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The podcast Blog

"The Podcast Blog explores what's funny, serious, trying so hard to be serious it's bloody funny, homemade and professional in the podcasting world..

It shares the thoughts of those who create them and those who listen and watch.

The blog's producer Campbell Cooney has a long career as a journalist, and is a huge fan of podcasts as a listener and viewer.

Be warned, if you ask him about the best technology you can use to record a podcast, he'd probably give you a blank stare. But when it comes to what is in a podcast, and what's good and bad, he's worth listening to.

  1. Podcasts. Drought and Surf & Turf taste tests. Highs and lows of a 3,000 klm road trip North

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    Dust storm, just South of Walgett NSW
    Photo Credit: Campbell Cooney

    Greetings from the warm, sunny and temperate hills of Queensland's Atherton Tablelands.

    The trip meter on the car tells me that since leaving Melbourne I've travelled nearly 3,000 kilometres with a driving time of around 30 hours, with all of it apart from the final leg from Townsville, through the inland of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

    Across the last two states the signs of the devastating drought are everywhere. I took the photo above as I approached Walgett in Northern NSW. That was the heart of the storm, but even 200 kilometres up the road across the border at Dirranbandi,
  2. Festive season road trip. Or, what to listen to while driving to Queensland?. Suggestions please

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    Right now it's a sad and sorry time if you're a fan of radio.

    The ABC's had its feathers trimmed, if not not completely shorn off. Commercial radio's dominated by a mix of boofy fuckwitted brekky, afternoon and drive crews dismally failing at being funny, or opinionated overpaid senior citizens who are happy to embrace the paid for views of their biggest sponsors, and make them their own.

    Sad thing is that the number of people who listen to this crap means they stay on air. Further proof that good taste, and intelligence, are often mutually exclusive. Call me an elitist if you want, but I spent years reporting on the opinions and views of the fuckwits who dominate public
  3. The parodies continue: Carefully taking the piss out of This American Life

    When it comes to poking fun at a program like "This American Life" it's something you do carefully.

    As we've heard here its spinoff podcast "Serial" is already being played for laughs. Now "That American Life" is doing it to big daddy.

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    This American Life's great success is that it takes human stories, which at first you might think are totally unimportant, and turning them into something that becomes gripping listening, something which must be credited to its host Ira Glass.

    That American Life (Rittle confusing. I think I need a drink) presented by Ira Class (Get it? Actually right now trying to differentiate between ...
  4. The Serial Parody. Of course it had to happen.

    You'll remember last week I had a look at "The Serial", the podcast which follows one story with an episode on it per week, currently looking at the factors surrounding a 1990 murder in the US city of Baltimore?
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    My description of it was:
    "Fucking Amazing!!"

    And be all accounts, listeners and critics around the world agree. Perhaps not in exactly those words.

    But in the tradition of some of the great dramatic pieces of fiction and non fiction one very smart American's decided to take the piss out of it, and has done so with great style.
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  5. The Bondi Hipsters. Proof that nothing's as funny as taking yourself seriously.

    I don't know where you're reading this, maybe in one of the capital cities of Australia, maybe overseas in Europe, the USA or even in Asia?

    But I'll take a bet that wherever you are it's hard to avoid this subcultural group?
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    You guessed it. The Hipster, the urban, quasi intellectuals, who, like every subculture before them, try so hard to look like individuals, they look exactly the same as each other. And in the race to fall into line with their mates (Mind you I don't know if mate's a word a real hipster would actually use? Please dispute or discuss at your leisure) are helping fashion labels and retail outlets make a fortune.

    Updated 18th November 2014 at 01:50 PM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , Podcast Review , Comedy , Campbell Cooney
  6. The Serial. A title which says it all.

    I'm going to use one word to describe "The Serial".

    F@@@*^g amazing!

    Yes I know that's more than one word, but the first word's not used in polite company.

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    Since it came into being The Serial has garnered praise from anyone who's heard it. There may be someone out there who hates it. There probably is. It's a free world and idiots have just as much a right to oxygen as any of us.

    The serial's produced by the same people who bring us "This American Life" the broadcasting juggernaut which sets the bar for great production and great stories, and in this new production they've nail it again.
  7. The art of the documentary.

    If you think about it a podcast if the perfect platform for a documentary.

    Short or long, a one off or a serial. It allows you to listen at your leasure, at home, in bed, in the car, anywhere you want, whenever you want to.

    The thing about a documentary is that if you want to do it justice then you have to listen to it actively. It can't really be background noise. What that means is that if you listen to on the radio or watch on TV, which is where most if not all the great ons originate, more on that later, and your attention wanders then you've missed out. The same happens when you're listening at your own pace, then you can rewind or re-listen. Perfect!

    In the weeks ahead I'll look at some of the ones ...
  8. Podcasting. Just a few hints. Part I

    Now I'm not a lecturer. But as the title for this blog'll tell you, I listen to a lot of podcasts.

    I listen to them in the car, and when, like I'm doing now, writing for this, and for the other things I do to try and earn a crust.

    So, if I don't mind saying so, I reckon I have an idea of what works. So if you're passionate about the idea, and you and your mates, or family have the idea to create something, then here's a few ideas.

    Now don't expect a list of the best technology you can use, or the best way to get the word out, be it Apple
    iTunes or another source. I'll look at some of those in the future.

    Also I'm thinking about putting new thoughts here on a continual basis, as well as the

    Updated 1st October 2014 at 06:40 PM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , Basic Entries , Campbell Cooney , Podcasting
  9. Radio Lab. Making science fun and geeks sexy

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    I hate to say it, but in my career in the media one disappointing fact I have become aware of is that while science is important the science world's terrible at selling itself and the achievements of its members.

    From day one, be it at university, or on the job, reporters learn that at its essence when you tell a story, you answer six questions; who, what, why, when, where and how. Depending on the story one of those will be more important than the rest, but none are ignored.

    But scientists seem to work hard at ignoring this when called on to communicate with the wider world. I’m sure when they’re in a room talking to each other what they say makes perfect sense. But when ...
  10. This American Life, the podcast giant

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    In broad terms a podcast will into one of two categories.

    The first is the rebroadcast of a radio or television program. It goes to air, then's made available as media on demand. Think Hamish & Andy, or Late Night Live on the ABC's Radio National network.
    Often now if it's a prerecorded program, the release is simultaneous.

    Second is the podcast created to straight online. The Sweetest Plum produced in Australia by Declan Fay and Nick Maxwell a notable success., and one show we'll look at in the future.

    This American Life fits into category one and in many ways it sets the bar for what can be achieved. But it's also got a solid claim to be part of category two.

    Updated 1st October 2014 at 06:43 PM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , Podcast Review , Human Interest , Campbell Cooney , Podcasting
  11. Why a blog on podcasts?

    I don't think you're going to get many radio station managers or program directors admitting it, but in many ways the podcast is king. All those shows we once had to religiously tune in to get our daily fix of of news, analysis and opinion, can now be consumed when we want. If there's something you aren't keen on listening to in said program, instead of waiting for the all knowing presenter to move on, we now hit the fast forward button.

    It's not something they like, but it's something they can't ignore, and at the end of the day, you as the consumer, be you a listener, or watcher, are the winner.

    But podcasting isn't just the cleaning up of a radio show for release online. Now it's the way many entertainers, newsmakers