Women in Podcasting: Interview with Soozi Baggs

Maternity Leavers Podcast Logo Podcasting NewsSoozi Baggs is the host of the Maternity Leavers podcast. She shares advice that can help guide pregnant women and mums to start their own businesses while they are on maternity leave. Her podcast is geared for women who are in the UK.

When did you first start podcasting? What’s your experience in podcasting from then to now?

I started really recently – only launching my show in June 2014. I’d known for months I was going to do it and I had a clear idea of the kind of show I wanted, but it wasn’t until April that I got my act together, found the time, and booked in several guests to get me started. Since then I’ve kept it going weekly up to episode 23. I’ve found lately though that I need more time for my one-to-one clients and have therefore switched the show to a monthly format for the foreseeable future. I still love doing it though and will be increasing the frequency again as soon as I can!

What inspired you to become a podcaster?

I studied a media course in my teenage years – I never even completed it! But one module that I got really involved in was the one about radio presenting and production. I learned all about the technical side of producing adverts and other snippits of audio, and I worked on two student radio stations – doing everything from writing and reading the news, to presenting a breakfast show and an afternoon show. Sadly, although I continued being a bit of a chatterbox, I never pursued any of my radio dreams, but I did consume masses of podcasts for years as I was commuting in London. So when I started my own business, making a podcast part of it was a natural choice.

What is maternity leave like in the UK? What sort of information can a person expect to hear about in your Maternity Leavers podcast?

Maternity Leave for most employees in the UK is 12 months. It’s paid for 9 months of that, and depending on your company, you may get more than the basic minimum too. So, if a woman takes off the full amount of time, that gives her a lot of time to plan a career change or to start a business. And that’s how Maternity Leavers itself came about – I help new mums on maternity leave to set up their own businesses. The podcast features interviews with women who started their own business when their children were young. We talk about how their business fitted in with their career direction at the time, and also discuss how they make it work in terms of childcare, productivity, working hours, and things like that – and of course their advice for mums just starting out.

What words of wisdom do you have for women who are thinking about starting their own podcast?

I would say if you feel drawn to it then definitely give it a go. If an open ended show seems daunting, commit yourself to a specific number (you don’t have to share this with anyone). If you love it, you’ll keep on going anyway!

And if you have guests, streamline your process as soon as possible. Many of my guests self selected themselves and contacted me after I put out a few calls on Facebook, which was great and saved me having to email lots of people. Then, an online scheduler that converts to the user’s local timezone is absolutely essential so they can book themselves in easily without sending emails back and forth about availability. Finally, encourage your guests to share their episode on all their social media channels, which will help your reach – and reassure them that the show came out great, in case they hate the sound of their own voice and don’t want to share it!

World of Podcasts 2014

World of Podcasts logoLast week, I attended the second World of Podcasts event in Anaheim, CA. World of Podcasts is dedicated to shows that cover Blizzard Entertainment and its video game franchises (most notably World of Warcraft). World of Podcasts takes place the night before BlizzCon, an annual convention organized by Blizzard to celebrate its existing games as well as reveal upcoming releases. And while World of Podcasts and BlizzCon do have a similar focus, the two events aren’t officially connected.

World of Podcasts 2014 was held at the Anaheim Hilton, which put the event right in the middle of much of the action that occurs adjacent to the Anaheim Convention Center and BlizzCon itself. At pretty much all hours of the day, conventioneers can be found gathered at the bar and in the lobby of the Hilton. It was the perfect venue for something like World of Podcasts. I also attended the first World of Podcasts in 2013. This year’s event eclipsed last year’s substantially.

In 2013, World of Podcasts was held in one room with a small sound system. The setup was problematic at times, as groups of people would often gather in the back of the room to talk, and those conversations would overpower the speakers at the front of the room. But this year, World of Podcasts spanned several rooms, which gave attendees plenty of space to spread out if they wanted to socialize. There was also a much better sound system, so live panels were more enjoyable for panelists and audience members alike.

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Women in Podcasting: Interview with Amy Robles

MilFamMonth podcasting newsAmy Robles is a mom and a military spouse. She is also a blogger and the creator of The Family Knot podcast.

Her podcast delves into the military lifestyle and offers advice for families who must learn to cope with the many changes and stresses that can happen when one spouse is in the military. The Family Knot seemed like the perfect podcast to highlight during November since it is Military Family Appreciation Month.

When did you first start podcasting? What’s your experience in podcasting from then to now?

So I am new podcaster, and can I just tell you that I LOVE this stuff! Next week will be my tenth episode of the show and I feel like we have worked out some the kinks and are making some great progress connecting with the audience. Woohoo!

It has been an incredible summer for me. I was the girl that would…ahem… “fight with the remote control,” and after a few months learning from Meron Bareket and Podcast Incubator I’ve been able to produce my show.

The Family Knot, is specifically focused on military spouses. These spouses have additional stress from: having a partner who is gone for long periods of time, possibly in danger; remaining a constant support for the rest of the family; moving to a completely new place every few years; and quite frankly, family finances can be tricky in the middle of all of this.

That’s why I created a show that is helping families, making a contribution, and reaching out to inspire spouses and combat the loneliness that can happen.

The best part of this entire experience is how much I’ve been able to grow, communicate with influential people, ask specific questions to help my audience get one step closer to reaching their dreams. Or figuring out a better way to handle the family finances. It’s all part of the big picture.

What inspired you to become a podcaster?

It’s been said “Write the book you want to read.” As I became friends with spouses in different branches of the military, whether Active Duty or Reserves, National Guard or the Navy, in any part of the world, I found some real commonalities.

Whether the deployment time is 90 days, 9 months, or even 18 months there are some similarities in the challenges that come from this life. Spouses can connect, build up one another and support each other through difficult times. That’s the only way to have a solid foundation when your other half is gone. You have to create it. Why wasn’t there a place where not just Army spouses or Marine spouses or Reserves Spouses get together, but we all get together to build a positive environment.

That’s precisely what inspired me to create The Family Knot.

Can you tell us more about The Family Knot? What topics does it focus on?

There’s two main areas of focus on the show. Each could be an independent show, but by combining the two we have reached a far greater number of families in the short time we’ve be running.

First, appreciating the challenges of military life. Not that they are wonderful. But they are manageable. By openly discussing challenges that are completely normal, (like fighting with your spouse before they leave for a long period of time. Who knew that was normal?) We can better understand our perspective and as a couple work through it. How about the challenge of making a new apartment, that is smaller than your last one, feel like home? What about helping your kids move into a new school, again? Are there strategies to help in these situations. This is what we discuss here.

Next, it is not easy to move from place to place and maintain consistent employment. A military spouse resume can be problematic. You’ve had how many 2 year jobs? And the jobs available can be lower paying, making child care even more costly to the family unit. The Family Knot explores employment and entrepreneurship opportunities from home. Interviews with business people working from home offer ideas for the military spouse. This way, the spouse can be home with children, if necessary, the position is location independent, and they can help with family finances.

What words of wisdom do you have for women who are thinking about starting their own podcast?

Look, girl. I get it. Creating a podcast is a whole new ball game. But I did it. And I am not a techie.

You can do it. Figure out who you are really talking to. What do they need to hear? What can you help them learn? You don’t have to be the expert, but you do have to ask the right questions. Involving others in your show builds your credibility. Ask for interviews with great guests.

You have no idea how much you can help others, how much fun this is and what you can accomplish! In fact, tweet me about your project @itsamyrobles I would love to cheer you on in your journey!

Women in Podcasting: Interview with Lisa Louise Cooke – PCN Show 007

Genealogy Gems Podcasting newsIn episode seven of the Podcaster News Show, I bring you more news about women in podcasting. This episode features an interview with Lisa Louise Cooke a woman whose name is well recognized in genealogy circles. She is involved in three podcasts that focus on genealogy and family history.

Links mentioned in this episode:
Genealogy Gems Podcast
Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast
Family Tree Magazine Podcast

A Decade of Podcasting

Little did I know the fate that awaited me when I sat down and recorded my first podcast on a hot autumn day in Waco, Texas. On Oct. 9, I celebrated 10 years in podcasting.

In the early 90s I ran the largest bulletin board system in the territory of Guam. What was I doing in Guam? Well before and during my podcasting days I was active duty in the U.S. Navy. I retired in 2007 to do podcasting full time.

So from about 1990 to 2002 I ran a BBS and when that space died, I started blogging . . . I admit I was not that great of a blogger. But the two things had something in common: the BBS and the blog allowed me to communicate with like-minded people.

In June 2004 I was involved in a swimming pool accident that nearly left me paralyzed. The doc said I was a “3 percenter” — 97 percent of the people that suffered my injury are left paralyzed the rest of their lives. That experience left me wanting to make a difference in people’s lives and I started seeking a way to fulfill that.

During the months of recovery I made myself useful to the Navy by doing administrative jobs that landed me in Waco overseeing the taxpayers’ dollars that were being spent on the modification of airplanes. With Texas being 100 degrees in the shade, and me being constrained to a clamshell body brace, air conditioning was my best friend.

So on Oct. 8 I discovered podcasting pioneers Dave Winer and Adam Curry on “Scripting News.” I was like a fish that had not seen a meal in a year — hooked. My first show, on Oct. 9, lasted 43 minutes and reached 500-1,000 listeners; about five times as many as had ever read my blog in a single day. I knew I was on to something big.

In the early days the biggest challenge was securing enough hosting accounts to keep the show online. Bandwidth was expensive, and for the first year I had no less than 18 hosting accounts to support eight episodes a month. I would put an episode up, blow out the monthly bandwidth allowance on that host within 36 hours, and then change the media source until I blew out the next hosting account allotment.

The show quickly grew to more than 65,000 listeners. Those where the glory days of podcasting, yet I marvel that we all did not go broke. But things were evolving. In January 2005 I wrote the first book on podcasting “Podcasting the Do it Yourself Guide.” We sold over 47,000 copies of that book, a record for a tech book. We received several awards, including one from Amazon and another from the New York Times. And that kept me out of the poor house.

In July 2005 GoDaddy approached me and offered to sponsor my show, which was exciting as my wife had instituted a two-year deadline to make the show profitable. After a few months I was asked by GoDaddy rep Kris Redlinger the now-famous question that changed everything: “Do you know other podcasts we could advertise in?” It was as if I had been struck by lightning, a business instantly formulated in my head.

On my next show I did a shout-out asking for a Web developer/ programmer, business developer, graphics guy and a lawyer. From that call-out on my show we built RawVoice. The rest is history. RawVoice was built with fans of my show: Four of the five principles RawVoice started with are still primary owners in the company.

Honestly, the past 10 years have been a whirlwind and I admit that being one of the first 50 or so podcasters was pretty cool. Hundreds of thousands have come and gone since then and today we still see new shows launching nearly every day — people with a voice and a passion to discuss every possible topic under the sun.

The principles of podcasting have not changed since Day 1, and I chuckle when someone has a new scheme about how to get into the new and noteworthy section of iTunes. When I walked both ways uphill in the snow to do my podcast, there was no podcast section in iTunes let alone “new and noteworthy.” We had to win the audience over by content. Content and passion will remain the formula that wins the hearts, minds and loyalty of podcast audiences.

While I do consider myself what us Navy guys call a plankowner — a crew member who is part of a inaugural crew when the ship is commissioned — in the podcasting space, I am overjoyed every day when I learn something new or consider a new podcasting technique. But one thing for sure is I am not the same podcaster that started on that hot steamy day in Waco, Texas, in a dingy hotel room.

The podcasting journey has been my therapy. My audience experienced the death of my father on the day of my 200th episode. The response I received to the 5-minute announcement I made to my audience explaining why there would be no show that night still amazes me, and also made me realize what podcasting was really about. I got more than 5,000 emails from my family of listeners with words of condolence, and my family of listeners sent dozens of bouquets of flowers to my father’s funeral.

Notice I say my “Family of Listeners”. On my show, every listener is part of my “ohana.” From Google, “The word ʻohana means family in the Hawaiian language, but in a wider sense to include not only one’s closer relatives, but also one’s cousins, in laws, friends, race, and other neighbours,” and in my case my audience.

Once you start thinking about your audience as an extended part of your family your relationship with them will change and you will become a more engaged podcaster.

So as I start my second 10 years in podcasting, I hope that you will consider the legacy you are creating, the lives you’re molding and make your voice one that will not be forgotten.

As I approach my one-thousandth show, I hope you will tune into my podcast and let me share in much deeper detail what I have attempted to share with you today in written word. It sure is a hell of a lot easier to just podcast it.

Happy Podcasting
Todd Cochrane
Host Geek News Central
CEO RawVoice

Telepod Is A New High-Quality Call Recording Service For Podcasters

Telepod LogoPodcasters are always looking for simple and reliable ways to record conference calls. Over the years, many solutions have been provided. Some are simple, software-based solutions. Others require multiple pieces of hardware and cables. Often, no matter what system has been employed, the audio quality of the end product can vary wildly, usually due to conditions that are outside of a podcaster’s control. The need for something better has given rise to a bevy of services promising to record calls with an easy, high-quality system.

The latest entrant to this field to make podcasting news is Telepod. The service is currently in an invitation-only beta. On its website, Telepod lists its features as:

  • 48Khz, 300kbps crystal-clear audio that sounds like you’re in the same room.
  • Record their side, your side, or both. Save the recordings as WAV, AIFF, OGG, or MP3.
  • Connect any mic to your computer and you’re set. USB mics, webcams, fancy audio interfaces, all will work with Telepod.
  • Connect across city, across the country, across the hall. Have a remote session with anyone who has a good internet connection.
  • Nothing to install, no plugins. Connect, listen and record using only your web browser. It’s as simple as clicking a link.
  • Your links, your sounds, your recordings, all encrypted and out of harm’s way.

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Women in Podcasting: Interview with Christy from Nerd Out Loud

Nerd Out Loud podcast logo podcasting newsChristy is one of the hosts of the Nerd Out Loud podcast. As you may have guessed from the name of the show, it is a podcast where you can nerd out with the hosts about whatever topics you like to nerd out about. Nerd Out Loud has been podcasting news about space, current events, and glimpses into their day-to-day lives. It is also the first podcast to have its own “drone strikes”!

When did you first start podcasting? What have you been doing in podcasting between then and now?
I started listening to podcasts in Feb of 2009 (The Adam Carolla show). In July I was introduced to a local (Seattle) show, TBTL with a very large listener community. We call ourselves the Tens and have lots of meetups. In 2012 most of my friend group was made-up of Tens. Around November of 2012 my friend and I were both crushing on people that were terrible choices for us and we decided to start a podcast about sex, love, pop culture, sports and everything in between. It was called What Are We Doing after 23 episodes we stopped being friends and the podcast. The producer of WAWD and I began dating and he wanted to a show so that is how Nerd Out Loud was born. We have a small loyal audience and regular guests whom we call Friends of the Show.

What inspired you to become a podcaster?
I love the podcast medium, and the community we have become a part of. I honestly thought no one would listen and it still baffles me that people actually care what we ramble on about in our living room.

What kinds of topics do you cover on Nerd Out Loud?
Anything and everything. The premise was supposed to be interviewing people about what they are passionate about. However we get so much feedback that our listeners (we call them Nerds) would rather hear just us talking. This week we will be talking about gun control as there are two firearm initiatives up for vote in Washington and we are both pretty passionate about the topic. Just as important we will be discussing Halloween candy and conducted a poll online.

What words of wisdom do you have for women who are thinking about starting a podcast?
The best advice I got was when I started I had a very hard time listening to my voice and refused to wear headphones, and wouldn’t listen to the first few episodes. A fellow podcaster told me that I need to just get over it and listen for audio issues and content. The advice I like to give is to have funny or provocative titles because those always get the most downloads. Lastly my motto is: Pod Like No One is Listening.

A Podcaster’s Response To Chris Brogan – PCN Show 006

SociaChris Brogan - podcasting newsl media maven Chris Brogan recently made some podcasting news when he published a blog post called “Dear Podcaster.” In that post, Chris gave some advice to podcasters based on his own experiences in being interviewed on many podcasts. I decided to take a look at this advice and provide some thoughts of my own.

Links mentioned during the podcast:

Chris Brogan: Dear Podcaster

Podcaster News on Twitter

My Twitter profile

Original image from Shawn Collins on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

Stitcher Acquired By Deezer

Stitcher RadioPodcast-consumtion app Stitcher has been acquired by European streaming-music service Deezer. From the Deezer blog:

Deezer has acquired award winning radio app Stitcher to provide access to the best in entertainment and talk radio – including NPR, This American Life, Freakonomics, Wall Street Journal, WTF with Marc Maron, Savage Lovecast, BBC, CBC, RTÉ and more.

Stitcher is the leading on-demand internet radio service that features news, entertainment, comedy and sports radio. By giving you access to 35,000 radio shows in addition to 35 million songs, Deezer will bring you the talk as well as the tune.

Next year Stitcher will be integrated into Deezer, so you’ll be able to experience your favourite talk shows and podcasts whenever, wherever. We’ll also make sure to recommend shows that we know you’ll like, helping you to discover more gems like Nerdist, The Moth or Slate.com’s Culture Gabfest.

Stitcher sent two e-mails today in regards to the acquisition. One to listeners and one to partners (Sittcher refers to all podcasters that have provided shows to their directory as “partners”). Both e-mails say pretty much the same things. From the partner e-mail:

Today, we’re pleased to announce we’ve been acquired by Deezer, the first truly worldwide digital music streaming service available in over 180 countries, with 16 million monthly active users. Deezer loves audio as much as we do and strongly believes in our mission to deliver a world class listening experience.

First things first: Stitcher isn’t going anywhere. We will continue to support and improve the app, and your listeners will still be able to hear your show on Stitcher the way they always have. Additionally, it is our goal to help you reach audiences not just on Stitcher, but around the globe as we work with Deezer to introduce spoken audio into their products. We’ll continue to provide you with timely updates as we work on new features and integrations.

Together with Deezer, Stitcher will be able to accelerate the growth of our platform and the audience for your shows. We are dedicated to continuing to work hard to build an industry standard set of tools for our content partners and create the best listening experience in the world.

It looks like little will change in the short term for podcasters who are distributing thru Stitcher. It’s too early to say what this acquisition will mean for the future of Stitcher as a podcasting platform. Presumably, Stitcher will eventually be rolled into Deezer to expand Deezer’s functionality as a streaming-media player.

This acquisition is similar to another transaction that made podcasting news earlier this year, when Apple purchased Swell. But unlike with that deal, no specific terms of the Stitcher acquisition have been made public.