Podcamp Michigan 2008 was interesting.

I got up early on Saturday to attend the Podcamp Michigan event I mentioned previously and was pleasantly surprised to have my daughter come along for the ride. She’s not an early riser at all so I didn’t think she’d be too keen on getting up at 7AM on a Saturday when she could be sleeping in, but she dragged herself out of bed, got a quick shower, and then the two of us were off into the early morning sun.

We ended up only attending the first half of the day because most of the topics were for people who already knew what the hell they were doing podcasting-wise and were looking to take it to the next level. The first speaker, for example, talked about how good photography could really help a podcast or even just plain old blogging. The next fellow talked about how we all have a Personal Brand and why cultivating that brand was important. The third person talked about how the most important thing you need for your podcast wasn’t the hardware, but content, content, content.

All of that was interesting enough, but I already knew most of it. I don’t use a lot of photographs on SEB, but I try to make sure I use good ones for the sidebar and the occasional entry. I’m aware that I have a personal brand and it’s thoroughly tied to SEB now, for better or for worse. As for content, while I’m not entirely sure what I’ll podcast about, it’s not like I haven’t had seven years of experience finding something to shoot my mouth off about on the blog so I’m not too worried that I’ll come up with something half-way interesting to podcast about. Which isn’t to say that the talks weren’t informative and interesting, but that they were aimed at folks who had already figured the other stuff out.

What I needed to know was all the basic stuff about doing it with regards to: What’s a good headset that won’t set me back an arm and a leg? Should I even use a headset? Should I host it myself—and thusly drive up my monthly bandwidth usage—or is there a fantastic and inexpensive service provider out there that I should look into? Do I just use Audacity and do it solo, say 20 minutes of me spouting off on something, or would it be more interesting to try and get someone else to jabber at and use something like TalkShoe so I could have folks call in? Would Skypecasting be better? All of that sort of general this-is-how-you-should-get-started crap is what I needed to know. That didn’t look like it was going to be talked about much so we called it a day once lunch time hit.

But before we left I managed to sit down with another Les—that would be Les Zaldor of Zaldor’s World—who’s already been podcasting for some time now. I also got to meet BLUEeyedBanshee who has been an off-and-on SEB regular from way back. I’ve “known” both of them for years and it was pretty cool to finally get a chance to see them in person. We didn’t have a lot of time, they had to rush off to grab some lunch and get back for the second half of the day, but we got a few minutes to chat. Les showed me a wicked cool digital audio recorder he carries with him that looks like a small version of the sort of mic you’d expect to see on a talk show host’s desk and he used it to have me record a promo for his podcast. The kind of thing radio stations are always getting famous musicians to do except I’m not as famous or as well rehearsed as they are. Fortunately I remembered to bring my camera with me so the historic meeting could be immortalized in a pic:

As you can clearly see I am nowhere near as scary in real life as I seem to be on my blog. Les doesn’t look at all concerned for his well being and I have a big friendly smile on my face. I’m a nice guy. Really!

6 thoughts on “Podcamp Michigan 2008 was interesting.

  1. Was awesome to finally meet ya (and Courtney) too!  Glad we had a little time to chat, maybe we’ll have to meet up again sooner and work on getting you more into podcasting!!

  2. On the last Tuesday of every month, the Detroit Podcasters Network gets together.  I’m pretty sure that if you show up, someone there will be able to help answer your questions.

  3. I’ve been meaning to make it to one of the monthly meetings ever since Zaldor first mentioned it. I’ll make it down there one of these days.

  4. Hi Les,

    I was also an attendee for the morning part of Podcamp Michigan – it was definitely interesting!

    I went to Podcamp Pittsburgh last month and sat in on a podcasting session, so I thought I’d share what I learned.  The presenter, Alex Landefeld (@alex_landefeld)suggested using blip.tv for hosting podcasts, and using a Blue Snowball USB Mic for recording (http://www.guitarcenter.com/Blue-Snowball-USB-Microphone-103647319-i1127343.gc) – it runs in the $100 range.  He might be someone who can offer more advice on this, but I thought at least those were starting points for the questions in your post above.

    I am also interesting in starting podcasting for my employer and am currently asking the same questions you are.  Good luck! smile



  5. Do you know of anybody who’d do the podcast with you? Most the time I find podcasts that only have one person boring…unless they consistently have interesting topics (see Skeptoid). For the most part I like podcasts where there’s discussion and dialogue going on, and you can’t really have that by yourself.

    Would it just be a general topic, “hey here’s what’s going on in the life of the Stupid Evil Bastard” type podcast? Or would it focus on religion/atheism or some other topic?

  6. There’s a few people I think would be willing to join me for at least an episode or two, but I’m not sure if there’s anyone who want to do every episode. As for topics it’ll probably be a lot like SEB itself in that I’ll probably talk about whatever catches my attention. There’s sure to be religion, atheism and politics topics cause I already do quite a bit of that, but I’ll also probably have computing, gadget and video games to talk about as well.

    My initial conception was to do something where I pick a couple of topics that seem like they’d be interesting to talk to someone about and then try to find someone to join me to talk about them. I’m also open to taking topics and questions from readers that might be interesting discussion material.

    I’m open to ideas. What do you regulars think you’d like to hear in an SEB podcast?

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