By far the most popular podcast type, the audioblog, is what attracts most new podcasters. If you search the descriptions of podcasts, most of them contain "talk about whatever is on my mind" or "my thoughts while I sit on my hour-long commute." Like written blogs, audioblogs reflect the personality of the host, discussing either her life or her view on current events.
Most podcasts could fall under the audioblog moniker by default. If an individual person talks about things she enjoys, you can argue that the show is a blog. Dan Klass's The Bitterest Pill (www.thebitterestpill.com) is an audioblog that he uses to tell stories of his life as a stay-at-home dad and actor (see Figure 3.1). However, his stories are so well told and entertaining, the show is often considered a comedy podcast.
Figure 3.1. The homepage for The Bitterest Pill audioblog.
Table 3.1 summarizes a few examples of good audioblogs. Following that, we take a deeper look at what makes each of them worth a subscription.
Robert Keeme hosts this podcast from his home in Arizona, which he shares with OS1, OS2, and OS3 (his three daughters, OS stands for Offspring). They are often guests on his show, along with his good friend the Abbott. The show is released two to three times a week and has a length that varies from 10 minutes to 1 hour per episode. KeemeCast is R-rated.
Corby ninjacasts from his home in Omaha. What is ninjacasting? Well, Corby has not informed his wife that he is podcasting. Yup, this has "train wreck" written all over it. So tune in to see if this is the episode where his wife finds out and kicks him out of the house. He releases new shows about four to six times a month, with a length that varies from 20 minutes to 1 hour. This show is R-rated.
The Bitterest Pill
This show is hosted by Los Angeles stay-at-home dad/comedian/actor Dan Klass. Dan is one of the icons of podcasting, and his show is one of the favorites among other podcasters. The Bitterest Pill is released between one and four times a month, with a typical length of 25 to 30 minutes per episode. This show is G-rated.
Dan is a master storyteller, weaving his domestic stories effortlessly with his tales of acting auditions. Occasionally he features guests on his show, ranging from his toddler daughter who is refusing to nap to other podcasters. Whatever he's talking about turns interesting with his sardonic and entertaining tone. Called the "Stay-At-Home Father of Podcasting" by Tony Khan of WGBH, Klass's show is a perfect example of how to turn your everyday life into something immensely entertaining.
Keys to Successful Audioblogs
There are several keys to making a successful audioblog podcast. The first is simply determining what stories will appeal to your listeners. Do you commonly tell stories about your life that have your friends laughing at your wit or riveted at the tension you built, or are they nodding politely while checking their watch, or perhaps even actively trying to walk away? Gauge your audience in real life and see. Your presentation is also important here; a knack for storytelling can make the most boring story interesting. You will also want to keep track of whom you're talking about: Are your parents going to listen to this? What about your boss? If you think you're anonymous, will they be able to recognize you?
Then again, if you're choosing to be anonymous, like some podcasters prefer, you can say whatever you like and hope that the people close to you, professionally or personally, aren't digitally savvy, don't listen to your podcast, and aren't terribly bright. Anonymous podcasters have freedom granted by anonymity, but they do not get the bonus of having their name known in the podcast community (or local or national media). You must weigh the plusses and minuses and decide for yourself.
Audioblogging is much like regular blogging: Have something to talk about, make sure your grammar and spelling are good (or, in the podcasting sense, make sure your audio quality is good), don't say anything that would devastate your life if your boss, mother, or spouse would hear it, and attempt to be engaging at best or entertaining at least.