Speaking in an Empty Room

Podcasting: And no ones there.

This week, we launched our Podcast. It’s long winded, it’s not particularly suited to the podcasting landscape. It hasn’t been focus tested, or even covered more than one take. The production is basic, the pacing muddled. It’s our first one.

(You can listen to it here)

But the two days that followed the release of the pod has been a reckoning for me. For a long time, its been easy to believe that what was keeping me from having an audience was simply that I didn’t want one. I wasn’t failing, because I never tried. I was content with the idea that as soon as I did try, as soon as we got ourselves together, we could succeed.

We knew it would take work, but we thought that it was an inevitable end. Start a marathon, and as long as you keep going, slow or fast, but always moving, eventually you will come to the end. The promised land.

But this isn’t true.

It’s unglamourous to say, but the lack of instant success, I was surprised to find, bothered me deeply.


If someone had asked me what we did this podcast for, I would have said “For fun.” And it is fun, it’s wicked fun. I think you can hear the fun we have in it, in a way you can’t hear other things that we hoped it would become (I believe it’s still to snarky and sarcastic in places, but we’re growing).

But I also wanted an audience. I wanted to speak and be heard a little. And it’s embarrassing to say that.

Podcasting is dominated by slick internet types. They talk about marketing like marketing is a rewarding project in itself, not the awful dreck you have to manage in order to actually carry out your idea.

With that in mind, maybe Podcasting is a uniquely sharp sword that I have thrust myself on, the promise of success is especially cutting in a space where the most dominant narratives are about Growth Theory.


 

But of course I’m viewing it wrong. The point of art is to have an audience, but building an audience takes time. So let me use this space as a white paper for me to outline my goals. I want an audience, brazenly, embarrassingly and needily. But if we never get one, we’ll be alright with that.

I think you can hear in the Podcast how much we appreciate everyone’s company. We have a great time on the mic. As Taylor said on one of our episodes, it’s just hanging out with more of a structure.

My goal is to be fine with what we get. Because I think that’s the key. Getting an audience would be amazing. But do I want to reshape the podcast to focus on business skills so that we can scale the charts faster? Not really. And if I say that, I need to be fine with the consequences of that.

I need to be OK with not making it, if we don’t make it in our own way.

And I’m not alone. The indie-Pod circuit is growing all the time, and cover an astounding range. We’re going to start including links to them on this site, sharing the people who are sharing their views with the world unedited and with production that sounds like they’re recording it inside a washing machine.

Because these people are doing the same thing we are. Failing in their own way. Proudly and unashamedly and wonderfully.

And, if I practice and show discipline and work harder, I hope one day I can share a bit of that with them.

 

They probably make much better company than the marketers.

 

Ben

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