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Today I wanted to take a few minutes and re-introduce myself and this show for the many new listeners that have joined in the last few weeks that might not have gone back to the old Podcasting Tech Coach intro show.
First off, Who am I?
I’m Mike Dell. Not the guy that started Dell Computer company, but the one who has been podcasting for 9 years on various shows. I am located in Northern Michigan and do my show from a squeky desk chair in the basement of a 1940’s log cabin in the woods along the shores of Lake Michigan.
I started my first podcast, The Benzoid Report, (named for the county I lived in at the time called Benzie) in Summer 2005. I started it using a $10 headset mic with my old Dell laptop. It sounded awful! (at first) but got better with time and experience. If anyone has copies of the first 40 or so Benzoid Report podcasts, let me know. That podcast is still around at Mike Dell’s World and is over 200 episodes now. I don’t do that one too much, but every once in a while when the mood strikes. (www.mikedell.com)
The second podcast that I did, I did with a co-host and it was called the Ham Radio Podclass. It’s where John Martin and myself helped people pass their US Amateur Radio (Ham) license tests. That one was very popular and we had 1000’s of people email us their new callsigns after they passed the tests. Due to the work involved with producing that one and the fact the FCC changes the question pool (and the subjects covered in the test every 3 years) we quit doing it. If anyone is interested in downloading the episodes, they are still available at http://geekofthenorth.com/ham-class-files/ for the Tech and General. Lots of good information there, but a bit outdated.
My wife and I did a podcast called “Strange Today” which was a daily podcast about strange history. We did it for a year. That was enough. I don’t recommend doing daily podcasts unless you REALLY have a commitment to doing one.. Even if it’s short. Ours almost never went over 5 minutes, but was still a lot of work to keep going. That one is in the bit bucket.
I did another Daily , turned weekly called Aviation History today and then Aviation History this week. That is another one that I didn’t save any episodes of.
I had / have a tech podcast called “Geek of the North”. I’ve podfaded it, but it still exists at geekofthenorth.com and it may come back someday. I’m keeping the site online in case.
I’m sure I’m missing a few shows I’ve done, but that’s the main list.
What makes me qualified to give advice? Well, it’s quite likely, if there is a mistake to be made, I’ve made it. If I didn’t make it myself, I’ve helped other podcasters undo their mistakes.
For 5 years now, I’ve been the tech support guy for Rawvoice, Tech Podcast Network and Blubrry. I have answered 1000’s of questions from podcasters both about Rawvoice services and podcasting in General. I’ve also consulted with a bunch of podcasters to get them started in podcasting on my own. People pay me to get them out of trouble.
What is this show all about?
Well, about 2 years ago, I thought it would be a good idea to have a podcast about the technology of podcasting. The plan was to take the questions I was getting at blubrry/rawvoice and answer them in podcast form. It took me almost 2 years to get to episode 12. The problem was I wasn’t doing it my way. This show was never the official blubrry support podcast or anything like that, but it was too focused on tech issues. When I rebranded to The Podcast Help desk, I figured I would branch out more and discuss anything that has to do with podcasting that will help people learn about podcasting. Sure there are lots of podcasts about podcasting out there already, and they are great. I want to put my spin on it. If you notice, I have a very down-to-earth view of podcasting and a rather laid back style. I’m not going for the slick radio show type program. I’m not doing the “Do a podcast and make TONS of money” thing either. I’m doing this show the way I am.
I’m more than a hobbyist but not so much that I don’t understand the hobby podcasters. I really enjoy podcasting and the podcasting industry and want to share that with the world. Hobbyist and pro alike.
I have also formed lots of strong opinions about how one should go about podcasting and since I’m not representing anyone but myself, I feel I can share those with you. I’m sure there are others out there that will disagree with me on some things. That’s ok and I hope to have them on this show sometime to tell their side of anything I might say. If I think a service is crap, I’m going to tell you that it’s crap! If I think something is better than something else, I will tell you that also.
One more time: Yes, I work for Blubrry. No, this is not the Blubrry official podcast. It’s mine and my opinion only.
So thanks for letting me introduce myself and my show again. Now on to the meat of the show.
8 Steps to make your first episode a good one.
1. Get your mic, mixer, software and everything setup in advance. (Show zero anyone?)
2 Relax! You can re-record as many times as it takes and you can edit if you want. This is not like Radio or TV. Don’t be nervous.
3. Have your subject outlined. If it’s a free form podcast, have at least and idea of what you are going to talk about.
4. Make sure you press “Record” and test out the audio levels before you commit to recording the whole episode.
5. Set your environment. Quiet, phone off, dogs fed and happy. It’s a lot easier to NOT have to “fix it in post”. The best way to record is get it right the first time. (or the final time)
6. Don’t be overly picky either. As long as the audio is decent quality and you don’t sound like you’re nervous, put it out there. Everyone’s first episode sucks when compared to their 20th episode.
7. LISTEN to your recording. Make sure something didn’t go wrong before you publish.
8. Have Fun! That is what this is all about. If it’s not fun, you won’t continue to to do it.
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