The first full day at Nine Worlds is underway, and my major duty (show up, moderate a podcast panel, open mouth and make word good) is dispatched. The panel was really fun; a discussion featuring Barry Nugent of the Geek Syndicate podcast (Standing in admirably for Martyn from Bad Wilf who called in sick, get well soon, sir)’ Debbie Timmins of the Distinctly Average gaming podcast, Sol Craighead Wheeler of the Knights at the Round table podcast, Gillian Coyle of The Babble On Project and me, representing Escape Artists.
The panel covered the realities of podcasting both good and bad, and it was an immensely positive experience. I’ve been with Escape Artists 8 years now and it’s been very easy at times to feel like it’s a solitary pursuit. I’m the only voice on the show most of the time and whilst I no longer feel a bit like Matthew Lillard at the end of Hackers, it can still feel a little like standing in front of an open mic in front of the entire internet.
Excuse me a moment
(Breathes in and out of paper bag)
Okay I’m good.
Coming out of the panel I got much more of a sense of the thing a lot of people talk about with genre fiction but that I often struggle to see; community. All five of us had the same struggles; Audacity’s sociopathic tendency to crash at a moment’s notice, learning to be comfortable in front of a mic, dealing with feedback good and bad and burnout. Podcasting is a very time intensive game and listening to Debbie in particular, who mothballed her show for that exact reason, was both educational and very positive. There’s real strength and clarity of purpose in knowing when to shutter a project and from what she said closing the podcast has helped her blog flourish, thanks to the extra attention she can give it,
Likewise, we all had the same successes, those moments that only podcasting, a weird, punky medium that gives you absolute freedom to try anything and run with it if it sticks, can give you. Sol’s team and their magnificent, drunken press ganging of Neil Gaiman and Barry’s gloriously precise Twitter approach to Jonathan Ross for example. What really stuck me with though was the way the Babbleon Project were able to keep going through not one but two serious injuries. Small skits may have been the only thing they were able to record but it kept the show live until they could get back to it fully and ultimately proved to be just as much fun.
That’s what I really took home from the panel; fun. Everyone there was hugely invested not just in podcasting but the unique, intense fun of talking with an audience about something they love.There’s genuine, infectious joy at the heart of everything I enjoy about popular culture and it was on display in force on that panel. Thanks everyone.
Also as promised, here’s a list of the podcasts mentioned as well as those of the guests.
Writing Advice Shows