So You’re Starting A Podcast?

You know that queasy feeling you get right before a big exam?

Like, you’re pretty sure you know all the material—at least as good as you think you can know it—but you’re also pretty sure there’s going to be that one question that sinks you? And that you wore the wrong underwear? And that you showed up the wrong day?

That’s how I feel right now.

Because I’m taking the “I’m not sure I can do this” and “why haven’t I done this sooner?” leap into podcasting.

Podcasting Is Popular?

I know, right?

It’s ironic that podcasting has any traction at all. I mean, we actually have video calling capabilities right now. We’re the friggin’ Jetsons! So why a modified version of (gulp) radio? Do radios still work?

A better question to understand the usefulness of podcasting is, do our ears still work? And further, do our imaginations?

For all the amazing things we produce visually, there’s still something we humans love about purely auditory experiences. This would be a great moment to inset a latin-based psychological term that scientists use to explain this phenomenon. If there was one. Which there may be. But I don’t know it, and I don’t feel like Googling it.

We also still do plenty of functions in our daily lives that require us to be focused on a cognitive primary task but likewise allow us to use our ears to benefit from a background secondary task.

Driving a car.

Working out.

Doing housework.

Crocheting.

Knitting.

Some people might argue that crocheting and knitting are the same thing, but anyone who’s had their grandmother school them on these trades knows they’re light years apart.

As much as we might dismiss podcasting as a modern throwback to a bygone means of production, the reality is that podcasting is insanely popular. In fact, iTunes reached over 1-billion subscribers this year.

That’s about three time the population of the United States if you like statistics.

That’s about 9.4605284 × 1024 meters in light years if you like really obtuse statistics.

So Why Am I Podcasting?

People like podcasts if the content is interesting, if it has something valuable to give, and if it’s entertaining.

I think I’m entertaining. At least my kids think so. Because I can talk like Elmo and Yoda, mainly.

Check.

I can be interesting. But that largely depends on who I’m hanging around with. (More on that in a second).

Check.

And I have enough life-experiences at this point to offer value to anyone who has a long enough drive or big enough pot holder to crochet.

Check.

I’m podcasting for personal reasons too.

I need to keep myself sharp. As an associate pastor, I don’t speak publicly as much as my senior pastor. Which means my speaking gift gets rusty from misuse. Podcasting—while not preaching, and sometimes like teaching—forces me to prepare and speak with an audience in mind. And I like that.

I’ve also been encouraged by my dear friend, Mike Kim, who’s a podcasting phenom. A whiz kid. A wonder whirl. A idiot savant without the idiot. And because I’m only as interesting as the people I have around me (see earlier note), he’s agreed to co-host my first ten episodes.

Jackpot.

Having a recording studio at my disposal is a plus, too.

What Are You Going To Podcast About?

Great question.

Like most of us, sometimes our greatest strengths can also be significant weaknesses. One of my strengths is that I like a lot of stuff. Music, writing, theology, technology, leadership, business, art, history and my favorite: family. So while a particular subject matter stream may take a while to materialize (you know, that one subject that makes something “brandable”), I’m going to cover it all. Because I can. It’s my podcast.

And either this thing takes off because you help make it awesome, or it sucks, and after Mike is done co-hosting, we dig a shallow podcast grave and bury it.

Here’s Where You Come In

I’d love to field questions from you. From funny to deathly serious, this is your chance to hear me answer your questions in front of a live (no) studio audience (nope) of thousands! (That’s a lie).

I’ll be checking the comments for your questions, as well as Twitter and Facebook, as we gear up production and shoot for a late January launch.

Thanks for reading, and soon, thanks for listening.

Christopher

  • This question concerns writing.

    I’ve been writing for several years, and dream of being an author part-time. Recently I’ve been studying the craft by purchasing several books and writing courses by James Scott Bell, K. M. Weiland, and Nancy Strauss. Are there any books, classes, or anything of the like you recommend to better my writing?

    (I know this isn’t really a good podcast question and can be answered simply in a comment reply, but here it is anyway.)

    • Hi Harry,

      This is actually a really good question, and I’d like to bring it up on the podcast. Maybe not the first episode, but maybe second or third. We’ll see. I get asked this a lot.

      Given how much you’ve already studied, I’m actually a bit reticent to have you read another book or take another course. But if I had one to recommend, it would be Stephen King’s “On Writing.”

      Honestly, though, now I’d say this: you need to write. A lot. There’s nothing for your tradecraft like exercising your tradecraft. By writing.

      More to come! Thanks for the topic.

  • How do you get your head to shine so brightly? Coconut oil? Olive oil? Spit? We must know.

    • This is a family secret. But I just may dish on one of the episodes. Man grooming has become quite a popular subject as of late.

      • and a plug (see what I did there?) for @harrys products. They could sponsor your show!

  • Meg

    I love questions!!! I have so many questions!!!

    Also, I love this post. And the fact that you’re podcasting. I will listen with every potholder I crochet.

    So here’s just a few:

    Social media: bad for children? Also how can a Christian effectively use social media for the Kingdom, especially as artists?

    Women in the church: are we supposed to be “silent”? Are we misinterpreting Scripture and chaining %50 of the church up because of their gender? Because “feminism” is the F word….okay I’ll settle down…

    Does magic matter? Should kids be raised on Narnia and Harry Potter or the plain sensible stuff?

    Why are men such wusses? Why are women bitter? And the whole stupid dating thing these days with “texting”and “talking” instead of actual committing to a date, etc. etc. etc. Does saving yourself still matter?

    So…maybe I already know you have great answers. That’s why I want you to put it in a podcast so I can have it recorded permanently. 🙂

    • Probably the best questions ever. Totes adding these to the list.

      In short:

      1.) Yes.

      2.) Heck, no!

      3.) Yes.

      4.) See answer to #1.

      Podcast coming.

  • Anthony Gullo

    ballsy man. please don’t be politically correct. you’ll do great. looking forward to giving it a listen.

    here’s my favorite as of late – http://serialpodcast.org/season-one/1/the-alibi

    • I’ll do my best to call it like I see it. Hat’s of to you, one of Watertown’s great radio voices.

      Serial. They (we’re) amazing. Good choice.

  • Scarlet Raptor

    What I wouldn’t give to have a recording studio.

    You’ll do great, Sir Hopper!

    As of questions…

    What is the real reason that no one has heard of ‘The Parrot Joke?’

    How do you get the inspiration for the songs you write?

    What’s the story behind your band?

    -Raptor Elytra

    • Fabulous questions. Though I can’t speak to The Parrot Joke—I don’t know it!

      • Scarlet Raptor

        There’s a reason you don’t know it—I just made it up a few minutes ago.

  • 1. Who am I and why was I born?
    2. Who really killed JFK?
    3. Ok seriously, what’s the deal with dinosaurs and how does that reconcile with the Bible?
    4. Was there really an Atlantis?
    5. I would like to visit outer space. Can you make this happen for me (while I’m alive)?

    I have so many more questions. This is actually very cathartic. Would we cover these on the show?

  • Gabe

    This is going to be awesome! I freaking love podcasts, and I’ve thought it would be great if you had one for awhile.

    Questions:

    How long have you been doing audio and how did you start?

    What’s your plan for writing in 2015?

    Any good tools you know of for studying the Bible?

    What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

  • Natalie Smith

    So excited for you and can’t wait to listen! I have a question that has been asked of me many times (but reversed): “What is it like being Natalie (Hopper) Smith’s sister??” 😉