Should I Start a Podcast?

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I confess: My musings about starting a personal podcast spurred the FrogDog article about whether to start a podcast. (By “personal podcast,” I mean a hobby sort of project—a podcast not directly aligned with FrogDog or any other business interest.) After all, I listen to a lot of podcasts these days.

A little research turned up company: As of this writing, people have put out over 28 million podcast episodes across some nearly 700,000 podcast programs.

Holy cochlea, Batman.

In junior high or high school, I had a project in which a schoolmate and I had to create an old-time radio show around a story of our creation, with sound effects, multiple voices, and all the rest.

I remember the amount of time and energy involved: Painstaking collaborative script writing, endless futzing with microphones and tape recorders and blank tapes and experimenting with how to create different scripted sounds from household items and doing our best to splice it all together into a single audio. (I grew up in a far more analog era, let’s remember.) I vividly recall the anguish of the audio never quite playing back to our imaginations.

Eventually, the project deadline arrived, we turned in our sad little cassette tape with its typewriter-inscribed label, and the grade we got back after all our intense and dedicated work crushed us. (So much for getting an A for effort.)

Remembering this, I can’t imagine how I could have thought creating a podcast would feel fun. Even today, in a more digital era and with more realistic expectations.

However, before I recalled my sad class project, I had decided against podcasting. I don’t know a single thing about creating engaging audio, even with modern technology. I imagine I’d need to bring in regular guests as well, which sounds like a challenge—especially without any real audience or reason for anyone to talk with me.

Also, podcasts have product status. For a product to succeed, you need to market it. Years of running a marketing business helping companies get the word out about their products and services have taught me this much, at least. As it stands, I have a company to promote already, and that makes for plenty.

Besides, promoting something that should have hobby status takes the hobby out of it, most of the time.

Maybe someday. Not today.