Economy of Effort

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Podcasts (That Didn't Make The Cut)

I don’t generally like to trash on other peoples work (though I have my lapses). I do like to put opinions out there, as people occasionally seem interested in them. So here’s a quick rundown of some podcasts that I recently cut from my subscription list, and why they didn’t make the cut…

Broadcast Gamer: This is a daily gaming news podcast, about 15-20 minutes long each day. It’s a one-man show and isn’t much more than a reading of the day’s news. Perhaps handy to some people, but not so much if you visit any daily gaming news sites. Not a lot of personal insight to augment the news. Podcast Another one-man show, perhaps of some interest to regulars of the website, but not much else. They do a new, additional podcast called LQ Radio in which they do a sort of roundtable discussion. I’ve added that to my subscriptions. I’ve only listened to the first part of the first show, and there was certainly some awkwardness there, but it’s not getting the axe just yet. I have a feeling that there’s some meat there.

GottGame: This one’s little more than a daily 2 minute commercial. The presentation is fantastic, and the guy has a true radio voice, but it’s, well, pretty much just a commercial for the 3 games covered in any given “show”. A quick blurb, some sound clips, and that’s it. Not very interesting, but I would kill to have the same level of production quality in other podcasts.

The Linux Box Show: Remember, people - radio shows, be they broadcast or podcast, should have SOME entertainment value. There’s some content here, but again, the one-man show is stone cold boring in most cases. Dialogues are fun and interesting, monologues are not. A great deal of what makes The Linux Link Tech Show and LugRadio interesting is the interplay between up to four people. Guests are OK, but having one man on the mic should be avoided at all costs.

SLUG Radio: I think this one might not be meant for people outside of the user’s group that produces it, and it’d probably be unfair to give it too much heat. But it’s visible on Podcast Alley, so I think it is worth saying something. The most recent show featured a guest giving a speech on programming languages, from binary to assembly to the high level languages of today. Interesting topic, but it was delivered like a lecture. Lectures are boring. I get lectures in class. I want to hear people (plural) talking about the topic, not just one person lecturing. An earlier show also expressed a real misunderstanding about precompiled binary packages, what exactly it is that you’re paying for when you use a “pay” version of a distro, and how the Debian project works (no, they aren’t one of the ones “selling” a distro version - that’s about as opposite of what Debian is about as you can get).

Gamer’s Radio: I’m not quite sure what’s going on over here. Gamer’s Radio seems to be an erratic mix of a regular show (usually a one-man show, sigh), and listener-submitted content of questionable value. One suggestion - tag your files descriptively. Prefix user-submitted content with some sort of standard prefix, prefix the main show with a standard prefix. The last few entries in the feed look like a random hodgepodge of audio when dumped into my audio player.

In fact, I would like two things taken away from this:

1) Tag your files consistantly and descriptively. If you’re putting a user submitted file into your feed, don’t just name it “Game Review X”. Give the user submitted content a name, and tag it along the lines of: “User Show #001 - Game Review X”.

2) Don’t do a one-man show. Don’t do it. It’s very boring. The number of podcasts are growing and growing, and as the quality threshold rises, fewer people will be interested in listening to what amounts to audio blogs. If you’re going to be a one-man show, spend as much time talking to guests and fielding listener-submitted questions and such as much as possible.