Podcast? Podcast!

Steven here…

The reason I’m a skeptic is not because of all the awesome blogs dedicated to reason. It’s because of podcasts. They are incredibly effective outreach tools. Because of that, me and the rest of the WWJTD team have been talking about what a WWJTD podcast would be like.

Most of the contributors have experience with podcasting already, and there are a ton of news stories that we just don’t get a chance to blog about. Before we invest in this, we’d like to see how much interest there would be in a show.

What sort of segments would you like to see?

How long should it be?

Should we invite religious people to debate us?

How much of the show should be dedicated to JT doing opera?

These questions are serious business, so put on your serious pants and answer them in the comments.

I write a lot of jokes. Some of them are in this book.
I also host the podcast of the Skepchick events team, Some Assembly Required, and cohost the WWJTD Podcast.
You can also follow me on Facebook or that bird thing.

About geekysteven
  • Nothing

    WANT!!!
    Talk about anything, just do it! :))))

  • http://www.atlantapolyamory.org/ Jeremy

    This might be the most unhelpful comment you get, but it is something that I would certainly be interested in if I still had time to listen to podcasts, but I really don’t anymore.

  • http://IAmDanMarshall.com Dan

    I will answer the questions in order:

    Snarky, just like the posts. Find the most idiotic stuff being put out there by theists, and tear it apart.

    At least one hour, maybe two.

    Yes, please!

    At least half an hour, maybe more.

  • Amyc

    I don’t think I’ll listen to a wwjtd podcast if it doesn’t dedicate at least 10% of the show to JT singing opera…but that’s just me.

  • Sarah

    I think 30 min – 1 hour would be great. I like longer podcasts, but I imagine they are more stressful to produce regularly. Regularity is important to the success of a podcast. Your audience will give you shit if you don’t produce on a schedule and that would wear you down emotionally. I love all the contributors to this blog and would jump at the chance to hear more from you guys.

  • vini

    Hell, yeah! To answer your questions (in order):
    • Theist arguments and apologetics debunked, news commentary, read mail, atheist activism, etc.
    • Between 60–90 minutes.
    • Definitely.
    • Maybe he can be featured on the intro vignette…
    One last suggestion: paying attention to the flow, energy, and style of the podcast makes a HUGE difference. I’m a huge fan of atheist podcasts but far too many of them are lethargic and boring, even though the content is great. For example: I LOVE The Atheist Experience for the content but they’re not great TV or radio personalities. Too many silent pauses, some disorder between calls, boring graphics, slightly aggressive intro music, and so on. On the other hand, Ardent Atheist with Emery Emery, even though the content is obviosuly different, has a really great overall energy. So I say practice your “radio voice”, make the opening brief (45 seconds max), choose vibrant music, invest in good technical sound quality.
    Good luck!

  • http://atheistlogic.wordpress.com OmniZ

    1) Snarky responses to recent news items, apologetics, awesome skeptical guests
    2) 1-1.5 hours
    3) Absolutely!
    4) 10% if he’s just singing opera. 15% if he’ll sing other stuff too.

  • Ray

    I’m all for it as long as there is an audio only download available. 30 – 90 minutes would be good.

  • anatman

    1) do it! do it! do it!
    2) skep events (cons, lectures, meetups, etc., general theocrat fisking, activism opportunities, talk about news, fallacy avoidance advice, skep music and humor, skep guests
    3) 1-2 hours
    4) nope. why waste time and give them a platform to lie from?
    5) the more the better. extra points for jam sessions with e.g. the crommunist.

  • baal

    Good podcasts are like any other medium for communication. It’s better if you’re somewhat tight and don’t wander aimlessly. They are also a lot of prep work. A passable presentation has prep time equal to the present time. A good one has much much more. This is why commercial tv shows have an army of writers and producers but only a few folks on screen. For these reasons, I’d suggest you keep it to 15 min-30 min ~ 1/wk. Also, there is an opportunity cost for a podcast that may take from the written blog (depending on how much free time you all have).

    As to tone, ‘snarky’ is a word I don’t like. Witty is an older word that may suffice as a replacement.

    As to segments, I think getting short 5-10 minute interviews with his ‘check out these atheists’ would be nice. Most of the ‘big names’ have youtube clips and even lengthy debates in which you can get a flavor for how they think and what atheism means to them. I wouldn’t mind if the podcast hit on poly/sex positivism but would be cautious about going too far from the regular themes of the blog (though as a different medium, I would expect some things to work better in audio than print and vice versa). “and now for the 30 second opera update on the Kountze Cheerleaders”

  • http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com Kaoru Negisa

    I gave my enthusiastic approval on FB, but here are the details

    What sort of segments would you like to see?

    I’d like to see a news segment that covers general skeptic-oriented news and brief commentary, a segment that focuses on a specific and important skeptic-oriented news item, an interview, and maybe a humor segment or two, either radio sketches or things like “Worst Argument of the Week” where you point out why somebody famous and stupid (Ken Ham, Alvin Plantinga, etc.) was ridiculous.

    How long should it be?

    I think an hour should do.

    Should we invite religious people to debate us?

    Maybe. It shouldn’t be a common thing, but sometimes it may be worthwhile to have that debate. However, on a skeptic podcast, your listeners will likely already know all the arguments, so while it would be good for a collective eyeroll and a feeling of intellectual superiority, I don’t think it’s something that would really be beneficially all the time. However, if you could embarrass Dinesh D’Souza Hitchens-style, I say go for it.

    How much of the show should be dedicated to JT doing opera?

    Half of it. 3/4 on my birthday.

    These questions are serious business, so put on your serious pants…

    I sincerely hope those are metaphorical pants or my opinions are not disqualified if I am not wearing pants. The problem is that I own pants, but only time travel trousers and skinny jeans.

  • otocump

    Enchantment? ENCHANTMENT!

    Dooo eeet.

    As for the ‘answer the questions’ part, others have listed my answer too, so just throw my voice behind them too.

    • Loqi

      I feel a sudden urge to play Dragon Age.

  • Loqi

    Do I *have* to put on pants in order to comment? Oh well, if you insist…
    I typically skip podcasts longer than an hour (though this is more for technical reasons than anything else), so I’d try to keep it in that ballpark or less. I think there are a lot of weekly blog posts that would translate well to a podcast that could make it easy to go over that time. Baal’s idea about the interviews with the lesser known activists is fantastic (maybe a full podcast guest spot, even). The comment roundup would be fun. You’re already coming up with one discussion topic for the Tuesday discussion post, so that could translate directly to the podcast. I think the challenge is going to be not trying to do too much.

  • ewok_wrangler

    There’s some precedent for the music; I’m thinking of “Partially Examined Life” which closes with a number by the band one of the group is in, as well as Geo’s occasional musical interlude. But you could do something different: you could do Podcast Karaoke! That is, have the musical track for the listener to sing along with, and then JT comes in on harmony on the chorus. Sing along with JT, how awesome is that?

    As to length, I’d urge making it shorter: 30-45 minutes max. Focus your material. Record more time if it feels natural, but edit ferociously. At SGU they talk about how they record 3 hours and Steve edits it down to 1.

    JT travels so much, try to capture “remotes.” Just short interviews or conversations

  • http://gravatar.com/huckleberry549 huckleberry

    I’d like to see someone start mending wounds and divisiveness and promote worthy projects like the Clergy Project. Interview Jerry DeWitt and others that come out of that program. These are the new Dan Barkers.

  • Cunning Pam

    Just because every opinion poll needs an outlier: I often feel like the only person in the world who doesn’t like podcasts or videos. Honestly, I’d rather just read whatever it is I’m interested in.

  • Chris

    I’m with ewok_wrangler on karaoke, but do a twist: re-lyric some well-known songs with atheist lyrics instead — witty, funny atheist lyrics, and sing those! With good-natured rhymes about theist non-arguments.

  • Adam

    HELL YES!! Talk about whatever you want for as long as you want!

  • fwtbc

    I’ll check out your podcast if you record one. I’ve really enjoyed some of the talks you’ve given. You’re very entertaining and engaging, so I could see that working really well for a podcast.

    I am pretty fussy about podcasts and have a low tolerance for shitty production. I offer the following advice in the spirit of really wanting to see you succeed with a podcast that has a continually growing audience and doesn’t just vanish after a few episodes.

    I prefer tightly edited podcasts. This usually keeps the running time down. I will listen to a long podcast, but if there’s a lot of crap in it that could’ve been edited out, I’m likely to get impatient with it and bail.

    Please also invest in a decent microphone. I already listen to a lot of podcasts so my listening time is limited. I’ll always favour a professionally edited podcast recorded with a reasonable mic over a podcast that is a few people who’ve just demuxed the audio from a Google Hangout session and published it with some people so loud they’re distorted, others so quiet you can hardly hear them, others using crappy laptop built in mics in echoey rooms, bonus points if they decide to type on that laptop during the podcast, etc.

    Also, make sure there’s an RSS feed so people can subscribe to the podcast and have it autodownloaded. Get it into iTunes and any other podcast hubs as possible if you want to expand your audience, which I assume you’d like to do. You’ll get a lot of support from your current readership, but keep in mind that those who don’t already read you will be much quicker to dismiss your podcast if they think it sounds shit, and probably won’t bother telling you.

    Good luck!

  • Courtney C.

    I would listen to this every week, for sure.

    What sort of segments would you like to see?
    I enjoy the deconstruction of logical fallacies. That’s part of why I love the debate format so much. Rational outlooks on current events are also awesome. I’d also see something that gives props to various conventions going on across the country (maybe interviews with the founders or the speakers). Obviously we all know about Skepticon (unless you live under a rock ;) ), but it’s good to hear about the less-established groups and what they’re doing.

    How long should it be?
    Depends on how frequent the posting would be. I love Citizen Radio because they do an hour show daily. That’s a lot though, and an hour and a half or two weekly would also be great.

    Should we invite religious people to debate us?
    YES. We can sit around all day and talk about what great points we make (because, we do!), but the best way to demonstrate how effective our arguments are is by putting them up against believers.

    How much of the show should be dedicated to JT doing opera?
    He should record a different intro song EVERY.SINGLE.WEEK.

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  • Gordon

    I’d say a good minimum time for a podcast is 45 minutes. Religious guests would be a good idea.


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