Practical WordPress Development

Another WordPress Podcast?

One of my favorite things to do when going on a run or a long drive is to queue up a few podcasts and listen to them. Generally speaking, most of the podcasts that I listen to are directly related to things I’m interested in and/or interested in learning more about.

Then again, isn’t that what everyone listens to?

With that said, I can honestly say that I’m not familiar with a significant number of high quality WordPress podcasts. In fact, the one’s I’m most aware of are published by WPCandy, and Jeff at WPTavern (on which I had to pleasure speaking last year).

I have an idea for another type of WordPress podcast, but I’m wondering if there’s room for it, or if the reason there are so few is because there’s so little interest.

Why Another WordPress Podcast?

Here’s the deal:

  • The WordPress Community is growing and I’m not just talking about among developers. More than ever, there are designers, publishers, developers, editors, etc, all involved with WordPress in someway, but how many people are aware of those who aren’t covered on the major blogs?
  • Twitter does a phenomenal job of connecting like minded people in the WordPress space, but I bet we’re rarely chatting with others who are contributing in a significantly different way than we are.
  • Podcasts get boring and there needs to be some element introduced that make the things worth listening to after they get stale for a while. I’ve an idea for that, but would rather not share right now.

So, I’m wondering if there’s interest in a WordPress Podcast in which I do a brief chat with people in the WordPress space regardless of what they do with WordPress, and do the usual “get to know you,” stuff as well as a secondary portion of the show that’s meant to be more fun and interesting (and that’s not worth divulging too much about right now).

I’d take suggestions for who to chat with via Twitter, email, post comments, etc., and even people who volunteer themselves. This would be extremely laid back, but focused.

Ultimately, I’d love it to mix things up in the space a bit.

To Cast, or Not To Cast?

So, with all of that said, I’m genuinely interested in you guys’ thoughts. Yes or no? Would you listen, or not (and why or why not)?

Finally, leave your answers in the comments and poll your fellow tweeps. Seriously. I’m genuinely interested in knowing what the rest of the WordPress community thinks.

If the idea sucks, nothing lost. But if there’s interest, let’s see what we can do.

58 Comments

  1. Japh

    I think there’s room for it, Tom. I don’t think the fact there aren’t very many WordPress podcasts is due to a lack of interest, I think it’s just to do with focus, and from what you’ve said so far I think there’s definitely room for this.

    I want to hear more :)

    • Tom McFarlin

      Perfect, Japh. Thanks for the email, too. Absolutely going to try to turn this thing into a reality.

  2. Mario Peshev

    It’s always great to have a variety of options and podcasts to listen to. The niche is still not occupied – WordPress is popular enough to have even 10 weekly podcast shows. There is even a free slot to separate podcasts by a profile – WordPress plugin development, WordPress theming, WordPress for Users and so on. :)

    • Tom McFarlin

      Exactly! I want to capture a cross-section of the WordPress community … not just a single niche. I’d love to connect others in the community in some way, and even bring attention to some people who are otherwise off the blogosphere, Twitter, or simply just aren’t getting the attention they deserve.

  3. Wes Cole

    I would definitely be interested in a general podcast on WordPress like you are talking about. As a new developer in wp, that would be invaluable as it would give me a lot of info around wordpress as a whole and not just on themes or only plugins.

    • Tom McFarlin

      Great ideas for topics. Making a note and will see what I can do to include some of this in one of the episodes!

  4. Scott Lee

    I too think it’s a great idea.
    The unique approach you have of interviewing not just developers, is what will set it apart. Sure we, the developers, will most likely be the ones to listen routinely. But what’s great is that we’ll get to hear voices of the people who actually use the products we create. My hope is that by hearing how people use WP, be it authors, publishers, and developers, the WP community (and perhaps the Core itself) will benefit.

  5. Pippin

    Go for it!

    • Tom McFarlin

      Thinkin’ I will … and you’ll likely be one of the people I poll to chat with :).

  6. Pete Schuster

    I really like the format of ShopTalk Show from Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert. They have on guests, talk about “hot drame” with what’s new and happening in the community, then answer questions sent in from listeners. PleaseAdvise.fm does this to a certain degree as well, but I think there’s always room for more!

    • Tom McFarlin

      Love the idea of taking questions from listeners – that’s something I’d already considered doing, but only after the show had proven itself. Need an audience before I start polling for questions ;).

  7. Dallas

    Do it! Do it now! No seriously, if you have the passion, focus, and ambition to do this than go for it. There aren’t enough wp podcasts at all.

    • Tom McFarlin

      Word up – thanks for the support. After all of the comments on this, I’m definitely going to aim for it.

  8. Maor Chasen

    Great ideas, Tom! No question I’ll be listening! And I do think there’s place for it. I am sure many people who work with WordPress on a daily basis would love to hear others who share some common ground with them. Also, it’s a great opportunity to get to know new people by hearing their opinions and thoughts. I think there’s a huge difference between reading someone’s post and actually hearing them talk about it (Passion and excitement don’t travel through words unfortunately).
    But you never know until you try, right? And there’s nothing really to lose. I say – go for it! :)
    If there’s anything I could help with, let me know, I’d genuinely love to.

    • Tom McFarlin

      Also, it’s a great opportunity to get to know new people by hearing their opinions and thoughts.

      Straight up. That’s a secondary goal of mine – to get other people in the community connected with one another. And I’ll make a note – you’ll be on my list of people to contact either for interviews, getting the word out about it, or both!

  9. Mannie Schumpert

    I think it would be great!
    There’s definitely a big hole where a WP development-focused podcast could be. While WPCandy is fun, it’s too general. One of my favorite ShopTalkShow episodes was the one with Alex King, where my mind was blown hearing about some of the particulars of wpdb queries. I would love more of that kind of thing.

    • Tom McFarlin

      Mannie – love it. This would be but one aspect of what I’d aim to include. Ideally, I’d love to feature something that caters to developers, designers, bloggers, people who are interested in WordPress, and perhaps even a few critics :).

  10. Dave Clements

    I’d definitely be interested, especially if you highlighted use cases, where people discuss a project they were working on and how they used WordPress to deliver the functionality they needed. That information would be so useful on a podcast.

    • Tom McFarlin

      Dave – perfect example of what I’m looking to do. Taking notes on the topic idea, too.

  11. ThatGuyKC

    Do it! I’m a big fan of podcasts. Right now I’ve got a few leadership, faith and Apple related podcasts, but a solid WP podcast would be legit.

    • Tom McFarlin

      Thanks for chiming in, KC – noted. May even touch base with you for a future interview :).

  12. Norcross

    I’d say go for it, by all means. I think podcasts are, by nature, hard to keep up, so the larger scope can only help.

    • Tom McFarlin

      Yeah – I’m always impressed when people keep podcasts going for a significant amount of time and do so consistently. That’s why, after this point, I want to take some time to think through logistics, do some planning, and even try to develop a backlog before rolling it out.

      This certainly won’t be something I just do off the cuff.

  13. Zach "The Z Man"

    Do it! I’d love to be a part of it too! Hit me up sometime if I can help in any way.

  14. Antony

    Very much interested, actually it’s more convenient way to listen rather than reading an article i can work while i am listening to podcast. I will mail you what i am interested to hear about :)

  15. Dougal Campbell

    I’d listen to it. One thing I’d like is a short-form podcast. There was a Drupal podcast I used to listen to called “Drupal Voices” that was really good. These were short interviews, typically about 5-10 minutes (but occasionally a little longer). The subject of the interview was usually, but not always a developer. And they might be somebody developing something tangential to Drupal, where their main product might be something like a map service, but where Drupal was involved under-the-hood. Sometimes they’d talk to a designer or an information architect, or someone else who was involved in a project.

    Most (if not all) of the interviews seemed to have been recorded at conferences (DrupalCon, DrupalCamps, or other web development events where Drupalistas gathered).

    Anyhow, I’ve wished for a long time that we had something similar in the WordPress community.

    With the short format, it should make it pretty easy to go to an event, record several interviews, then time-release them spread out over several weeks.

    • Tom McFarlin

      The short form is what I’m aiming for myself – those are my favorite kinds of podcasts. Long enough to be interesting and focused, short enough not to bore anyone ;).

      With the short format, it should make it pretty easy to go to an event, record several interviews, then time-release them spread out over several weeks.

      Great idea. Taking notes on this one.

  16. K.Adam White

    I agree with everybody else, there is definitely room for this. I see most of us in the comments mentioning the developer side, but I could see equal or more value in a thorough discussion of the design process of a site, or a blogger discussing publishing workflows and review processes, or a case-study of an end user learning the WordPress interface. This definitely has legs… let me know (let all of us know!) what we can do to help make it a reality.

    Having more voices in the podcasting space would be a good opportunity to round things out a bit, too…

    • Tom McFarlin

      I see most of us in the comments mentioning the developer side, but I could see equal or more value in a thorough discussion of the design process of a site, or a blogger discussing publishing workflows and review processes, or a case-study of an end user learning the WordPress interface.

      Straight up – this is exactly the kind of stuff from other I’d love to feature. Ideally, I’d love to have a holistic approach to interviewing people rather than interviewing a subculture of the community.

      And thanks for linking to Siobhan’s article. Definitely good points there.

  17. Justin Smith

    My vote is with Tom McFarlin. He’s about the issues that matter.

  18. Matthew Snider

    I am game to listen, to help, to talk, to get you folks to talk to!

    Let me know how I can help out.

    • Tom McFarlin

      Perfect. Thanks Matthew – once I get this thing rolling, I’ll be sure to ping you for ideas on people to interview.

  19. Bob

    Go for it. Try it out and see what comes of it. I think you guys could do a great podcast.

    My only word of warning would be to not produce one all out, consistently and then have it turn into a sporadic thing. Be intentional with it. Be clear with your intentions for it and if you need to change the direction, let people know. There is nothing worse than a great podcast that falls off the planet and the hosts never say why.

    • Tom McFarlin

      My only word of warning would be to not produce one all out, consistently and then have it turn into a sporadic thing. Be intentional with it. Be clear with your intentions for it and if you need to change the direction, let people know. There is nothing worse than a great podcast that falls off the planet and the hosts never say why.

      Solid advice. Personally, I dislike when this happens myself, but it’s a helpful reminder. Definitely making a note of this – thanks Bob!

  20. Rachel Baker

    I listen to podcasts everyday, and I would love to listen to perspectives from a ( few? ) fellow WordPress Developer(s).

    • Tom McFarlin

      Thanks for chiming in, Rachel! Exactly what I’m aiming for – of course, developers would only be part of the podcast. I’m hoping to feature anyone doing anything cool with WordPress.

  21. Jean Galea

    Definitely a great idea Tom, I do run a series of interviews on WPMayor and something along those lines in the form of a podcast would thus be very attractive. http://www.wpmayor.com/interviews/

  22. Ben Miller

    I’m not really a podcast listener. So go for it, but I hope it doesn’t come at the expense of your blog, which is awesome.

    • Tom McFarlin

      Thank you, sir – and no worries, this would just be in addition to the blog :).

  23. Ayman Aboulnasr

    Hi Tom,

    There used to be an awesome podcast website dedicated to WordPress only called:
    http://wp-community.org from the well known Joost de Valk [Yoast.com].

    I used to listen to it regularly but unfortunately it went quiet for almost 2 years now! (sad) So a new podcast that will fill in that gap would be extremely successful in my honest opinion.

    Best of luck Tom.

    • Tom McFarlin

      Ayman,

      Thanks for the encouragement – I’m already working on putting together a list, planning the format, and seeing how best to get this thing off the ground as fast as possible.

  24. Demian Seiler

    Hey Tom,

    I am a LONG time podcast fan so you can count me in as a listener. I did a Christian Gaming podcast for about 6 months and while it was fun, it was difficult to maintain as Norcross says above. Once you get used to doing it, especially when recording with someone else, it can get routine and mundane at times (particularly during edit/mixdown). And that will show through to your listeners. That is why we ended our show. We stuck with it every week, created show notes and drops for other areas of the community we were associated with, so I believe the quality was always there. But just like a regular TV series, if the passion to do it wasn’t there, there is no point to do it. In our case, we still loved podcasting, but the subject matter wasn’t something I was passionate about.

    After you posted this I went out to iTunes and downloaded a few of the active WP podcasts and I agree with others here that there is certainly room in this space. As a Java web developer, I have been using Standard on a couple of my blogs that I very sparsely update. I have been wanting to get more familiar with PHP and WordPress largely because of what I have seen from you guys working on Standard Theme. That said, this sounds like it would fit right in with what I want to learn and work on.

    If I may be so bold…

    In terms of format, I do think the best podcasts are between 20-30 minutes in length but you would be surprised how hard it can be to keep it that short (and there are of course exceptions to every rule). In terms of the schedule, I couldn’t agree more with Bob above. It can really kill a podcast if it is not a scheduled show. Certainly many of them exist with a release schedule that seems to have a very fluid sense of time, but they would probably have more listeners and provide an overall better product if they had a defined release schedule.

    Show notes! Show notes! Show notes! There were other podcasts in the community I was working with, and we were constantly told that we had the best format because of it being a more structured sounding show. While we of course gave commentary, we ALWAYS used a show notes template that had bullet points with all of our important points we wanted to hit. We basically did top down processing on the notes where the show starts at the top and flows down. We also put time checkpoints in the notes to help keep us on task.

    A few last things I can think of I ran across doing the podcast. From what I have seen in your posts, you have the hardware/software all set. As far as listener interaction, one of the other podcasts from our site had a Google phone number where people could call in and leave questions/comments and they would be played in the show. Nice listener interaction there.

    Another really big item that drives me up a wall personally is podcasts that denigrate themselves and their show. My feeling is, you may not do this professionally, but you are doing this so I will listen to your show. You are working towards putting out something of quality from your labor. Don’t make it sound like I am wasting my time listening to your show.

    I say the above not as an expert but as someone that dreamed, designed, produced, created, and maintained all that goes with a podcast for 6 months without any experience. Also, as someone who has been listening to podcasts since almost the beginning of podcasts (While I love my Apple products, I actually prefer “netcast” instead of “podcast” but it never seemed to catch on). I really do apologize if you already know all or most of this. I just really enjoy listening to podcasts, and hate to see so many of them with great ideas not follow through with the implementation.

    Ok, if you don’t mind I will set the soap box over here in the corner and exit stage left.

    • Demian Seiler

      Um, holy cow, maybe I should have just created a blog post and linked to it. Sorry about…

      • Tom McFarlin

        Not a problem at all! All great points that will definitely be taken into account when I get the ball rolling on this thing…

        …which I’m working to do as soon as I possibly can.

  25. Bryce

    Please do :)

  26. John Wilson

    Yeah, there’s always room for a decent podcast so would be interested in listening to this idea.

    John

    • Tom McFarlin

      Sure thing, John – hoping to have something ready by January 2013!

  27. Glenn Dixon

    The two podcasts you mentioned appear to have gone into self-deprecation land, as in…they aren’t very regular, or have ceased altogether. That definitely leaves room for more WP podcasts!

  28. Ravi

    I could only find six podcasts focused on WordPress. Except one or two, none are regular and some have stopped. There is a lot of space for regular shows. Expecting one from you.

    • tommcfarlin

      If all goes well, should have more info on this podcast later this month :).

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