I was lucky enough to be involved in the production of the latest NetBeans podcast. It was a definite learning experience and here is the list I wrote for next time on what made it a success and what to do differently next time….
1. Get lots of people involved. Podcasts work much better as a social conversation rather than a monologue and gives a really healthy mix of ideas. We got our friends from EPIK involved and they brought lots of drive and ideas with them. It also makes the workload much easier for all involved.
2. Have a clear overall theme. A podcast needs a general, central theme to hold it all together. We choose the topic of Coding now and in the future which worked very well – it gave the podcast a clear thread but allowed lots of variety.
3. Keep if relaxed and fun. Our interviewees enjoyed themselves and so we ended up with much better and more interesting conversations.
4. Plan, plan and plan. We spent a great deal of time planning our questions and researched our topic and the people we interviewed carefully. We choose the questions we thought would work for each person. This meant we avoided questions which get short YES/NO replies and received lots of interesting replies.
5. You cannot have enough recording devices. I am a big fan of Toby Hadoke’s podcasts and he often jokes about having loads of recording devices because he kept having to re-record podcasts because he did not have a copy. Now I know what he means! In the age of smartphones it is very easy to make sure you have at least 2 devices recording each interview.
The NetBeans podcast was a great experience for us and I think the ultimate lesson is that you need to make it happen. If you have an interesting story to tell, the opportunity is there.