When you browse iTunes' "Gaming" podcasts, you may be reminded of the Drake Equation. Thousands and thousands and thousands of videogame-jargon-derived titles fill countless pages as you browse. Infinite content creators creating an endless stream of stuff. But you're forgetting an important variable: Time. When you start to follow the links, you'll find pages that haven't been updated in years. Sometimes the creators stopped paying for hosting, so you cant even hear their old work. But iTunes keeps their page open. Either as a memorial, or as a warning to other would-be podcasters with big dreams. "You will give up! And then you'll just be a dead hyperlink along with Fire Flower FM and ComedyGamerz Podcast!"
Almost as discouraging are the Whoeville-esque survivors. The people who don't give up, but go on laboring unnoticed for years and years, completely invisible. The ones who are celebrating episode 100, with zero comments, zero ratings, and zero reviews.
Let's get to the point. As a new podcaster, there are questions I ask myself. I don't have good answers to them, but I hope searching will make me better at what I'm doing. If there are other podcasters in the polygon community, I'd be interested to hear how they answer these questions:
WHY DO I PODCAST?
Because I have always loved games. Because I love talking about games. But why should I record that and put it online? Why should people want to listen to me when they could listen to a real games journalist. A real game developer? I want to offer something unique. I want to be successful. I want people to enjoy the work I do. I've received a lot of free entertainment from people who work very hard. I want to do the same favor for someone else.
WHAT ARE MY GOALS?
I think goal-setting is important. I need to remember why I'm spending the time and money on this. I need to have something to strive towards. I've got a set of milestones, none of which I've met yet.
- Have one listener from outside of my immediate circle of friends/family/facebook buds. Someone who's not doing me a favor by listening.
- Receive an email from a stranger. It doesn't have to be encouraging. I just want to know that someone cares enough about the podcast to write us.
- 50 strangers listening per episode
- Create news. Get an interview or soundbyte that's quoted elsewhere on the web.
- 500 strangers listening per episode
- Never stop having fun
HOW DO I ACHIEVE MY GOALS?
You've got goals. How do you meet them? If you're making a videogame podcast, you're probably the nerdiest person you know. How do you find other people who care about games as much as you? How do you let them know you exist? Do you pay for advertising? How much are you willing to pay with no return of investment? Do you you attend conventions? Post on forums?
I'm hoping by tackling these questions, I can become a better, more self-actualized podcaster. At the very least, they should give me an idea of when it's time to go join the rest of them in the iTunes graveyard.