Who Needs Another WordPress Podcast?

One of the things that I really enjoy whether or not I’m out for a walk, a run, or a drive, is listen to a number of different podcasts. And I don’t think I’m an exception.

As with any topic that we all like, there are times in which I find myself wanting a WordPress podcast. To be clear, this isn’t to say there aren’t any – WP Tavern, DradCast, and Apply Filters turn out good stuff – and the now-defunct WP Candy Podcast used to be a fun listen, but I do think there’s a gap in WordPress-related podcasts.

At least in so far as the style of the podcast is concerned.

Another WordPress Podcast

This isn’t a novel topic – people involved with WordPress talk about existing podcasts and potential podcasts relatively frequently so I’m certainly not bucking the trend with this; however, for all of the talk that goes on around it, I’m curious as to what each person would want most out of a podcast.

When I was thinking through this, I ended up asking the following questions:

  • What would make a new podcast interested?
  • Is it interesting to have one person talking for 20 minutes, or is it more interested to have a set group of people (with or without random guests) having a round table chat?
  • Is it more interesting to hear about news, opinions, or have discussions about general themes, plugins, tools, etc.?
  • Which format would be more fun – educational and informative or off-the-cuff conversation for all who are involved.
  • If there are guests, should they be regularly scheduled or randomly included?
  • How much is too much? Once a month? Bimonthly?

When it comes to talking about things like this, one of the number one push backs that you’re likely to hear is that:

We don’t need another WordPress podcast.

But I’m not really a fan of that particular argument. Can’t someone take that phrase and make it about anything?

We don’t need another [x].

Bob Ross Looks Like a Microphone
It’s important to notice these things.

There are very few things that we actually need, but with a wide enough audience, there’s interest and appeal to a lot of people on a lot of different things. So it’s more of a “want.”

Do we want another type of podcast? Do we want something else to listen to, or are the existing podcasts doing a good job of covering the topics at hand? I dunno. I’ve mixed thoughts on all of the above, but I’m still interested in hearing what the rest of you think. Me personally, I like this style:

  • Monthly, 20 minute round table conversation about opinions on some of the news and happenings within WordPress. Not tailored specifically for developers or designers but those who are involved with WordPress. Guests are welcome but not required. There should be at least two or three regular hosts to make each episode’s discussion interesting.

So that’s my take on it. What’s yours?

26 Replies to “Who Needs Another WordPress Podcast?”

  1. In my subjective opinion, it’ll be cool to share some success stories about well-known WordPress products.They are easy to listen when walking or doing smth and as they are really interesting it’s simply to perceive them. The main advantages of such a story is the ability to learn on someones’ mistakes and get new experience.

    1. Tom, seems that you forgot you were on a “round table” like podcast ;) –

      I haven’t forgotten – honest! It was fun :).

      although it’s developer centric, so I guess that’s why it wasn’t mentioned — it’s ok though, I understand ;)

      Yep – it’s mainly because it’s so niche. It’s not that I think anything ill of the podcast at all. Except for one of your hosts. Not that one, the other one ;P.

  2. I’m interested in the ecosphere of WordPress and think a round table with different perspectives would be great. I mean everyone loves to hate “The View”, but Barbara Walters was onto something ;)
    As someone who is not a trade designer or developer but still wants to stay in tune with the news of WP, I find it hard to find something I can devote time to that I feel is valuable in the little bit of time I have. I still need to stay in the loop though, as I might not be writing code all day, I still have to manage a company that provides those things. So I’d be more than supportive of something that marries different views of a topic or a wide range of issues in small chunks.

    1. I mean everyone loves to hate “The View”, but Barbara Walters was onto something ;)

      If you’ve got people loving to hate you, you’ve got ’em loving you for something :).

      So I’d be more than supportive of something that marries different views of a topic or a wide range of issues in small chunks.

      I think this is a good point – sort of a cursory look at all things WordPress without going too deep into one particular topic.

      Thanks for chiming in on this :).

  3. My favorite podcasts usually run about 20 to 45 minutes, have two, sometimes three hosts, and only rarely have a special guest (And only if that guest truly is a unique person in that respective industry).

    I also like if they run on a weekly basis, however if I’m honest, the shows that run every two weeks usually are the ones that leave me craving more. Often I won’t make it through every bit of a weekly show, but I do for the shows that run less frequently. So it is a bit of a waste from the podcasters side to do a weekly show sometimes for me. Obviously that isn’t the case for everyone.

    Schedule consistency and audio quality is critical. If I can’t count on a show schedule I typically lose interest. Also, if the audio blows I am gone. You can make a great sounding podcast for fairly cheap from a hardware perspective and free with your recording method. Double ending is the way to go for sure over recording Skype calls with its lag and dropouts.

    Finally, content is king, but in my opinion it is better to break it up into multiple segments, even in a 20 min show. Keeps things interesting.

    I did a weekly gaming news podcast for about 6 months a couple of years ago and was surprised at how much work it takes to really make a great sounding show.

    1. These are all good thoughts, Damien.

      I have some nice recording equipment from some screencasting that I do and I’ve been around the block a couple of times with podcasts so mixing things down isn’t particularly a problem.

      It’s time, really. Podcasts take a lot of time if you want to do them right. And in that regard, I don’t think it’s at all out of place to try to find a sponsor to help coming out of the gate.

      But I’m getting ahead of myself with all of that :).

        1. Yep – it’s a rare thing to try in this space (that is, sponsoring a show without an audience) but I’ve seen a few people do it so I figure if I ever go that route, that’s how I’ll do it.

  4. Great post Tom. Does seem to be a topic which everyone has an opinion on. I tend to be in favor of more WP related podcasts, especially when they manage to differentiate themselves in some way from the rest. But really, I’m a fan of pretty much all of them and there are few recurring episodes that I miss. Most days, in fact, I plugin my headphones to hear a podcast and am disappointed by the lack of new material since the last time I tuned in. I, as a listener, wish there were more shows and more frequency. And really, the only reasons I’ll stop listening to a podcast is if there is a consistent lack of substance or the show is too formal and focused on beginners.

    In short, I say more is better. The good will naturally gain an audience and community support over time.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Kyle – much appreciated.

      In short, I say more is better. The good will naturally gain an audience and community support over time.

      And I agree. It’s actually a bit like a blog in that regard, isn’t it?

  5. One of my favorite development related postcasts is TalkShopShow. Engaging knowledgeable hosts, interesting and diverse guests, solid soundboard, occasional hot drama and good mix of development talk and humor. 30-45 minutes is a great length. I don’t think frequency is as important as consistency and quality.

    1. You must be a developer to believe that, although even developers will have experienced some tech products that took the world by storm not because they were the best but because they were marketed well. A great Podcast from my point of view will offer something to stretch every listener, maybe not every cast but over a three or four cast span, especially if you are going for the longer podcast 30-45 minutes. Other formats that could be worth looking at are the three to six minute, highly focused soundbytes that reference more in depth material on or offsite. This type of podcast is used quite frequently by marketers.

    2. I don’t think frequency is as important as consistency and quality.

      I used to argue this point, but some of my favorite podcasts are ones that may only do two or three a month versus one every single week at the same time; otherwise, it feels like you’re reaching for the bottom of the barrel for content.

      Sometimes, it just has to queue up before there’s enough to really talk about.

      The time limit, on the other hand, is still a mixed bag for me. 20 minutes is good for a short commute or a short walk whereas 30 – 45 is great for a longer drive and/or longer walk or run.

      The latter takes more time to edit in post-production, as well but that probably shouldn’t count as a factor ;).

  6. Hey Tom, I say go for it.
    As far as what is the best topic, I don’t know if anyone really knows. But a few thoughts…

    Length – depends on the subject. I do one that is 5-10 minutes, a quick listen. And I attract a certain listener because of it. I believe the content will drive the length. I listen to some that are around 20 minutes, and others that are up to an hour. For what you are considering, the 20 minutes or 30 sounds good.

    Topic – I like the topic, bringing in a variety to the roundtable and not making it dev or user specific. The challenge there is keeping everyone interested.

    Are there too many? – Nope. I really believe the topic drives a podcast, but in the end it’s the voice or voices behind it. Bringing your own personality to the show and have fun. The other pieces will fall into place (or not).

  7. I have really enjoyed Tim Ferris’ podcast, despite the fact that they run 1.5 hours and are usually interviews.

    The show is fun because of the questions he asks. Stuff like: “what are your favorite books?” “what’s your routine in the morning?”

    I don’t listen to WP specific podcasts, but would enjoy hearing about the approaches different people take to certain problems, as well as their daily routine…Questions like: “how do you manage email”, “what kind of contracts do you set up with clients”, “what do you do for every project?”

    1. I have really enjoyed Tim Ferris’ podcast, despite the fact that they run 1.5 hours and are usually interviews.

      That’s a long podcast, IMHO. But if the content is good, who am I to argue? :)

      I don’t listen to WP specific podcasts, but would enjoy hearing about the approaches different people take to certain problems, as well as their daily routine…Questions like: “how do you manage email”, “what kind of contracts do you set up with clients”, “what do you do for every project?”

      This is actually a really good set of questions. Filing these to save just in case I end up doing something with this later.

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