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Podacst Studio

Inter-Generational Storytelling

Two years ago I flew across the country to take a little road trip with my mother. It was summer, it was beautiful, and we had a great time. We talked a little about the trips she’d taken with her own mother who was sitting this one out at home. 

I love spending time with my mom and not just because she’s my mom and I love her. I love spending time with her because she has stories. She has a life of stories behind her belt and many more to come.

Look, I’m a big TV fan and I tend to view the world through that lens. With that in mind, her story is a spin-off of her parents’ stories, and my story is a spin off of hers. Her stories are a part of my origin story, so I feel connected to them. I can listen to an old story and ask new questions about it to get new levels of insight into history, culture, and even my own psyche. They’re infinitely “re-watch-able” just like my favorite TV shows. 

On our trip, I mentioned that I wished Grams was with us to I could ask some new questions about her stories. She grew up in a tiny farming community in Saskatchewan. Her mom died when she was quite young and she got her very own, real-life, *evil stepmother. The shit really hit the fan when her dad died too. 

*For the record, I have my doubts about how “evil” this woman was since everyone knows being a stepmom is hard. It was a hard time for my grandmother, but, no doubt if we could get the other side of the story, we’d learn that her stepmother was having a hard time too.

She came home one day to find herself locked out. Her stepmother didn’t want her around anymore.

She has one of those stories that includes her trekking to a one-room school house in the snow before sunrise to light the fire before the other students arrived. She came home one day from school to find herself locked out of her house. Her stepmother didn’t want her around anymore. She had to walk to the next village over and live with her two wacky spinster aunts instead. 

This epic story has always enthralled me. How could this woman drinking wine and baking bread before me have once led such an unstable and tumultuous life?

That summer with my mother I remember saying “I want to talk to Grams more. I don’t want these stories to disappear.”

Seniors aren’t known for their tech skills and if they’re anything like my Grams, they don’t necessarily see their stories as special. That is probably why I’m seeing more and more companies aimed at helping Gen Xers and Millennials record their loved ones’ stories. There are picture services, memoir services, and there’s even a non-profit helping Canadian seniors start podcasts. 

This makes a ton of sense to me. I would love more than anything to record a podcast with my grandmother. I want to ask her about her stoicism, about why she never complained, and about how she went from living on a rural farm with an outhouse to working the switch boards at a telephone company. Even if the show didn’t hit #1 on the charts, it would always be there for future generations. I wish my grandparents had recorded their parents so I could try to understand what it was like to emigrate to North America from Scandinavia in the early 20th century. Or what it was like to escape poverty in Ireland, get married on the boat ride over, change your name, and drown yourself in whiskey in Toronto. But, alas, I will never hear their stories.

In these times of quarantine and separation when we’re all Zooming our loved ones anyway, why not hit record? We’re perfectly poised to document inter-generational stories and instead we’re busy photographing newly baked bread and cocktails.

For my part, the moment is gone. The night I got home from my trip with my mother, she gave me a call. My Grams was gone. She’d died in her sleep peacefully taking all her stories with her. I am very grateful for all the time I got with her and for the stories she shared with me. I wouldn’t change a thing, but I will encourage everyone to share their stories sooner rather than later.

Podcasting in a Pandemic

What a year! 2020 got weird fast and now we’re all living in some strange and uncertain times.

What Equipment Do I Need to Start a Podcast?

Many of us are overloaded. If you don’t have an active social life, at least one side-hustle, and/or regular family obligations, then you might just be struggling to consume all the premium streaming content you love so much.

10 Reasons To Start A Podcast

Unless you live under a rock, you have wondered if you should start a podcast. With their huge rise in popularity over the last several years, it seems like everyone and their dog has a podcast. If you’re on the fence or wondering why everyone is doing it check out Switch and Board’s 10 Reasons to Start a Podcast.

1. To increase your reach by generating content on a platform used by more than 50% of the population

According to Podcastinsights.com, around 51% of people have listened to a podcast and that number is steadily growing every year. Those listeners listen to an average of 7 podcasts per week. If you’re not putting your content into podcast form, you are missing out on over 50% of the population. 

 2. To build an audience 

If you’re a content-creator of any kind, podcasting can be a great way to build your audience. Someone out there is interested in your specific brand. The best thing about podcasting is that it allows each content-creator to dive deep into their specific interest. Much like when we first got the internet, this brings people with unique interests together from all over the world. 

“ If you’re not putting your content into podcast form, you are missing out on over 50% of the population. “

3. To test out content and get feedback as you go 

Recording a podcast is a great way to work through material you’re working on as you go. If you are compiling a blog, a website, or a book, trying out your ideas in the audio format first is a great way to see what works and what doesn’t. You can solicit feedback from your listeners to figure out which direction to take your work or to figure out what they’d like to see more of.

4. To fill a need in a specific area

You’re weird! We all are. You have a unique approach to an otherwise well-known topic. Your specific combination of experience and interest makes you uniquely qualified to elaborate on something. Start searching for podcasts in your interest area. You may find some, but you’ll notice that many are discontinued or cover things from an angle you disagree with. Find what’s lacking and correct it by filling a need. Chances are if you’ve noticed a gap, others have too.

5. To join the club

Is there someone who covers a similar subject matter who you admire? Starting a podcast is a great way to introduce yourself. After you’ve recording some episodes, reach out. Ask them to be a guest on your podcast or to do a phone interview. Afterwards, you can guest on their show. This is a great way to share your ideas with like-minded people.

6. To develop a deeper relationship with your audience or clients

Listeners are loyal and there’s an intimacy that comes with hearing someone’s voice in your ear. Whether you prefer to do a scripted show or something off-the-cuff, your personality will shine through. Personally, I’ve listened to my favorite podcasters as they’ve experienced lose, success, disappointment, and everything else. Even the scripted podcasts will address their successes, their goals, and their struggles keeping up in a way that feels like a personal connection. 

7. To give your brand a voice and to stay on the forefront of your clients’ minds

Dropping a podcast weekly is a great way to remind people you exist. When your listeners subscribe they will see your new episodes every week. This keeps you fresh in their minds and up-to-date with your content. Since people find listening easier and more convenient than reading, they are more likely to stay on top of weekly audio content than written content.

8. To breathe new life into old content

If you’ve been creating content for a while, there’s no need to start again from scratch. You can repurpose old content into the audio format. This will give your audience a new modality to enjoy your content and reach more people who may have missed it the first go around.

9. To showcase your expertise and passion

With great expertise comes great responsibility. Share it! Let everyone know just how much you know in a podcast. Podcasting is the perfect medium to expound your preferred subject matter since there are no set formats, rules, or barriers to entry. You don’t need an agent or a publicist to get started. If you have something to say, podcasting is the easiest way to do it. 

10. To support your partners and supporters by shouting them out

If you have collaborators, sponsors, or advertisers starting a podcast is just one more way to give back. You can either sell them air time and give them another way to reach their clients, or shout them out for their support. They will appreciate the exposure and it will strengthen your relationship.

4 Reasons to Rent a Studio for Your Podcast

Many of us are overloaded. If you don’t have an active social life, at least one side-hustle, and/or regular family obligations, then you might just be struggling to consume all the premium streaming content you love so much.