Podcast URL: http://borderlinefantastic.com/category/inter-dis-material/
Podcast RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/interdis

I did my first podcast in August 2006. It was called The Janke Chronicles. Obviously thinking the name would change to Janke and it would be as big a hit as Seinfeld. I did 5 Janke Chronicle shows, featuring 4 different guests (my friend Evan did the first two with me since people were shy). Evan and I decided to partner up and be co-hosts. That endeavor was called Inter-Dis Material (a name explained in show 16). We’ve done about 50 shows since then (counted the first 40 and started using the month as the title in 2010). The last show was January 2012. Not the last as in we stopped for good, that’s just the last time we got around to doing it. I was busy finishing going to school and Evan was finishing teaching since he is headed back to school.

The topics didn’t really follow any sort of firm theme. It was usually just things that happened to us since the last show we did and any random thoughts or questions we had to share or ask.

Keeping up with a schedule proved to be very difficult, along with continually coming up with topics. The early shows we talked a lot about sports and make weekly picks. Eventually we decided to move away from the sports. It was a timing issue. Some people would only listen once a month and catch up then, so the sports material was no longer relevant. We still discuss sports but not as much ‘Who do you think will win?’.

Feedback Question #1: How does a podcast gain popularity?

The first shows probably weren’t very good but I think we got the hang of it pretty quickly. Everyone who did listen said they liked it, but their lack of listening again always led me to think otherwise. You need someone to be honest with you to give you good feedback. We’ve had nothing like that so either the shows have been perfect and people we know don’t care for podcasts or we’ve been terrible and no one has the heart to tell us.

Of the Feedback Questions in this Feature, I could use the most help with this one. The other questions I’d love input on, but this one I don’t have an answer.

Feedback Question #2: How to you manage topics?

I was in charge of topics and kept them in notes on my computer. If Evan had a topic, I’d get a text or a phone call telling me to remember something. Often he’d just tell me something that would cause him to remember the topic. We’d always keep some topics from each other until we recorded the show to add the surprise factor.

I’d suggest using Google Docs to keep a shared list of topics. For listener suggested topics, I liked Google Moderator. It allows for user submitted items and then all the other users can vote up/down to get to the most popular items. For talks at Google, this would be used to decide the questions for Q&A sessions.

Feedback Question #3: How to you make a podcast?

I’ll share my process, which probably is only useful in my situation. That situation being Evan usually being in Florida and me being in Pennsylvania. We both were using Macs.

  • Skype – For the actual call, we would use Skype on both ends. Early on, I had a Skype Premium account and would call Evan on a cell phone. The cell phone option was very poor quality and there was a delay. But remember, that was 6 years ago. Also, I always just did audio. No real need for video and I was always cautious about testing the internet connection.
  • Ecamm Call Recorder – This is a program that hooks into Skype on the Mac. It’s really simple to use and includes the necessary tools to cut a recorded file into parts for editing. It’s not too expensive, under $20.
  • Garageband or Soundtrack – I’ve used both of these for editing. Garageband is probably preferred since it is already on every Mac. I had Soundtrack because it used to come with Final Cut Express. I actually preferred Soundtrack, even though it had more options and appeared more complex I felt like I had more control over what I was doing.
  • Microphone – Plenty of options here. I’d recommend against using the built-in or webcam microphones. When we first started, I got a Logitech USB Headset and it’s worked great. Amazon has a lot of options, this one would do just fine.

There are plenty of guides on how to make your own podcast and how to setup your RSS feed.

Mike’s Comments
Still need URL submissions so I don’t have to feature things of my own every other day.

You can listen to the latest Inter-Dis Material and send us feedback. We love an audience and would probably do the show weekly if we had one. There will likely be new shows starting in the fall once Evan gets settled in at grad school.