Support Your Local Podcasts
A recent discussion between the various contributors of The Gaming and Entertainment Network highlighted a recurring g theme; that of listener comments and reviews. My own experiences are that you only get any real feedback and an indication of whether you’re doing a good or a bad job, when you announce that you’re quitting. This issue never seems to go away and despite a wealth of tools to make the process easier, it’s still hard to address. You can’t force your readers or listeners to leave comments and you don’t want to start badgering them over it. Often if your audience is listening to your show while at the gym or commuting, then they can’t always address any call to action immediately. Yet feedback, both good and bad, can have a positive impact upon bloggers and podcasters. Creativity abhors a vacuum and echo chambers are also unhealthy.
Not so long ago many pundits where predicting the death of podcasting but it remains a popular medium. You Tube and live streaming seem to have found their own niche and in some respects it’s a case of never the twain shall meet. Visual mediums have specific strengths and this is especially true when it comes to gaming. However audio content has distinct advantages, allowing listeners to focus on the topic in-hand. I think this is one of the major selling points of podcasts. The medium also requires the hosts of shows to marshal their thoughts and be far more coherent in their discussions and analysis. Or at least it does on those that I listen too.
Social media is constantly evolving and often new mediums go from being the province of fans and niche markets, to standard business tools. Podcasts, blogs and streaming channels are awash at present with corporate white noise. That may not necessarily be a bad thing, but they have an agenda and are often far from impartial. This is why it is essential that fans, amateur broadcasters and other fringe groups continue to make their voices heard. They may not always be impartial or without bias but they can provide a much needed counterpoint and a degree of balance. They also have less reason to lie to you. Obviously there are always a few individuals who are driven more by ego and personal gain than by fandom. However these can be easily filtered out.
So I strongly advocate rigorous support for podcasts. Sure I have a vested interest but I also do so out of principle. It is always good for consumers to have choice and alternatives. Gamers are also more likely to listen to recommendations from friends and shows that they feel they have a rapport with. So next time you enjoy a podcast that you downloaded for free, that someone else has taken the time and effort to prepare, please consider providing feedback by leaving a comment or a review. Also, tell your friends and other potentially interested parties. Reaching a greater audience can have all sorts of positive benefits for content creators; benefits that can be passed on to the listeners.