I’m bringing the podcast back.
Which I’ve wanted to do before, but this time I’m going to document the process as I put the work in to improve it. This will be in the same spirit as the long journal post that I wrote about the first eight weeks of our podcast.
(Also, Wally and I are still planning to do episodes together. But for consistent weekly episodes, some portion will need to be solo episodes.)
Here’s some audio I recorded yesterday thinking I’d just jump back into the podcast. It’s an episode about Nir Eyal’s latest book, Indistractible
Well, it was going to be an episode about that. This is just the raw audio, recorded on my phone with the Shure MV88.
I put these notes together in Keynote:
Then I talked through them. The process I’m trying to get to looks something like this:
- Write plain-text notes: Or sort of plain text. I’ll probably start in something like Cold Turkey Writer and then move that into Keynote.
- Create podcast based on notes: I think this order makes sense because a podcast can generally be longer than a video. It also takes less time to make audio than video. Because a video also needs good audio. And you still need to make the video part.
- Create video based on notes: Well, based on the notes and the podcast. I’m going to start listening to the solo podcasts to figure out which points would translate best to video.
But it should start with text. Just going to put a couple links down here that came to mind:
- Always bet on text – “We can read texts from five thousand years ago, almost the moment they started being produced. It’s (literally) “rock solid” — you can readily inscribe it in granite that will likely outlast the human species.”
- The future of education is plain text – “Plain text is easy to mix and match If your lecture materials are in a simple plain text format like markdown you can copy and paste the materials from one lecture into another and when the document is compiled make all the formatting/colors/etc. match.”
But I didn’t post the episode above to the actual podcast feed. It’s only embedded here. I want to take the time to revise and give the same topic another go.
What I’ll do the next time through
- Convert the 21 notes format into 5 takeaways: The idea was that I’d have 21 notes and 20 seconds for each note for a nice round 7 minute episode. I think that could work for a video with auto-forwarding slides that reveal the format and make the pace of it more forgiving.
- Add some quotes: I want to make a self-development podcast and the best of those have expertise involved. Usually (A) the host is an expert or (B) the host interviews experts. There’s an episode of the “My First Million” podcast where Sam Parr says that there’s still room to create value if you’re a novice. Reading a book someone else hasn’t read can be far enough ahead to share something someone else might find valuable. So I’ll try (C) importing expertise with quotes from experts.
- I’ll aim for 18 minutes: I think a 7-minute podcast is too short. I want to make things similar to the things I enjoy and I can’t think of any podcast I really enjoy that are less than 10 minutes. On the other end, I think anything beyond 20 minutes is too long for a solo podcast. (Unless you’re Bill Burr or some other form of professional speaker.)
I pulled 18 minutes from TED’s limit
Rest assured, you can accomplish a lot in 18 minutes. John F. Kennedy persuaded a nation to reach for the moon in 18 minutes at Rice University in 1962. Steve Jobs gave one of the most popular commencement speeches of all time in 15 minutes at Stanford. And in a TED talk that’s been viewed more than six million times, historian David Christian explained the history of the world in 18 minutes.
I’m likely never going to give a TED talk but if I’m going to pull a number out of the air, the 18-minute limit seems like a good one to steal.
Anyway, that’s the first post in this process of trying to improve the solo podcast.
Next up, I want to write a post that’s an overview of some of my favorite solo podcasts and some lessons from them viewed through the “I want to start a solo podcast” lens.
As a preview, here’s a note I wrote a few months ago with a list of some of my favorite solo shows. (Some are usually interviews but they do solo shows in between.)
Oh yeah and I’ll also do another take of the Indistractible episode!