeles and most of the talent moved to Podcasting. After listening fir a few months I thought to myself “I could do that.” and I did.”
Aric McKeown (Mustache Rangers) : “I’ve done creative online projects since 1998. Comics and whatnot. Thought podcasts would be a great place to put up work from my improv group between performances so people wouldn’t forget about us over long periods of absence from the stage.”
Aaron Roden (Air-Raid Podcast) : “I thought it would be a good idea to have bands play in my living room. It was out of laziness, I wanted the concerts and shows to come to me rather than me going out.”
Bill Fulkerson (Outside The Cinema) : “I started OTC as a way to talk about movies with a friend and share it with others four years later over 200 shows we seem to be doing ok.”
John D. Taylor (Plan X Network) : (Kevin Smith’s) Plus one and SModcast became the only thing that I was listening to. Invaded my life in such a way,that it drove me to do my own show. I just thought that I had a funny friend and a fat mouth. Madness.
Cameron Buchholtz (CB Radio) : “Nearly 5 years ago a friend turned me on to Jimmy Pardo’s Never Not Funny. I quickly got obsessed and blew through their back catalog. Hearing Jimmy talk about comedy actually inspired me to start doing standup myself. Then once I started taking stand up seriously, it became a no-brainer to start a podcast as well.”
Dan Miles (Friends of Dan) : “I started doing it simply because I felt I could produce a quality show and it seemed like a fun thing to try. No master plan or much forethought. Just jumped right in :)”
Christine Blackburn (Story Worthy) : “I tried stand-up and it turns out, I’m not funny. But I do have quite a past and can tell a story, hence the MOTH. Also, I’ve always been a big Adam Carolla fan and thought, hmmmm…storytelling, podcasting….TALENT in LA…Story Worthy!”
Fransisco Gabriel Nila (The Common Man) : “We do webcasts on our website and we wanted to reach a larger audience. Podcasting seemed to be the best place to go to. Haven’t regretted the move.”
Brian Sparks (Creating Sparks) : “A friend told me I should do one. About 2 bad show’s later, I interviewed Matt Paxton (From Hoarders) on my other show, Midwest Minajahtwa. That inspired me to do a promotional podcast”
Dustin Koetsch (Everything We Like is Awesome!) : “I got all my friends into listening to the Joe Rogan podcast last year and one day we were hanging out at a friends with a group of us all bullshitting about starting a podcast between 2 groups of us to see who could get more listeners first, mostly as a lark. They never did theirs and we did, and from there we liked what we were doing so for the past 7 months or so we’ve slowly nurtured and developed our show into an amalgamation of things and we’ve had a lot of fun and good conversations in doing so.”
Travis Clark (Tiny Odd Conversations) : “Years ago I co-hosted a comedy radio talk show. Eventually I got let go and the company went bankrupt. Numerous of the other talent went on to big success and I went on to 10 years of bad back issues. While recovering from a major surgery that took a year to heal from I could no longer go out and perform standup. I loved the immediacy of radio and the freedom of podcasting so it seemed like a natural progression to start a podcast. Add in the fact that my now wife is one of the most unintentionally funny people I’ve ever met and she allows me to talk over her and make fun of her for an hour every week and booya! Tiny Odd Conversations (the name of our show) was born. We’re 6 months in and it has been one of the funniest and most challenging things I’ve ever undertaken.”
Chase Sumway (Who Asked You?) : “We wanted to produce some sort of video content on a weekly basis, but were too lazy to set up lights, dress nice and shave every week. Plus we didn’t really have a place that looked nice on video to use as a set. So audio it was!”
Lee Kelly (Talking Questions) : “I did a standup show back in ’02, it was so well received that word spread like wild fire. People demanded more jokes, more laughs, more.. Me. There were riots in the streets. I got death threats everyday. Eventually the government took notice and decided to step in. They contacted me via email and stated that for the good of the country, I must continue to do comedy. When I respectfully declined, saying that all this fame and attention just wasn’t for me, I was taken immediately into custody. After several years in solitary confinement I came up with the perfect plan. I would create the world’s greatest podcast. With laughs per minute that would be off the charts. I scheduled an appointment with the President and shared my ideas. He was so excited that we offered to be the very first guest. We then sat down and hit record. It was pure comedy gold that spewed from our mouths. We knew that just this one episode would be enough to satisfy the comedy needs of every man, woman, and child on this earth. Unfortunately, during the post-production, I accidentally hit delete-all and erased the podcast. When I shared the terrible news with the president he exiled me out of the United States to a little town in Haiti. I’ve been here ever since that day trying to recreate the podcast that would change the world and come home. (True Story)”