I Podcast, Therefore I Am.
Like Andy Rooney always says, "You ever wonder.....?".
I too wonder, why Podcasting? I could of taken up any number of hobbies. But I didn't. Maybe a little background info will help in understanding this podcaster.
I was born in a small town in Newark, Calif.....Let's move up a little on the timeline. Now a husband and father, I live in the small town known as Newark, California. I guess I didn't get around much. I worked for the same company, Guitar Center, for about 8 years. I also owned and operated a couple of recording studios for part of those years. My wife and I had our daughter 2 years ago, and we decided after she was 6 months old, I would stay at home and my wife would work so that she could get out of the house for awhile. A year and a half later, she gets laid off. So we figured it was my turn to go back to work. So it has been over 2 months now, and I can't find a decent job. So while I am job hunting, I need something to do. Hmmm. So what can I do that could combine my love for all things audio, and the need to sit at my computer at all hours of the day?
I'm broke, unemployed, and have some decent equipment and software left over from my studio and Guitar Center days. I belonged to a video editors group on Yahoo, because I was interested in learning about film. On that board, I met a gentleman by the name of C.C. Chapman. In one of his many posts, he mentioned that he had a podcast. A what cast? This was about May of 2005, and podcasting had been around since about August of 2004. And yet, I had never heard of it. Along with the rest of the world. So I looked up the word podcast, and started doing a little research. And what did I find? 1200 different podcasts available. A bounty of entertainment at my finger tips.
So I listen to C.C's podcast, and then I hear that Adam Curry was one of the founders of this great new invention. Adam Curry? Wasn't he that guy on MTV a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away? You know, when they used to play music videos. It was the same guy. But where did all his hair go? So I started listening to his show. Then I tried others. Insomnia radio, Geek News Central, and Hannity Sucks. The Hannity Sucks guy, I don't know what happened to him, but his podcast stopped coming after about 5 or 6 shows. But the shows started adding up. I downloaded iPodder, so that I could get automatic downloads. Subscribed to my favorite podcasts. Before I knew it, I was listening to about 10 podcasts on a regular basis.
This was a revolution in the making. Something to replace radio. I despised radio. I used to listen to it religiously. The morning shows, the great DJ's, and all that music. Several stations to choose from. But then companies like Clear Channel started buying up all the stations and syndicationg content. First my favorite DJ's were dissapearing. And then my favorite stations started playing the same songs everyday. And then they all changed to spanish speaking stations. Can someone explain why I need 6 spanish speaking stations in my area? The rest all played the same music day in, and day out. And none of it was music I liked. Not that there was very good music available in the first place. So I tried switching to AM, and listening to talk radio. I wasn't much into sports, so I tried folks like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Dr. Laura. I actually liked Dr. Laura, but she was on at an odd time for my schedule. Rush and Sean, half the time they woud say the same thing everyday, and none of it was important. It became amusing to listen to them. And the people who would call in. They would either be sheep that all said the same thing. Ditto this, your a great american that, with no opinion of their own. And for the one out of 30 people who did disagree with them, they were chastised to the point that it got personal. So it wasn't even entertaining anymore.
I don't exactly remember the very day I decided to become a podcaster. It's wierd. Now that I've been doing it for a few months, It feels like I've always been doing it. But it didn't come easy at first. Half way into the completion of the original site, my web designers dsl modem crapped out. He ordered a new one, but they sent the wrong one. Than we discovered that there were termites in our house, and had to have some serious construction go on for about 3 weeks. And finally, my web designer had health problems and could no longer make the site. I was dead in the water. But I was determined not to give up. I recorded my first show anyway. Heavier Than Most Show 1. I was so proud. But I couldn't do anything without a website. So I joined the podcasters Yahoo group. I asked what I could do to carry on my quest to become a podcaster. So many people responded, and I finally found a solution which was suggested by the group. Loudblog. What a great program. I was able to easily create my own website with this program. It saved the show. The Unsigned Podcast Network officially went live June 9th, 2005. I did it. My first show for all to hear.
Now I'm no pro morning show DJ, nor do I wish to be. I'm the opposite of radio. I play what I want to play, and I do it because I love the music and want to let other people know about how many talented artists there are out there. Much more talented then most of the "syndicated" crap that is going on today. And I do it for the love of podcasting. I make no money doing it. I wouldn't mind making money from podcasting, but I don't want anybody else calling the shots. So I opened up a store on Cafepress.com and have Google ads on my blog. So far, I've made about 29 cents. Which actually is more than I expected.
And I constantly get better at it. I now have a theme song for one of my shows. A promo for the site, and I have met so many interesting and intelligent people. I use mastering software, and a really good mic. The Rode NTK. A tube mic that sounds fantastic! My audio interface is a little on the cheap side compared to my mic. But it does a wonderful job. It is the Mobile pre USB from M-Audio. Does the job, and it was only about $100.00. I have found a brave new world in music. Artists I didn't even know existed until now. There are more talented artists on the Podsafe Music Network, than there are in all the major labels combined. And I have reclaimed my need to create. Something I thought I had lost when I finally shutdown my studios a few years back. I have the ability to create something from nothing. I have learned how to network with people, and skills that no job has ever taught me. And last, but definately not least, I once again know what it feels like to accomplish something great. To finish what I have started, and work harder and improve upon what I have created.
So now that I look back, and wonder why I became a podcaster, I come up with a few reasons. I am broke, and podcasting can be done on the cheap. I have a lot of time on my hands, and podcasting is a hobby that needs a good investment of time. I have a background in audio, and that only makes it much easier to podcast. But when you really think about it, I can only think of one reason why I truly need to podcast.
Clear Channel. You guys took away my DJ's. You guys replaced my favorite stations. You guys changed the format of radio and turned it into something so devoid of interest to me, that I pursued other avenues. That is why I became a podcaster. Because Clear Channel destroyed my radio. But you know what? I'm glad they did. Otherwise, I, and people like myself wouldn't have become podcasters and podcast listeners. Maybe podcasting wouldn't have even existed or grown as much as it has if Clear Channel and others like it hadn't created such a void.
So I say thank you Clear Channel! Thank you for making me search out another world. It's companies like you that create people like me. People who need more out of life than what you have to offer. I want variety, creativity, and a place to find talented people who aren't tainted by greed, playlists, and bottom lines. And I found that in a podcast. I am a podcaster. I am.