All posts by Jen Thorpe

Contains Moderate Peril Seeks Female Co-Host



Contains Moderate Peril logo Podcaster NewsMy focus here at Podcaster News is on women in podcasting. I strive to highlight the many women who are podcasters in an effort to make people realize we are out there. Part of the reason why I feel this is so important is because women in podcasting are largely overlooked as the male podcasters receive the majority of the attention in blogs and articles.

This is why I was especially happy to read that the Contains Moderate Peril podcast is seeking a female co-host. The podcast has been on hiatus and is intending to come back. Rather than rephrase things, I will post a small portion of the blog post at the Contains Moderate Peril website that talks about this:

However there is one thing that has concerned me of late. To my mind there isn’t sufficient female representation within the podcast community that I inhabit. I would like to do something to remedy that. Therefore I am actively seeking a female co-host for the show, but beyond fair representation there is an agenda. Ideally someone who has previous experience of podcasting and has an active interest in multiple aspects of pop culture would be beneficial. However, these rules are not set in tablets of stone. The most practical advice I could offer to those who maybe interested would be to listen to some of the previous shows. Consider if you would be comfortable participating in discussions of that nature, idiom and style. As ever, it’s a voluntary, unpaid gig which requires a degree of time commitment each month.

Kudos to Roger Edwards for not only recognizing that there isn’t sufficient female representation in podcasting (or, at least in the podcast community he inhabits) and also for doing something about it! Those of you reading this who are women that have experience in podcasting may want to check out this opportunity.


Women in Podcasting: Where to Find the Women – PCN Show 010



She Podcasts Directory Podcaster NewsIn episode ten of the Podcaster News Show, I continue my Women in Podcasting series by pointing you towards directories and other online resources that will help you to find podcasts that are hosted by women.

Before you can listen to someone’s podcast, you have to be able to find it. Add some women’s voices and viewpoints to the mix of podcasts that you are currently listening to. There are so many to choose from!

Links mentioned in this episode:
* She Podcasts Directory
* IPDb list of podcasts


Women in Podcasting: Interview with Audrey Kearns from Geek Girl Authority



Geek-Girl-Authority-Podcaster NewsAudrey Kearns is the founder and editor of Geek Girl Authority. Her podcasts include: 5 Truths and a Lie, Kneel Before Aud, and Poll Cats. You can follow Geek Girl Authority on Twitter @GeekGirlAuth.

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

I started podcasting in 2011 with a podcast called 5 Truths and a Lie. I had co-created 5 Truths and a Lie as live storytelling show in 2010. The show became wildly popular in Los Angeles and the stories were very good so we decided to record each of the live shows. We started taking the recordings and creating a podcast around them.

The biggest difference between podcasting in 2011 and now in 2015 is that now it’s a very noisy medium. There are a lot of podcasts out there to compete with but also to enjoy.

Another MAJOR difference is that now I know how to actually record a podcast! I had relied on friends to help record and produce (these are folks, I still work with today). I now have 3 podcasts out in the aether so it just wasn’t feasible or logical anymore to constantly rely on other folks to set up equipment, record and edit especially when we are all doing this out of love and not money. So, I started looking at YouTube videos and tutorials, had my sound producer buddy give me a few quick editing lessons and now I’m pretty self sufficient. I can even bring my equipment with me if I need to travel and record.

What inspired you to become a podcaster?

I’ve always loved listening to podcasts. Especially storytelling and interview podcasts. That love led me to start podcasting 5 Truths and a Lie and eventually my interview-based podcast, Kneel Before Aud. Aside from the technical aspects of podcasting, it wasn’t hard to create the podcast or even do them since I’ve been an actor/writer for the last twenty years. I enjoy the creative process and have really enjoyed crafting my podcasts into well done shows. I’m constantly learning as I go!

How did you come up with the name of your podcast? What kinds of topics do you cover?

Kneel Before Aud – I’m the co-founder and editor of a geek culture and pop culture website called Geek Girl Authority. I’m such a fan of science fiction, fantasy and pop culture. I found myself just wanting to chat with people in the nerd world about what they do. So I came up with the name “Kneel Before Aud” for my interview show. If you’re a geek, you’ll get the reference, if not, it’s a reference from the 1980’s film Superman II. There’s a villain from Superman’s planet named Zod. He comes to Earth and tells the President to “Kneel Before Zod!” So, I’m Kneel Before Aud……get it?

I thought Kneel Before Aud was a pretty good name and it would let the listeners know that the interviews are in the geekscape and that I cover the spectrum: fun, laid back, smart and silly. I’m really proud of this one.

Poll Cats – This title is a really silly play on ‘pole cat.’ This is another podcast that Geek Girl Authority produces and hosts. I wanted a show where I and my two other co founders, Claudia Dolph and Jenny Flack, can talk about a geeky topic for 45 minutes and then release the podcast with an accompanying poll. For example, on one show, we talked about our favorite Sci-Fi Universes and we must have covered around 20 different universes. We took the 5 most popular Sci Fi Universes and posted that poll along with the podcast. It’s a super fun way to get listeners involved.

5 Truths and a Lie – My storytelling show that I created with my husband. The reason for this title is quite simple. We ask six storytellers to tell a story based on a theme that we give them. The twist is one of the storytellers is lying. It’s up to the listener to figure out which storyteller is the liar. Hence the name.

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

Here’s what I think. I’m all for following your dreams but here’s the thing. Following your dreams also comes with hard work. Listen to as many podcasts as you can. Listen not only to ones you like but ones you don’t like. All this research will help you create a podcast/brand that screams who you are. If you think you suck when you hear yourself in your first podcast remember this: You probably do not suck and take notes on how to improve for the next one. It’s an ever-evolving process. You could be on your 100th podcast and realize, “oh, that’s just not working” or you could be listening to your 5th podcast and be very happy with it and know, “I really knocked that one out of the park.” That’s the joy of the creative process.

As far as being a female podcaster, one of the greatest pieces of wisdom I can impart is that other women podcasters are awesome and very helpful. There’s a horrible misconception that’s always been in the zeitgeist about women, you know the one: we’re all backstabbers and jealous of each other but the wonderful truth is that this community is here to help and is happy to help. So network, ask for favors, return favors and most of all have fun!


Women in Podcasting: Interview with EJ from Girls Gone WoW



Girls Gone WoW logo Podcaster NewsEJ is one of the hosts of the Girls Gone WoW Podcast. The show is mostly aimed toward female World of Warcraft players, but they do welcome male listeners and guests as well. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @GGWshow.

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

I was in a World of Warcraft guild with Sil – a guild is like a club in the game and you have to be a member of the club to do certain things in game. She started a podcast called Girls Gone WoW at the end of 2010 and asked me along as a guest on the 6th show. A couple of months later, she lost a couple of her co-hosts and she asked me if I’d be interested in becoming a host, and as I’d had a blast being on the show I agreed. Since then, Sunday nights are podcasting nights with Sil and Raven.

What inspired you to become a podcaster?

Before I’d been on GGW I’d been listening to mostly gaming podcasts for about a year and I really liked the way they gave a chance for the gaming community to meet and talk about what was going on in the game. For me, it seemed like an extension of hanging out online with friends in my guild and also a chance to get to meet more like minded people.

How did your podcast get the name “Girls Gone Wow”? What kinds of topics do you cover?

Sil came up with the name, she wanted something quick and catchy to sum up the feel she wanted the podcast to have. We try and promote an understanding that gaming can be as much a woman’s choice of entertainment as a chap’s and that we can all play together and have a lot of fun. Of course we don’t exclude chaps from our show but we hope that we show another side to gaming. Our topics can be quite wide ranged: although we focus a lot on what we are doing in game at the moment, or upcoming additions that are being included with the game, we also discuss topics that run alongside gaming, such as cosplay, roleplaying and how women can be perceived or portrayed in games and gaming culture.

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

Just do it! If you have an idea, then give it a go. Twitter is a really good way to promote your podcast and get conversations started. Invest in a good microphone and headset, there is nothing worse than listening to poor quality sounding podcasts. Expect to make mistakes and just learn from them – a lot of podcasters look back on their first 10 episodes or so as trial runs so don’t expect to achieve everything you want in episode one. Most importantly, have fun and if it’s not fun, then stop.


Women in Podcasting: Interview with Meagan from Warcraft Trolls



Warcraft Trolls Podcast Logo Podcaster NewsMeagan is the co-host of the Warcraft Trolls Podcast. She does the show with her husband, Ward. Their podcast is focused on the World of Warcraft video game (which is made by Blizzard Entertainment). No, the show isn’t about how to be a “troll” online!

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

I first got into podcasting when I met Dustin, who runs Trollcasts.com. about three years ago. We were both in the same World of Warcraft guild, and quickly became friends. Back then he and another gentleman had several podcasts going on on what they called “The Trollcasts Network”. There was “Media Trolls” and “Political Trolls”, and yes, they did mean THAT kind of troll. Mostly they just argued about random topics, but it interested me. So I started making a brief little pop culture podcast called Thinking Too Hard. Just me and my onboard laptop mic, talking about anything that interested me that week for about 15 minutes. I covered subjects ranging from the new Diablo game to the original Twilight Zone series. I didn’t want to pin myself down to any one topic.

What inspired you to become a podcaster?

Dustin invited me to become a regular co-host on the “Media Trolls” show. I had a great time at first, but I soon butted heads with the other co-host. In the beginning, things were friendly. A little ribbing here and there. But the one sticking point between us was that he hated feminism, “femnazis”, and anything that progressively promoted the rights of women. I won’t get into it too much, but the old shows are still up for listening. Although the “Media Trolls” eventually fell apart, it really forced me to crystalize my own feminism. To get more involved in women’s rights and learn more about the portrayal of women in media. I had to argue my points weekly. Eventually, the other host quit to pursue other ventures, and Media Trolls died.

How did you come up with the name “Warcraft Trolls”? What topics does your podcast cover?

I wanted to do a new show with my husband, Ward. He wasn’t a regular on Media Trolls, but I always thought he was great when he joined us. So I decided to do a show about the subject we share the most in common: World of Warcraft. Since the site was Trollcasts.com, and the other shows all had Trolls in the name, and Trolls are also a playable race in World of Warcraft, we named the show “Warcraft Trolls.” Warcraft and Blizzard podcasts were and still remain very popular, with new ones springing up all the time. We flourished in the community, made friends with other podcasters and World of Warcraft players, and generally have a great time doing the show. In the beginning, we tried to keep things organized. We would write outlines, take notes, try to keep on track. But we slowly realized that our charm was in our rambling disorganized style. That while most Warcraft Podcasts acted like a radio program, with news stories, interviews, debates and discussions, our show was more like being invited to dinner with us. To sit and talk about the game and whatever was going on in our lives. It was our way to stand out among the many, many other Warcraft Podcasts. It’s served us well.

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

Going back to the beginning, back when I was first starting out, I was nervous about being a woman in a public space. Never mind a feminist in a nerdy/gamer space. I’d seen the fall out and the abuse other women suffered for speaking up about their feminist leanings and critiques of spaces that are often still treated as a boys’ club. And in the beginning, I tempered myself. I knew my own feelings and beliefs, but I thought, “This doesn’t have anything to do with the subject at hand. Even if someone is being sexist/homophobic/racist, I’ll just smile and keep my mouth shut.” I did that for my own protection, and I regret it. Eventually I reached a breaking point. My own line in the sand, I guess. I still remember it. We were discussing the extended Star Wars universe on Media Trolls, and the other host was talking about this “hot” alien race of female sex slaves. He said that it was okay because they “chose” to be sex slaves. And I just snapped. “They didn’t choose, they were created by men. They are a creation. The choice was made by men to make their objectification seem more okay.”

Once I spoke up, I couldn’t go back. And although I’ve gotten some pushback, I’ve also met amazing feminists, amazing women, amazing people that understand and support me. Whenever another woman comes to me saying she wants to start a podcast, but she’s nervous about how she’ll be received, I tell her to go for it! Your voice matters. Speak your mind. Learn, debate, speak out and always be true to yourself. Whether you want to discuss knitting or video games or cooking or movies or anything else. There is no harm in trying. In expressing your thoughts. The internet can be a very scary place for women. But we are half the world, and half the internet. And there will always be other women out there to get your back.


Women in Podcasting: Interview with Myself – PCN Show 009



blue2-200-e1401055782419 In episode nine of the Podcaster News Show, I decided to turn things around a little bit. Usually, I interview a woman who is a podcaster. This time, I have enlisted the help of Shawn Thorpe (a fellow Podcaster News contributor) to help me interview … well… myself.

It dawned on me that I’ve been asking women who podcast a series of questions that I hadn’t specifically answered myself. So, for this episode, Shawn takes my place and asks me the questions about podcasting that I usually ask other women. The other option would have been for me to electronically alter my voice and do a self-interview, but that would have been too weird!

Links mentioned in this episode:
Hyper Nonsense
Shattered Soulstone
Halfway Around the World


Women in Podcasting: Interview with Kylie Sturgess



Token Skeptic podcast logo Podcaster NewsKylie Sturgess is the host and producer of the Token Skeptic podcast. It is a bi-weekly podcast that brings you a skeptical look at stories in the news, science, pseudoscience, and more. She has conducted over 100 interviews with artists, scientists, politicians, and activists.

When did you first start podcasting? What’s your experience been from then until today?

I first started podcasting around 2006; the experience of interviewing people has always been enjoyable. I was able to use my contacts and extensive reading of science, psychology and philosophy books to be enthusiastic about the chance to talk to authors, artists and activists further about their work.

As a result of podcasting, I took a year off to study broadcast radio and now my pre-recorded audio is aired on two different local stations and I often do interviews live (live!!) as a host for a mid-morning show on arts and issues. I sometimes do the graveyard shift, spinning CDs of the funky-geek-math-rock kind, as music-podcasting isn’t my forte and the experience is a great technical challenge.

Due to my studies, I podcast fairly irregularly now (the original podcast is on two USA stations as a part of their public broadcasting), but as soon as the holidays and the new year gets underway (and my second book of podcast work is out!), I’ll be putting lots of previously-done-audio online.

What inspired you to become a podcaster?

I was often dismayed to hear interviewers who didn’t “do their homework” about a topic and so I thought that I’d see just how much of a challenge it could be! The experience has been a good one, although it’s surprising how even a little (and I do mean little!) success can get noses pointlessly out of joint; the important thing is to tap into what made you enjoy it in the first place and use that to drive you.

Podcasting audiences are surprisingly kind and supportive and it’s often a silent, listening majority who keep me on my toes and going back for another tighter edit or tougher question.

I used to follow podcasting lectures from the USA with tips and tricks and now use my site to occasionally post advice for other podcasters on what I’ve learned. The more the merrier is my opinion!

Could you explain a bit about what skeptic means, for those who are unfamiliar with that concept? What kinds of topics do you cover in your podcast?

Skepticism involves favouring conclusions that are valid and consistently reliable, rather than for convenience’s sake. All empirical claims are up for rigorous testing using the methods of science (the scientific method) – especially their own claims. An acceptance of a claim is proportional and depends upon valid logic and a fair assessment of what evidence is available. In addition, the study of reason and psychology underpinning belief in claims is vital. Skepticism values method over conclusion.

As a skeptic, I’m interested in paranormal, pseudoscientific claims and consumer rights. I’m also an atheist (albeit one who has taught in many religious schools, as an out-atheist, including teaching introductory philosophy courses and high school critical thinking) and I’m very interested in how people with and without faith can support science and critical thinking in numerous ways.

What advice do you have for women who are thinking about starting their own podcast?

Do some research and find what’s out there that works and you think you would be comfortable trying too!

There’s never “too many X topic podcasters”, there’s never enough minority voices – give it a try, you never know what it might lead to.

It’s surprising how the experience of stretching your communication skills can lead to great confidence, especially with technology, and we can never have enough women who take back the spaces that should be available to all. Even if there’s only a handful of listeners, it’s a buzz if you make it so.


Women in Podcasting: Interview with Rachel Dewell



Preveting HG Podcast logo Podcaster NewsRachel Dewell is the host of the Preventing HG podcast. Her podcast is a great resource for pregnant women who have Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a serious illness that is much more debilitating than the typical “morning sickness”. The Preventing HG Podcast is also a good resource for women who want to learn about the illness and for people whose loved ones are currently coping with it.

When did you first start podcasting? What’s your experience in podcasting from then until today?

I first started podcasting on May 15, 2014. It was called the HyperG Pregnancy Podcast. I published 12 weekly episodes and then took a break late summer to re-brand and re-focus on what I really wanted to do with the podcast. It seemed like the more I got into podcasting, the further I strayed away from what I really set out to do. I restarted the podcast again in September and it’s been much more relaxed over all. It’s now the Preventing HG podcast, because I’m concentrating on bringing alternative treatment options for HG prevention, or at least to lessen the severity of the illness. I also see a great need to help women recover after the birth from the damage HG has done on the body. I’m really excited about what’s coming up.

Podcasting has been more fun than I expected, but more work too. I’m kind of shy and introverted; I don’t like to be the center of attention. Yet, a one-on-one conversation is just the sort of thing that fascinates me. I’ve always been curious about people. I love finding out more about their story and life, and what they think. I love it so much that I have been thinking about starting 4 other podcasts. Maybe, some day …

What inspired you to become a podcaster?

My husband started a long commute for a new job back in 2008. I had just had my fourth baby, and was recovering from my worst pregnancy. He started to listen to podcasts to pass his time driving. Every day he was telling me, “You’ve got to listen to this!” I finally checked it out and it was all downhill from there. For awhile there I treated it like my full time job to listen to podcasts. I loved them so much. And I learned so much. Then, in my research about Hyperemesis Gravidarum, I came across a Facebook group about preventing HG. That’s when my two passions came together. I saw how podcasting could reach people in a different way than a blogpost or a Facebook group could. There is something so personal about hearing someone’s voice. I wanted to get something as misunderstood as HG, out to a wider audience.

Can you explain more about what Hyperemesis Gravidarum is? How do you cover this topic in your podcast?

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a debilitating illness during pregnancy that is characterized by extreme levels of nausea and vomiting that at best, causes dehydration, malnutrition, and a state of starvation. At worst it can cause death to the baby, or even the mother. Those of us who have gone through it have a hard time explaining how relentless the nausea feels and how impossible it is to eat and drink, knowing that we will vomit anyway. Many of us are made to feel like we’re not trying hard enough to control it or that we must not want our babies. The discouragement is overwhelming. On top of that, it messes with your mind and you start to think that you will never again be able to eat normally, or enjoy a simple pleasure like drinking a cup of tea.

I describe my own experience as feeling like I was in a dark muddy pit. I would try to climb out and then it would rain and I would slide back down. I felt isolated and lonely and misunderstood. Thankfully, my illness does not last the full 9 months, but for many women it does. Just finding people who really understand what it’s like to go through that has been a lifesaver. And I want to help other women avoid that desperation.

When I started, I was just interviewing women about their experience with HG. While I enjoyed it, I felt like I wasn’t providing as much value as I could, so I’ve shifted to bringing the alternative health world to HG. That’s really where my passions have all culminated.

What advice do you have for women who are thinking about starting their own podcast?

Do it! What’s the worst thing that can happen? That’s exactly what my mentor, Meron Bareket told me, over and over again. I dislike the advice that everything has to be perfect, or that you even have to be good to get started. You’ll get better as you go. How will you know what you’re good at until you try it? Just starting is a valuable education too. I have no regrets about any of it.

My second piece of advice is to find a mentor, or a podcasting group, or a mastermind, or tiny little cheerleaders to sit on your shoulders. Or all four! I would not be where I am without Meron and his group. End of story. It helps so much to be able to tell someone you just submitted to iTunes and are now officially freaking out. They will understand. And tell you that you’re awesome anyway.


Women in Podcasting: Interview with Heather Bayer



Cottage Blogger Vacation Rental Success Podcast Podcasting NewsHeather Bayer is the host of the Vacation Rental Success podcast. It is part of the wealth of resources on her Cottage Blogger website, which is geared towards helping those who are vacation rental owners, vacation rental agencies and property managers, and vacation rental realtors. This is a topic that has not yet become saturated in podcasting.

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

I’d like to say it all started in 2006 because that’s when I first decided to do a podcast. I recently cleared out an old storage cupboard and found the original mixer I’d ordered from what used to be Radioshack, along with a microphone and a book called How to Start a Podcast. I remember getting so frustrated because I am not, and never have been, technically minded and while enthusiastic and motivated, I couldn’t figure out how to use the equipment. After a few weeks of trying and failing to find any training or tutorial that focused on the real beginner, I gave up.

Fast forward to 2012 and I was reading Pat Flynn’s blog and his experiences with podcasting, when I first heard about this guy called The Podcast Answer Man – Cliff Ravenscraft. From there it was an easy decision to sign up for his A-Z Course and spend a month immersed in getting set up and publishing the first episode of Vacation Rental Success.

From there the work really began. Cliff talks about the podcasters ‘wall’ and why many new shows fail to get beyond Episode 7 and I experienced exactly that. Over the first year episodes were published sporadically and by December 2013, there were only 7 – no wonder subscriber and download numbers were low!

We made a commitment at Cottage Blogger to publish consistently from January 2014 and were super-excited to release episode 50 in October. The show is in a niche market so we’ll never be in the million+ downloads-per-month club that some entrepreneur shows are reaching, but now we are fast approaching 35,000 downloads, mostly in the last 8 months, it’s really working for us.

What inspired you to become a podcaster?

I’m a lifelong learner and multi-tasker and found that so much information was being delivered through some great podcasts that I could listen to while driving, walking the dog, running, at the gym, at the airport and in the air….in fact everywhere. From shows about productivity techniques to lifestyle and motivational podcasts, there is something for everyone that is easily accessible via iTunes and some earbuds.

At the time, my niche was becoming a little more crowded with everyone delivering a similar message via blog posts so I wanted to do something different. The opportunity to reach a new audience through audio was wide open and I jumped at it. Once armed with the knowledge and resources to set it up, the rest was easy. I’m now inspired to help others to get started with their shows.

What kinds of things can listeners expect to hear on your Vacation Rental Success podcast? Is there a specific audience that would get the most from your show?

One of my recent guests described the vacation rental market as ‘a melting pot of complexity’ with over 5 million vacation home owners worldwide using rental as a means to create additional income. He called them ‘micro-businesses’. Given the growing interest in vacation rentals as a mainstream alternative to hotels and resorts, the opportunity has never been greater for vacation home owners to get into this business. So, anyone who has a second home, is thinking of investing in one, or already runs a VR business, would benefit from the information the show delivers.

I interview a range of guests from successful owners who share their experiences, to experts and suppliers in different parts of the industry. Shows have included interviews with a copywriter (for creating appealing listings), a professional photographer who shared tips on getting the best images of a property, social media gurus such as Sue B Zimmerman who explained how to use Instagram for marketing, and other leaders in the industry. I also offer tips from my experience of being a vacation rental home owner for over 20 years.

What words of wisdom do you have for women who want to get involved with podcasting?

This is what I am finding so exciting at the moment. Women are under-represented in podcasting and the opportunities are tremendous for them to get out there. I’m currently working with several vacation rental owners who are starting up their own podcasts in the travel and tourism sector (another category that has a long way to go before it gets saturated.)

Join a community where newbie and experienced podcasters hangout. I’ve found that people who are involved in this are so helpful and giving and are more than happy to offer advice and technical help if you get stuck.

I would also suggest that anyone interested in getting started goes to iTunes and checks out the great female podcasters who are rocking it over the airwaves. Listen to a few of them and their different styles. Elsie Escobar at Jessica Kupferman at She Podcasts offer a ton of help specifically directed at women podcasters.