Podcasting

20 05 2013

Having a job that requires long stretches of mind numbing work is a conducive environment for podcast enjoyment. I can turn on my ipod, pop the earbuds in and listen for hours to people talking about interesting stuff. While the mathematical part of my brain is concentrating on my job, the creative part of my brain is enjoying itself by becoming a silent participant in often witty banter.

I’ve been burning through podcasts pretty fast during my current project at work. I find an interesting podcast, listen to the backlog of episodes and then add it to the list of podcasts for which I must wait for new content. Then I find another one.

It wasn’t always that way. The first podcast I ever listened to was a podcast called Lost Unlocked. It was a podcast based on the television show Lost. The hosts were just fans of the show that did a podcast episode per episode of the program. During this time, I also listened to the Official Lost podcast done by the producers of the show. I built up an interaction with the hosts of the amateur show and even Skyped into their show as a guest talking about my Lost fanfiction.

That was where the idea germinated that I could be involved with my own podcast. I started realizing that I had actually been preparing for it since I was a child. My brother and I had a tape player with a built in microphone and a record button. We produced several “radio shows” on it complete with DJ banter and music selections. We got to the point where we were making tapes like that and sending them to our cousin who lived in another state.

When my brothers moved to the same town as me as adults, we were able to together more often and hangout. Hilarity is bound to ensue. At some point during one of these hangouts, one of us said, “We should be recording this!” We were well on our way to creating our own podcast.

It started with deciding on a name for the show. We landed on The Enginerdy Show based on the fact that all of the brothers in our family are engineers and we usually end up talking about nerdy topics. The next step was a theme song that was written and recorded by my brother and I. We made a parody of the song “My Little Buttercup” from the movie The Three Amigos (a favorite of ours). The song is done a cappella with us signing in unison.

The next step was to actually record our first episode. There was a caveat given to us by our wives though: it had to be anonymous. Our wives are by no means nerdy and found the fact that their husbands were going to record something that went to the extremes of nerdiness to be embarrassing. To appease them, we decided to come up with pseudonyms. I stuck with Mister Pold, since I am already using that persona in the development of my writer’s blog. My brothers came up with their own alter egos: Mr. Normal and Dr. Jones. Mr. Normal was based on a joke about being normal to the surface of the earth. Dr. Jones was used since we enjoyed at the time quoting short round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (very funny Dr. Jones) in the short round voice. We produced four episodes over a period of a couple years, even recording one with my third brother under the moniker of Dr. Carbuncle or something like that.

I don’t remember what prompted us to reboot the podcast about nine weeks ago. But we decided that in order to make it successful, it would need to be regular and it needed to have structure. The first four podcasts were rambling affairs where we wandered from topic to topic getting increasingly more silly. In the reboot, my two brothers changed their pseudonyms to be a play on their names like my pseudonym is. We put together a Google document with an outline of the shows content that we call the agenda. Each of us took one of the major segments of the show Nerd Culture, Technerdigy and Random News. We record on Skype to make it easier to do it at home after the kids are in bed. We also split up the work to produce the show. One of us edits, one provides an image for the show, and one uploads it and markets it on social media.

We’ve had a fun time doing the show regularly although we haven’t gotten much feedback from the half dozen people who we figure listen to the show. We know that some of our family listen when they miss us. But we really aren’t doing it for any kind of notoriety or fame, though I did cite that as a reason on a recent podcast. We enjoy the time together and hope to be able to share the entertainment value with an audience, even if it may be a small audience.

If you are interested in listening to it, here is a link to the website.

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