Fred Castaneda is the host of the Podcast Reporter podcast and an entrepreneur who helps aspiring Small Business Owners.
In this episode, we reflect on the idea of either joining a podcast network or starting one. This theme came to me from a couple of recent episodes from Evo Terra in his Podcast Pontifications show, as well as Daniel J Lewis in his show, The Audacity to Podcast. If your passion for podcasting has grown such that you want to join or even create your own podcast network, perhaps you should listen to the questions asked by Evo Terra, as well as listen to the experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly) from Daniel J Lewis (who did shut down his own podcast network that he started years ago). My own experiences with podcast networks Now, I have had experiences with the thought of joining a podcast network. In 2006 and 2007, I dipped my toes into the waters of joining what looked like a growing podcast network at Podango (this was the podcast company that had acquired Gigavox, the firm that created the Levelator in 2006). I wanted to be a part of what was called a “podcast station” (which was the category or genres of podcasts) called the Business Station. I wanted to include my flagship podcast at the time, Struggling Entrepreneur. And the sharing, the community and the financial benefits all seemed like a great beginning. However, I did have second thoughts about letting someone else run my show and own my RSS feed and content. So I decided NOT to join and just kept being on my own. And, by the way, I do not regret that decision, as Podango later went out of business in another year or two. Then, in 2007, the podcast network bug bit me again. This time, I wanted to start a podcast network which I had temporarily called the “Content Creator and podcaster network.” This was going to be basically a membership site with 4 founders — one for the technical side of podcasting; another for the financial side of startups and podcasting; another for the marketing side of podcasting and its promotion; and my contribution, the personal productivity side of creating content and podcasts. For this membership site, we even had a meeting which I had called. And I used the prior method of getting buy-in and commitment and dialog used by Tim Bourquin when he had founded the Podcast and Portable Media Expo in 2005. That is, I invited everyone to join me personally (at my expense for travel, lodging and meals) for a couple of days in Austin, Texas, so that we could discuss all day the creation of this membership site which would then create the network shortly after launch. In fact, we even had an attorney, who was himself a podcaster, join us via Skype to get the details of the contract which he would create for all of us to agree and sign as a commitment. Well, that meeting gave me an indication of how much CONTROL and OWNERSHIP and FINANCIAL EXPECTATION that podcasters desired. As a result, I saw that this arrangement would not suit all the parties involved — what seemed like an exciting discussion and proposal went down in flames when “the devil is in the details.” So we never gave the green light to create the contract (with legal fees of $1300 in those days), and we disbanded the idea. And the survivors were only two of us who started another podcast based on Finance for Startups (which has since podfaded). What was obvious to me at that time, after some pre-investment expenses and time, was that podcasters were too much desirous of control and ownership of the direction. And this is only natural, since podcasting at that time was individually run, owned and managed by the solo podcaster. And these people were not used to SHARING any intellectual property or revenue with others, especially under contract. So the notion of a podcast network or membership site was erased from my mind as a creator — and maybe one day I might join one already in session. The 2 recent episodes about podcast networks In a recent episode by Evo Terra in his show called Podcast Pontifications, the title of his script and audio episode was “Should you join or form a podcast network?” In this audio episode, Evo asks the most important questions:  What is it that you want to get out of the network, and what is it that you will be willing to sacrifice to belong in it? He not only goes over what his own backstory was in creating his own network back “in the day” of 2004 and following, but also how a loose confederation of podcasters can be just a social club rather than a really serious podcast network (and he describes what should be in a podcast network from his point of view). So the benefits vs. the contributions is a matrix that you should put together to evaluate an existing podcast network that you may feel compelled to join. Also, if you wish to start one, you should examine deep in yourself what you really want to get out of managing this type of organization and see if you have the talent and skills to do so effectively, without having the passion of podcasting be lost due to frustrations because of your potential lack of skills. And Evo relates what, in his opinion, is really needed for a good podcast network today. Now, the other example with some lessons learned comes from Daniel J Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast show. He describes how he put together his network shortly after he joined podcasting in full force — and also the end of his network, along with the reasons why he ended it. In his recent episode called “Why we retired our podcast network,” Daniel mentions that he had clear-cut goals when he created his podcast network:  “My goal was to bring together like-minded podcasters with high-quality shows to grow together through synergy, community, support, crosspromotion, and sponsorship.” However, what seemed to me to be more or less a society of like-minded individuals with different podcast shows from different genres and possibly some unrelated themes soon grew into a long list of participating shows in the network, like the following: the Ramen Noodle Are You Just Watching The Audacity to Podcast Beyond the To-Do List The Productive Woman Christian Meets World The Sci-Phi Show ONCE Welcome to Level Seven WONDERLAND Under the Dome Radio Resurrection Revealed Podcasting Videos by The Audacity to Podcast Inside the Podcasting Business As you can see, this could appear to be a community of disjointed themes and topics, with possibly the intent to generate sponsorship, financial rewards from downloads and advertising, as well as cross-promotion. And Daniel then explains what things he did well in the network and what things that were done poorly: Audience-relevant common theme Cross-promotion Cross-integration Full and consistent community and you can listen to his audio podcast episode to get the details. Then he states why he retired the network, including the ability for him to focus on fewer things, as well as giving each podcaster more room to expand. So Daniel’s experiences deliver some lessons learned about starting a podcast network, and I would suggest that you take these into account if you get the passion to go beyond your own podcast shows and want to start your own network. Considerations for the podcaster about Podcast Network As a podcaster, what passion can be driving you toward wanting to start a great podcast network? Will you have the time? Will the additional workload and timetables and schedules and management of the network be something you will embrace, as well as have time for? Will you have the necessary skills to manage your network? Will you have the right temperment for being in the network? And will the podcasts in the network be the right ones, or will they be a hodge-podge collection of your favorite podcasters and additional genres and other topics that might not relate well to some audiences? Will the network be governed by contract or by word-of-mouth agreements? So, whatever your decision may be concerning podcast networks may be (i.e., either joining one or starting one of your own), we hope that these two audio episodes can give you enough food for thought to know what to expect both from the contribution side and the giving side to the network. So we hope that your podcast show will be successful, whether it be a part of a podcast network or not. Thank you for your attention. Copyright (c) 2020, Matrix Solutions Corporation and Daniel J Lewis and Evo Terra. All rights reserved.
In this episode, we ask ourselves “Can podcasting really be a beautiful anarchy?” Well, we explore this idea from the recent podcast episode of The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry, where he interviews the author of the book called “A Beautiful Anarchy: When the Life Creative Becomes the Life Created by David duChemin.” This interview caught my ear because of the nature of what Mr. duChemin describes as creative anarchies in our lives, and how non-linear is the approach we may take in our lives to experience fulfilling areas of our existence, albeit within some rails, constraints and guidelines that prohibit us from entering “pure anarchy.” And for me, this immediately brought the purpose and objectives and the results of podcasting for myself as a “beautiful anarchy” that has changed my life significantly. Now, my life has been a series of journeys from the status quo to the revolutionary era of the Vietnam War, in which I served as an Airborne paratrooper and combat infantryman in the jungles, rice paddies and mountains of Southeast Asia, to the conventional prep for a career in corporate America while investigating and being consumed by Folklorico dance and teaching at a University — and then the beginning of 33 years in corporate sales and marketing before springing into a new career into the area of New Media and podcasting (with an obsessive fury). So, in my opinion, my life path was anything but linear — it was circular with different detours along the way (somewhat like a “beautiful anarchy” in which I was lucky to survive). But I was able to experience so many elements of life that I now look back and reflect about the experiences that formed who I am. My journey had appeared for me to be very much like what David calls “living in defiance of conventions” (not for revolutionary’s sake, but by taking the non-rules detours). In the podcast that discusses the themes within the book, Todd Henry also shares his thoughts about taking detours in life from conventional wisdom, expectations from others and “rules” — but with certain rails or guidelines or constraints which David called “the reality of the playing field.” The newer rules may not serve the purpose that they may have had earlier for prior generations — in other words, conventional wisdom may not apply. In this manner, many creatives and podcasters look at themes like “bucket lists,” and the the “could do” as opposed to “should do.” One case in point is the journey taken in the episodes of the current podcast show called The Savvy Creative. This is especially interesting  in the episodes where the monologue describes the breakout to enjoy the freedoms and also execute some of the items on the “bucket list” before a certain age (that may describe the line between middle-age and being an “old fogey.” The interview with Todd Henry describes other examples of “living a life of every day creativity” by recognizing and overcoming obstacles in your life that have prevented you from exploring new areas of your life. So, can podcasters discover podcasting to be new journeys that would turn into what creatives call “a beautiful anarchy” that may be a great stepping stone to your true success in your life? Thus, as Todd and David agree in this interview (focused on creatives) in spite of any future failures, podcasters can view these experiences as huge steps of learning from these obstacles that can help you view a better road to success. Because we can all “bounce back” from any negative situations or failures, the detours can be rewarding later on as we reflect on what were the building blocks for our success today — and which can be the challenges for the future? So, for this podcaster, the podosphere has presented for me the road to a journey into podcasting that would bring me a great success (according to the objectives that mean “success” for myself). And I hope that you, too, can find the journey of podcasting as a creative passion that can be fulfilling and result for you as a “beautiful anarchy.” Thank you for your attention. Copyright (c) 2020, Matrix Solutions Corporation . All rights reserved.
In this episode, we discuss the theme of converting your possible video recordings or “chats” to audio podcast episodes. This discussion has had two instances recently in the podosphere: In a recent article in titled “Turn your video chats into podcasts,” the suggestion was made to convert video content into audio podcast episode content; and In a recent episode of Podcasters Roundtable, the discussion did receive some controversial points of view, especially from co-host Daniel J Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast. The article In this recent article sponsored by Anchor, the sub-title and explanatory text at the beginning posits this theme:  “Turn your virtual hangouts into a podcast with Anchor’s new video-to-audio conversion — Now Anchor makes it possible to turn your video files into podcast-ready audio — so the next time you have a great conversation over Zoom, Google Meet, Instagram Live, or your favorite video chat tool, you can share it as a podcast for everyone to hear.” The discussion presents the fact that Anchor now has tools that converts your video files into editable audio. There is a 20-second video that announces this new capability for podcasters.  Then the article goes into the steps required to perform this task: Record the video file of your “chat” and download the video file; Upload the video file to anchor; “Your converted audio file will show up immediately as a segment in your episode builder and in your library, so you can split it, trim it, and start adding edits right away.” Publish your new audio file as is or use some of the tools in anchor to modify the audio file to your liking (see the article for which files are supported, both on the upload and pre-publishing); “Anchor makes it easy with free unlimited hosting and automatic distribution to Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere your listeners might be.” The article then gives links to various instructions  “from different platforms on recording and or exporting video chats.” However, the key question everyone will have is about YouTube. And the article gives the following details: “You cannot upload YouTube links directly to Anchor, but if you own the raw video file (.MP4 or .MOV) you can upload it and convert it to audio.” The rest of the article then gives some samples and examples of files that will work in this type of environment. The purist description of audio and video content In a recent episode of Podcasters Roundtable from Ray Ortega, we heard purist Daniel J Lewis give his viewpoint that converting from one medium to the other (e.g., audio to static-view video aka “audio-videos” — or from video to audio content) is really not a general good idea. The reason is that there are specific aspects of each medium. And just doing this automatically may not work, and perhaps you can alienate your audience that expects the benefits of that specific medium. Also, the fact that YouTube links are not supported may run into a show-stopper from many podcasters that want to have their content easily syndicated on various media. And I had tried to do this in the past for a client when I was a podcast consultant, and the aspects of video were lost in converting automatically to audio content — and some of the audience listeners did unsubscribe, as it did not meet audio content expectations. And so I would tend to agree with Daniel and his viewpoint that you might not do this on your flagship podcast — i.e., keep video content on video platforms and keep audio content on audio platforms. To experiment with this type of cross-conversion in your main show (if you are an experienced podcaster) is something that I would not suggest. You may want to start another podcast show under another name in order to run this experiment. The author if the article ends with encouraging any aspiring or new podcasters to record their specific video “chats” and create a new podcast  episode or show with the content. However, if you, as a podcaster, wish to create audio content from your video informal “chats,” be careful about running an experiment that may backfire on you. And it all depends on your ability to have great video content that could be adapted for audio podcasts. And the jury is still out on any positive results for experienced podcasters on their flagship podcasts.  But we here shall be looking at some results of this type of experimental cross-conversion of platform content and see if this type of promotion for creating new podcasts will last. Thank you for your attention. Copyright (c) 2020, Matrix Solutions Corporation and All rights reserved.
In this episode, we reflect upon suggestions from Joseph Anderson in a recent article in titled “How to work with your podcast co-host.” These ideas caught my attention because I have only been delivering episodes in a podcast called with a co-host, Matt Cox (a podcaster who has his own show, Brunch with the Brits). And I wanted to compare notes to see what best practices I could learn, as well as evaluate how we have been doing in the world of co-hosting podcast episodes from Joseph’s point of view. So, in this article, Joseph relates his back-story of having discovered a co-host with whom there was chemistry and understanding. And he has these words of suggestions in his article: Working With Your Co-Host — Playing to Your Strengths  (and it doesn’t matter if you come from different backgrounds as long as you can agree to respect each other and then both share the passion of podcasting); Have an open channel of communication with your co-host. Discuss what guests might be the best fit given your mutual strengths, and give the lead to the person who feels most comfortable with the topic at hand. Meet Up Before Hand (this may be difficult, but even a virtual meeting online could be good for pre-interview chat sessions or planning the discussion of what you will discuss in the episode. No Hand-signs? No Problem!  (this is especially important if you are doing all your communication remotely. You and your co-host should have a pretty good sense of how the podcast episode should flow — and the pre-recording checklists that both you should follow will help tremendously. Work Your Co-Host into the Conversation — just as respect for one’s opinion is key, asking your co-host questions about how that individual may feel about a certain topic or opinion may spark things up, especially when cases in point are described with sometimes multiple viewpoints that can help grow synergy in the audio Do the Extra Work Together (with all aspects of the show’s episodes — including preparation, interviewing, research, outreach, question building and brainstorming; this will help to split up the workload for a long-form podcast format. Respect Boundaries (especially if both of you may have day-jobs) because this is vital to any creative relationship. For this podcaster, these suggestions are rather obvious if you are just contemplating a format with a co-host and if you have never had a co-host before in your podcasts. I feel that the most important thing is very much like the military environment in which I spent several years of my life as an Airborne paratrooper and combat infantryman — “the mission is the most critical and highest priority; then your men in the mission; and then the equipment needed to accomplish the mission.” Although podcasting is not as serious as a military mission ready for combat, the same principles apply. And in order to accomplish your mission, the mutual respect, the sharing of responsibilities and the respect for others’ skills and talents by letting them be highlighted all should be proven points of strength in the relationship you would have with your co-host. If you wish to see how a very casual and unrehearsed podcast episode recorded with a co-host would result, you may want to listen to This show has no critical expertise or major advertising-dependent content — it is just a couple of guys discussing what would be today’s indicators that influence how our world could be by the year 2030. I would not focus on the content, but perhaps you can see how each co-host plays upon each other’s talents, strengths and contributions to make the episode seem interesting and deliver some value to the listeners. And so I hope that your future or present co-host would be sharing all these wonderful traits, characteristics, strengths and talents to help make your show with you a success. Thank you for your attention. Copyright (C) 2020, Matrix Solutions Corporation and Joseph Anderson and All rights reserved.
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