Monday, September 16, 2019

"The Next Thing"

Essentially podcasts are just blogging, but with talking.

You’ve gotta watch that word “just.”  It’s tricky.

“Space travel is just flying, but higher.”

“Shooting is just punching, but with bullets.”

You see what I mean?  It’s the same, but it’s different.

I hear word that blogging is “out” and podcasts are “in.”  This scares me for two reasons, which are two more than I’d prefer, because I want to keep blogging.

I have heard such rumbling predictions before.  While I was still riding high, my agent warned me my career was in jeopardy because “edgy” (Read: mean and sexualized) comedy was replacing the kind of comedy I did.  It was, “Be edgy or you’re dead”, and shortly thereafter, I was.  The second one, not the first.

I now take these proclaimed “The British Are Coming!” alerts seriously, few people bothering to proclaim that if they aren’t.  (False claims of that nature invalidate credibility, and tire your horse.)  So when someone shouts, “The podcasts are coming!” I have this nagging feeling they’re right.  

But do I really want to do that?

Firstly, technologically, I can’t.  As with starting this blog, someone would have to come in and set things up.  (As an encouragement, Dr. M bought me a microphone. But it is not currently plugged in, and I think, as a preliminary “Step One” it probably should be.

A friend with a podcast (on which I have appeared, or at least my voice has appeared) explained he has a professional service mounting his episodes for him, but you need three thousand listeners or it’s not worth their while.

Two words about three thousand listeners and me:

Fat chance.

So there’s that.  I am on my own and have no idea how to get started.  Then, there’s this, whose revelation I have blown twice by mentioning it.

Do I really want to do a podcast, rather than keep doing a blog?  (Despite dire predictions that the enthusiasm “choo-choo” has moved on.)

Okay, let’s look at this.

The common denominator of both forms of communication is this:

Blogging is “writing to yourself”, a personal diary you allow other people to read.

Podcasts are “talking to yourself.”

Only one of those is related to “mental aberration.”

So they’re the same, but they’re different.

Except in one case, when they’re not.

I wrote an All Things Considered commentary once (which they rejected, though they accepted five others), exposing the truth about “radio commentaries.”  (Which I believe is why they rejected it.)

Perched in an NPR studio, my prepared script in my hand, I said,

“You may think I am talking to you, but I’m not.  I am reading to you.  When I said, ‘I am reading to you’ I read that.  And when I said, ’I read that’, I read that as well.”

And so on, in the same “blow-the-lid-off” direction.

In the payoff to that commentary, I announce I will put down the script and “just talk.”  I then immediately become tongue-tied, and, learning my lesson, I crawl desperately back to the script.

I could imaginably read my podcast.  But I am a terrible reader – I inevitably “rewrite” while I’m reading, thus impeding “a fluid delivery.”

So that’s out.

“Just talking”?

Remember “immediately anxiously tongue-tied”?

The thing is, although we “just talk” all the time, podcasts involve the less natural “just talking” into a microphone, the pressure of “right now” pleasing listening strangers.  Just thinking about that gives me the sweats.

And you can forget about “interviewing”, the “go-to” staple of numerous podcasts.  Chances of me, calling anyone to appear on my podcast – zero.  I might not even show up myself.

So that’s my rationale for not doing a thing I was unlikely to do in the first place, which you need because if you don’t have them you’re “stubborn.”

Maybe I am.  I have a history of resisting things that turned out to be great fun, examples currently blocked because they make me look stupid, but they are embarrassingly numerous. 

Who knows  That could eventually be me, and podcasts.

Then again, it could not.

But then again a third time,

The clock is ticking on blogging.


FFS said...

Zero interest in a podcast. Keep writing.

Dave said...

I agree - podcasts are more time commitment than I allow, since I can read much faster. But, I see why others are saying this, having a teenager in the house who won't read...

I am getting old too.

Rory W said...

Earlo - You've said yourself you're not sure how many people are reading this blog and that you're really not that interested in finding out. It's not like this is a money-making venture for you. So, no matter if blogs are dying, the platform to publish will remain and you still won't know who's reading. Just keep writing. There'll always be an audience to read what you've written. Trust me (although I do enjoy listening to you when you guest on other blogs).

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Unless your readership on the blog is going down, there is no reason to care if other people say that blogging is dying.